Many years ago I was hiking through the lush meadows of Malawi, Africa on a self-sustained retreat for spiritual cleansing. Armed with only a neon Ninja Turtles fanny pack and a memory foam pillow from Brookstone, I traveled on foot night and day, in search of life's deeper meanings. Most of this time was spent kicking myself in the ass for not considering the horrid sunburn that would be inflicted upon my pasty skin during my journey. Not to mention the lack of food, water, and safety from vicious insects. Honestly, the trip seemed like a terrible mistake until I met a mysterious village boy named Gilbert one boiling hot, arid afternoon. I tried to barter with him, offering American dollars for goat meat, but there was a fierce urgency in his eyes. He told me, "Food is not what you need. The answers you seek lie in this magical book. Pay me $1,000 and don't ever show or tell anyone."

I was so crazed with hunger that I could not tell him no. It seemed like a logical step towards nourishment at the time. It also cost me a thousand bucks, which led to a deep depression and general feelings of guilt, malaise, and remorse upon returning home. I felt completely taken advantage of by Gilbert. I am also chilled to the bone at the thought of experimenting with some of these potions. Thus, I have decided to share the 7 most intriguing elixirs in the book, with 1 special chapter dedicated to mixing said potions. These are intended specifically for you to try at home with your own lover. Valentine's Day is upon us, so exercise caution, and report back to me with your results!

Love Potion #2 - Heterosexual Lifemate Rescue Potion

Purpose: Designed by the Russian secret service to lure intel out of captured spies, this very potent potion is used to save heterosexual friends who have been intoxicated by their 30-to-90-day romantic relationships, and who as a result can't stop making irrational decisions that adversely affect your friendship with them.

Symptoms that indicate treatment may be required: In women (More than 7 days of unreturned phone calls, talks of wanting to "just get pregnant with his baby now to avoid wasting time," obsession with eating salad). In men (Asking friends to join him in picking out a juju bead set, rampant usage of the term "snuggle," suddenly offended by the Ice Cube CD playing in your car).

Ingredients: Honey bee Nasonov pheromones, Barry White discography, massage lotion.

Directions: Insist subject visits your home for a delicious dinner and a collage-making session. It is recommended that you specifically express the desire to make collages with them, because case studies have concluded that people intoxicated by 30-to-90-day relationships are extremely likely to take pleasure in creating a collage. If you decide to make said collage out of magazine photos, O Magazine, Quilt Magazine or TV Guide are recommended. If you decide to make said collage out of pine cones and bird seed, be aware that the subject might inadvertently trigger a conjunctivitis outbreak due to his or her excessive tears of joy.

Once collage-making party has begun, lather yourself with Nasonov pheromones (found in honey bees). The pheromones will become fully activated once the low 15-20 khz frequency of Barry White's vocals has been exposed. Subject's eyes will dilate twice to thrice the normal size. Now, apply lotion to hands and insist upon giving subject a Swedish deep tissue massage. Once saxophones and trombones initiate in Barry White audio ingredient, subject's symptoms of 30-to-90-day obsessional love should subside. This will mean the potion has been successful.

Side effects: Subject may have intense desire to "snuggle" with administrator of potion, anogenital human papillomavirus, rectal damage.

Love Potion #404 - Yes, Strings Attached Potion

Purpose: Uses range from alleviating the worrisome jealousy felt when your lover disappears for days at a time without announcement to removing a love interest's problematic spouse. Discovered by Yves Vanderstein in 1856, this potion is one of the most effective ways to deal with romantic opponents or wayward lovers.

Ingredients: 1 large tank of atomic #2 (inert monatomic helium gas), 1 vulture's beak whittled to an indescribably sharp point, 1 yard of kite string, 1 hose.

Directions: The most effective form of administration with the highest amount of bioavailability is through the rectal cavity. Because most subjects would normally refuse to voluntarily indulge in this potion, it is best administered under unassuming terms. Suggest to your subject that you would like to autograph their rectal rim to practice for when you become famous in the NBA. 9 of 10 subjects will kindly oblige. Once you have access to the rectal fulcrum of their anatomy, quickly and firmly insert the hose, which has already been connected to the feeding hole of your atomic #2 tank. Plunge hose into rectum 5-6 inches, and swiftly loosen the pressure gauge of the helium tank. Your subject will slowly begin to inflate until he or she reaches desired size.

As a safety precaution, it is universally recommended that you cease inflation once subject's physique reaches 4 times its normal size. At this point, subject will start to levitate. Grab his or her (left) big toe tightly, and tie kite string in a snug knot around it. You are now free to walk with subject anywhere in your imagination's reach. Recreational users of this potion often find it amusing to show the potion-inflated subject to his/her/your lover to prove your dominance over your rival. Having accomplished this goal, use the vulture's beak to pop and deflate the subject.

Side effects: Singular stria, sudden weight loss, death.

Special note: Can also be applied to children you are babysitting, your neighbor's loud backyard pets, or grandparents who simply refuse to die.

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