Best blurb (pitch) -- and thanks, Sally and Prickly

by Mathew Paust

Pink Pinkerton, assigned to develop a better erectile dysfunction remedy, has done his employer one better. In a secret underground lab near Washington, D.C., Pink concocted a formula that not only brings bigger smiles to men and women alike but makes them better citizens. So, a Nobel prize for Pink, you'd think. Maybe, if he survives the attempts to kill him and destroy his formula before it spreads. Those who want him dead fear his miracle potion, Vulcana, will ruin the economy by making people so happy and enlightened they'll quit spending money on things they don't need. After his beautiful lab partner Gladys Alabi disappears, Pink hits the road to find her and ends up on the run from shadowy mercenaries. Friends assisting him include a Secret Service agent and a former White House official. A chance alliance with an Internet hacker ring keeps them one step ahead of the killers and helps Pink narrow the search for his enemy. But the closer he seems to get, the more familiar the terrain becomes.

Older version:

Imagine a drug that could save us from ourselves. A simple pill that tweaks our brain chemistry to allow reason and compassion to gain the upper hand over our baser instincts, ease our irrational fears and selfish impulses, build moral fiber without upsetting our stomachs.

Be nice, wouldn't it, to solve so many problems so easily? But we know nothing's that simple, nothing worthwhile anyway.  Yet...

From the first day our ancestors appeared on this planet nature's chemical secrets have been revealing themselves to us in things we eat, drink, smoke, inject and rub into our skin. Things that change our moods and our behavior, affect how we perceive and respond to what we see and hear and feel.

We've learned to break these substances apart and to combine them in other ways and change them and change what they do to us to heal and comfort and inspire, strengthen and embolden. Enlighten? Permanently?

What if some brilliant geek in a lab were to stumble upon just such a concoction? A super potion, say, using his quirky genius to fiddle and faddle and twiddle and tweak, distilling this and extracting that and blending and boiling and baking and...voila! Something new! Something that lights up the mind in a way it's never been lit before! Lighting it so brightly it can see clearly for once -- for all time, enabling the mind to see its demons for what they are and banish them to the darkest corner of memory. Enabling us to get on with living intelligently and compassionately.

What do you suppose the people who get rich selling products that pander to our demons would think of this discovery? Enlightened people would no longer fall prey to commercials that prick irrational impulses, commercials selling eternal youth and sexual irresistibility, siren calls to gluttony and greed.

Throckmorton Moynihan "Pink" Pinkerton is the geek who threatens this oligarchy of consumer madness, and somebody wants him dead. Pink doesn't know who sent the killers, nor do the people trying to protect him, including a former United States president.

Shadowy mercenaries pursuing the oddball band seem to know its every move, despite Pink and his friends staying on the run and off the grid.  A chance alliance with an Internet hacker ring helps keep them one step ahead of the killers as they try to identify their enemy. But the closer they get, the more familiar it seems the murderous face becomes.