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Athletisfungus (also known as rotor legs) is a phenomenon of physics discovered sometime in the early 1960's. Athletisfungus occurs when a state of extreme fear causes the subject's legs to exceed the speed of light. This creates a temporary space-time vacuum, and inverts Newton's laws of motion. The result is that the subject's total velocity inversely decreases as the force they exert increases.
Athletisfungus occurs most often among cartoon characters, although non-cartoon beings have also reportedly experienced its effects while attempting to escape from a grue. Indicators of athletisfungus include an illogical warping of space - time around the subject's legs causing them to appear to 'rotor' or spin, as well as a marked drop in mental capacity of all monsters, criminals, supernatural beings, and pop musicians within 72 feet. Some have theorized that athletisfungus releases particles similar to kitten huffing, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Known masters of athletisfungus include Shaggy (the cartoon character), Shaggy (the so called musician), various Flintstones and Looney Toons, Speedracer, and Megatron (although he is too cool to do it while anyone is watching) .
Warning: Athletisfungus creates a highly unstable subspace field and should be attempted only by highly trained professionals, cartoons, and those who have achieved a state of enlightenment of at least demi-god. In addition to the obvious danger that whatever was chasing you will overcome its state of befuddlement and ingest/maim/molest/huff you, there are several other dangers.
1. Those attempting to escape from a grue are often tempted to use extreme sarcasm to improve their odds. Unfortunately, using extreme sarcasm anywhere within 5 parsecs of an Athletisfungus field will cause it to collapse into a singularity, bringing a gory death to you and your 5 trillion closest galactic neighbors. Unfortunately all it does to the grue is piss it off (the singularity negates the grue killing properties of the sarcasm), leaving any survivors with a cranky, radioactive, and somewhat gassy grue to contend with.
2. In a similar vein, Athletisfungus fields are know to be a powerful attractant to Dr. Phil who will inflict legion horrors upon you as described in the Gruesome Book of Grues ( in an emergency, the pocket version of the Betty Crocker Cookbook also has a good description). If you find yourself in imminent danger of a Dr. Phil encounter you should either:
- A) Use extreme sarcasm - A horrible death by singularity, but preferable to Dr. Phil. Unfortunately, if you happen to be one of those people who believe in a categorized afterlife, killing trillions to save yourself from a few hours of indescribable horror is likely to earn you a one way ticket to the lowest basement of whatever form of hell you believe in. Even worse, Dr. Phil and the Grue you just killed are likely to end up there as well.
- B) Feed yourself to the Grue - The more altruistic solution. You die a slightly more horrible death but save the lives of all those beings. At least until the Grue gets hungry or bored.
3. Anyone achieving a state of Athletisfungus while experiencing the effects of mind altering substances (including but not limited to: LSD, PCP, THC, THX, and BBC 1, 2, or 3) runs the risk of a dangerous mental condition in which the person believes they are a guest on a daytime television show. This leads to wild and erratic behavior. Symptoms are especially severe when the sufferer is actually on daytime television, and may include violent rage, violent violence, violent expressions of love for another being, flu like symptoms, and erections lasting for less than 4 hours. While its existence has been know for years, the first documented case occurred on May 23, 2005 when Tom Cruise appeared on Oprah while experiencing the effects of what is now known as 'Cruise Disorder'. While in this state, Cruise is also proported to have gained access to Sith powers such as Force Lightning. There are those who believe that these abilities were unlocked through the combined effects of Daytime TV, Cruise Disorder, and Scientology( an equally irrational, but completely unrelated condition). The Jedi Council has dismissed the whole incident as nonsense however, stating "These are not the clips you are looking for. You can go about your business. Move along....".
Some scientists are studying Athletisfungus in the hopes of creating an anti-perpetual energy device. The theory claims that if someone is placed unexpectedly between 2 sufficiently powerful sources of equal and opposing fear, that person will achieve a state of Athletisfungus so extreme that every atom and sub- atomic particle in their body will simultaneously come to a complete halt. This would result in either the subject achieving a state of absolute zero, being frozen in time, imploding into a point singularity, or simply destroying the universe as we know it. Since all of the theorized end results end in painful cessation of existence, willing test subjects have been hard to come by. Plans are underway to solve this problem and are rumored to involve the creation of a reality TV show.
In addition, obtaining sources of fear has proved challenging. The source must be universally feared and willing to work without a union contract or paid vacation. Grues are the most obvious source, but their tendency to ingest the researchers, the test subject, and the project notes is highly problematic. Chuck Norris was also considered, however since there is only one of him, and nothing else in existence can generate an equal amount of fear, the idea has been scrapped. Paperwork is currently underway to hire Oscar Wilde as a consultant with results pending.