Grey Mardi Gras
hadn't been back from Perth a couple of hours when the phone rang. It
was Dave, the chief actuary from an insurance company that keeps me
on a retainer.
been a big theft of industrial strength human growth hormone from some
place in Frenchs Forest", he said. "The cops seem to be treating
the whole thing as a bad joke, but we really want to know who's stealing
this stuff and who's buying it. I mean, if it's a crime growth industry,
we're going to have to change our premiums. Can you get a handle on
is this stuff? Do you snort it? ingest it? what?"
It's sweeping the US. They claim it reverses the ageing process: the
Fountain of Youth, the Peter Pan drug. Apparently you inject it with
an insulin syringe. It's a protein consisting of 191 amino acids. In
the natural order of things it courses through the veins of children
and young adults, but it fades away as you get older. Up until now the
manufactured version has mainly been used to treat developmentally challenged
kids, but the internet has created this big market. In terms of US dollars,
you can get it on the web for somewhere between $90 and $65 a hit. It's
like a designer drug for ageing lotharios ... worse than pocket rockets
and trophy wives."
gave me a few more details and hung up. Holy Mother of Darwin, I thought,
where do you make a start on something as weird as this?
could see I needed to workshop the bugger, so I went down to the café,
propped myself up at the bar, and explained the job to Joadja.
can buy this gear from the US on the internet, so why steal it? My working
hypothesis is that whoever's stealing HGH knows that there's somebody
out there who'll pay extra to get it on the sly", I said.
makes me think of shock jocks", Jo said. "Lawsie's looking
very old and worn, and now he's going to have to compete with this Howard
Sattler character they've imported from Perth. He's going on 2SM."
kidding! Sattler on 2 Saint Mary's? Jesus wept! He's like Attilla the
Hun on steroids."
point exactly. I reckon Lawsie'll need a shot or two from the fountain
of youth ... and then there's Alan Jones ..."
it wouldn't be for Alan. Somatropin's for Homo sapiens, it doesn't
work for parrots", I said. "What about the weight loss angle?
I got this off the web: some jerk called Ronald M. Klatz, MD, who describes
himself as the President of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine
reckons HGH 'does something no other weight loss regimen does. It recontours
the body, melting away fat and building muscle'. Maybe somebody reckons
they can sell it to Piers Ackerman and Paddy McGuinness."
Kim Beazley, Amanda Vanstone and Meg Lees. If HGH had arrived a few
years ago, Big Russ Hinze might still be with us ... and he'd look like
This stuff has to be stopped."
there's got to be a market among politicians. Lots of them are ageing
rapidly at the moment. Figure it out: the Howard Government is staring
down the barrel of the GST. There must be a couple of dozen backbenchers
who know they'll be doomed after the GST hits."
... The Living Dead. They'd pay big time for a few hits of HGH. And
Bob Carr's mob are looking pretty wilted too. That's a huge market.
This is the drug for the Grey Mardi Gras", I said.