Drugs. As big a part of our culture as Apple Pie, Baseball, and dressing prepubescent grrls up like whores for the entertainment of the public. Legal or illegal, no matter what part of the culture you find yourself in, “getting your mind right” is a top priority. It is as natural a part of the humyn experience as having sex or making a nice BM.
Be it through prayer, prescriptions, burning leaves, or common household chemicals we all have our own ways of finding that great plateau. In my long and (arguably) great career at altering my mind, I have done a great deal of really really stupid things to get stoned. God… I have done a shitload of mindless things. And it always starts because someone told you something would work.
The Wonder Years…
When I was in the fifth grade and my best friend in the entire world (at the time anyways), Joey Butler, told me that if we sniffed majik markers it would get us high. So I sniffed, snorted, and smelled every kind of marker I could get my hands on… going so far as to even keeping ones whose scent I found particularly enticing in my pocket to get little ‘sniffs’ (as we in the know call them) whenever I wanted to. Granted, it never got me high. Most it ever did was gimmie a headache one time. I had not yet learned how to huff things properly (which I did by the time I was eleven and threw up all over my grandmother’s cat after huffing some silver polish, thus ending my short and unpleasant huffing career), so I guess that might be why it never did anything more than paint the outside of my nostrils whatever the color of choice was (and subsequently make me look like a retard who had no idea how to use markers).
But once I hit eleven I got my hands on the good stuff… or at least I thought it was the good stuff. A friend of mine’s older sister told her brother Robert and I that snorting Pixie Stix would set you off. Now, you must remember this was in the rip roaring 80’s, a decade defined by the amount of coke snorted (I mean just look at the fashion). So of course we carved ourselves out a few lines and rolled up a dollar (cause that’s how they did it on Miami Vice… Hell, I even distinctly remember my dorky ass dabbing my finger tip in it and putting it to my tongue thinking that because the other retard and I were pretending it was coke it would majikally turn into coke) and snorted it up. That was then followed by two stupid idiots screaming cause their noses were on fire and one equally as dumb 16 year old falling on the floor and pissing herself from laughter.
And for a while the Pixie Stix episode kind of cured me from acts of insane idiocy in order to alter my mind as I so longed for. I stuck to filching brewdogs off my folks and puffing butts (I was still at the stage where I would just puff the cigarette… not yet realizing that I had to inhale them). And of course, an occasional sniff of a marker or two.
Then I heard about eating nutmeg to hallucinate. The idea of this seemed too good to be true! My mom had a HUGE container of nutmeg in the kitchen. So one day when my folks left me in the house all alone for a few hours I had at it. I ate that entire bottle of nutmeg. It burned going down and dried my throat like a desert wind. It tasted like spicy sand. And to make matters worse, it didn’t make me trip. It made me lightheaded and a little dizzy… and eventually it made me throw up a muddy paste. Oh, and I didn’t shit right for a week. But no visions. No trails. Nothing. Not even one pink dancing bear. There was a part of me that was starting to think that getting high really was stupid and that I was wasting my time.
But then, my friends, I scored myself a copy of the Anarchist Cookbook. Ahh, what an amazing book. Section after section on various ways of getting high, cheating the system, and making explosives (for those of you little fellas reading this, understand that this was in a day before the internet and the only hope little punks like me had was getting our hands of shit like this in order to learn how to be antisocial spazs). I read about how to grow pot and how chewing on the seeds of Hawaiian plants would make you trip balls. But I didn’t have any pot seeds and the nearest Home Depot from my house at the time was a little bit out of my bike riding radius. But then I found the message from on high… Banana peels.
Of course! Banana peels would get me high! And it was perfect, I thought. Easy to find, cheap… Hell, my mom ate two a day! Surely I would be able to do this one. So for an entire week I picked up every banana peel I could get my hands on. I went through the trash. I ate bananas every chance I got. And by the week’s end I had managed to gather up a shopping bag full of peels. That Saturday night I was spending the night over at my boy Skippy’s crib and his folks pretty much left us to our own devices at night. This would be the majik night, I just knew it. I got to his house and explained to him my master plan. How I had been saving banana peels all week (of course I brought my bag of rotting banana peels) and how all we had to do was put them in the toaster oven for a few hours and then they would be dried up and ready for us to smoke them and hallucinate the night away.
And smoke them we did, out of an aluminum foil pipe we had seen made in one of those anti-drug things they would show you in school. And again we didn’t get high. We made Skippy’s room smell like an odd combination of burnt bananas and ass. But no drug induced wackiness, at least not then. (For the record, the pipe bomb that the Cookbook told us how to make also didn’t work. We were such horrible anarchists…)
… Everybody Must Get Stoned
Thankfully (depending on your perspective), by the middle of my eighth grade year of schooling an older kid in my neighborhood did me the favor of finally showing me how to get stoned properly (sort of) by selling me “pinners” for five bucks a pop. (A pinner is a joint about the thickness of a toothpick, rolled in one inch paper with a mix of pot and catnip inside. It less make you high and more lightheaded, but it smelled like pot burning, so it had a mild placebo effect making my mind think I was “high”. Usually a pinner would last me about a week.) Now having ‘real drugs’, I stopped my foolish pursuits on such little kid things like markers and banana peels.
‘Til I learned about pills that is. Pills seemed like a good idea to me. Not that I knew anywhere to score anything even remotely worth bragging about. But I had grandparents… and grandparents had pills… and some of those pills had to be for pain (as I was sure that painkillers would be the most likely to get me high). So I devised an intricate plot to sneak into my grandma’s bathroom one night when we were over for dinner and how I was going to grab a few pills and see what they did.
And I did. I got into her bathroom and started going through her pills. Finally I found the mother load. A nice big full prescription bottle of some white pills. The label had a nice long scientific sounding name on it and also said “Alleviation of pain…”. Might have helped if in my youthful gusto I had bothered to finish reading the label which I am sure would have said something about the bowels or stool or something because about an hour after I popped those little devils an urge to shit me struck like nothing had ever struck before. I spent the next three days in the bathroom, shitting my brains out. Apparently, my grandmother had been straining at stool and her doctor had given her‘scrip for some industrial strength laxatives.
Disgruntled by pills I stuck with pot. But being afraid to talk openly with friends at St. Lawrence Catholic School (and as a double whammy, being in a private school afforded me little contact to with any young roughies who might have been able to help me out in trying to score), I was stuck smoking pinners. But I made due, knowing that in high school things would be different! Things would be amazing! And other than an early embarrassing instance where I used my family’s home bible as a source for rolling paper (which, despite the headache from the burned ink, actually did work), and having to explain to my mother what happened to the book of Job (told her that I saw my little sister playing with it), things went well. I started experimenting with newer and harder drugs… that actually did what they were supposed to do. And after years and years and years of just abusing myself to no end, I finally lived as happily ever after as a little stoner could get.
And after twenty years of trying (and failing) of trying to find ways to get that cheap high it occurred to me to drink cough medicine. Granted, it was not all my idea. It came to me while watching the Lil' Wayne episode of VH-!'s Behind the Music. Of course this made that little hamster in my head start running on his wheel to make those gears work. Cough medicine gets you high??? You’re kidding me right? I thought to myself, as I darted to the interweb looking to see if this was in fact true.
And indeed it is. Somehow I had managed to sleep on cough medicine for twenty years! Simple Robotussin DM. I had gallons of that in the house growing up. Oh how easy cold it have been?
I got excited and decided that I was gonna do it. I was gonna drink me some tussin and get my trip on. Why not, I figured, noting to myself that in all my years of experimentation I had never done that and at the very least it warranted scientific research to see just how it worked.
Pour some Tussin on it…
Truth be told I really didn’t expect it to work at all. I expected it to taste better than it did. And in all honesty, never in my worst dreams would I have thought it would fuck me up as much as it did. First of all, it was thick and slimy and weighed on your stomach like a goo (for note, I drank six ounces of this shit… yuck!) It made me queasy. But after a half can of diet Red Bull, my stomach settled down and I was ready to leave the house. We were headed to the Boneyard for a few cocktails and sad old lies. On the way there the effects started hitting me. First of all I remember things looking cool… especially lights. They were very bright and then very dim and seemed to dance and spin if I looked at them for too long... It was starting to remind me a little like LSD… the subtle alterations in the way lights and sounds effected me. I was really enjoying smoking my cigarette.
When we got to Ybor it was more good times. Walking was an absolute blast while I was robotrippin’. I was bobbin’ around like a blind melon just having me a peach of a time… though that would be the last good time I would have that evening. Truth be told maybe the worst night of my life ever.
Why was my night so horrible, you ask??? First of all, it comes in waves. Unlike acid (or even ‘shrooms for that matter) which have only subtle differences in the waves in the intensity, this shit would sneak attack, sending the waves in three to seven minute apart, with anywhere from three to twenty minute bursts. And it wasn’t like it gave me much notice either. I would be sitting there, paying attention to a conversation… feel my hands go numb… and then I would start off into nowhere watching pixies dance or a good fifteen minutes. Secondly would have to be just the utter confusion I was under. It was strange really. All night I had no idea what was going on. It was like going insane. I was seeing strange things, hearing odd voices, and my head was killing me. My stomach felt shitty all night… like I had to take a good messy shit. But I never breathed better. I will admit that.
The visuals were less than impressive and the whole night I felt that I had drunk myself o the point of blacking out except without the good time to show for it. My head throbbed and I wished I had not undertaken this experiment (though I did have one very entertaining moment which is when I determined that Robotussin tasted like Jager, which of course only makes sense since everyone says Jager tastes like cold medicine… Don’t judge me people… I was rather out of it).
This is the part where we all do some growing…
I learned something this weekend. Not only did I learn that cough medicine is way hard core, but I learned that I had finally outgrown something. I outgrew abusing over the counter medications for the purposes of obtaining a cheap high. Never mind that the shit made drinking impossible on Friday- thus wasting the evening as far as I am concerned- the eight bucks I dropped on this crap at Walgreens would have been better spent on some red rocks out by the projects.
The thing about the whole experiment that saddened me (other than the fact that I was [almost] thirty years old and had purposely drank six ounces of Robotussin purposely in order to have drug induced visions. I mean, fuck, this is barely cool your freshmen year of high school) is that last week on the news I actually hear of teenagers dying because they do this too much. Too much??? Not in my America!!! In 2010 there are kids who drink themselves to death on Tussin. I mean if you’re gonna die on a drug, pick one with some dignity. At least coke or heroin says you did something. ODing on tussin is just... well… it’s just fucking so sad.