Tuesday, October 30, 2007

People like to get high

When I was in high school I moved to another country. Quickly, I was reassured that my new mates alcohol consumption habits were very similar to my own. That was until one dark night, down in someone's parent's basement, when the revelers began snorting vodka through their noses.

Ostensibly this technique will get you drunk faster -- although it's not like it takes very long for a few traditional shots of vodka to kick in. The downside to snorting vodka is the sharp, almost unimaginable pain it shoots through the sinus cavity and to the back of the eyeballs. The pain does subside, but the eyes continue to water, and you are left with the distinct impression that some of the damage you just did to your brain will be permanent.

Since I thankfully never came across the practice again, I always thought vodka snorting was the unique and misguided domain of a small subset of young people in a far off land. Then a few weeks ago I read an article on how Prince Harry likes to snort vodka, and it is becoming quite the trend. In this day and age, with so many great ways to get high, why anyone would ever snort vodka is beyond me.

If snorting vodka is pointless and painful, what can be said about the huffing of fermented human fecal matter?

It's called jenkem, and it apparently produces strong hallucinations. Jenkem was discovered about ten years ago by Zambian street kids too good for sniffing glue.

Evidence that jenkem has crossed over to those with homes is highly anecdotal, although we do have this recent first person account from a Seattle paper. The author confirms the poop drug's hallucinogenic quality. He also adds "one of the downsides of jenkem is that you constantly have that taste of sewage in your breathing for several days after the fact."

Suddenly snorting vodka doesn't seem so bad.

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