This is a pseudoposthumous account of how a 93 year old man started off smoking Marlboros, took a lot of drugs, and

then gave it all up for smoking. Tobacco I remember smoking outside the Odeon Cinema in Guildford waiting for my very sexy girlfriend to be dropped off by her parents, or rather her Sri Lankan mum. I felt very hardcore sitting on the steps puffing smoke at people in my semi Gothic clothing. The whole ‘punk’ image was two or three years away, but I could still be a wannabe Goth, I just had to prove it by smoking Marlboros. Although obviously under 16, 12 actually, the various counter girls had no problem in handing them over. Back in those days you could buy 20 Red Band for £1.20, a score of years later and a packet off fags is at least a fiver. Inflation.

I actually started abroad where tobacco was available via vending machines, actually outdoors vending machines, for something like 20 Pesetas (about an early 1980’s five pence). Bingo! We would go and hide in the bushes hoping nobody would spot us, and a few weeks later humbly displayed our cigarettes in the local thoroughfare, quite frightened that people might think we were trying to act like men. Smoking is fun for kids, some of them get enough courage to inhale the sweet yet forbidden vapours. Tobacco that is, but the teenage years beckon. Mastering the fine art of rolling tobacco normally applies to ‘A’ Level students, sufficiently taxed to the hilt as it is, but I had a go regardless. Tricky little habit, but quite good fun to taste your own saliva being evaporated. Purchasing Rizlas was also fun because it made the shop keepers think that, “He’s not smoking wacky backy is he?”. Not yet. The greatest choice for the aspiring teenage smoker is the Ashtray. Coconut shells formed a great expedient to begin with. But, Adam being Adam, I soon upgraded to converted artillery shells, whiskey bottles (empty ones), and later on in my illustrious career half empty beer cans that softly festered around the bed room (my bed room). But back in the early nineties it was trendy to put your fag out on the pavement. Not a great deal of ‘No Smoking’ signs in those days; you might not believe this kids, but you could even smoke in pubs – but then again you couldn’t have perambulators in their either – look it up. Tobacco is fun, it leads to every disease imaginable, but even better than that it can lead into more serious, and even more fun, drugs, like cannabis resin, but we’ll get onto that later (it gets mixed up with tobacco). The best thing about it is that it can be smoked in helicopters, nuclear bunkers, tanks and not pubs. Back in the day it was even OK on the school bus, on the top deck anyway. Cannabis This is there is where the fun starts. Cannabis and hashish is available in all shapes, sizes, colours and flavours. But for the aspiring teenager it always has to be mixed with good old fashioned tobacco (see above). To do this one uses the expedient of cigarette tobacco (Tailor Mades), which is then put in a Rizla, not just one but three ingeniously stuck together in various ways which we do not have the space here to delineate. Be brave and take a good puff, it’s a touch heavier than tobacco, perhaps even stronger than a Cuban, but I persisted and hey presto. I remember well lying on a park bench, in a cabin, with my head spinning, and feeling really quite swell. Until a group of ramblers, or hikers, or social workers, walked in to the cabin and seated themselves under the fine summery blue. I was in the process of refining my spliff making skills, but felt a touch frightened so I hid the offending article(s), between my legs and tried not to giggle. This is great training for a teenager destined for Operation Mind Fuck. Eventually the people left and whatever without even having the courtesy to ask me for a puff. I carried on smoking, and carried on spinning.

The great thing about Cannabis is that it doesn’t really exist anymore in its old form. And this is where Rastafarians start getting peed off a touch. Genetic engineering of the plant means that once you create a new plant, you’ve not only created a new plant, but potentially lots of others. A few brand names of the top of my head: Purple Haze, Bubblegum, Lebanese Gold, Zero Zero, Rocky Black, Squidgy Black, Viking, Leb Red, Silver Haze, Californian Orange. My head hurts. Amsterdam is a fun place. Over there it is ‘tolerated’, for that read ‘taxed’. There’s a nice place called The Last Waterhole, which is a pub, coffeeshop (hash house), live music venue, bunk bed place and probably a brothel as well, after its own inimitable style, but I was too young and naïve to work that out and, erm, well. Nice ashtrays too. But it is great and you can go and smoke away till your red in the face. I remember going into The Grasshopper, near the train station and sufficiently expensive for tourists. I turned up at 11 pm on the last day of the Cannabis Cup festival. Great buzz. I ignored the kerb crawlers asking if I wanted ‘cheap accommodation’. (I actually ended up trying this job for a few hours in desperate need for more Guilders.) Sitting down in the Grasshopper I skinned up, very chuffed that all us newcomers had been edified with glasses of papers on the bar ready. However, when I started to mix my proudly purchased bag of weed with tobacco I got a few funny looks. Two black guys started chatting to me, they were wearing red clothes, quite hip hoppy, and eventually I asked them, “Are you guys gangsters?” “No we are electricians.” And they proved it, with ID cards. Very odd that in Amsterdam they play the local radio over MTV, which took me a few minutes to work out. Anyway time for a stroll, so I took a left along the shop, and then a right, I saw a shop full of dildos, got frightened and then ran back to mommy (two weeks later). Cocktail spliffs are combinations of cannabis in the same skin. I really tried to out do a few locals on that one. Never mind, but don’t expect the bar maid to let you sleep on the couch. Rolling mats are clever devices that let you make joints bigger than your hands can. Never got the hang of it because it’s great to get a handle and impress all your mates with your rolling skills. Cannabis makes people paranoid, it makes them schizophrenic, it makes them feel like they are the centre of their drug infested universe. Exposed, humiliated, everyone knows what you are thinking. Colours are brighter, sounds are stronger, you can meditate on the meaning of a single word for hours. Movies are more fun as well as you get sucked into them, feeling almost as if everything referred to you, as you sit there puffing away. Some dope fiends progress to the esteemed company of the ‘crusty’. Symptoms of the crusty include having unopened five year old calenders on the wall, a love of take

away food, aspirations of becoming novelists, rock stars and philosophers, and arguing over who will make the next spliff. But don’t be fooled kids, there are even more interesting ways to smoke hash, with a little ingenuity, blue tack and bog roll. Essentially there are infinite methods of getting stoned, a handful of colloquisms come to mind – bongs, buckets, hot knives, tulip spliffs, shotties, and best of all the ‘tong’, a variation on the hot knife using a hair curling implement. Hoplophobic are we? Look it up. Bongs are also known as naguls, hookahs and water pipes. The first one I used was a milk bottle with two varying length of hosepipe, sealed with candle wax, and a touch of perforated tin foil (I know what your thinking kids, but wait until page 93). And in classical style the dope was mixed up with tobacco, ground lovingly to a fine dust. The experience was like vertigo, I buckled my head down and span out. The fact that my bedroom was entirely black just added to the fun. And that was it, I had discovered that cooling the smoke down with icy water created the chemical contraction enabling one to get more of the vapour inside. A bit of tobacco lubricated things a bit as well. As my good old friend ground up more of the mix it felt like anticipating a chemical bungee jump. My career was now cemented, like an ashtray riveted to a branch of Nat West. The ultimate in rolling expertise culminates in the Tulip Spliff. If I do live through the week I’ll do a diagram of this. It’s great, takes an hour to make, and only ten seconds to smoke. But you need cardboard, which is a bummer when there’s no Rizla packet left (see above). The trouble with hash in England is that it’s not taxed. Not controlled either. The stuff gets ‘baked’ in microwaves, the oil is harvested and the rest sold off. But believe me it’s alright when there’s nothing else. And remember kids, you’ve got to burn the resin before sticking it in the Rizla because chopping it up with a pen knife just doesn’t cut the mustard. You’ll end up getting blim burns on your top. And remember, when you buy a clipper, to stick a hole in it and string it around your neck because when you’re too stoned to walk to the Twenty Four garage to buy another you’ll say THANKYOU. And with the hash pipe, remember that you don’t puff it like tobacco you’ve got to just take it in and feel the oesophagus hairs getting crisped. You’ll feel great afterwards. But the urge for tobacco does diminish. Anyway I am sure you’re getting tired of the weed, but you still wanna get high?? Okay read on, our next subject is LSD. LSD This is very strong stuff synthesised by Sandoz Pharmaceuticals. They also make Clozapine. It comes in little squares of paper, generally with motifs like Smiley Faces, UFOs, Golden Keys and Rolling Stones kissy lips. I took half a double dipped purple Om, and kept asking my friends, “When will something happen?”

It did. I saw my lovely skinny girlfriend through a kaleidoscope all of my own and pretty much go a bit odd. I remember trying to get it on with her but Acid has unfortunate side effects like Brewer’s Droop. The biggest hit for me was the three Rolling Stones. I kicked back and watched Total Recall. This was fun. Very psychedelic and not at all psychotic. A friend turned up and said ‘You are a very bad man Adam.’ He was right, I made it to 31. I still get the taste of LSD creeping up on my occasionally, you can’t forget the taste. It will leave you alone after years of abstinence, and then all of a sudden you’ll be plunged back into the state. This is called, in the vernacular, a ‘flashback’. I never took a microdot, but apparently they’re better, and kept in sellotape to prevent the goodness rubbing off. You can take acid just by holding it under the finger. Most just swallow but fair enough. You can see now why it is illegal. Some people have a ‘bad trip’, but I would recommend having a picnic when you pick the trip. Amphetamine This stuff makes you talk constantly, stops you sleeping, and behave a touch robotic in general. It’s quite good with instant coffee, and for once you’ll have an excuse to indulge in some decaffeinated. But you will have a touch to much energy for your own good. And don’t expect to have any fun with the ladies for the duration of the experience, called in the vernacular ‘whizz willy’. Some speed is good, some bad; the best stuff is yellow and comes wrapped up in rave flyers. There is a type called Pink Champagne but I’ve never had the pleasure. Or have I?? Some people inject speed into their veins. I never did this, but got a good friend to do it for me. Quite a rush, followed by much vomiting, and thankfully followed by a sink that wasn’t filled with something else. Anyway kids, if you are going to inject drugs use the vein under the tongue because it heals up a lot quicker and doesn’t give any tell tale signs of ‘too much fun’. Smoking tobacco is harder to conceal. Heroin Not a big upper for me. I call it ‘tabula rasa’, or Latin for ‘blank slate’. If someone has taken enough ‘gear’ they just wont notice a damn thing. You go into a cocoon, an impenetrable bubble, and are utterly oblivious to the world until the stuff wears off and then its time to get some more. I don’t like heroin very much, but I have the dubious distinction of never having ‘chased the dragon’ and only using a good old fashioned syringe. I am better at rolling than injecting myself. Moving swiftly on.

Butane Gas Early on in my career I tried inhaling a can of lighter fluid. This is quite a buzz. I found it quite insatiable. I am quite mad now, and thank Swan for that. Not the most sophisticated drug in the world, and it doesn’t go too well with tobacco. I used to do a couple of cans, and really couldn’t get enough of the stuff. It was more precious than oxygen, and quite debilitating. The icy cool goodness felt pretty enticing as it slipped through my teeth, because I needed my teeth to release the pressurised gas. It kind of sends you over the edge, but the buzz doesn’t last for too long, about four minutes and then it’s back down to earth for more fun. Liberty Caps There are lots of types of Magic Mushrooms, but this one is the quintessential favourite of the Glastonbury wannabe. I only took them 30 times, or rather 30 mushrooms in one go. I ended up hearing a high pitched popping noise and started howling like a little girl. And then started pulling my hair out a bit, if I had had longer hair I might have looked like a mushroom. Alcohol The good old favourite of this planet. It does occur naturally and most mammals like to get drunk, using the expedient of fermented fruit. It is one of the few bacterial drugs, to me it’s basically just dead little critters who get jump out in your bloodstream. An old favourite that comes in lots of flavours. The favourite around here seems to be lager, and when you realise that nobody drinks lager with a meal, you’ll see why they all end up down the kebab shop when the local nymphomaniacs aren’t interested in them; as they blow smoke into peoples’ faces. The best thing about booze is that you can puke it up the next morning. I have had all kinds of problems with drink. In England ‘do you drink?’ actually means ‘are you an alcoholic?’. I get this all the time. The best thing about drink is that it leads you into the psychiatric ward if you are a nice enough person not to smash a glass in someone’s face. This leads me on to my next section which is psychiatric drugs, which I won’t finish because I can’t smoke on the ward, and besides they don’t like it when people abuse their laptops. And don’t worry you can always join Antipsychotics Anonymous later on. And when you relapse onto the Nicorello Quicklets you can go back out into the ****ing madness. And if you feel lonely outside the pub just try snogging someone with your Nicorello gum handy. (Extinguishes cigarette.)

By A. Anonymous.

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