Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Whimsy Capricious: The Fuckwit Years. 

When I was seventeen, I had never seen an illegal drug, and would not have taken one if I had. However, I was a kid, and kids are curious. There was an urban myth going around at the time about a book called, "One Hundred Legal Highs". If I remember correctly, it supposedly advocated smoking banana skins. I can't say I ever tried it, as I was only just getting addicted to nicotine. Two cigarettes were enough to make me feel nauseous, thank you.

Anyway. A little concession called "Herbal Remedies" opened up in the mini-mall near my college. My friend and I were intrigued. The proprietor had obviously done his market research, and made a killing fleecing myself and my fellow students by selling us all manner of rubbish to add to our cigarettes.

Wanting to go easy, the first thing I bought was a packet of "wild lettuce". Christ knows what it really was, but it had no effect other than to stink.

On my second visit, I purchased something.. I can't even remember what it was called, but it was a white powder. Totally herbal, of course. Something to sprinkle on your tobacco to aid relaxation. I guess the store owner was smart. He didn't sell it in little baggies, oh no. You bought a great lump of it the size of a brick. Again, it brought me no relief from the stress of my impending A-Level exams.

Within a few weeks, the concession owner moved on to gullible teenagers new, and the white brick was shoved under my bed with the other trash and forgotten.

A couple of days after that, I was somewhat surprised to return home and find my parents, ashen-faced, and embracing on my bed. I thought somebody had died. My Dad never came home early.

Tearfully, they asked if I had something to tell them.

I was absolutely baffled, but defensive, as teenagers are. They had obviously caught me out at something. But what was it? Skipping classes had already been dealt with. Smoking, they knew about, so..what the hell had I done?

Mutely, I shook my head. No, I had nothing to tell them.

"Well, we have a question for you", they said.

Duly, the brick was produced.

"Is this heroin, or cocaine?"

I nearly collapsed with relief! I told them all about the shop, how it was perfectly legal, and how I wasn't coping with the pressure to get my grades for University. At first, they didn't believe me, and threatened to take the brick to the police station for lab tests. Luckily, I had the original packaging.

In hindsight, apart from the fact that I was a little shit, as a teen, what concerns me is the absolute innocence of my parents, and indeed, myself.

I had a brick of white powder. Under my bed, in plain sight.. and my parents thought it was smack, or coke. I was so naive that I knocked myself out proving that it wasn't.

If I had been more aware, I would have just said, "So where do you think I got the money for uncut class A drugs in this quantity?" It's almost laughable! What would a brick of powder be worth at street level? I'm no expert, but hundreds of thousands of pounds, I am sure! I am glad that my parents were spared the additional worry of thinking I was a major dealer, but still..

And if I was so ignorant of these things at seventeen, well.. it is scary to think what little knowledge I will have when my baby is a teenager.

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