Suffocating yourself to get high is a good time when you’re 12, but that’s just because you have no drug points of reference against which to compare the quality of “feeling floaty.” Do the age-old kid highs hold a candle to the things that we lucky adults get to do whenever we like? Savory and wonderful things like heroin, meth, coke, and PCP?
We wanted to find out, so we got a 30- and a 34-year-old (man, that’s ancient!) with
substantial post-pubescent drug experiences to do whippets, speed-dreaming (that’s the thing where you hyperventilate then someone presses on your chest and you pass out for a couple seconds but it feels like hours), and chug a bottle of cough syrup.
In order to keep it scientific, we made sure one of them (the guy) had tried all three things in his tender years and the girl had tried none at all.
After two full minutes of Lamaze-style huffing, Andrew stood against a wall, Alethea laid into him with all her weight, and… nothing. We switched to 30 seconds of breathing and shifted the pressure point to the sides of the neck and suddenly we were in business. Andrew’s head started bobbing, his eyelids drooped into a squint, and, most promising of all, he muttered “Blaaaacking-ouuuut,” right before slowly tipping forward like a felled tree.
“I started clouding over but didn’t quite get all the way there. Kind of lame.”
We tried each technique twice with absolutely no alteration to her state. It didn’t even make her uncomfortable. And you better believe, we choked this bitch good. A short headscratch later it occurred to us that in our collective experience we didn’t know of a single girl who’d ever gone successfully under. This discovery was backed up by some extensive bar research and has led us to the hypothesis that God doesn’t want girls to enjoy speed-dreaming.
Each subject was given two cans of whipped cream and was allowed to do their huffs simultaneously. They were instructed to keep going until there was no more precious nitrous to suck out of the can.
After the first can, she bought a one-way ticket to giggleland. The laughing fit lasted a good 15 seconds, followed by a frenzied scramble in search of leftover nitrous.
“Good times. I got the jones pretty bad there for a second.”
He made it through both of his cans before also collapsing in hysterics.
“I was pretty stoned there for a bit. It didn’t last nearly as long as when I did it as a kid though.”
In an unbroken chug, each subject drank a four-ounce bottle of maximum-strength tussin (roughly 400mg of Dextropomorphan), then sat down and let it take effect. At the 30-minute mark we moved to a nearby bar, at which point Alethea reported the feeling as similar to “having drank one beer, done one line of coke, then smoked a lot of weed.” Andrew likened it to “bad shrooms.”
At the end of hour one, Alethea went to the bathroom to take a shit. After 15 minutes, we sent two friends in to check on her. “It was like being in the shit lodge,” she reported upon exiting, “Totally cut off from the world outside the stall in an almost spiritual sense. I was pretty happy when my friends showed up to check on me.” At the three-and-a-half-hour mark, Alethea returned to the bathroom to barf: “Where shitting was like a spiritual experience, puking my guts out just made me feel like the lowest of the low.”
“This doesn’t compare to any other drugs for me.”
At hour two, Andrew went to the bathroom. His shit-lodge experience was nowhere near as intense as Alethea’s. He reported feeling spaced-out and nauseous in alternating waves. At hour four we went to an apartment party where neither subject knew the host. There was limited interaction between them and the other guests, except for a brief two-person reenactment of the Wampa scene from
The Empire Strikes Back
with the host’s
“It definitely doesn’t beat adult drugs, but I’m still kind of surprised kids can just buy this over the counter.”