This article was originally published on THUMP UK.
For most of us out there, taking a pill is voluntarily swallowing a dose of the unknown. Am I going to feel sick? Will it make my legs feel like they've been injected with gelatin? Is there the distinct possibility that in half an hour's time I'm going to be staring lovingly into a stranger's eyes in the urinals as we both try and shake a drop or two of stagnant piss from our shriveled penises? Not everyone's so haphazard when it comes to necking a handful of pills, however.
Given that mankind's been prone to cataloging for as long as we've been able to walk unaided on two feet and twiddle our gloriously opposable thumbs, it was inevitable that the Internet would become a hive of like-minded busybodies with nothing better to do than put together incredibly detailed analyzes of every kind of pill they could get their hands on. Welcome to the strange, and ever so slightly sad world of PillReports, the web's premier Ecstasy Test Results Database.
PillReports, its founders claim, "is a global database of "Ecstasy" pills based on both subjective user reports and scientific analysis," going onto note, very nobly, that, "by identifying dangerous adulterants, PillReports performs a vital harm reduction service that can prevent many of the problems associated with "Ecstasy" use before they happen. Prevention is always better than cure, as you cannot cure death." In reality, PillReports does that and so much more.
Had them a few times now i think they are mdma but shit mdma hits you like a train then just want to lay down not move after a hour or 2 boom sober all of a sudden very weird high been doing pills for 15 years never had one like this reminds me of ket cant have a good time on them - doofers
PillReports is both a depository of knowledge and a constantly updating anthology of eccied-up short stories, and its users are, in a way, visionaries. They're writers dedicated to documenting truth—weight, location of purchase, probable quantity of MDMA per pill—and legend—the who's, the where's, the what happened's. The result is one of the most glorious examples of the interconnectedness we were promised by the advent of Web 2.0. Who needs the endless inanity of Twitter when you've got a group of likeminded individuals working together to objectively assess the potency of a recently pressed batch of Yellow Minions?
The power—and more pointedly, the pleasure—of an afternoon spent perusing the endless logs about Doomed Green 8-Balls, Blue Ferrari's, and Yellow YoYos, stems from that uneasy position the write ups, and the attendant comments, find themselves stumbling into. Pseudoscience melts into on-the-scene reportage, and that gonzo-journalism-meets-the- declarative style of writing creates a truly arresting form of (quite often incredible) content.
The user reports follow a standard template based on the following criteria:
- Report Quality Rating (which we'll return to shortly)
- Suspected Contents
- Marquis Reagent
All of which build a pretty solid idea of what you can expect from the small pellet of potent chemical compounds you've just paid a tenner for. If you're offered a Blue Kappa Lady or a 6 for £30 deal on Pink Cherries, in the midst of a dark and dank nightclub, you can rest easy in the knowledge that someone out there's diligently logged the pertinent details on PillReports. The hard work's been done for you. Even the reports get reported on, that's how dedicated the denizens of PillReports are to ensuring that each and every pill that slides down someone's greasy gullet is of the highest standard—and the safest.
From an anthropological and linguistic perspective, the most interesting aspect of the report is the User Report itself. These are often timestamped recollections of the ins and outs of the user's experience with whichever pinger they've selflessly guzzled in the name of science. The screenshot below is a prime example of the average User Report:
What's great about the User Reports is the bafflingly wonderful homogeneity of them all. Now, a cynic might argue that whilst there are big differences in how various types of pill affect the user—and even from user to user the impact that an Einstein, DefQon, or Snowflake can have vary wildly due to a variety of circumstantial reasons—the pill-taking narrative is usually pretty similar. Pill is taken, user gets high, user is no longer high on the pill they took, user can't sleep properly, user spends next day eating Quavers and thinking about their ex, user is a nightmare at work till Wednesday, user gets to Friday and starts the cycle again. And that cynic might then go on to argue that any attempt at translating the pill experience into something that's both readable and relatable is doomed to failure.
Fuck that cynic.
Yes, there's a shared vocabulary, yes the same things pop up over and over, and yes, the quality of the prose on show often leaves a little to be desired, but so what? These are real, raw testimonies, straight from the fingers of men and women who a mere 12 hours ago were bug-eyed, slack-jawed miscreants inhaling cigarettes like they were going out of fashion whilst playing three seconds of every track in their iTunes library—shouting "YES MATE THIS ONE FUCKING HEELLLLLLL" at each song. Each and every one of us lives life in pursuit of the authentic, and doesn't it get more authentic than this:
Tried these last night, dropped at 11pm, 30 mins later start to come up, butterflies in stomach and deeper breathing as I normally experience, another 20 minutes and I'm there, or at least I thought I was, 10 minutes later and I reach another level, I guess I peaked a while later, teeth chattering and eyes all to fuck. Couldn't sit still had to get up and dance even though I'm at home listing to some old school Sasha, dancing round the living room like a homeless person, or thats how the missis describes it. start to come down after about 2hrs 30mins, a gradual come down which probably lasted another hour till I was straight again. Took another about 4:30am and the experience was exactly the same, not tried to sleep today yet but feel absolutely fine. not the strongest pill i've had recently but definitely nothing to worry about, would deffo take them again.
dropped half in a chilled home session after a few beers around 1am, as always thought nowt wud happen after 45 mins, then on hour mark...boooommmm!!! a very clean, amazing hit/come up. this I thought is how a high dosed/quality bean shud feel. feeling very chatty/energized but decided to lose myself in some gr8 music. around hour and a half mark, dropped the other half, music sounds even more awesome and first time in ages picked up my guitar, I feel like a pro, my voice like butter/enhanced by this bean. crazy amounts of euphoria sweep over me in next 3-4 hours, playing track after track and jamming along on guitar. around 4.30 am hour mark starting to come down gradually but beautifully, then as always towards end of roll feel quite sleepy, so roll a fat one and crawl under duvet to chill/watch some classic sitcoms. I have a smile as wide as the Clyde tunnel in Glasgow, was aware of some gurning/chewing on inside of mouth whilst rolling but nothing significant, maybe cuz I have a high magnesium diet. occasional eye wiggles and running cold water thru my hair/on my face feels fab. around 5-6 hours after intitial drop, come down becoming much more apparent/bed time soon. then I remember I have engineers visiting to fit new boiler today, was a struggle as they were here for 3 hours str8 but my sunglasses secured my dignity and now despite not being to bed yet/a few more beers, I have a nice afterglow. I am sure a wonderful sleep awaits me. so all in all exceptionally good bangers :) I highly, highly recommend
No. No it doesn't. Because what PillReports does is make it painfully clear that anyone can be a writer, that anyone can craft narrative, that anyone has the ability to document themselves and their reality. You don't have to be Hunter S. Thompson to turn in a 15,00 treatise on ecstasy—all you need now is a valid email address.