The Day We Took Charge of an Army of Homeless Guys High on 2C-B

For a few glorious hours, we were the Pied Pipers of the downtrodden.

|
Jun 12 2012, 2:45pm

You may remember that, a little while back, some very, very high people called VICE, convinced we had asked them to write a blog about taking drugs with homeless people in Bournemouth, England (we didn't). I asked them to write a post about their adventures, and yesterday they finally sent it to me.

There's no pictures of what happened as, unfortunately, the "photographer" they "hired" turned out to not actually exist (I fucking hate when that happens), so I've created some digital reconstructions of what I think they might have seen. (BTW, I've never been to Bournemouth or tried 2C-B and have no idea how to use Photoshop.) Enjoy, alongside their unedited account of events.

After a long night of birthday celebrations and being the last two men standing, we decided to go on a voyage of discovery into the seedy homeless underbelly of Bournemouth, convinced by a taunt received from a homeless man the previous night, outside HSBC, claiming we “wouldn’t survive one day being homeless.” We took up the challenge, encouraged by a cocktail of ketamine, MDMA, and a few 2C-Bs, of which I had received a substantial amount as a birthday present. Before the pills hit us, we hurried to catch the early morning shop openings to get ourselves some cans of extra-strength lager.



At this point, we realized, not being from Bournemouth, we had no idea where to start, so after a moment of deliberation we decided—through our collective personal experience—to try the job center. After asking a number of commuting businessmen for directions, we found the place. After an unsurprisingly short amount of time, we came into contact with an ex-homeless man who had arrived to sign on. In an attempt to clarify what we were doing—probably to ourselves as much as to our new friend—we explained that we were writing an article on homelessness. He was more than happy to help us on our quest. The conversation led to us getting into his car, with his two-year-old child sat next to us, while he smoked hash at the wheel. In retrospect, getting into a car with him could have turned out to be a very foolish idea, but it was apparent that we were in no state of mind to make appropriate decisions.

Nevertheless, we were given a full tour of Bournemouth’s homeless society’s "hangouts," and for the next half an hour we were shown the secret area of the park in which the homeless congregate during the day, and the luxurious air vents behind Pizza Express that provide warmth for them to sleep at night. Although it should also be mentioned that a large section of the tour was dedicated to an exhaustive showcase of the bins in which the best food can be found in Bournemouth.

The journey began where the tour ended—in the park. Here we introduced ourselves to the community, and although they were probably not as happy to meet us as we thought at the time, offering them a couple of 9 percent beers to share between eight of them seemed to be enough for them to put up with us. Exactly what we, or anyone else, were thinking is unclear, because at this point our previously innate surroundings had started to converge and dissolve. So we did the obvious thing, and took another 2C-B.

Unfortunately, we did this rather blatantly, in front of their entire community. And, as everybody knows, to flash anything consumable in the presence of a homeless gang is to waive certain rights over it. Not out of naivety, but out of stupidity we had forgotten this rule and suddenly found ourselves surrounded by tramps demanding drugs from us. To pacify what we feared may become a mob of angry homeless men, clamoring for unknown pills, we gave in to their requests and began handing out drugs as though we were workers in some kind of fucked-up soup kitchen.

Despite essentially being mugged by tramps, we were both in a hysterically good mood and felt ready for the day ahead. Unfortunately, one of the homeless men wasn’t quite as happy once he started tripping and began anxiously asking exactly what drug he had taken. To make matters worse, our conspicuous group of buzzing homeless had caught the attention of other tramps in the vicinity, who decided to join us, and whether out of envy of their peers (or perhaps improbably, actual disapproval at our state in a shamefully early hour of the morning) they didn’t seem too impressed with any of us.

It became apparent that their disapproval was down to their acute sobriety, so to reduce tensions within the group, we did the only thing we could and gave out our last two emergency 2C-Bs. Although this had depleted our stock, and actually caused more animosity between the handful of fresh tramps, we had now developed some kind of reputation as "the guys that give out free drugs," and had become Pied Piper-like figures to the homeless. We attempted to take a break from it all to get a few more beers, but instead we were followed through town by a long trail of hallucinating homeless, hoping for more free handouts.



With nothing left to give, we wandered aimlessly around Bournemouth town center, receiving confused looks from passers-by before stopping back at the Jobcentre Plus, perhaps to get our bearings or more likely; to pick up more homeless. We persuaded ourselves that absolutely everyone needed to hear our story and in what we maintain as a moment of enlightenment, we called VICE, getting the number for their London office from Google. We then spent (what phone logs later confirmed to us as) an hour navigating through their departments and telephone system, while frantically spouting nonsense to whoever would listen. Somehow we managed to get through to a writer and we explained to him the morning’s events, although we were somewhat less coherent than we thought at the time and our reality had adopted fantastic new elements; we believed that we were actually writing an article for the magazine titled "How Not to Be Homeless in Bournemouth" and that our photographer, who shared a name with our friend, had wandered off and got lost.

By this point we had given up on beer and were in need of sugar. Not wanting to disappoint our literal "followers," we ventured out again in search of a Subway, as part of an idiotic experiment to find out for exactly how long a large group of homeless men and two kids would be permitted to sit in Subway sharing one refillable drink before being removed from the premises. We were sadly rejected from even entering Subway—meaning no refills for anyone. It was this event that marked our fall among the homeless, who probably lost what little respect or interest they had in us and dispersed back to their hideaways, most likely hoping never to see us again.

---

So there you go. I'm still not sure if I believe them or not, but we thought we'd publish it and let you decide for yourselves.

Other stories from the dribbling edge of sanity:

We Found a Piss Dungeon in a Pub

More VICE
Vice Channels