I tried it out for myself, ignoring all the warnings in the media about it being dangerous and potentially deadly. No one died, but it was way, way harder than we thought and just made my friend Ian eager to try some drug that wasn't a science-fair...
For quite a while, I’ve wanted to try the hot, new, degenerate trend of smoking alcohol, especially after watching the above video, where YouTube user skippy62able teaches the world how to vaporize booze with nothing more than a plastic bottle and a bicycle pump with a cork attached. The hundreds of articles from concerned party poopers shouting, “Danger: this will kill you!” did nothing to deter me. Everyone in the media is saying the chances of overdosing on alcohol are far greater because it goes directly to your lungs and brain rather than making a pit stop for processing in your liver. All of these “experts” couldn’t be right, so I decided to hit up my buddy Ian to find out for ourselves.
Ian has been experimenting with fun new ways to damage his brain since his teens, so I figured he'd be all about this adventure. I showed him the video, and the next night we planned our big event. I'll admit I was nervous. Part of me felt this would be a lot of fun if we were careful about it, but the other part of me knew that neither of us are all that good at being careful. I’ve learned over the years that it takes three vodka drinks to get me chatty, the gin drink I have afterward makes me flirt with every human being in sight, the two following whiskey shots make me regret all of my major life decisions, and the final shot of tequila ensures I wake up on the floor of a stranger's house. With that in mind, I knew this was either going to be a great night or the night I was responsible for someone's death. When I expressed my hesitation to Ian, he slapped me and screamed “YOLO!” which was all I needed to hear.
We met in front of a convenience store in Hollywood, where we bought a large water bottle, a bottle of red wine, some vodka, and a tall can of beer. Fast forward 20 minutes, and we had already run into our first major issue: we had the wrong pump.
I assumed a bike pump would work just as well as a ball pump. To me, a pump is a pump is a pump. In fact, the guy in the video can’t even tell his pumps apart. Shame on you, sir. This shit is not possible without a ball pump. The pin connected to it is what attaches to the cork. We felt like major idiots for not sorting this out ahead of time, but being major idiots, we felt compelled to continue our journey.
Somehow, it actually got worse from there. We had the wrong cork. We were under the impression the cork from our wine bottle would be just fine, but it was too thin for the water-bottle hole. I quickly solved this issue by wrapping Duct tape around the cork, which allowed it to fit snugly in the bottle. The next step was figuring out how to attach the cork to our bike pump. We thought that taping the cork to the bike would work. We were wrong yet one more time.
Ian's friend Lucas tried to come to the rescue, and superglued a hollowed-out pen into the hole of the bike pump to act as a tube. We made a hole in the cork big enough to fit the tube through and attempted to commence pumping. We pumped a few times with some red wine in our bottle, and even though smoke did not appear Ian attempted to inhale the air inside the bottle anyways. He ended up getting high from the fumes off the not-totally-dry superglue.
The night was a bust, but we refused to give up. The only thing sadder than attempting to smoke alcohol is failing at attempting to smoke alcohol, so we resolved to meet again the next night—this time, with the right equipment. We purchased our ball pump and it was perfect, but now the champagne cork was too big, so we went to a liquor store and bought three water bottles of varying sizes as well as more liquor. The cork didn't fit any of the water bottles, but I came to the resuce by noticing a fancy filtered plastic water bottle on the table next to us. Lo and behold, it was a perfect fit. This cork fiasco felt very much like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears come to life, but in this version, Goldilocks is a sad alcoholic.
A few more hiccups occurred, namely getting tiny pieces of cork stuck in the ball pump pin, but we finally got to huff some alcohol. We started off with beer. As the smoke filled up in the bottle, Ian inhaled it. I took a hit myself, and got nothing—no buzz at all. After several hits of that and not really feeling much we moved on to vodka, of which Ian took about 12 hits.
The vodka was way more intense, and he could actually taste it as he inhaled. He didn't seem that drunk, however. I had assumed that after so many hits he'd be slurring his words and become uncoordinated. The problem might have also been that halfway through, we ran out of vodka. Though we kept pumping and the leftover liquid kept vaporizing, we weren't sure if that meant we were still extracting alcohol. "This definitely feels like brain damage, but I don't feel drunk,” is what Ian said. In fact, inhaling the smoke really just made him want to drink a beer. “I can't tell, dude. I just feel strange. Definitely my mood is elevated and I'm a bit gigglier, but fuck this, I'm bored.” He then went outside to smoke some weed.
So after spending close to $50 and wasting a lot of perfectly good liquor I can safely say that smoking alcohol is even stupider than you to think. It's hard to do, makes your brain feel weird, and will ultimately make you crave other drugs just to feel something. However, if you do want to try this for yourself don't make the same foolish mistakes we did. Also don't try this for yourself.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is for entertainment purposes only. Under no circumstances should you try to smoke alcohol. It is a stupid thing to do on many, many levels. Don't ever do it, you numbskulls.