Friday, May 30, 2014


As many of you are aware, I almost died a few months ago when my pancreas stopped working. I was told by the ER doctors that I could never drink again. I learned from my regular doctor that I technically could drink, but since I drink to get drunk, I shouldn’t. I heard the same thing from a friend of mine who is in med school. Essentially, I can have a couple of drinks every once in a while, but that’s it.

Where’s the fucking fun in that? No one drinks because they like the taste. It relaxes them. Gives them a buzz. Gets them fucked up, if they need to be fucked up. You mean to tell me I can never experience that again?

And then I remembered something my father had taught me to do on one of my visits to Nevada. I’d tried it when I was with him, but I’d been drinking at the time, so I couldn’t really gauge its effect on me. I had to do some research first, though.

What had my father taught me? With just a few household objects, he taught me how to vaporize whiskey . . . SO I CAN SMOKE IT.

I checked up on a few things, and much to my glee, when you smoke whiskey, it doesn’t go through your digestive system, hence it stays away from your pancreas. Instead, it goes to your lungs, where it is instantly processed into your bloodstream and is sent to your brain, creating a buzz faster, in theory, than you could get from drinking it.

That’s the good news. There isn’t a lot of solid bad news, though. The one danger is, since you can’t gauge how much you consume in such a fashion, you’re more susceptible to alcohol poisoning, and there’s not much you can do to stop yourself from dying. When you drink, your body protects you from such poisoning by making you puke if you imbibe too much. There is no way for your body to eject alcohol if you’re smoking it.

The other danger, although it’s not really backed up by hard evidence, is that if your lungs don’t process the booze right away, it could turn back into a liquid, which would lead to a very boozy pneumonia.

I weighed the positives and the negatives and decided that it was worth the risk. As a public service, I thought I’d tell you all about it here.

How does one vaporize booze? It’s simple. You need a few things: a water bottle, a cork (or rubber stopper, but I’d recommend a cork) and a bike pump. That’s it. You put maybe about a finger of booze into the empty water bottle. Then you stick the bike pump’s needle through the cork and stick the cork tightly into the neck of the bottle. Give it three or four pumps and pull the cork out. You’ll get a loud popping sound, and you’ll see vapor instantly form in the bottle. Suck it down and hold it in. Aaaaand repeat. Every once in a while, you’ll have to replace the whiskey with another finger’s worth.

I suggest using a cork instead of a rubber stopper because if you get a solid stopper, you’re going to have a hard time getting the pump’s needle through it. It’s pretty hard to do with a cork, but the going is easier. Actually, cork is a lot tougher than it looks. The cork I got was a bit too long, so I had to cut some of the bottom off. It was a tough motherfucker to get through, and putting the needle through from top to bottom was a hell of a chore.

Anyway, I pumped it up and sucked down a cloud of whiskey. The first thing I noticed was that I could actually taste the whiskey in the back of my throat. And instead of feeling a burn in my guts, I felt it in my lungs. Best of all, when I exhaled, I couldn’t detect a boozy odor on my breath.

I spent an evening doing this maybe two months ago, and I did get a slight buzz. However, much later in the night when I stood up, I did not feel anything more than that. I walked a straight line, and I touched my nose with my eyes closed, no problem. I wasn’t nearly as drunk as I should have been.

It was a very disappointing experience. It’s a shame because there’s a pretty cool ritual that goes with it. Ritual is always fun when it comes to intoxication, whether you’re chopping out a line, cooking a spoon or preparing a glass of absinthe. But in this case, it’s a lot of effort for almost no reward.

Even worse, if you drink the booze that is left over after you pump all the alcohol out of it, it tastes like shit. It’s kind of like drinking a Coke that has been opened for a few days. Flat. And it leaves a bad aftertaste.

But! There is one interesting catch. Just to test things out, I had one drink—equal to about a shot—after I stopped vaporizing whiskey. It hit me so hard that I almost passed out. I felt sleepier than I ever have in my life. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t had anything to drink in a month. Or not. Who knows? But I’ll say one thing for sure: it was the best night of sleep I’d gotten since the week before I went into the hospital.

So is this my new way of getting drunk? No, sad to say. Like I said, it’s waaaaaaay too much effort for the effect. I’d have to spend the night pumping away for something like three hours or so and then drink one shot. No thanks. It’s not worth it. Besides, I like the ritual of drinking too much to ever be satisfied with smoking it. There’s just something about the feel of a tumbler in your hand, sitting in a bar with friends, feeling yourself on the cusp of something that could turn out to be a fucked-up adventure. Or it could be a night of laughing with friends. Or you could get laid. The sky’s the fucking limit.

It’s too bad. I’m going to miss that life. I had a lot of fun, and as a friend of mine recently said to me, that’s a good thing, because I paid dearly for it.

Hey. There’s always heroin, right?

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