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This is a question It's not me, it's the drugs talking

They make you do stupid stuff and say stupid stuff. Drugs ROCK! Old-time B3ta person Fraser says, "I remember turning to a flatmate once, after getting stoned and sitting through an episode of Casualty, and proclaiming "Wow! Those actors are *so* talented!". And really meaning it."

What do you regret doing under the influence?

(, Thu 15 Dec 2005, 11:19)
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"Shepherding" is where you're the experienced tripper, and you've got one or more mates with you for whom it's all a new experience. The idea is, if they find it all a bit much, you'll be there to tell them they'll be alright.

So I was the shepherd when I took some uni mates for their first trip. We went down to Avebury in Wiltshire, camping. This is a gorgeous area of countryside, filled with stone-age sacred spaces. We drop our tabs in mid-afternoon and go for a wander.

The stone circle is very cool, of course, but there are too many people about. So we wander off to Silbury Hill, which is basically just a big ol' artificial hill. You're not supposed to climb up it, but we did. It's a great place -- you can get into the whole sacred space thing if you want to, but if you don't, you can just stand up there watching the weather roll across the plains and over you. We got lucky -- we had sun, then rain, then sun, then rain, then sun again. Lots of clouds and shafts of sunlight and so on, for all us tripped-out people to get amazed by.

After a few hours, once the rush has passed (but, as all you trippers know, there are still a few more hours of weirdness to go), we decide we've had enough of being out on a wet and windswept hilltop, and decide to head into Avebury proper. We head for the village's only pub, so we can get warm and dry and so those who want a pint or some food can get some.

One of the guys I'm shepherding is my best mate. He's been doing well so far, and had a great time. But in the pub, paranoia starts to set in. He thinks maybe a bit of food will calm him down; I advise against anything heavy; he orders some soup. Stilton soup. When it arrives, he's horrified by it. Says it smells of wet, dirty socks. I can't argue, because it does. So I suggest we go out for some fresh air. He says he can't, he's been leaning against this pillar too long and half his brain has now leached into it. I spend some time trying to convince him this isn't the case.

The gist of my argument is: come on, you know you're tripping, all the things that seem so weird now aren't really that weird after all, we aren't seeing things that aren't there any more, all is cool. So I say, what around you seems weirdest to you right now? Thinking, of course, I can explain how whatever it is is perfectly normal, and calm him down.

He doesn't have to think about this. He points at a fork lying on the floor of the pub. "What's that doing there?" he says. "What's it for?" I look, and it's just a fork. "Somebody's dropped it," I say, "there's nothing to it." "But it's right in the middle of the floor," he says, sounding a bit panicky. "That's no accident. It must mean something. They must want it to be on the floor."

I can handle this, I think. Just convince him that there's nothing going on, and I will calm him down, and I will be a good shepherd. I'll get him back into the good head space, and we'll all carry on having fun.

And at that moment the waitress passes by. She steps on the fork. She notices it. She frowns. She picks it up and looks at it. And then she steps to the side, and She Puts It Back Down On The Floor, and she walks off.

We look at each other. We look at the fork. We get the fear. And I am no longer a good shepherd, I too am a gibbering paranoid scared of forks and waitresses with mysterious ways.

We leave the pub in a hurry, wild-eyed and barging through people and leaving everyone else behind.
(, Thu 22 Dec 2005, 19:18, Reply)

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