"I never drink wine, and I do not smoke shit."
One of those statements is actually true; the other is mostly true. I just couldn't resist quoting from one of my favorite silly movies, which I trust Serge and/or Neil will identify for anyone who doesn't recognize it immediately. And thus it is perfectly logical that I was dancing wildly around the house caroling rapturously about drug use early on a Friday evening instead of loading sound equipment into the car.
I'm terrifically straight with regards to mind-altering substances. I don't even drink coffee, and my allergies inhibited any miniscule interest I might have had in experimenting with tobacco. Alcohol makes me do stupid and unsafe things, and I don't like the taste of it anyway. But I occasionally take some medicinally. (By "occasionally" I mean I've had some alcohol three or four times this century, when depressed or freaked out, and then I've generally done stupid things.) My only street drug experience has been under medical supervision as part of some biostudies research, during which I was given all sorts of interesting combinations of ketamine and other substances in the interest of science. I learned from those studies that overall I'm not interested in altering my mental state via anything but internally-manufactured endorphins. Okay, and also that:
- Glycine makes my nose itch ferociously.
- Double-blinding any study with mind-altering drugs is pointless; like you're not going to notice going from stone cold sober to, um, stoned in sixty seconds flat?
- Ketamine and methamphetamine (do NOT try this at home, boys and girls!) cancel each other out enough that I can read a novel to pass the time.
Yes, I was plied with drugs and found it so tedious that I couldn't wait to pick up a book. Does that put me in the "hopelessly nerdy" column or what? Though the drugs did slow down my reading speed; for some reason my concentration was not what it usually is. But overall? Boring. I get a better high from dancing, which brings me to why exactly was I was spinning madly around my guest room yesterday evening belting out lyrics about drugs. Inconsistent, me, much? I was getting ready for a gig, really! I just got a little distracted by finding two songs in a row in my iTunes library that were both highly danceable and both about drug use. So I had to dance and sing for a bit, which I guess counts as using drugs for inspiration without actually, y'know, using them. Conceptual drug use? Drug use once removed? Something like that.
The first song that got me dancing was "Cocaine Lil", adapted from the poem "Cocaine Lil and Morphine Sue" by W.H. Auden and recorded by multifaceted musician Ian Whitcomb, whose accomplishments range from being a one-hit-wonder in the British Invasion (#5 on the Billboard charts in 1965; great picture here and omigodvideo here, and they're dancing...) to repopularizing the ukelele to double Grammy nominations (one win) for an amazing CD on which he actually conducted the current White Star Orchestra in music from their Titanic-era repertoire (I cried just reading the liner notes).
But to the point: among many other wonderful songs on You Turn Me On: The Very Best of Ian Whitcomb, we have an excursion into the drug life:
She lived in Cocaine town on Cocaine hill,
She had a cocaine dog and a cocaine cat,
They fought all night with a cocaine rat.
"Cocaine Lil" would definitely fall into the category of warning songs, with Lil dying at the end. But in the meantime, an addictive beat and sparkly imagery to dance to:
Snakes and elephants silver and gray.
If that didn't make you at least want to tap your foot, there's something deeply wrong with you!
Slowing down the tempo in both senses, the other song takes a more, ah, balanced view, merely recommending being selective in your choice of substances:
But coffee and reefer makes you feel all right.
"Coffee and Reefer" by Ron Sunshine, off the album Deluxe: my favorite song from my Bluebird experience at this year's Swing Out New Hampshire. Slowish Lindy hop; I want to get my swivel on just thinking about it.
Whiskey make you love a girl you'd never touch at all
Mescaline will turn you into a little pink eraser
So try cappuccino with a mellow gauge chaser
Safer drug use: Sunshine includes an internal PSA about not driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence. The song doesn't make me any more inclined to experiment with coffee or reefer, but I could dance all night to that beat. Who needs drugs when you have music? Listen...
Oh, yeah! Was it good for you? It was good for me. Now I have to go dance some more. I leave you with a well-deserved commercial plug:
Support the artists who make me happy! You too can dance and sing about drugs! Convenient shopping links:
"Coffee and Reefer" - Ron Sunshine
on Deluxe (purchase from CD Baby)
But wait, there's more! A bonus hat tip for drug-related poetry to Rixo commenter Kip W's poem "Rumplestiltstein," in which reefer infiltrates a fairy tale. Much less embarrassing than my teenage attempts at poetry, I assure you.