A Cautionary Tale

You may have heard this one before. It is a story that is very popular popular among those who dabble in psychedelics. Most believe that it’s just an urban legend but I’ve talked to at least three different people who claim to have personally known the person that it happened to. To them he was a relative, a brother, a friend.

I could never find out his name, so for the purposes of telling his story, let’s call him Jim.

Jim was a popular guy. The kind of guy to go out to a club alone and still be the life of the party. People he’d only just met would buy him drinks and on any given night he’d hook up with at least three different girls in the same bathroom stall. A king of the good times, was Jim.

On one particular night he’d drank more than usual. Last call’s drink was only just seeping into his bloodstream when the bouncers started to push everyone out of the club. He didn’t want the night to end. He wanted to keep partying so he took out his phone and called up his guy. His favourite guy. The guy who always had what he needed. And he always took Jim’s calls.

His said that he’d meet Jim outside Jim’s place in about half an hour. And just as always, he delivered. Unfortunately for Jim, he was low on stock and all that he had on him was a single vile of d-lysergic acid. He hadn’t had the time to lay it out on tabs so he offered to sell the whole vial to Jim. Jim accepted. He pulled out a wad of money and passed it to his dealer without counting it. His dealer smiled and walked off.

Jim pushed the brown vial into his jeans pocket and immediately forgot about it. He’d sobered up on the walk home and lost the motivation to keep partying. His bed was the only thing that appealed to him. He stumbled in through the door and went straight to the kitchen. He poured himself a glass of orange juice then staggered up to his bedroom and crashed onto his bed. This was his mistake.

If he’d bothered to change into his pyjamas or at least empty his pockets, I wouldn’t be telling you this tale.

When he dropped onto his bed, the vial in his pocket smashed. The glass shards dug into the flesh of his thigh and its contents went directly into his bloodstream. I don’t know how much you know about acid, but it is extremely potent. Recommended doses for a good time are measured in micrograms, laid out by the drop on tiny strips of paper. And it is super-absorbent. You can get high on it from simple contact with your skin. And Jim had a whole vial going directly into his bloodstream from the cuts that the shards of glass had made in his skin. He never stood a chance.

His mother was the one who found him. She came up to his room the next morning to wake him up. The poor lady. She opened the door, looked inside and freaked. She called everybody from the cops, to the fire brigade, to the hospital, to her pastor and even the president. “Come and help my son!” She told them. “Come and help my son!”

The cops got there first. They burst into the room, took one look and knew that they were way out of their depth. They passed the responsibility on to the medics, who didn’t know what to do either. They looked like all of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men when they realised that they wouldn’t be able to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.

Jim was on his bed, his body contorted and folded into a sort of box, his limbs and bones bent at angles that shouldn’t have been possible for the human body to bend into. He’d bent into the shape of a box so perfect that it had three lines of symmetry. Where his limbs didn’t have joints to bend, they’d been broken. Shards of white bone stuck through his flesh and blood seeped out of them. His spine bent in right angles at the vertebrae rather than the hips. His knees twisted in more directions than they were designed to handle. And his eyes were open, staring blankly into space, not even registering the mass of people who’d come to help him.

One of the medics regained his composure and tried to get him on a gurney. He took Jim’s leg, the one that was bent the least of out shape, and tried to bend it back into a natural position so that they could lie him down. He pulled and tugged but the leg would not move. Not an inch. It was as if the limb was cemented in place. The other medics tried to help. They put all of their strength into it but they couldn’t do it. They only stopped when Jim started to scream. He screamed so loud that for a moment he drowned out his mother’s crying.

“STOP!” said Jim in between the screams. “STOP! You’re going to spill me!”

The medics stepped back and looked at each other, trying to make sense of what he’d just said. They decided to put him on the gurney as he was, box-shape and all, and took him to the hospital. The cops took over from there and tried to figure out what had happened. They found the broken vial of acid in his pocket and came to a conclusion of sorts.

Standing on Jim’s the bedside table was the glass of orange juice. The prevailing theory is that this was the last thing that he saw before he passed out because even now he’s locked up in an insane asylum, still twisted into his box-like shape, quietly muttering to himself. “I am a glass of orange juice…I am a glass of orange juice…I am a glass of orange juice…”




Kids, please stay away from drugs. Addiction and death are the least of your worries when messing with this stuff.


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