The Electric Kool-Aid Nutmeg Test

Vice

The Electric Kool-Aid Nutmeg Test

Illustration: Akshita Monga/ Arré

I

t’s the end of the month and cannabis has become a precious commodity.

If you type “cheap ways to get”, Google will helpfully throw up “high” before it throws up “protein”, thus certifying that there are more people out there trying to get stoned than get slim. It’s a good sign for the future of humanity.

Bananadine was my first hit. On Google that is. A psychotropic supposedly secreted by the skin of a peeled banana, all it required was simply scraping off the inner skin of the banana and skimming off the white stuff on its surface. This is to be later dried, powdered, and smoked, giving the user a high that only a doob can give. Materials required: two dozen bananas, an oven, that premium unbleached smoking paper of the Gods (and Wiz Khalifa) and Raw King SizeTM. Total cost: about 50 bucks.

My hopes were dashed after another search debunked “The Great Banana Joint” as an urban legend. That was when I came across nutmeg. And I really, really wish I had not. And certainly not on the day that I had to take my father for an ophthalmology appointment.

***

Internet forums and literature are rife with references to nutmeg and its outer membrane, mace, which contain a chemical called “myristicin”, a powerful psychedelic, hallucinogenic nervous depressant and muscle relaxant. The first two things, yay; the latter, scary AF. But since it was cheap, and involved a psychedelic experience, I plunged right in. After hours of meticulous research, a brief study of modern-day psychedelia, and my last joint, I conjured up this recipe:

4 teaspoons nutmeg powder (ground from whole nutmeg)
4 teaspoons soaked, peeled, and dried almonds
4 teaspoons pistachios
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon each: cumin, tarragon, oregano, basil, turmeric
1/2 teaspoon each: cayenne pepper and black pepper
Maple syrup or honey to taste
A pair of brass balls

“What are you making,” mom asked.

The strong feeling that I was about to run down my street, stark naked, came over me. I shut my eyes and hoped it would pass.

“A simple marinade, with festive-flavoured nutmeg,” I told her, as I went back to scooping and measuring my innocent-looking kitchen staples, which unbeknownst to her, contain enough myristicin for you to transcend space and time. What these other kitchen staples did, was act as hype men to MC Nutmeg like tiny booster rockets. They amplified the effect of nutmeg exponentially to allow a space shuttle to enter deep space.

As I quickly ground up the ingredients for my space paste, dumped them all into some honey, and took two tablespoons with a glass full of milk (all the while fighting the urge to gag), I forgot two key things – one, the dosage, and two, that I needed to get my dad to an appointment with his ophthalmologist.

An hour later, as I got out of the house with dad, there was no high. Zero, zilch, nada. No trip, only a horrid aftertaste. Then I blinked and I was in the cab, watching myself and my dad have a conversation. I blinked again and I was back inside my body. Again and again, I watched myself pay the cab driver and get off the cab. I was tripping balls, and the ophthalmologist was yet to arrive.

What started as slowly moving spirals and cuboids rotating on three axes behind shut eyes, transformed into vibrant shapes and fractals in broad daylight. The walls of the doctor’s clinic rippled, sounds were distorted, my dad was melting into the surroundings, while my doctor seemed to be vibrating.

I sat in silence playing some Tame Impala in my head and waited for the doctor to stop fidgeting with my father’s eye. Thankfully, he didn’t ask to see mine. My dilated pupils would have made him jump. Outside the clinic, the trees were a vibrant hue of bright, shimmering green. I ached for a spliff, watching cars go by, with streaks of light trailing the indicators.

Another hour passed, and that feeling in my stomach had now become a weight in my chest cavity. I began to sweat a little and my mouth felt as dry as sandpaper. As soon as I reached home, I chugged large quantities of water. My mom, whose voice was disturbingly distorted, asked me about the appointment, and paranoia washed over me like a tidal wave. Thankfully, my father answered as I sat quietly, faceplanted on the sofa.

The strong feeling that I was about to run down my street, stark naked, came over me. I shut my eyes and hoped it would pass. Thankfully, the fuckery stopped, and what I was left with was a horrible comedown that was more like a crash. And a hard one at that.

By 7 pm, my mum was back to sounding like her usual self, my walls weren’t alive with the sound of music, and I had an extreme headache. I chugged a Red Bull, smoked another spliff, and sat down hoping to write about my experiments with cheap highs. But I only got as far as “Fuck Google”, before I passed into oblivion.

I lived to tell the tale and turns out, it is a cautionary one. Let’s all get high, people, but cheap trips are good only when they involve travelling to an exotic locale. Otherwise, have some respect and spring for the good stuff.

Just like sex and rock ‘n’ roll, the finer things in life are worth saving for.

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