When I was growing up, the kids I hung out with didn't care about racial or class boundaries. Rich or poor, white, black or Indian, it didn't matter to us one way or another. We weren’t interested in such trivialities because we were all driven by the same purpose and there was only one question that absorbed each of our minds, “What household chemicals can we get fucked up on?” Some huffed gasoline while others got more exotic and delved into the pool supplies. I knew one kid named Tommy Swallow who got so into huffing paint thinner that his parents sent him away to a brainwashing boot camp. We didn't see him for a long time and when he came back he had a drone mentality and the thousand yard stare. I don't know if it was the boot camp or the paint thinner but something had fucked him up pretty bad.
It was the guitar player of my high school band who turned me on to Scotchgard, which is a stain and water repellent for upholstery. He said it “made you hallucinate better than acid” and told me how to concentrate it into a washcloth and huff in the fumes, “Or if you're hard core you can “mainline” it by putting the rag over your mouth and inhaling the Scotchgard directly.”, using the rag as a kind of filter. I was open to trying any drug in those days. You might say, “How are you any different now?” and the answer is, “Now I look up the pills I find on the internet before I take them.” Back then I would have skipped the research faze and moved right into human testing. I vowed then and there that I would try huffing Scotchgard myself the next time I got the opportunity.
Which happened not long after because Scotchgard is easy to come by and I had fairly lax parents who frequently let me spend whole weekends at my, often much older, friend's houses. Because I could play the drums and owned a drum set I was immediately accepted into a couple of bands with juniors and seniors and even one with actual adults. It was hanging out with these older, much more worldly people that I would learn how to play music, take drugs, have sex and basically do all the things in life that matter. One weekend when I was over at my friend Brian's house, the “adult” who's band I was in, Brian got a call to come into work and I ended up having his place to myself all night. Well, not quite “to myself”. Brian was a pot dealer who had gone to my school and we always had crazy parties at his house with other kids from the school and people from around the neighborhood. Because it got a reputation as a “party house” there was always lots of people coming and going and the neighbors from across the street felt perfectly comfortable coming in without knocking or ringing the bell. It was that night that I would take my first, and last, foray into the alternate reality that is upholstery sealant.
I have now decided to begin reviewing drugs I have taken in the past in addition to those I find on the ground. The fact is I really want to write this review but I don't ever see myself huffing Scotchgard again. Or maybe I will when I'm an old man. I'll save it up as a last blast before I finally succumb to the radiation poisoning.
Degree of Disassociation from Reality--- 10: If you think Salvia sends you to another place you obviously haven't huffed much Scotchgard in your day 'cause, let me tell you, Scotchgard takes “disassociative” to a whole new level. It's like an extended stay compared to a late night fly over. If you've always had something you wanted to say to the inter-dimensional beings and couldn't get it out in the time it took for your toad venom to wear off, Scotchgard will finally give you the chance. I was sitting in a chair “mainlining” the stuff like my guitar player had told me and after a few deep breathes I would no longer be sitting in a chair at my friends house, but traveling through the depths of my subconscious mind. The euphoria was intense. I can't remember now what I saw specifically but only that it was all enveloping, multicolored, and gave the sensation of weightlessness. As always with inhalants there was the vague feeling that something profound was taking place. Then, as I would start to come to, I would become aware of the nauseating chemical taste in my mouth and the greasy rag draped across my face as I lay back in the computer chair as far as it would go, drooling and gibbering like a chimp. I'd say the hypnotic effect was so strong that you could have amputated all of my toes and I wouldn't have noticed until the can went dry.
Ability to Function---3: As you've probably guessed Scotchgard isn't the kind of drug you can do while performing open heart surgery or giving a piano recital. When you're under the influence you are fully incapacitated and completely incapable of logical thought. That night when I was in the middle of a blast, the neighbor from across the street came over to use the phone and, as usual, he walked in without knocking. He might as well have been a visitor from another planet. It was several minutes before I could even tell he was a person, as opposed to a color or a piece of fabric. Later he told me that I was trying to get out of the chair and kept falling over, “You looked happy as a pig in shit though. You was laughing your ass off. What the hell were you on anyway?”
“Water sealant.” I said
“Man, crazy motherfuckin' white people. Water sealant?!?!?! You need some guidance.”
The reason I give it three is that if the burglars come in right when you're between hits you might be able to mount some kind of half-assed defense in your 30 second “window of clarity ” before you brace yourself for another rip.
Value of Psychedelic Insights Obtained--- 5: Like most inhalants Scotchgard knows how to do the song and dance but doesn't deliver the goods in the end. You're euphoria level is so high that it can easily obscure the fact that you've been staring at a door knob for ten minutes contemplating it's intricacies and mythic symbolism. Inhalants are great for people who want to be entertained but not very useful if you want to expand the bounds of your consciousness, because they will make you think every idea you have is profound thus obscuring your ability to make objective value judgments. The reason I give it a five is that the immersion of the experience is so great while at the same time being benign so it could conceivably give a neophyte psychedelic warrior some insight into what kinds of mental states are attainable while not overwhelming them with brutal objective realities. Kind of a like the kid's roller coasters at the park only with a more pronounced chemical aftertaste.
Fun Factor--- 8: Inhalants are pretty fun in general and Scotchgard gets some extra points for the simple depravity of it. It's the kind of thing that makes for colorful stories to tell the grandchildren before they too succumb to the radiation. I feel lucky that I had such a full and rewarding high school experience! The only reason I don't give Scotchgard a perfect ten in this category is that there is one brutal downside I have yet to mention.
The Come-Down--- 1: Utterly and absolutely brutal. If there had been any confusion in your mind about whether huffing Scotchgard was bad for you, the way you feel the next morning will clear it right up. The horrible chemical taste I mentioned earlier seems to permeate your entire being and flavors the agony in you head all the way down to your gastro-intestinal tract. You can brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash but the essence is deep down in your lungs, which are now conveniently resistant to water and most stains. If you want to commune with alternate realities you have to pay the price in ours, and Lady Scotchgard is a harsh mistress indeed. I wouldn't advise doing it on a night before you have to give your doctoral dissertation or operate a crane.
Indeed, I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone ever does Scotchgard. The dangers are too great and the benefits too fleeting for further experimentation, in this researcher's opinion. I huffed it for you so you could experience the thrill vicariously. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what I think because the suits down at the Scotchgard factory got wise and changed the formula so as to make it unsuitable for use as a recreational drug. I'm not sure what they did to it but I can report that the new Scotchgard coming out just isn't the same as the stuff I huffed in the Spring of my youth. Oh wait...I said earlier that I never did Scotchgard again, didn’t I? I meant to say I never did “good” Scotchgard again. The stuff the kids are huffing these days is strictly shwag.