White Pipe Dreamsby Andy Davis / 22.09.2009
Come on pal, let’s smoke some Mandrax. Some call it buttons or cream, scientists prefer methaqualone, it’s the same as Quaaludes those groovy disco biscuits from the 70s. Methaqualone was actually launched as a pharmaceutical sleeping tablet in the early 60s, but was soon taken off the market due to the high addiction rate. Because when you pop a ‘lude, dude, you feel all tingly and mildly euphoric and kinda horny in a dreamy kind of way… No wonder it became the disco drug of choice in polyester nightclubs from LA to Dusseldorf. But that groovy disco trip is not really what we’re after. Not here in South Africa, amidst the tin shanties, poverty and all that harsh fucking reality. Nah, today we’re gonna be doing Mandrax and we’re gonna smoke it, and it’s gonna burn. Did you know 90% of the world’s methaqualone aka Mandrax is consumed in the ghettos of South Africa, and most of that in and around Cape Town. It’s an old school ghetto drug, at one stage it was even manufactured and distributed by the apartheid regime as a means of pacifying the masses. The popularity of Mandrax has been waning ever since crystal meth – better known as tik – exploded onto the scene, but there are still a lot of old school working class heroes who prefer to blaze a white pipe after a long day’s toil.
First off we’re going to need a bottleneck, take a quart, a large 750ml beer bottle, drain contents, hold the neck and smash it on a brick. Carefully. Take the bottleneck and fashion yourself a gerrick out of a long piece of cardboard so it sits snug in the bottleneck, not too tight though, the pipe still has to pull smoothly. Then you load up the neck with some of the cheapest, nastiest marijuana you can find. This ubiquitous green herb has several names such as dagga or zol. But in this case you’re going to be after a stop (a small section of weed wrapped in newspaper) of majat – the lowest grade of township weed. No sense wasting your hydro on a white pipe. The weed is just a medium for burning and ingesting the methaqualone. Once you’ve packed the pipe with the zol you take your Mandrax tab, wrap it in a 10 Rand note, lay a flat blade over it and smash it with your fist so that it is truly crushed. Unwrap and sprinkle some of the powder so it coats the top of the pipe, this is known as the cream. You should get between 5 to 8 pipes out of one tab. Then you need a spoeg bucket on standby for you to cough up your lung, drool or vomit into immediately after smoking. Ok you’re ready to go. Squat down near the spoeg bucket, get one of your mates to fire up three matches, let them burn a bit and then bring them to the bottleneck while you klap the pipe. Take two puffs to get it going and then inhale deeply. Fill those lungs with the thick acrid smoke, suck it in, pal. While you’re holding the smoke in your lungs you’re going to rush like a motherfucker. Riding a huge wave of tingly euphoric sensations kind of like a hit of poppers while you’re peaking on 3 ecstasy pills, only harder and more intense. Needless to say, while you’re holding your breath and rushing your tits off, someone has prised the bottleneck from your fingers and is klapping what’s left. As soon as you exhale, you breathe out your rush, a tide of gooey blackness flows in to replace it as you clutch the spoeg bucket and kotch and drool. By now you feel lightheaded, weak and strong at the same time, relaxed and only just barely conscious. This is the post white pipe dwaal or confusion. The reason for this is quite simple, mandrax or methaqualone when smoked creates a trance-like euphoria that is quickly replaced by inertia, because the various binders and ingredients in the pills are toxic when smoked. So basically your body shuts down while it tries to cope with the toxic fumes you’ve just inhaled. Most long term Mandrax puffers suffer from emphysema and other chronic lung diseases.
So after your hit you’re just gonna lay about feeling spaced for a while. If you’re hanging out with untrustworthy button koppe, as most of them are, while you’re in your post white pipe dwaal, one of your mates might sidle up to you, empty your pockets and steel your cream. Mandrax junkies tend to be proper skelms. It’s a real junky’s drug, everyone is after the biggest slice of the pie. After about two hours, max, you’re going to want another hit, you’ll reach into your pocket and find your cream missing, and then you may discover another of Mandrax’s side effects… Either you’ll get depressed and retreat into a dark psychotic hell hole of self-abuse maybe inducing an epileptic fit, or you’ll get very aggressive. A recent survey found that mandrax was linked to nearly three quarters of all of the most violent rape and murder cases – not involving a gun – heard in the Cape High Court. Most of the cases involved addicts going into withdrawal from the drug or were using it in combination with alcohol. Add to this a deeply entrenched gang culture, a long history of generational substance abuse, all the poverty, socio-economic and political debilitation that comes from 50 years of apartheid and 400 years of colonialism then mix in a very lucrative trade in poached abalone servicing Asian markets via the Chinese Triads (mafia) who make sure the mandrax and tik highways flow uncongested – and you can begin to understand why South Africa still consumes 90% of the world’s supply of this very old, stupid and nasty drug.
Image courtesy and © Jason Bronkhorst. Check more of his nasty steez here.
* NB. This article does not condone or recommend drug use. That’s called irony dumb ass. Did I really need to say that?