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White Pipe Dreams

White Pipe Dreams

by 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?

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RESPONSES (14)
  1. lw says:

    this is a great piece, well written, well informed, captures the vibe perfectly and injects some wry and cynical defeatist south african humour in as well. lekker.

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  2. Joerg says:

    Whoa – lovely piece. This was enough of a visceral experience to never be tempted.

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  3. Assy's son says:

    i think Andy Davis would be such a better person if he smoked buttons…..and gave up his surf board for an oil liner with a whale harpoon.

    I once had buttons with my house mate who had just spent 4 years in sun city prison and moved to cape town cause they shut down his whore house and they wouldnt stop following him, we smoked in his tiny little bedroom with closed windows listening to tupac……. and indeed i had the foam vomit all over me, not a nice high at all…quite boring actually, ive had better times drinking autumn harvest…………but fun if you have someone telling you prison and drug game stories..but otherwise…dont try it ever!!!!

    Did you know that most of the mahala staff love drugs?except for bloody Andy, what a fag…

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  4. Angela D says:

    This is a great piece. There are some excellent pieces on this site. By why do you use the term “perviously advantaged” tp describe it? That almost put me off it entirely. Have you considered how that sounds? Or the implications? Why do you choose to label this site in this way?
    I think that this is an important question that you need to answer. If you want this idea to grow.

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  5. Angela D says:

    I mean previously advantaged.

    “Perviously advantaged” sounds cool.

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  6. Oh Yeah says:

    You forgot to mention the bit about jacking someones car radio or cellphone and selling it for exactly R27 to buy a pill.

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  7. mitch whitehead says:

    What’s wrong with previously advantaged? not everythign has to be “transformed”

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  8. Balthazaaar says:

    nice piece pal. real creamy.

    about the previously mentioned advantage, i reckon let it live.
    before unnecessary beads of sweat start developing on your hairline and your head fills with questions of implications and politics, just laugh a little.

    lukka stuff mahala!

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  9. Alex says:

    Nothing changes – left RSA 20 years ago and yet still … only thing you got wrong though is how to make the bottleneck. You need to burn the neck with a lighter – slowly – all the way around before snapping it off. Much safer that way …

    Sad …

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  10. frank says:

    see here for a movie made by channel zero circa 1995
    http://www.archive.org/details/mandrax

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  11. PypKop Wyn says:

    Yeah having smoked tabs for twenty two years this article made me jas to go kappit….I have not kapped a eart for six years…..still skoon after many failed attempts to get clean once I managed to get it well the rest is history….funny fucking business this I have done all illigal drugs alles… xtacy…. LSD…. H…cocaine….crack…rock(more or less the same technical differance on how it cooked) hash….weed….turbo weed(hydros)spoed…tik tik…cat…. ketamine and manycombination of this all,ALCOHOL,the great stabeliser allways rely on that shit cos druggs are not tested and proofed but booze is so you know what you are getting….BUT ALL IN ALL MY FAVOURITE OF ALL TIMES KAPPIT CRUSHIT MAKE IT….skyf skyf skyf and earT never puff just inhale two creams outa tab Kap om ! Tief i love it But it will take everything from YOU ALLES

    NO EXCEPTIONS EVERYTHING HAS TO GO !
    I STOLE A MAG FROM A VEHCLE AND GOT INTERUPTED BEFORE I COULD KIFE THE REST 17INCH RIM WIT LOW PRIFILE R23 PLUS A PACKET OF EENTJIES, A BOX OF LIONS AND A CAN OF COKE.
    I stole my ol girls jewels,broke into my sisters house and when I realized stealing I am starring diep tronk skoote in the keel I started smokkeling….poes up of note….drugs…guns….pearly….and prostitutes.
    MONEY MONEY MONEY
    a thing of power
    nothing like an ORIGINAL JR EWING
    OR A FLOWER
    GERMAN
    GOLFSTICKS
    HUMBLES
    HELLICOPTERS
    SHINNY TOP
    COKE BLIKKIES
    DS
    CHALKS

    PILLE TOOK WHAT I HAD AND THEN SOME MORE I LOST IT ALL TO THAT MIGHTY WHORE KAPPING AN EART WAS MY ONLY FLIRT

    NO PUSSY SKIRT OR ANYTHING IN A FLORAL SHIRT WOULD GETT ME SWEATING LIKE THE MOOD TO EART.

    BUT TOMMORROW WHEN THE BLAZE IS SLEPT OF FAND THE STEENTJIE DRUKKS I KICK THE WORD IN ITS POES UNTIL I CAN FREQUENT THE MERT !

    Before I realized what had happend I had been arrested in 20+ different towns and have a record so harsh when I pick someone up at the airport they escort me off the premisis….I had a child and lost a child….druggs took it all

    My life was a spoeg bak kots and kak in the same shit hole routine till I had an electrifying exsperiance and the rest is all history

    DRUGGS MY LONG LOST LOVER I MISS BUT CANT HAVE,WILL I TAKE YOU BACK AGAIN WELL TOMMOROW I DONT KNOW BUT TODAY YOU STAY AWAY AND I WILL DO THE SAME……not a day goes by that the euphoria u used to bring does’nt pounce my mind….but I pray I will not act on these dark desires you only bring pain and suffering I love but have to leave you gone to the dark

    YO YO YO….JUST FOR TODAY…..I WILL STAY AWAY
    KAPPIT JO MASEPUS
    DEURI NAAI BREIN IS GEBRAAI.

    billyhorn33@yahoo.com

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  12. GAZA MI SEH says:

    come off a groenpyp yesterday . will never stray from the green coz i cant handle the cream . can wys you its not like the dreams .make you look like u gonna vrek

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  13. GAZA MI SEH says:

    LOOK AT DA TIME I POST DAT KAK AM I JAS TO VANG SO A MOERSE NAGGIE . SMAAK A KAPPIE THOUGH .A FRIEND WIT WEED IS A FRIEND I TRULY NEED… AHOY RICO MAKE A KERNZ THERE MAHN N MAN SE BOLE JAAG. SMAAK NOU SNOT KOU! 🙂 SMAAK TO NAAI A KAPPIE SOMA NOW AAI BLESSED AIRIE MASSIVE BLESSED ORDER MOST HIGH JAH RASTAFARIE IRON AI GAZA MI SEH UZ ONE GUN DA NEX ONE BUN.

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  14. Madir says:

    Ekse I dallad this for jaars lol…smoked the original shiny tops vw,now days the ous are smoking shit lol,there’s no rush at all..might as well smoke a zol once in a while,bra this post was madir I enjoyed reading it…Chatsworth Madir Veezo…

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