Adventures In Chemistry – A Warning To The Curious


Bruce Barnard does this so that you don’t have to.

With its muscular arm logo firmly emblazoned on the packaging, ‘Fist’ is one brand of poppers that is happy to wear its heart on its sleeve. Just sit back and watch the awed reaction this bad boy gets when you proudly pull out the oversized bottle to share with your friends. Recent experimentation with this product immediately brought to mind the scent of overripe fruit, even inspiring one friend, not usually known for his eloquence, to suggest that the main olfactory flavour evident in the heady mixture reminded him of “bruised apples mixed with citrus peel”.

The 25ml bottle means that this is a product ideally suited for what some turned on popper fans have taken to calling ‘dropping the fizzy’. This an arcane form of Isopropyl alchemy that involves placing around 5mls of your chosen room odoriser into a small amount of carbonated fluid, before vigorously shaking the mixture and allowing the fumes to infiltrate the party environment. Within seconds the charming scent will immediately bring to mind the chemicals used to clean local authority swimming pools after an afternoon mother and toddler aqua-aerobics session. Wait a little while longer however and you will notice a cloud of delightful disorientation hanging over your table, your friends acting like they have just experienced an unexpected but joyful punch to the back of the head. This product is the sole reason why the colloquial term ‘fisting’ has passed into common usage among my own circle of fellow nitrate enthusiasts.

In short, this is a room odoriser best suited for use in a heavy leather club situated in Dante’s 9th Circle of Hell and is probably best enjoyed to a soundtrack of industrial techno played at ear-splitting volume. If ‘Fist’ were a fictional character it would be Al Pacino as the sexually confused undercover cop in the 70’s classic Cruising. Although specifically targeted at the gay market, any heterosexual put off by the lurid packaging is missing out on one of the best popper experiences currently available. Personally, I would strongly encourage them to join in the spirit of experimentation and jump aboard the ‘Fist’ bandwagon.

However – another, less satisfactory product also reaches a man of a certain age who should know better. 5-ECHAP. Rather than a review, I’d see this as insight. One that confirms that the label ‘not for human consumption’ is less of a dare, more of a profound warning.

One thing that can never be represented effectively on film is the drug experience. Many creative types have tried by way of strobing, coloured lights and progressive disco music and all have failed. Perhaps, your author, writing this now, whilst sat shivering, paranoid and bereft of any human understanding can offer a more honest degree of insight.

So, let’s imagine a nauseating mix of ketamine wobbling legged stupidity. Mixed with acute amphetamine psychosis. Maybe a touch of the MDMA experience. Not the good bits mind. More the bit where you’re left alone. Maybe at a busy festival. At that point where all your friends have gone to queue for the toilet or the bar. Your mind turning over in silence. Wondering where everyone’s gone? Even though they made a point of telling you where they were going. Just you and your stupid thoughts for company. Even though you know that they’re coming back and you should stay in the same spot, you end up hopelessly confused, curious, walking miles in a doomed attempt to find them. The arch of burger van lights offering a vision of sparkle long since gone.

Times that by ten. That feeling. The sense of confusion, isolation and stupidity. And that’s what 5-ECHAP gives you.

Never trust something powdery bought online that comes without a name. Especially things that come in small plastic bags with a chemical formula as branding. They could try harder, these Chinese chemists. Call it ’36 HOUR MIND FUCK’ or LENGTHY CONFUSION’. At least then you know what to expect.

In summary: only the strongest minds need apply. Strong minds that haven’t got jobs, kids, partners, or indeed, anything to lose. This is fucking horrible. It’s everywhere. It’s cheap. I fear for future generations.


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