Thursday, 5 November 2009

Britain is European capital for "legal highs"

Given this year's remorseless bad news of famine, floods, Christmas being outsourced to Sarah Palins' pre-emptively-divorced-son-in-law, and the ban on dwarf-tossing coming into effect, I was more than a wee bit surprised to read this piece of news: Britain is European capital for "legal highs"

Of course part of the beauty of living in the UK is that we don't have a written constitution - apparently we've been around since way before they were either invented or became an optional extra, you know, a bit like an electric sunroof, or bullet-proof body armour for British soldiers. This allows us to interpret reasonably freely what does and doesn't suit us in terms of rules; and certainly without all the rigmarole of having to seek, and then argue about, endless "amendments" to it, as is the national blight of our US cousins, and their best friends: the French.

The theory here basically works thus: unless it's specifically illegal, it's legal. Happy days. That's the kind of simpleton's reasoning I can get behind.

But then I thought, unlike in the article, surely there must be other methods of achieving a 'high' than downing a bunch of chemical substances and mind-altering drugs?

So, with that firmly in mind, I'd like to suggest five (non-substance abuse) additions to the existing list of 'legal highs', apparently so frowned upon by our European neighbours.

1. Politician Baiting: whilst horse racing is the sport of kings, here's a sport the common man can embrace and in which he can excel. The rules are simple: if you see a politician in the street, or in his car, merely stand in front of him and refuse to budge - forcing them to lose their temper and then push you over, the more violently, the better. Duly assaulted, you sue them for every penny they're worth, thus losing them their job, thus preventing them from claiming any more fraudulent expenses - so in effect, you're doing both a national service, and allowing them to cleanse their souls of all previous crimes and misdemeanours; thus allowing them to be at peace with themselves. Win/win.

2. No-penalty Suddenly-acquired Amnesia: again, the rules to this game are straightforward, whilst allowing for individual interpretation (with extra points being available for ingenuity and guile). The point of this game is to get yourself into the most precarious situation you can (the more potentially lethal, the better the 'high'), before declaring at the top of your lungs, "How did I get here?! I don't remember anything! I do hope I've not offended anyone?!" It can be a hugely enjoyable jaunt this one, but I've yet to see anyone beat my current record of driving a motorcycle, naked (except for my backside painted baboon-red) and whilst drinking from a bottle of single malt, around the checkouts of three different Wal-Marts, before then finishing in each by doing a wheelie into the women's clothes section and then skidding to halt just next to potted meats aisle - all on the same Saturday afternoon.

3. Become a Circumstance Denier: whilst some forms of being a 'denier' will land you in prison (as it's becoming increasingly perilous, if not downright illegal, to be found in possession of certain opinions, no matter how bizarre or unsupportable), you can avoid a lengthy jail sentence and get away with either being turfed-out on your ear by the proprietor, or a police caution at worst, by dining in any fine restaurant in London, and then declaring that you were completely unaware that the food there wasn't free of charge! All proof to the contrary (i.e. the menu) can be further and summarily denied also. If the police or proprietor do push it, simply tilt your head at a coquettish angle and demand to see the cheese trolley, and then inform them that you'll gladly pay if they can produce some mildly-chived wombat's cheese. NB: a ready standby alternative here is to walk into Home Depot, claim to be an undercover policeman, and tell them that you'll have to impound their entire stock inventory, as it's all reportedly stolen property and will need to be "dusted for prints".

4. Go around selling 'protection' to policemen: rather self-explanatory this one - simply find two policemen walking the beat (although granted, nowadays these are as rare as hen's teeth, Swiss admirals and Chinese chefs with naturally ginger Afros) and try and sell them the concept that they will "come to no harm on this beat" if they hand over £250,000 a month to you. This one can end up with you being sectioned under the Mental Health Act, so be careful and try and remain cool in your deliberations with them. If all else fails, run!

5. Become 'The Messiah': here's your opportunity to prove the link between having more money than sense and being a irretrievably gullible idiot. Given how many people in the movie business follow The Church of MindFuck Scientology, this one will win you immediate celebrity status, as you do battle with Tom Cruise, John Travolta et al, as you walk into their London HQ and claim to be L Ron Hubbard come back to "see how it's all going". Cruise likes to think he's still got his John Woo moves, but in reality, he's getting slow and flabby. Go for his knees and, if that fails, tell him that you've reached a higher "auditing plane" than him; this will have the immediate effect of him calling his agent and demanding to know why he wasn't told that there existed anyone on the planet on a higher level than he.



  1. Nothing to add, apart from being reliably informed that 'legal highs' are a bag of shite, the illegal ones are much better. Not advocating either, just what I've heard. I've no personal experience of the former. The latter? Cough, cough....

    Thanks for the laughs, I'd definitely like to have a go at number five.

    'Chinese chefs with naturally ginger Afros' is going to be carried round in my personal lexicon forever.


  2. Glad you liked it Ian mate - I've a list of over 30 other skits in drafts, just need the time to polish and then post 'em :)

  3. Just want to comment on you guys not having a Constitution. Ask somebody here in the US if, say, freedom of speech is a good thing, they'll probably say yes. Ask them WHY it's a good thing, after a moment's thought, they're likely to say, "Well, it's in the Constitution" (specefically, the Bill of Rights). Sort of like saying murder is a bad thing because it's in the Ten Commandments. That freedom of speech might be a good thing separate from the Constitution, good in and of itself, is lost on a lot of people. And people to whom it's not lost on are afraid to have, say, another constitutional convention (which the constitution, in fact, allows.) to bring about something like proportional representation, because the freedom of speech and the rest of the Bill of Rights may fall by the wayside in the process. Gore Vidal, who wants such a convention, has pooh-poohed such fears by claiming, "The American people are not suicidal." As much as I like Vidal's writing, I fear he's an optimist.

    Now, I've got to ask you something that's been puzzling me. If you have no constitution, why is Queen Liz always described as a "constitutional monarch"?

  4. Gorvy is a blithering idiot. And yeah, why IS Lillibet called a "constitutional monarch"? Does it have something to do with the OTHER meanings of "constitutional"??

  5. Kirk, here's the answer your 'constitutional monarchy' question: why is Queen Liz always described as a "constitutional monarch"?

    Under such a system, and after various statutes from Magna Carta onwards, for 'Free Speech' to be made a crime would require a law being introduced and passed to make it illegal, which no UK gov't is gonna be fool enough to attempt - at least and not hope to remain in power after doing so.

    As I'm sure you know, not having a written constitution has done us well for just under 1,000 years - it's easier to change when we want to, and to introduce aspects of law/governance/observances which suit us when we want to, and not have to bother with getting hung up and hamstrung with needing an 'amendment'.

  6. Mary, I'm a fan of Vidal's work up until recently - where, frankly, he's become a wee bit pompous and an impractical ideologue. Pity, he used to have a most lucid mind.

    As for proportional representation (PR), I can't think of one country where it makes for stable and strong gov't: Israel, Germany, Italy, Ireland...

    Now you know why we use the 'First Past The Post System'


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