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The only thing that really worried me was the ether
March 18, 2011 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Is it physically possible to consume the contents of Raoul Duke's suitcase in the film "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" in the time period allotted?

"We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls."

This impressive drug collection presents the question, 'Could a human physically consume this collection, in the time period of 11-13 March that the Mint 400 takes place?'

Granted of course that most of the cocaine is swept to the wind in the opening scene.
posted by midnightbarber to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
The "galaxy" part presents a problem, and the ether will only be "consumed" if you leave the lid off and it all evaporates.

Happy Friday night?
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:23 PM on March 18, 2011


The answer is certainly "yes", though I imagine you meant to imply "... and not die" to the question.

The pot, cocaine and alcohol would not be a problem. The pharmaceuticals could very well be, since it's such a huge unknown, I'd say no you couldn't finish those. Then there's the psychadelics. I couldn't imagine taking that amount of acid AND mescaline and being coherent enough to consume any other drugs.

I'm going to go with no. I think it would even be a challenge for the pair of them.
posted by utsutsu at 12:28 PM on March 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think you have upped the scenario from the book and film. Remember, it is two people doing so, and not only does the consumption occur over the Mint 400 but on the way there and also over the course of the police convention. Then more afterward, for an unknown period of time, given that Duke comes to wearing a lizard tail with little recollection of even the duration of his multi-sourced intoxication.

The ether is used to soak a handkerchief in the pattern of the American flag, certainly the vapor inhalation process is inefficient, at best. The amyl nitrates are similarly shared. Amyls are fairly short-acting. You could go through those in a giddy few hours.

The blotter acid is more interesting to consider. One hundred hits to a sheet. The number of micrograms per hit steadily dropped since the introduction of acid, so you can assume that, given the time period, these would be significantly higher doses for a heavier trip. On the other hand, tolerance to LSD builds rapidly, seemingly doubling and doubling again. I have witnessed someone consume about a sheet and a half over the course of a long weekend, with zero freakouts. Dr. Gonzo chews up a few sheets all by himself after Duke gets just a bit of it.

The bags of grass did not seem all that fluffy and we have little notice of the consumption of it. Perhaps it was simply background noise, like the alcohol. The mescaline comes in at the police convention, thirty-seven pellets apiece. I dimly recollect that some of the pellets are mashed into an unpalatable dust, so you might have some loss there.

The biggest danger are the pills when combined with the alcohol. At that, anything could happen.

My guess is that the two individuals, both of long-standing Herculean drug consumption and tolerance of Spartans, with liver enzymes like a pack of angry Dobermans ready to tear apart foreign chemicals and brains readily adapted to swimming through various cross-currents of distortion, might be able to cope, but just barely.
posted by adipocere at 12:28 PM on March 18, 2011 [26 favorites]


Don't forget the woman obsessed with Barbara Streisand consumes an unholy amount of the psychedelics as well, although it's very apparent her tolerance is way below the main characters'.
posted by Gucky at 12:33 PM on March 18, 2011



My guess is that the two individuals, both of long-standing Herculean drug consumption and tolerance of Spartans, with liver enzymes like a pack of angry Dobermans ready to tear apart foreign chemicals and brains readily adapted to swimming through various cross-currents of distortion, might be able to cope, but just barely.


We have experts on pretty much everything here.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:42 PM on March 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


Of course insane amounts of these drugs were consumed, but was there any indication in the book or film that they really finished the entire stash?
posted by naju at 1:01 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


might be able to cope, but just barely.

Their intent, I'd wager.
posted by entropone at 2:15 PM on March 18, 2011


Adipocere has it spot on.
I have no doubt in my mind people who have tolerances, expectations from chemicals, past experiences, and settings would not have a problem with that amount. The only wild card I can think of in that equation is already been noted, the uppers, downers, screamers, ect assortment of pills.
posted by handbanana at 2:15 PM on March 18, 2011


My guess is that the two individuals, both of long-standing Herculean drug consumption and tolerance of Spartans, with liver enzymes like a pack of angry Dobermans ready to tear apart foreign chemicals and brains readily adapted to swimming through various cross-currents of distortion, might be able to cope, but just barely.

if you're planning on writing an unauthorized sequel to fear and loathing, i want to read it.
posted by compound eye at 3:34 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always thought it wasn't enough, myself.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:40 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Didn't they have epinephrine too?
posted by Max Power at 5:25 PM on March 18, 2011


I'd say that even they would say no, considering the next line is something like: "Not that we needed all that, but once you start a serious drug collection , the tendency is to push it as far as you can."
posted by newmoistness at 7:26 PM on March 18, 2011


Didn't they have epinephrine too?
posted by Max Power at 8:25 PM on March 18 [+] [!] No other comments.


I believe the adrenochrome was saved for another trip.
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:19 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


You'd be amazed how much drugs that people can go through in a weekend, especially when you do more than one at a time.

Back when I was going to raves 10 years ago, I knew people who would regularly have weekends where they'd do some combination of LSD/Shrooms, K, Ecstasy, Alcohol, Pot, nitrous oxide, meth, prescription drugs and coke -- not all at once, but over the course of a weekend, for sure. Most of them aren't even dead, crazy or in jail now.
posted by empath at 9:10 PM on March 18, 2011


well, it wasn't like they planned to take it all.

We picked up everything we could get our hands on. Not that we needed all that for the trip but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it is far as you can.

It's nice to have choices.

I believe the adrenochrome was saved for another trip.

Naw, Duke takes it after they ditch Lucy, the night before the big drug conference.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:23 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


*sigh* Those were the days.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 11:54 AM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I believe the adrenochrome was saved for another trip.

Naw, Duke takes it after they ditch Lucy, the night before the big drug conference.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:23 AM on March 19 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!] No other comments.


oh, right. that was *mine* I was thinking of.
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:21 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


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