display | more...

I arrived at Swinburne University 15 minutes early, eager to make a good impression and even more excited about the testing I was to undergo. It isn't everyday that you gain admittance to the centre for Neuropsychopharmacology (god I love that word, it's so.. Dangerous and 60's sounding) for a government sponsored alcohol and cannabis testing study.

Arriving at the 3rd floor (I ran up the stairs to waste some energy) I knocked on the locked door, and waited. No response. Oh ho! Was I in the right place?? I knocked louder.. nothing! I wandered around a little, and eventually someone challenged me and I answered that I was here for the alcohol/drug thing, the guy nodded knowingly and gestured me to follow.

We went through a number of interesting rooms, and corridors, some of which really intrigued me - 'Warning! (and the radioactive sign) - DANGER! Safety glasses required (and a pic of a sunglasses)... Wow! I was IN...

The guy told me to sit in a room and he'd send {some name} in. Again I waited. Eventually this 'hip chick' bounded into the room... She was that indeterminable female age of 19-26, tall and looked like she was heading to a rave... right there all my fantasies of getting it on with a lab coated, glasses, lab geek-girl went sailing out the window.. (probably for the better ;)

'Bianta' told me, "that they/we/I would get under way shortly." and, "Thanks for coming, and how much did I weigh?"
I answered, " Around a 100 kgs (fat bastard)"
she giggled, and replied, "Well, I'll get the drinks, and explain to you whilst you drink, what happens.. ok?" Woah! the 1st choice I had had.. But, "Sure" I found myself answering, and watched her bound out of the room again.. she was making my head feel heavy already.

She returned just as I had found that the stack of magazines was 'New Scientist' and was flicking through the 1st one. Bianta put the 2 drinks in front of me and said, "haHA! you get FOUR of these!" and she disappeared again. Screwdrivers. I could smell the vodka. Dear God.. did these people want me vomiting?? I found it compelling so I reached for the 1st cup and started drinking. WHOA! I would never make myself drinks this strong.. heh. So much for not getting a placebo! Bianta came back and placed the last 2 drinks (now numbering 4 total) in front of me.

"Ah good!" she went on to explain, all the while watching me sip the drinks, what they wanted. She mentioned that she thought this was the 'heavy alcohol' dose (NO SHIT!) and that I was in for a good time.. I grinned to myself and thought "Yeeeeah...". She then said that after I had finished the drinks they would breathalyse me, take some blood, then I would get a joint.

Those were her words 'a Joint', and I was quiet surprised to hear her say it so unprofessionally - I had expected words like 'THC cigarette' or ' the cannabis'... nono... it was all "gettin' pissed yet?" and "had the joint yet?" ..

"After the joint," she explained, I "would do the driving simulator and a sobriety test, then they would take more blood, and call me a cab home. EASY!" she then (again) bounded from the room, to "set stuff up".

"EASY!" turned out to only be a half truth. I finished the three cups and looked at the fourth. I was well and truly smished by now and normally would have stopped at that and settled in for the evening... BUT the challenge was on, so digging deep I heroically lifted and downed the final cup of OJ and Vodka. The heat in my cheeks was burning and I was happily giggling to myself.. who knew New Scientist could be quiet so funny?

Bianta came back into the room and asked how I was.. "Pissed AS!" I happily replied, "but you'd best point me to the men's room!" The smile vacated her face, and she asked if I was "gonna puke?" I assured her that I wasn't but that it would be better if I a) knew where it was 'just in case' and b) My bladder would require voiding shortly. I think that actually left my mouth as "Nah.. just wanna know, for when I need a piss" God. Aussie males.. who teaches us to sound like that???

She happily showed me, and said she was going to get someone to breathalyse me, and that I should stay seated.. I remained standing and tried to get a grip on myself. I ran through some breathing and a little internal kata, trying (unsuccessfully) to focus. The nausea was rising. Thankfully my friend Bianta had returned (I was beginning to think this girl wasn't interested in me other than as test subject and it was somewhat disheartening... But it was still attention so I forged on) with another girl in tow who held one of those machines the cops use. I did the "one deep breath" required and watched. Both the girls were fascinated with my result but wouldn't let me see it.. *shrug* I was pissed, who cared?!

It was decided that I could have my 1st blood test and "the joint" so I was led to another room. That was an interesting journey which required the toilet (bladder) and lots of wall touching. Balance had gone completely out the window. I sat a waited in a small surgery that was tucked in the corner. Another woman walked in, and asked if I would faint from having blood taken. I felt that I assured her that I wouldn't faint reasonably well, infact I was proud of the only half slurred, "Doubt it!" that emanated from my lips this time. All this questioning was making my brain struggle.

New lady put a lab coat on, and the afore-mentioned fantasy briefly played through my mind, but I tried to work out how drunk I was, and thought about the trip to the loo I had just taken... It caused me to giggle, and the Lady gabbed the needle into my arm at the same time, which brought reality back to me with a harshness that was - in my opinion - very unnecessary.

Usually with blood tests I find it difficult to watch, but I was very detached and watched the bright red blood being sucked from my arm. Fortunately lab-coat lady failed to lick the wound, and no vampiristic nature of any kind was displayed, so I gave up on looking for a wooden stake with which to stab her, in case of this eventuality.. Be prepared I was always taught.

Lab-coat lady told me I was done, smiled and left to find Bianta, for whose company I was again hearteningly grateful. She had an envelope in hand and asked me if I wanted to sit down whilst I smoked 'the joint'.. "Sure!" I whittily replied, and she asked if I would like a drink of water, "Sure!" I mimicked myself.. I was on fire!

Bianta handed me a folding chair and a cup of water, but retained the envelope, and we went outside. She seated me in a corner out of the wind, leaned against the wall - man that girl can lean! - and told me that the protocol for smoking was "10 second inhalation, hold for 20 and release." I am sure she told me the interval till the next bit but it was very vague. She also said that we had to do it 6 times. Only. Bummer.

Handing me a badly rolled joint she told em to pick an end. I twisted the whole thing up a bit tighter, pinched on end, looked like I knew wot I was doing (always impress the chicks!) lit the end and waited. "Anytime you're ready" Bianta said. I took a deep breath, exhaled, told my body not to puke, and breathed in. Deeply. "Stop!" she said. woah! That was quick. I held the smoke in my lungs until, looking up from her watch she proclaimed, "Exhale!" and so I blew it out. A thin stream of white smoke blew from my lips. Excellent.

We did this 6 more times, me watching the joint burn down towards my fingers. It burned quickly, and I commented on this. Bianta shrugged and kept an eye on the time.

Once finished she made me put the roach back into the envelope (after putting it out), and we went back inside. I had perked up, and definitely felt more 'awake' than I had previously. Bianta asked if I thought I had had cannabis, but I truly wasn't able to answer a positive, it might have just been the fresh air that made me feel better. I was sent back to the waiting room, and left again.

I had that horrid ashy taste in my mouth, and wanted some gum, so I rummaged in my bag, unsatisfactorily failing to find any. But happily I discovered a Whizz Fizz (ahhh Sherbet! you've never let me down!). I held it triumphantly in the air, proclaiming myself a God, but being the only person in the room, it was somewhat of a letdown. Bianta returned and asked how I was feeling. Sheepishly I held up the Whizz Fizz and proclaimed "Great!" she looked at it, smiled, looked at me, and made a mime action on an invisible clipboard, whilst stating, "Subject proclaimed to feel the effects of cannabis." HA! finally! some professionalism!

She then decided that it was testing time, and lead me down a corridor to the second final room I was to enter at that Uni. It was much bigger and had a lot of PCs in it, but my eye was drawn to the wall, where a projector had thrown a driving simulator game up onto it. It was BIG. "KEWL!" thought I.

My friend seated me, and set up a number of cameras and told me to keep my head straight and facing forward. She said that this was the important part, and that I "should drive as normal, and follow the 'Route' signs. Did I understand? ". I nodded affirmative, and we began.

I am not going to list the multitude of horrors that I displayed whilst honestly trying to drive properly, but I did manage to avoid the falling tree, and miss the pedestrian. I felt they were minor victories, but that maybe they paled into insignificance against the other 'naughty' things I had done. I hated that I had just contributed to the continued 'negative' effects research pool. I had hoped to display better..

Then we did the sobriety test. This involved; walking in a straight line, I thought I did that ok; Standing on one leg, looking at your toe, and counting from 1001 to 1030 slowly. This I did well until 1017 where I fell over. (D'OH!); and finally, watching a pen tip as it was taken across my field of vision. I had no clue how I fared with this.

Bianta seemed impressed though, and lead me back to lab-coat lady who took blood from the other arm. She was in a chirpier mood than before, but I was _really_ hazy by now, and honestly have little clue of what I answered. Bianta rang for a cab to take me home (which the Uni payed for).

That was it. They thanked me, and sent me on my way. I was rooted! I was stoned to the bejesus, Pissed as a newt, and frankly barely coherent. I have no idea how I got into the cab, and even less idea how I communicated to the driver where I lived, but he obviously understood, and got me there. I remember 'waking up' a few time during the trip and attempting to get the guy to go through the KFC drive through, but this communication quickly broke down, and I lapsed back into my comatose state.

Next visit

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.