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A Trip Down Memory Lane

by John Connolly


If it’s one thing we love here at Swine it’s nostalgia, nostalgia and drugs…the two things we love most at Swine are nostalgia, drugs and trainees…the three things at Swine are nostalgia, drugs, trainees and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope. I’ll come in again.


My first experience with all things psychedelic involved a handful of psilocybin mushrooms gobbled up during one boring afternoon at school. Rumours were abound at the fantastic experiences one could have by eating a belly full of this fungus. Hallucinogenic pleasures that, according to legend, included seeing all manner of alien activity, such as inanimate objects coming to life and dancing the can-can before your very eyes. Once after eating them, I didn’t feel anything but a tad queasy. Claims that ‘me ma turned into the devil eating a mars bar la’ and ‘our kid was flying around Otterspool prom being chased by goblins in a mini moke’ left me feeling disappointed to say the least. I jumped the train home with a few of my mates badgering me ‘are feeling anything?’ I didn’t feel a thing, a few butterflies but nothing untoward. I got home, went up stairs, put a few tunes on and waited for my tea.


I still didn’t feel any effects but once my tea was ready, I didn’t feel hungry. I told my mum I’d eat it later and made the schoolboy error of wandering into the front room were my sister was watching Blockbusters and my dad was messing with the dog. I plonked down on the couch and opened the local paper only to be confronted by a hideous looking Paul Shane in his full Ted Bovis Hi-de-Hi regalia. I burst out laughing for no reason and my dad, sister, Bob Holness and seemingly all the wacky audience of Blockbuster, stopped and looked at me. I would say even the family Jack Russell was staring at me but that would be too far fetched. Anywho, I couldn’t stop and my dad asked me if I was ‘on happy pills’ which cracked me up even more. I scuttled for the door only to bump into my mum carrying three cups of cha into the living room ‘do you want a cup?’ she asked as I sped past still laughing, slipped on the first stair then scrambled up the rest on all fours like a scalded cat. I true full on ‘tripping’ style I had the power of being able to hear everything in the house. My dad asking if she though I looked drunk and should we go and have a word with him! Just like Eric Burdon said, We Gotta Get Outta This Place!


Before all sundries had a chance to give me the third degree, I darted back down the stairs and out of the front door. It had been raining and the water gave the buildings a funny sheen, also the terrace streets seemed to be lurching backwards. I remember a few of my mates telling me they had ridden around on bikes whilst under the influence and it was like something from Tron. I headed for the local all weather pitch, attracting a lot of attention (in my mind) by staring my reflection in puddles, car windows and clouds (yes, you heard right). A few younger lads I knew were already on the all weather having a kick about, I asked one of them if I could borrow their bike and set off to have my own futuristic adventure… inside an electronic arena, where love, and escape, do not compute. The kid agreed though he was staring at me with a frown as I studied his lizard features. The thing with psychedelics, it’s very much in your own mind, your perception, so one man’s fantasy and vision may not be replicated (are you reading this in voice of Timmy Leary?). My Tour De Trance was bizarre but it was no Tron. Rather than scoot around the streets I decided to take the rustic route, more vivid colours in the September evening.



I was total hooked on the experience and was dying to call my friends just so they could hear a wasp buzzing around a can of coke left on a bench. I headed back to the all weather pitch as I’d already been out for nearly two hours and gave the kid his bike back. I knew the effect of the mushrooms were wearing off, as he only had slight reptilian characteristics. My mates were in the other goal, playing their usual headers and volleys. The asked where I’d been ‘we knocked and your dad said you left acting weird, he though you’d been drinking, if you see him tell him to get home’. I wasn’t too worried and spend the following hour waxing lyrical about the merits of magic mushrooms. The door had indeed been opened. We spent plenty of nights glued to the floor looking up at the cloud formations, seeing marauding Bezerekers in attack formation storming shores, lavish vampires swooping down on buxom virgins and so on. I even started taking them in school. We had a Friday mushrooms club which would start with us scoffing powdered shrooms in the afternoon then sitting around ‘painting beautiful pictures man’ in our double art lesson that followed…stitch that Sewell!




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