Voter’s Little Helper: A Very Special Election Night Cocktail Menu

Voter’s Little Helper: A Very Special Election Night Cocktail Menu
Tara Jacoby for the Village Voice

I was born in the 1980s. When I first learned to speak, I was taught the Mandarin word for "the Soviet Union," the other superpower that surely will never collapse. The stakes back then were the literal end of human civilization. We were the last generation to do shelter drills in school. I still can’t remember how to say "Russia." Yet, all that somehow pales in comparison to the fight for the soul of America. This election has become so polarized and divisive, emotions are running as high as the stakes. May we recommend something to go with it?

DISCLAIMER: All the drugs listed below have serious side effects, including organ damage, addiction, and possibly fatal overdose. We do not recommend taking them.

ANXIETY

You’re in front of CNN, and watching numbers trickle in. It’s a race to 270, the magic number of electoral votes needed to win. It's such an irregular number, one that's hard to work out what percentage you're at so far. Wolf Blizter’s frosty glare pierces straight through you. You close your eyes but news chyrons flash to announce another district in Iowa reported in. "It’s neck and neck" the voices say. Your couch is dangling off the side of a cliff.

For this, the smooth relief of a GABA agonist, such as benzodiazepines or alcohol is needed.

Benzos and alcohol mediate their effects via modulating the GABA receptor, the most abundant inhibitory receptor in our nervous system. As an inhibitor of neuronal excitability in the rest of the brain, GABA produces a calming effect. This is why benzos (and hundreds of years ago, alcohol) were used to treat seizures.

Ethanol, or plain old drinking alcohol, works primarily on GABA by enhancing its action and calming the brain, but also scatters erratically to other receptors. Depending on how much you drink, it can either enhance or inhibit a slew of other receptors. Benzos, however, bind to a specific benzodiazepine site on the GABA receptor. The receptor becomes hyperpolarized, itching to release its electricity and activate. This enhances its effects.

Benzos offer a silky relaxation with a smooth finish. Alcohol is rougher, as anyone who’s had a hangover can attest. If alcohol is a shotgun, benzos would be a far more precise rifle. (Is there any analogy more American than a gun analogy?) Mixing benzos and alcohol is a poor decision. They dramatically enhance each other’s effects, the sum of the parts is not the same as the total.

Examples of benzos include the famous Xanax (alprazolam) and Valium (diazepam). Other well-known benzos like Klonopin (clonazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam) are also good.

Example of alcohol include Jameson, Smirnoff, and that Trader Joe’s wine you're putting away at record speed.

ENHANCED ANXIETY

News coverage on election night is a trip on its own. We have a bewildering array of people being paraded before our eyes. Location after location snapped to, pre-party arenas with candidates milling about. But the real treat are the news graphics. Each year they become even more bombastic. It’s a feast, and it would be even nicer if all of it was warping and twisting.

LSD is great if you can find it, but some doses are actually a substituted phenethylamine of some sort — 25I-NBOMe a/k/a "N-bombs," are often sold as LSD. For a while, 25I-NBOMe was legal and huge amounts flowed from China, making it highly attractive to put it on blotters and sell it as acid. However, it was exceptionally powerful, a few micrograms off here or there can put you into the hospital with a serotonin storm. But 25I-NBOMe and its relatives are derived from the 2C family, and they’re recommended here.

2C-B, 2C-I, and 2C-T-2 are good choices. These substances substitute phenethylamines, so there is a stimulating effect; a light dose should be used since we don’t want to be up all night and still want to be sensical enough to appreciate the election. Each one is psychedelic in its own way, and empathogenic. They’re flamboyant but they may be too astringent for some. 2C-E is too introspective, and the other 2C-T’s have proven to be dangerous. Taken orally, the trip will stretch out. However, 2C-I is extremely painful to snort. They’re all around 10-15mg for a light dose, but you will want to go easy on 2C-T-2 as it is stronger.

Patterns will appear, twist, and fractalize before you. News anchors will dissolve into strange watercolor drawings, and their words will twist inside you. You can barely remember what Anderson Cooper said but you laughed until it hurt. Those news graphics were already incomprehensible before, now they will really POP. No reason to let them make sense.

After 5–8 hours, these will have worn off, and you can face whatever has become of the country.

WE'RE GONNA WIN THIS

You have your campaign T-shirt and hat on. You are glued to big flatscreen with surround sound. There’s celebratory champagne sitting in the fridge, and beer and finger food. You are prepared. You’ve invited all your best politically aligned friends for tonight. Each district going your way is a hearty hurrah, and any districts dumb enough to choose the other one, they get a scoff.

This is the time for a stimulant. Cocaine is fine — all nighter in a baggie. However, this is a victory lap, not another night at the club. Only a substituted amphetamine can deliver the kind of emotion filled with empathetic energy you need to enhance this win.

MDMA, ecstasy, whatever you want to call it, it’s all the same drug, and it’s all one great choice. However, if you can get it, may we recommend mephedrone.

Mephedrone is a substituted amphetamine similar to MDMA. It mostly works the same, by releasing and/or blocking the re-uptake of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. However, the minor differences between each substituted amphetamine’s structure creates remarkably different effects. Mephedrone, compared to MDMA, is exploding with energy.

Sure MDMA lasts longer, but it is not as intense. Mephedrone makes you feel the same kind of empathy as MDMA, but with rocketing stimulation. There are sour notes as your mouth dries up, so stay hydrated. Grind your teeth on those hot wings, put away beer after beer, and high-five your friends. This win is inevitable, a triumph of the will of the Real America, the other candidate will be consigned to the dustbin of history. Your pupils are as wide as your margin of victory.

PLEASE LET ME (AMERICA) BE OKAY

It happened. Wherever you were, the other one won. This is it, now you’re in the dustbin of history looking up. A downer is what you need but you’re not the ex-pat type. A cushion, something to take away the pain, anything. You can’t move, all you can do is slog on. You can't be blacked out. You need some senses about you. This is usually a job for opioids.

Opioids are any drug that modulate the opioid receptors in the brain. An opiate is any opioid directly derived from the poppy plant’s natural alkaloids. When poppy pods are cut, they bleed an alkaloid-rich white latex, which is made into opium. Morphine and codeine are refined from the latex, and heroin is produced by chemically altering the opium. However, these opiates are dopey, they take the pain away, but they leave you useless to keep working.

However, there’s a third major opiate in the poppy plant’s milk, thebaine, it offers a stimulatory effect. Specifically, the current scourge of America: Oxycontin, Percocet, Norcos, whatever it is called, they’re all oxycodone. It offers the same relief as heroin, but without dropping you to the floor in medium doses.

A lightheadedness comes, all those muscles so tightly wound, those feelings bound together, they loosen. You’ve been holding your breath for months; now, exhale. Oxycodone’s stimulating effects mean you can keep your routine. Go to work, clean your room, and let the country go to hell around you. Unfortunately there is too great a chance that you will do it until you can’t stop doing it, every single day, day in day out, until your wallet is dry and it hurts and you know, heroin is cheaper.…

So let us recommend Kratom, a natural opioid from Southeast Asia, which is used like the coca leaf is used in South America. Used by opioid addicts here to stave off withdrawal without making you as dopey as methadone, and not requiring you to jump through special hoops to get Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone). It’s similar to oxy but the euphoria is far less pronounced and the stimulation is much higher.

You may not make it to bed, but hey, you’ll got a lot of thinking done.

FUCK IT, I WANT OFF THIS RIDE

It’s too much, no more, you cannot take four more years of this, whatever this is. We highly recommend an anesthetic dissociative if you want to be in a chemical coma for the next four years to wait it out.

Ketamine and its relative methoxetamine have much to offer. They’re primarily NMDA receptor antagonists; antagonists block action, not enhance or activate it like the drugs listed above. There’s also action at the dopamine and opioid receptors, which adds to the euphoria.

At low doses, you feel a bit cold, and this relaxes you. You can tell strange jokes all night long, or at least it feels that long. Time becomes hard to make out.

High doses are for tuning out, the so-called "K-hole." Some say that methoxetamine doesn’t have an "M-hole," but I disagree. Myself and others have been there, and it’s like a K-hole. Your entire body is numb, and you enter a dissociative state, detached from the world, out of body. If the time dilation was bad before, it is overwhelming now. You go on a magical journey for what seems like days. With methoxetamine you find yourself, at nearly exactly 45 minutes, snapping back to reality, at the same time as anyone who joined you.

The conversation afterwards will feel incredibly fulfilling. Each sentence lingers, you’re still talking, but you think over each word, none of it going to memory, but dripping with care. They lean on you, you lean on them, pressed together, numb physically, but heart and mind connected. Your conversation is clipped, shorter and shorter, fewer and fewer words. You don’t need them. Fingers dig deep and each line and ridge of their fingerprint dances along your skin. More feeling returns, their chest heaves up and down with yours. Each rib crashes against yours. They breathe fire and you exhale it back. The flames lick your face.

The anesthetic effects means that getting aroused, physically, will be difficult. However, that effect wears off. It can be shocking after the numbness and dissociative episode. It’s been days, weeks, just an hour, you can’t tell, the feeling is returning and the first sensation is that of another person’s skin right with yours.

You’ve checked out and yet there’s company. President Trump, President Clinton, they’re not here. There’s nothing else except burning, sticky sweat mixed together.

Again: All of the aforementioned drugs have serious side effects, including organ damage, addiction, and possibly fatal overdose. We do not recommend taking them. Have fun, be safe.


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