The Third Leader: High old time

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The Independent Online

Despite all the bad stuff, it's impossible not to be insistently impressed by the extremely potent blend of adventure, ingenuity and determination that has brought humanity thus far. And so it is today with our report that last year's ban on magic mushrooms has stimulated a search and demand for legal alternatives that is, well, mushrooming.

Mescaline, salvia, kratom, ayahuasca, Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds: instantly one is transported back to heavy-scented smoke-filled rooms with, say, Yes or Beefheart in the background, and low monotonal lectures from hirsute centre-parted people about mindblowing experiences obtained last summer while hitching through Phet Buri.

I can remember, too, experimenting with herbal cigarettes of the legal variety, about as exciting as those "new smoking material" ones, if clearly more effective in the lung-barbecueing area, and only marginally more enjoyable than reading Carlos Castaneda's ramblings about warrior-travellers walking the impeccable path under the influence of cactus cocktails.

So, while not wishing to exercise undue influence as you dither between Amsterdam Gold and Fly Agaric, I would like to reveal how I have achieved my most recent legal highs, the ones that have provided great gusts of chuckling delight: 1. The portly fellow playing croquet. 2. David Cameron's choice of "Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)". 3. The illegal cleaners at the immigration offices. 4. George Galloway. 5. Guy Goma. 6. Boris Johnson playing football. 7. Red wine stops you going deaf. 8. MI6's mobile Moscow rock. 9. Another crushing victory for St Helens against Wigan. 10. And there was that sunny day a few weeks back. Ah, yes: Life, the best stimulant.