Pleasingly crapulous

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: Archive thru January 2002:Pleasingly crapulous
By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 06:12 pm: Edit

Yes we know all about ma huang.

By Barsnake on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 08:58 am: Edit

More Crap(ulous)

By Petermarc on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 05:36 am: Edit

isn't that the tail-end of the universe?

By Heiko on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 03:59 am: Edit


look what I just found:


I saw and got to know men who were saints, if there are saints in this world; I saw and spoke to savants, crapulous and uncrapulous ones; I listened to men who had the divine fire in their bowles who could have convinced God Almighty that they were worthy of another chance, but not the vice-president of the Cosmococcus Telegraph Company.

Henry Miller, Tropic of Capricorn

By Heiko on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 03:49 am: Edit

Ma Huang (ephedra sinica) is a Chinese plant and it contains most ephedrine of all the Ephedra plants. Mix it with caffeine and aspirin and it has an effect similar to amphetamines, only not as strong, but it's highly suited for bodybuilding (known as "ECA-stack" in any fitness center).
Unfortunately, ephedra extract is not allowed to be sold in Germany - but we've got the internet, right? ;-)

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 01:30 am: Edit

Lord H, I haven't made a study of them. But it's safe to deduce from the fact that caffeine is banned from the northern part of the country, because of its use in 'amphetamine' pills or capsules made up across the border -- conclusion being that caffeine is either used to adulterate (in dope terms, step on) the actual amphetamine content, or to simulate its effects along with various other stimulants, some of them quite scary, in bogus speed pills with no real amphetamine content at all. No one would ever claim that these gangs are scrupulous would they? The amphetamine trade here is HUGE. And the big traffickers are the Taiwanese-backed subnational Red Wa, Shan and other anti-Rangoon paramilitary groups - actually all are Kuomintang (Nationalist Chinese) remnants who have mostly abandoned the heroin trade (now shifted largely to South Asia) in favor of the locally-sold speed traffic. Everyone pretends that these are ethnic Burmese minorities but privately, senior law enforcement people will say straight out that all that is a longstanding KMT cover story.

The Red Wa appear to be on top and they are the former CPB - Communist Party of Burma, rather a joke isn't it that the CPB was a KMT front! While their main enemy, Khun Sa of the now defunct Shan United Army, was formerly the Burmese Minister for Minority Affairs and in charge of suppressing...wait for it...the Communists. And he's just another KMT stooge, son of a Nationalist Chinese officer driven with his troops out of Yunnan in '49.

And the conflict between these various minorities riddles with KMT stay-behinds and their children, is mostly a fiction, and their struggles against Rangoon are also fabricated, now mostly even that has been dropped as deals have been done with SLORC's intelligence chief MG Khin Nyunt. The sole opposition to Rangoon now is the Karen National Union of my former neighbor, General Bo Mya, who has led their genuine military struggle since 1947.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 11:10 am: Edit


Are these caffeine 'amphetemines' sold in Thailand, similar to the caffeine 'Pro-plus' tablets legaly available in the UK?

At university I remember taking 'Pro-plus' tablets to keep me awake to revise for my Geology finals. They kept me awake but I ended up throwing up the next morning and feeling all shaky. Still I passed so they must have helped in some way.


By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 04:28 am: Edit

Red Bull, M-150, Lipovitan, Shark, and numerous other 'energy drinks' are mass produced in several Asian countries including Thailand, advertised heavily, and are mostly just syrup and caffeine. Sort of concentrated Jolt.

What gets sold as yaa baa (amphetamines) in Thailand and elsewhere is also mostly caffeine, at least bulk caffeine is prohibited from being transported in the northern Thai provinces close to the Burmese border, other side of which is where the yaa baa is formulated and tabletized. This is not to say that yaa baa contains no amphetamines; nearby Yunnan, China is the world's principle source of ephedrine, a direct amphetamine precursor.

By Heiko on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 03:54 am: Edit

I think Red Bull is an imitation of a Chinese energy drink called "m-100" (at least it was sold in a Chinese store in my town, maybe it was from another asiatic country). It tastes like concentrated Red Bull (it's more syrup than soda) and seems to contain all the same stuff.
And don't we all know what weird things the Chinese believe to have effects on the human body? Salmon sperm and bull jizz are probably potent drugs in Chinese medicine, as well as tiger penis, moshus glands and all the other weird stuff...

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 03:43 am: Edit

Taurine: 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid. Important to mammalian development, esp. of cerebellum and retinal cells. Some milks are being reformulated to have a taurine level similar to that of human milk (dairy cow milk is low in taurine.)

Present in shark blood and ox bile.

By Uncle on Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - 03:21 am: Edit

OK... I'll ask. What dose salmon sperm taste like? Dose it share any flavors of the Beatle's blood? I don't know ,but i bet it's ...crapulous.

By Mr_Rabid on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 10:17 pm: Edit

Learn sumthin new every day!

Several people I know who drink to excess swear that Red Bull prevents a hangover.

I tried it. It did. I drank that night: vodka, whiskey, three kinds of beer, some mixed drinks I vaugely remember as purple, three 1:4 glasses (water glasses I'm talking here) of Deva...

Three shots of vodka and red bull. Next day I was AOK, aside from that salmon-sperm taste in the back of my throat.

By Tavarua on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 09:40 pm: Edit

Actually taurine is retrieved from shaving the tip of a salmon's penis. The common misconception is that it comes from the scrotum of a bull, not so. The reason for this is unclear, but some attribute it to the bear / bull dryhump cycle. During the annual spawning of the salmon the black bear comes down to the riverbed for a week of easy meals. Naturally, after eating all those salmon, he consumes quite a bit of salmon penis. The taurine build-up sends the bear into an aroused, hallucinogenic state. For reasons unknown, the bear believes that he is a cow for a short period of time and will act as such. Since the black bear does such a good job at imitating a cow, he will often be approached by the bull, which will attempt to mate with it. However, since they are sexually incompatible it leads to little more than dry humpage. Long story short, the bear's friends hear about it and make fun of him for a while, until he comes up with an excuse for his actions, which inevitably will always the same, again for reasons unknown, claiming the giant sack between the bulls legs contains salmon. And that it was a mere attempt at retrieving his salmon. Unfortunately, scientists will accept this explanation, because who would believe a bear is lying. Hence, bull scrotum is filled with salmon, or more to the point, taurine.

By Mvario on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 08:59 pm: Edit

By Admin on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 08:00 pm: Edit

I think I brought redbull/taurine up here last year. I looked it up because I didn't know if it was synthetic or not. And synthesized or not, bull bile freaks me out. From their site:

What exactly is taurine?
Taurine is a conditionally essential amino acid, which naturally occurs in the body. At times of extreme physical exertion, the body no longer produces the required amounts of taurine, and a relative deficiency results. Taurine acts as a metabolic transmitter and additionally has a detoxifying effect and strengthens cardiac contractility.


What does it do? Taurine is an amino acid (protein building block), as well as a component of bile acids, which are used to help absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Taurine also regulates heart beat, maintains cell membrane stability, and helps prevent brain cell overactivity.

Where is it found? Taurine is found mostly in meat and fish. Except for infants, the human body is able to make taurine from methionine—another amino acid.

By Mr_Rabid on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 07:36 pm: Edit

Thyroid gland I beleive.

By Petermarc on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 05:26 pm: Edit

ba da boom! good night everyone, be sure to tip the waitresses, and drive safely....

By Artist on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 05:21 pm: Edit

The rumor I herd (hee-hee) about Red Bull was that the taurine was extracted from a bulls gonads...

I know, it was ballsy of me to say that (ooh...).

By Petermarc on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 05:09 pm: Edit

it's too close to 'urine' to be comfortable...

By Morriganlefey on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 05:04 pm: Edit

If I recall correctly, the taurine in Red Bull is said to be synthesized bull spit (bovine salivia).

Or I could just be unwittingly propagating another urban legend...

- M

By Heiko on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 03:08 pm: Edit

I think absinthe will share the fate of 'vodka red bull'. When Red Bull was still illegal in Germany (just like Absinthe it was illegal because of a substance noone knew if it did anything or not) it became kind of a hype.

Everybody "knew" that the taurine was some kind of steroids or was some kind of amphetamine and that Red Bull was some wicked drink. Then, the cans said "don't mix with alcohol", so everybody "knew" that Red Bull mixed with alcohol must be extremely wicked...

That was how the vodka Red Bull mix became really popular.

Then, Red Bull became legal in Germany because it had been tested and scientists had found that the only active substance in Red Bull was 50mg of caffeine per can. The taurine and all the other stuff that was claimed to have special effects was proven to do nothing at all. People still felt effects...
Now, vodka Red Bull has become just another cocktail, it is sold here and there and people still quite like it, but nothing more.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, December 17, 2001 - 12:34 pm: Edit


That's exactly it. Despite rantings from certain quarters our governments are not run by a bunch of imbeciles (crooks perhaps, but not imbeciles). Prohibitionism is not a vote winner in European countries therefore our governments are simply not going to ban something that is not a significant threat to public health or safety. Sure they say that if it becomes a threat then they'll seriously consider banning it, but they know it won't be a threat.

"Let's see who's still talking about absinthe in a year or two. Probably we are, but not many others!"

Exactly, Absinthe will always remain a niche market product.


By Heiko on Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 01:03 pm: Edit

btw. in the tv documentary I've seen recently, a doctor from the Charité in Berlin (mental institution) worried that they will not be prepared for a lot of people coming in with absinthist mental disorders, which "might be a possible scenario".

I think the poor guy is going to wait a long time for the first addicts of the "absinthe epidemy" to be delivered until disappointed he realizes he has been waiting in vain...

By Heiko on Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 12:56 pm: Edit

I think all this "maybe we're going to ban absinthe again" thing is based on the assumption that absinthe will become immensely popular and then turn thousands of people into addicts, zombie-like creatures who must be sent to mental hospitals...
Everybody's telling that "if this will happen, we are going to...". But, nothing will happen - absinthe will become another popular drink, the drug scene will realize it is nothing they'd want to spend money on, many people even will not like it and never drink it again. Let's see who's still talking about absinthe in a year or two. Probably we are, but not many others!

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 11:22 am: Edit

"Tony Blair’s spokesman is quoted here as saying that he is keeping a close eye on the matter and if it becomes popular, he will ban it."

Not a chance. The UK have recently changed the legal status of cannabis. Cannabis is now classified as a 'Class C' drug (it was a Class B drug). If you're caught in possession you will now not be taken to court but will be given an official police caution at the station, have your gear confiscated and then be sent on your merry way. For most people a caution will in no way affect your life or employment prospects, it is not a criminal conviction and you don't have to declare it to an employer, unless of course you are a teacher etc :-( . In this climate I really doubt if Blair wants to ban absinthe. All this is is making a few grunts in a certain direction to keep a few people on-side, or off his back. The government culture over here is not so puritanical on these issues as in the USA, prohibitionism is not a vote winner over here.


By Artemis on Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 04:32 am: Edit

No flames from me. If you don't like it, you don't like it, but I would urge a wider reading of Crowley, including his poetry ("Book of Lies" is good) and his "Autohagiography" (the autobiography of a saint - you can't say he didn't have a sense of humor) before dismissing him. In any case, Crowley's used toilet paper was better than the writing of the snot who penned that smug review.

By Verawench on Saturday, December 15, 2001 - 06:49 pm: Edit

I concur.... Crowley was a lousy writer. I cringed through "Absinthe: the Green Goddess" and threw "Diary of a Drug Fiend" clear across the room after a couple of pages. Perhaps his occult writings are a bit more worthwhile, but the subject doesn't interest me.

No arguing though that Mr. Hensher is moron.

By Oxygenee on Saturday, December 15, 2001 - 08:27 am: Edit

At the risk of being fried to a crisp by searing jets of napalm, yes, I think Crowley was a pathetically bad writer - a fascinating if deranged historical figure, but not a writer's arse. (takes cover behind asbestos shield...)

By Artemis on Saturday, December 15, 2001 - 07:51 am: Edit

"saying some rather nasty (but true) things about absinthe drinkers past and present"


Rimbaud wrote bad poetry?

Crowley wasn't a good writer?

That snotty bastard has his head so far up his ass, he needs to see a dentist to find it.

By Heiko on Saturday, December 15, 2001 - 12:31 am: Edit

"(...) its little rituals and paraphernalia are also closer to the habits of drug-users than drinkers"

Is that because drinkers take their korn and vodka directly from the bottle without any rituals ?????

By Mr_Rabid on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 11:40 pm: Edit

To quote from the review "Tony Blair’s spokesman is quoted here as saying that ‘he is keeping a close eye on the matter and if it becomes popular, he will ban it’."

UK absintheurs, you know your duty. Make it look like an accident. But don't cut his brake-lines, that's been done to death.


By Verawench on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 09:12 pm: Edit


By Oxygenee on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 09:11 pm: Edit

The Spectator Review can be found at:

By Bob_Chong on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 09:02 pm: Edit

one that I still use is tie-creep (when your neck tie creeps out from under your collar in the back)

By Joalco on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 08:52 pm: Edit


best sniglet ever...

(does anyone else remember those things....?)


(emerging once again from the green-tinged shadows)

By Petermarc on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 01:48 pm: Edit

i keep an electronic dictionary, full of words by merriam-webster, next to my computer at all wasn't in it...damn puritan program...thanks, morrigan...and thank you, david, for exposing my vocabulimia...

By Morriganlefey on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 01:22 pm: Edit

Oh this is lovely all 'round! Thank you, Oxygenee for your discovery and sharing of both the article and the word!!

"Crapulous" - Suffering the effects of, or derived from, or suggestive of gross intemperance, especially in drinking; as in 'a crapulous stomach'. Sick from excessive indulgence in liquor. ('Tis the Hill's motto, is it not??!)

"These were the dregs of their celebratory party: the half-filled glasses, the cold beans and herring, the shouts and smells of the crapulous strangers hemming them in on every side, the dead rinsed-out April night and the rain drooling down the windows."

--T. Coraghessan Boyle, Riven Rock

Crapulous!! - !! - I will use it gleefully and often.

- M

By Oxygenee on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 11:15 am: Edit

Look it up, smartass.

By Petermarc on Friday, December 14, 2001 - 10:50 am: Edit

obviously, and also the only person who knows what 'crapulous' means, too...

By Oxygenee on Thursday, December 13, 2001 - 11:38 pm: Edit

Am I the only reader of The Spectator here? The new 8th December issue has a long and generally positive review of "The Dedalus Book of Absinthe" by one Phil Barker. From the sound of it, it covers similar territory to Conrad's book. The reviewer, after praising the book but saying some rather nasty (but true) things about absinthe drinkers past and present, concludes "...I greatly recommend the tasting notes of current brands at the end, which have a pleasingly crapulous tone". It would be interesting to read these......

The book was published on November 15th, and is available at

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