Festival Season is upon us, Enthusiasts–
It’s almost over, jackass.
–and though you and I are seasoned and scarred explorers of the limits of consciousness, and trustworthy eaters of shit our friends gave us, there are some youngsters and noobs in every crowd who will break the first rule of psychedelics: never take more than you can handle, unless you want to. We’ve all seen these temporarily disabled concert-goers and empathized–a bad trip is a very bad trip, man–but what’s the appropriate way to handle the situation?
Here’s your internet friend TotD’s Top Tips For Helping Someone Having A Bad Trip:
ASSESS THE SITUATION Before you take any action, make sure you’ve asked yourself some questions, such as “Is there anyone else who can deal with this jackass?” and “No one more qualified than me?” and “Really?” and then try to sneak away from the gibbering, sweaty teenager. Let’s call him Teddy.
CHILL THEM HIPPIES OUT Please don’t sprint at Teddy; he doesn’t need that right now. Speak in a calm and soothing voice, so if you are Bobcat Goldthwait or Peter Shapiro, do not talk at all.
GIVE THEM ORANGES AND CIGARETTES That’s what the Hold Steady says to do, anyway. Can’t hurt. (The cigarettes can hurt, and no one should smoke, but the middle of a bad trip is one of those occasions when smoking is called for.)
DON’T FUCK WITH THEM Of course it would be funny. Still, though: be a mensch and don’t mention the Illuminati.
CREATE A SAFE SPACE If bandits or jackals threaten Teddy, defend him. If there is broken glass, clean it up, and I don’t mean just pile it in the corner and cover it up with a piece of paper with BROKEN GLASS written on it: get a dustpan. Protect Teddy from himself, too: if he takes selfies, go through them and delete the ones he looks bad in.
NO HEADBUTTS I shouldn’t have to say this, but people are crazy lately.
NO HEAD, BUTTS Do not have sex with the acid casualty you are nursing in the Chillout Tent. Bad look. Also, do not be implanting any post-hypnotic bullshit in Teddy’s head so he shows up at your house in a week and dances like an Alabama hussy. Not right.
LITTLE SOMETHING FOR THE EFFORT If you take care of someone having a bad trip, you get to steal their wallet. Those are the Rules of the Lot.