You’re in a bar and you’ve got a bet going: “Bet you I can name at least ten episodes of The Simpsons in which drugs play a role.” Remembering more than five things is a feat for most people, but you said you could name them, so you pull out your Niermann and Sack, which lists eleven such episodes (a dime bag plus a pinch?).
Or suppose you and your pals want to know what effects cannabis has on animals. Niermann and Sack have a list for you, including goldfish:
“First appear dead in the water. After half an hour they begin to convulse; bit by bit the jerky movements give way to normal swimming.” It’s different for fish.
What if you’re stuck on a desert island with only a nice bundle of da kine buds and a crate of tree fruit? Lucky you’ve got (or at least have read) your Niermann and Sack; they list several ways to turn an apple into a pipe (I’d like to point out that a potato, being generally denser than an apple, makes for a dryer, more satisfying smoke). They even list ways to smoke out of a hole in the dirt. The universe, in other words, is smokable.
The Curious World of Drugs and Their Friends is very much an entertaining miscellany, but it does contain some actual writing: the “friends” series, minibiographies of the rich and famous. Here’s Robin Williams: “Cocaine is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money.”
The Curious World of Drugs and Their Friends is a good, old-fashioned cabinet of stoned curiosities.