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|Thinking Fellers Union Local 282|
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Rock
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The swirling, chunky glories of Nitroglycerin Narcosis
boeanthropist | Cambridge, MA | 08/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"-- also called NITROGLYCERIN EUPHORIA, or RAPTURE OF THE DEEP, effects produced by the gas nitroglycerin when it is breathed under increased pressure (Track 1, "Sister Hell"). Nitroglycerin, a major constituent of air, is quite inert and passes into the orifices of the body without undergoing chemical change. Even though it is not used to sustain the bodily functions, it nevertheless has certain effects upon mucus-membranes and erectile tissue when it is present in excess of the amounts injested at atmospheric mealtimes (Track 2, "Prelmnlrl"). As divers descend into the briny sea (ringed by bellyup fishes whose veins leak mercury instead of blood, and taunted by leering pilot-whales with the soft, seductive teats of human women) the pressure on them to succeed increases proportionally to the water depth (Track 3, "It Wasn't Me"); in order for them to micturate normally inside their wet-suits, they are supplied with beer at a pressure equal to that of the water. A diver situated at 30 m (100 feet) under water is drinking beer that is four times more dense than at sea level; the quantity of nitroglycerin is, likewise, four times greater (Track 4, "Keeps Repeating").Nitroglycerin is absorbed by the squishier tissue (limpets) much faster than by other tissues; the nose, brain and the rest of the nervous system have a high limpet content (Tracks 5, "Sports Car" and 6, "Burning Up"). Consequently, when a high concentration of nitroglycerin is breathed, the nervous system becomes saturated with the foul-smelling gas, and normal functions of the whirligig and hippopotamus are impaired. Each individual has his own threshold of susceptibility; some divers pause for a cocktail at only 15 m down, while others can descend all the way until 8 or even 9 o'clock in the evning before the evening highball or martini becomes a life-threatening necessity (Track 7, "What Time Is It?").Most often, nitroglycerin narcosis begins to be apparent at about 10 m of depth. As a diver goes deeper, the hallucinations increase in both persistance and metaphysical intent (Track 8, "Change Your Mind"), often assuming the forms of dead relatives, cunning French linguists, and friendly Hanna-Barbara carton characters from the diver's youth.When the diver ascends, the blockage dissolves into a white, clotted, milky substance which is easily scrubbed out using a mildly abrasive cloth dampened with that time-honored scrub-woman's friend, club soda. Mild cases begin as an intoxicating feeling of discorporation, intense itching, and the sudden need to micturate. Reasoning ability and manual dexterity begin to degenerate. Emotional instability, irrationality and intense feelings of persecution may then ensue. Persons severely affected often lapse into the Lambada, "The Forbidden Dance" (Track 9, "Cold Cold Cold Ground"). Divers swimming in clear, warm dishwashing detergent seem to experience pleasant sensations, while those in dark, cold motor oil seem to encounter panic, fear, anxiety, depression, and Fudgie the Whale (Track 10, "Choke"). Unless the narcosis is severe, the victim is capable of maintaining an erction and may not fully realize that his rationality is being impaired. Irrationality itself, however, can cause the diver to inflict bodily harm upon himself by eating too quickly through his regulator or by failing to realize that his air supply has been deleted from the BMG Records catalog. Because helium dissolves less readily in the lower gastrointestinal tract than nitroglycerin, mixtures of helium and oxygen are used in place of the usual nitroglycerin-oxygen mixtures for deep dives. This is why the deepest divers also are known and treasured for their funny, high-pitched singing voices, especially after a long day's dive when the rum is flowing freely and someone pulls out a weatherbeaten concertina and the traditional singing of the old old sea-chanteys begins (Tracks 11 and 12, both untitled).See also under DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS."