Friday, February 9, 2018

Whip-Its and Back Strain

I've found two or three of these emptied boxes of laughing gas canisters and balloons lying around together recently. It's residue left behind after someone has binged on the nitrous oxide contained in the canisters. They're sold as "whipped cream chargers," for cream squirters, but apparently people abuse the gas and I wonder what percentage ever see a container of whipped cream. The pressurized canisters are emptied into balloons first, from which the gas is inhaled.

I learned all this from The Sun so it must be true.

The things we do to amuse ourselves. "We" in the global sense, of course, since I personally have never inhaled nitrous oxide. (I wondered if I would get some when I got my root canal, but no -- I got plain old novocaine. Which is probably better from a dental patient's point of view.) Anyway, the balloons make for a colorful, if slightly sad, photo.

I spent all day yesterday weeding the fiction section, and I'll be back at it today. There are no classes over this two-day period -- and thus, no students -- because parents and teachers are meeting for their biannual conferences. So I'm just trying to keep myself busy, debating, for example, whether students still read Horatio Hornblower novels. (The evidence points to "no." Even when I got one for Christmas, as a kid, I thought they looked boring. I'm sure to modern kids they seem completely prehistoric.) And if they aren't being read, do we need seven of them?

I figured out why my back has been hurting -- I lugged the fig tree across the back garden on Tuesday night to put it back in the shed in preparation for our cold temperatures. Back strain! It seems much better today, fortunately.


  1. Rather than inhaling balloons filled with nitrous oxide, it's no surprise that you prefer to snort cocaine.

  2. What age group of kids attend your school, Steve?

  3. Yes, the things we do to amuse ourselves. Though I don't understand why, when they are through huffing, they can't pick up after themselves.

    I have never read the Horatio Hornblower series, but the guy who wrote those books wrote a lovely memoir called Long Before Forty. He advised would-be writers to give their characters memorable now you know why Horatio is called Hornblower: it's memorable, but strangely unpleasant. P. G. Wodehouse was a genius at giving his characters wonderful names.

    Now you know, lift with your knees, not your back. It's also a nice workout for your glutes.

  4. lift with your knees Steve, not with your back!

  5. We had a dentist in town that we to jail for over nitrous-ing is female patients and violating them in the process. He apparently had a few parties with his help that involved the stuff.

    Baffling really.

  6. Okay. I tried whippets one time. I had a friend who was very fond of the high you get off of them.
    It was not fun for me and once was enough. I do not understand the attraction of them but each to his or her own, right?
    Well- I'm being honest today, aren't I?
    Yes. The fig tree incident could certainly explain your back pain.
    I've never read any of those Hornblower novels. I suppose I never will.
    To be honest.

  7. Completely weird what some people will do for kicks. There's got to be some harm and danger from nitrous oxide.

  8. We find those little nitrous oxide canisters at the marsh pretty often. I'm not sure I understand that attraction. I went to a dentist when I was in my teens, and he was a big fan of nitrous oxide. I remember it made me feel very woozy, and I think I recall losing my sense of decorum and cursing him out when he hurt me. LOL! Glad your back is feeling better.

  9. Oh my, people do come up with a variety of ways to amuse themselves don't they? Over here it's eating Tide soap pods. Imagine that! Apparently teens challenge each other to eat them and they are NOT good for you.

  10. I have inhaled from balloons more than once. There. I admitted it. But it was helium and the only reason was to hear our high voices and laugh insanely. No chemical high, I'm afraid. Such is youth.

  11. The only way I have seen those cannisters used is the purpose for which they were intended, which is very different from inhaling them :) Mmm, whipped cream . . .

    Spellcheck tells me "cannister" is wrong but the dictionary says I can use it. Must be a Canadian spelling because "canister" just looks wrong to me - ha ha

  12. And it's good your back is feeling better. Back problems are nothing to fool around with.

  13. Around my end I have seen these lying on pavements and cul-de-sacs. Dangerous they are as well.

    Greetings from London.

  14. The oral surgeon used laughing gas when I had my wisdom teeth out when I was in college. The one & only time in my life that I've been intoxicated - my mom & the staff were laughing at me. But I don't remember thinking that it was all that fun - of course, I had just had two teeth pulled.

    I had to get some copy paper for work yesterday & decided to get a whole box. I'm not as strong as I used to be - I had a devil of a time picking that thing up! I did try to bend my knees, but it was still pretty dicey. My legs were sore today! But not my back, so I must have done it correctly.

  15. My husband enjoyed those Hornblower novels. He read every one.

  16. YP: So many choices!

    Jennifer: I should clarify I did NOT find these at school. I just found them lying around my neighborhood. (We're a K-12 school, though, just FYI.)

    Vivian: I think part of what turned me off about those books (along with their Napoleonic time period -- SNOOZE) is Horatio's name. It just sounded way too ridiculous to me. I agree -- Wodehouse was much better at the name game! Or even Ian Fleming, as sexist as his inventions were. They were at least amusing.

    Ellen: I know! I know! And I thought I did lift with my knees, but at some point your back HAS to come into it or you can't stand up straight!

    Linda: Yeesh. You just wonder what people are thinking.

    Ms Moon: Well, I appreciate the first-hand account! They just don't look at all fun to me. (Either whip-its or Hornblower novels.)

    Red: Yes, there is a danger factor, apparently, though there are disagreements about the severity.

    Robin: I wondered if they were a thing in the states, too. I don't remember finding them when I lived in New York, but it's possible I just never knew what they were and disregarded them.

    Sharon: I've heard about that Tide pod challenge! Crazy!

    Catalyst: Oh, yes, ,now HELIUM I am familiar with! LOL!

    Jenny: I've never seen them used that way. Dave actually makes his whipped cream by hand!

    Cuban: That's what the Sun says, too, so it must be true! LOL!

    Bug: Wow, I can't imagine just having gas for an extraction. I got knocked out completely when I had my wisdom teeth out!

    37P: You know, I decided to keep a few of them, the ones in the best condition. But I suspect they are, sadly, a thing of the past -- like Lassie or Dudley Do-Right.