It’s really easy to buy all kinds of junk online or in the store without much thought. But a little training can change that. Over on SwissMiss, Tina Eisenberg
Photos by Bruno Bayley—the people featured in the photos are not the same people featured in the stories
This post originally appeared on VICE UK.
The only time I got too high I was 19. My boyfriend and I had gone to Covent Garden to smoke a joint, I took two tokes, and it just hit me the completely wrong way. I started to feel like I was sinking and, before long, I was fully laid out on the cold ground, unable to move. Trying to open my eyes felt like trying to lift boulders. I was convinced I was going to die outside Slam City Skates. Eventually, he had to carry me into a cab and take me back to my parents' house, where I had to sneak in and climb two flights of stairs on all fours to my attic bedroom because I still couldn't stand.
But that's the thing: Anyone can get too high. It doesn't matter whether you are a lightweight or a seasoned stoner; sometimes it just creeps on you. Your vision blurs, the room starts spinning, you can't move or speak, and you just sort of collapse onto the nearest soft fabric.
I spoke to some people who have thoroughly embarrassed themselves because of the devil's glorious lettuce.
OK, I know this sounds like something from a Seth Rogen movie, but I swear it's true. I was in Amsterdam with my boyfriend, and we were heading back to our 4-star hotel, fancy as fuck. I had the munchies, so I bought a chicken caesar salad on the way. When we got to the hotel, I asked for cutlery, and they said they would deliver it to the room. A few minutes later, a man with a thick Chinese accent came up and tried to give me teabags and milk. I was trying to say, "Can I have a fork?" and he kept going, "A fuck? A fuck?" I started to laugh, and then my head started spinning. Then I fainted and collapsed on the floor, which caused the room door to slam in his face.
I came to on the floor with the guy knocking and shouting: "HELLO, HELLO, HELLO, HELLO." This went on for at least 30 seconds, as my boyfriend was too stoned to register what was happening. He got me up onto the bed, made up a lie about how I have this condition that makes me faint, and sent the guy away, saying we didn't need the fork. By then I was sweating and throwing up everywhere—there was vomit in my hair, and I was star-fished on the bed, stark naked. The next time I came to, the man was inside the room, looking horrified, and trying to cover up his eyes with a fork. We'd forgotten to put the lock back on the door.
The year I moved to London, I went over to a friend's, specifically to hot-box his tiny bathroom with four other people. We had two joints in rotation. This was very early in my weed-smoking career, so I was fully fried after about ten minutes and asked to be let out. They refused, in the interest of keeping the fumes in the room, so I had to slump on the toilet with a candle in my lap and wait it out. By the time it was over, I was over, too. I don't remember anything beyond this point, but I've since been told I was carried into the garden for fresh air, where I puked, asked where I was, and puked again out of horror that I was in England.
When I was a teenager, I used to live in a very boring suburb outside Leeds. My best friend lived a bit closer to the center of the city than I did and had really chill parents, so on Fridays after school we'd all go 'round to hers. One time, we invited some boys from our school over, too. I heard word that the guy I had a crush on was coming. These guys had some weed and rolled a joint, which I thought was amazing because it was probably the first joint I had ever seen in my life.
I had a few tokes and went upstairs with seasick legs, thinking a tactical vom might sort the situation out. I spent about an hour clinging onto the toilet, feeling the most hammered I'd ever felt—although I'd probably only had one beer before this point. The next morning, I woke up on my friend's parents' bed, which I had thrown up all over, feeling absolutely mortified. My friend told me that while I was passed out the guy I liked had come in and tucked me in while I was covered in my own vomit. We never hooked up.
It was a summer night, and I'd been out with some friends just drinking and smoking for hours. At around 2 AM, I decided to head to my girl's house via a bagel shop. In my extremely waved state, I heavily overestimated how much I could eat and got carried away. I got back to hers and smoked another joint while eating an apple crumble and custard that I'd got to-go and was refusing to share with anyone else. Two bites in, I started to feel a bit green and clammy, the room started spinning, and I knew I was done for. She had a few friends around, so I tried to slip away without being noticed. I just sent her a text saying "imma go nap in the toilet x." I threw up and passed out on the cold floor tiles that, by this point, were my savior and lord. The worst part was that the bathroom was small, and I'd blocked the door with my unconscious body, so my girlfriend had to break the door down, and everyone spent the rest of the night climbing over me to use the toilet. I crept out the next morning too embarrassed to face her.
I was playing with my band at a Cambridge May Ball, and after my set, I got talking to this girl. By the end of the night, we were both wasted and went back to hers to smoke a joint. I'm still not entirely sure why, but while she was in the toilet, I got completely naked and got into her bed. She looked a bit surprised but laughed it off and asked me to roll a joint, handing me her weed. Wanting to impress her, I put loads of weed in the spliff, and we started smoking. Three tokes in and the room starts spinning, and I realized I'm going to throw up, but I was trying to style it out because I haven't even kissed this girl yet. I could feel all the color draining from my face, and she asked me if I needed to puke. I told her I was fine, but it was pretty obvious that I wasn't. She took me to the bathroom and waited outside while I threw up, still stark naked. She was just giggling at the whole thing. Shockingly I managed to pull it back—she gave me a spare toothbrush, and we actually went on to have sex against all odds.
I was 18 and clueless when it came to edibles. My friends and I baked some brownies with about a quarter of an ounce of weed in them and ate them all within ten minutes because we were dumb as shit. At first it started with a nice floaty feeling, but it quickly changed to a really intense, terrible high. I couldn't move at all and felt like my body was stuck to the sofa with superglue. I texted my mom and told her I was going to die and that I loved her. Then I spent the next two hours trying to feed the crocodile on my Lacoste polo shirt. All jokes aside, it was fucking terrifying.
Image courtesy of Capcom
Some years ago, I decided I would hunt monsters.
Now, whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing in front of game shop windows, regarding the latest and upcoming releases with tired eyes, I feel the urge to return to Monster Hunter's Hunting Hub. This is my substitute for the Rocket League hat trick or Overwatch killstreak. If only others knew the staggering brilliance of the hunt, they would cherish it as I do.
Despite the July-released Monster Hunter Generations getting some stellar reviews, it hasn't quite caused the rumble that 4 Ultimate did a year ago (this was VICE's contribution). If, like me, you poured upwards of 300 hours into 4U, then maybe you are reticent to abandon your G-rank gear and pay $40 for the chance to start at the bottom again. Perhaps you're entirely new to the series, and feel like the prospect of whacking giant beasts with improbably sized weapons isn't enough to sustain a game for a prolonged period of time (you're wrong). Either way, Generations is the perfect jumping on point for this 12-year-old series—and here's why.
First and foremost, all of the 14 weapons in MHG are, in a word, incredible. From the Gunlance to the Bow, right through to the signature Great Sword and transforming Switch Axe, each is more adaptable than ever thanks to the new Styles and Arts. Fans of games like Bayonetta and Dark Souls should feel their ears burning at the mention of MHG's duels, where split-second decisions and deep knowledge of each weapon's complexities offer tantalizing opportunities for mastery and showmanship.
Battles are gruelling affairs pitting tiny hunters against fast, feral beasts. While the Souls series is frequently lauded with bringing poise and cautious timing back into action games, Monster Hunter has been quietly perfecting its own blend of melee magic for well over a decade. Stamina plays a huge part, and it'll drain as you sprint to dodge the huge swooping arc of a Rathian's dive, or the impudent charge of a Royal Ludroth—but positioning is even more important.
"Fights in games are rarely so comedic or as exhilarating as they are here."
If you've ever cheered because you've perfectly avoided an unfair, arena-covering attack in a Souls game, then you'll be jumping out of your seat when you skillfully sidestep the titanic lunge of some scaly titan, only to pivot on the spot and crack it right in its ugly, dumbfounded face. Every fight in MHG is a combination of these moments of joyous lucidity and riotous sequences of desperate hacking, running, diving and flailing as you try and get the upper hand—fights in games are rarely so comedic or as exhilarating as they are here.
The previously mentioned Arts and Styles in Generations push the combat beyond previous incarnations, allowing you to put a real personal stamp on your fighting. The character class you select at the beginning—Guild, Aerial, Striker or Adept—comes with its own advantages and move set modifications. Guild is the all-round style, whereas Aerial puts the focus firmly on getting off the ground, increasing the chances of mounting monsters while assigning flashy combo finishers to the climax of brutal aerial slams.
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Striker allows the equipping of up to three of the new Arts – unique moves that allow the player to do extravagant things such as hair-trigger dodges and cosmic weapon swings. Finally, Adept is all about waiting until the last second to react, allowing you to duck away from or even parry the mightiest of monster attacks. Never before have I been clotheslined by a berserk mountain ape while dashing towards them at sub-light speeds on a jet of fire from my Gunlance; but thanks to the Arts in MHG, I have. An unexpected bucket list entry comprehensively ticked off.
"Hunters hurtle across the screen, dashing and flying and exploding all over the place, as monsters caterwaul in the middle of the chaos."
The spectacle carries through to online. Monster Hunter's crowning triumph is its near seamless four-player co-operative hunting, with the focus firmly on team play and camaraderie. With the Styles active, hunters hurtle across the screen, dashing and flying and exploding all over the place, as monsters caterwaul in the middle of the chaos. Fights reach huge crescendos where a downed foe winds up on the receiving end of attacks that shower the landscape with sparks and great swathes of light and blood.
Even with all these tweaks to the hunters, the monsters of Monster Hunter are still the stars of the show, and there are 71 of them in Generations. Plenty of the 4U crowd returns, but there are some vicious new additions: the terrifying and awe inspiring Glavenus—a T-Rex with an almighty bladed tail—and the eerie Malfestio—a sapphire owl that can turn its head 180 degrees to catch you sneaking attacks in. The line-up has been pushed to its absolute bursting point.
'Monster Hunter Generations', launch trailer
And there's something to be said for just how much is squeezed onto this miniscule cartridge (size wise, we're talking just a pinch over 1.5GB). At times it's a veritable wonder, like the grandest of action games has been shrunk down through some illicit, arcane wizardry. Alongside its vast bestiary, the environments are filled with painstaking detail. At night, vast constellations sparkle and shimmer in the sky, while in the crater of a volcano the screen gets hazy with the suffused heat that gives the cooling magma its glossy sheen. The artistry and care bleeds through everywhere, right down to the twitchy dances that your Felyne Palico companions perform as you roast a juicy steak.
As someone who has never understood the appeal of MMOs, Monster Hunter was the game that got me like Odysseus, tearing at my restraints, desperate to sink hours in at every opportunity. It is, in essence, a never-ending fetch quest, but one that never grows repetitive. There is no final hunt, though the storied Elder Dragons present a ferocious late-game challenge. Progression is entirely personal. There's always a new piece of gear to forge, and some rare item needed to complete your dream weapon, but beyond that Monster Hunter is about honing your own skills rather than ticking off arbitrary demands.
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I've put well over 1,000 hours into the series since it first came to the 3DS with 2011's Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and I still find fighting a Rathian utterly riveting. In Generations, the Queen of the Sky twists and thrashes with unbridled vitality. The series' most iconic monster has never been so furious that you've stepped onto her turf, and it's a brilliant endorsement of how much Generations improves on its predecessors.
A progress reset may be a hard sell for anyone so deep into a prior iteration, but Generations is a rare gift. It's a white whale that can never be slain, a personal challenge that is always out of grasp, an artefact of wonder that exudes passion and quality from every facet of its improbably small cart. Sincerely, there's never been a better time to sharpen your blades and join the hunt.
Monster Hunter Generations is out now for the Nintendo 3DS. Find more information here.
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I do not mean that my soul has blackened, since that ship sailed long ago. My other choice for a profession was lawyer, for god’s sake. I mean that my actual, physical body is a broken husk.
Donald Trump spokeswoman and chief apologist Katrina Pierson appeared on MSNBC Wednesday to indicate that is simply ludicrous to think that Trump suggesting that “Second Amendment people” could “do something” about Hillary Clinton could be interpreted as a threat or an incitement to violence. MSNBC’s Kate Snow told Pierson she was “speechless, trying to follow your logic.”