Why Do You Jenkem?

You guys, we have a lot of fun with poor people around here.

The call is coming from inside the diary!

Maybe this is a lame cop-out (or the sad little wizard behind the green curtain), but I think a lot of it comes from a deep well of fear/empathy of/for the uncomfortable realities of life on this bullshit and unfair planet. Like, when I call Pépé #3116 and ask him how his day is going and he says, “Great. When I wake up in the morning I stretch out my elbows, and if they don’t hit wood, it’s a good day.” It’s like that. See poor people, we are laughing with you.

You are laughing, right? Because a lot of people keep telling me that you have to laugh to keep from crying (I say why not both?!)

But you guys, jenkem?

Jenkem or jekem is an inhaled gas which can result in dissociation and hallucinations. It is made from fermented sewage. According to Fountain of Hope, a non-profit organization, Jenkem is used by street children in Lusaka, Zambia as a substitute for ordinary inhalants such as glue or petrol.

Its effects last for around an hour and consist of auditory and visual hallucinations. A 16-year-old boy describes his preference for jenkem over other inhalants “With glue, I just hear voices in my head. But with Jenkem, I see visions. I see my mother who is dead and I forget about the problems in my life.” The raw materials are plentiful and freely available in the form of fecal matter from the open sewers of Lusaka. This is then fermented in plastic bottles and the fumes are inhaled.
(wikipedia via BuzzFeed)

Yoops, I just killed myself.

Fuuuuck. Jenkem. Inhaling the fumes of fermented diarrhea to see visions of your dead mother is the new hotness.

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