Everyone knows drugs are cool. Cocaine, marijuana, heroin—all these drugs are super cool. There’s one downside to drug use though (and only one), and that is the whole thing where it costs money. Not only do drugs cost money, they’re often exorbitantly expensive considering their target market presumably consists primarily of the poverty stricken and unemployed. That’s where jenkem comes in. Jenkem is free and easy to make. Jenkem can be produced from household materials i.e. food. Best of all, jenkem is a perfectly legal substance to make, sell, and use. What is jenkem? Jenkem is old liquid shit and urine huffed from a water bottle. Let’s learn more about this new club drug for the informed street-smart hipster demographic.
Jenkem first came to public attention thanks to several news investigations into the living conditions of Zambian street children. They found that the children enjoyed in order from most popular to least: cannabis, glue, and that most scrumptious of confections, jenkem—with jenkem scraping out just ahead of gasoline. The children scrape feces from sewer pipes and sewage ponds, scoop it into plastic bottles and soda cans with space left at the top for methane to accumulate, let it ferment for a week, and then they huff that shit yum yum. A fifth grader told an Inter Press Service reporter, “Old man, this is more potent than cannabis.” A sixteen year old told the Times of Zambia, “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.” Sounds like a pretty glowing recommendation to me. Who wouldn’t want to embark on such an enriching psychological experience?
Jenkem’s euphoric effects are similar to cocaine ingestion but with auditory and visual hallucinations that stem from hot swampy poop gas cutting off oxygen to the body, a potentially lethal condition known as hypoxia. An article on Salon described jenkem manufacture (heh) as unhygienic—a truly epic example of understatement by the way—and can result in diarrhea, gastrointestinal infection, brain damage, stroke-like symptoms, and destruction of bone marrow. Inhaling massive quantities of decaying organic fecal matter as it turns out is about as healthy as it sounds.
In 2007, a kid with the username Pickwick posted photos of himself using jenkem to an internet forum called TOTSE. This ignited a media firestorm with Midwestern news organizations panicking about this rampant new drug craze in America’s schools. You’ve seen these kinds of reports. They start with, “They call it…” and then lead into some insane thing school kids are allegedly fucked up on. “They call it berryfunk,” or “They call it Paul Giamatti.” To lend further credibility to these reports, an unnamed spokesman for the DEA announced that “there are people in America trying [jenkem].”
Then a local news station in Austin advised parents that “if there is very funky smell or odor, ask.” Hey parents, if the overpowering fragrance of LIQUID SHIT is pouring out of your child’s room, why not stop by and ask what the fuck is going on. Just an idea. Another news station advised parents to check their children’s breath for the scent of feces before they go to bed and tell them, “Hey, if you suddenly and inexplicably get the idea to huff shit from a discarded Evian bottle with a balloon attached to the top, maybe set that thought aside and go see a movie instead.”
Then it turned out no one was using jenkem, that, in fact, the original source Pickwick claimed he had faked jenkem using flour, beer, and Nutella. Pickwick had not anticipated his photos going viral and being picked up by the mainstream media, turning him into the posterboy for poop huffing. “I have deleted the pictures, hopefully no weirdo saved them to his computer,” he wrote. Then a few days later: “Some kid at my school found it and now he is telling a bunch of people. If my parents find out they will kill me … Please you guys, I’m going to be known as ‘that shit huffer.’ Come on just delete the pictures so they won’t be able to prove anything.” If only I could liquefy his humiliation and huff that from a water bottle.
Recently, thanks to all the media hyperbole which amounted to primetime advertising for jenkem, curious copycats have started trying it in bathrooms across the nation. Now, it’s transformed from a tool of desperate African orphans seeking to escape their bleak situations into New York’s hottest club drug. Young people who previously used ecstasy, ketamine, or cocaine have switched to the cheap simple pleasures of poop in a bag, sneaking it into clubs in their pants. Certain clubs have been specifically designated “jenkem clubs,” the strong odor of shit wafting out the entrance in a thick invisible cloud. All of these things sound true because they are true. Don’t bother Googling to check it out. You can trust me.
Perhaps you heard about jenkem from friends who used to use mushrooms or acid, but got tired of dealing with drug dealers and the fear of getting caught. Maybe they called it something else like “butt hash” or “liquid shit I huff from a bag.” Well, it’s time to get onboard the poop huffing train before you get left at the station, buddy. All your friends are doing it, and you don’t even know it because they don’t think you’re cool enough. They’re getting together to huff butt hash without you, you fucking loser. They think you’re too uptight to join them in the public park/ highway rest stop/ campsite bathroom. Why don’t you fucking grow up? Loser. Just try it. What are you? Scared? Fucking grow up and try it. Loser. How can you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it? You think you’re better than me because you don’t huff this shit? Fuck you, you fucking loser.