For reasons I shall not go into, there is a copy of Vice magazine in my flat, which I was reading before I left for work this morning. All articles in Vice magazine, as you will know if you have ever picked one up, are about ketamine parties in Parisian slums, or gangsters getting tattoos in prison, so I was unsurprised to find myself glancing at an article titled ‘How To Buy a Gun: from the Milano Mafia’. I was glancing at it just before I left the house, as I was doing up my shoelaces. I read the following sentence with some surprise.
"We still need the gun, but it’s too early. There’s a change of plan: we’re going to Beppe’s place, to prepare the cuts he’s going to sell tonight. In his basement, Beppe takes a coffee can, full of beans. But something is strange. They don’t smell like coffee. In fact, they’re pure cocaine, pressed. Beppe cleans about 10 beans with vinegar, then he crushes them and mixes them with mannite, the cutting agent, resulting in about 40 baggies ready to be sold"Blimey, I thought. Fancy that. I picked up my bag and left the house, shaking my head as I wandered down the hill. Who’d have thought it? I mean, I know they cut drugs with other things, but… Live and learn.
Half an hour later I was sat on the train, troubled. Is it possible, I think to myself, that I misread that article? I’ll check when I get to work. So I do. Happily, it turns out that Vice magazine archive all their articles, so it took just a moment to locate the piece and correct my mistake. Mannite. They cut the drug with mannite. I’d misread it.
I’m a bit disturbed that for a good half hour I was prepared to believe that cocaine is cut with Marmite.