Tristan Hazell lives and works in the shadow of the Westway on Portobello Road. What follows is a collection of observations, reviews, social comment, fiction, poetry, art criticism and more. Much of it is fiction and some of it will offend someone somewhere, I hope.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Nitrous Oxide and how it works.

As a layman I am frequently asked: "How does laughing gas work?"

It is simple really. You decant the cylinder into a balloon then inhale the contents of said balloon while all your mates look on laughing like drains. The resultant feeling of being the centre of attention is said to be euphoric. The euphoria is, however, short lived, soon being replaced by a sense of utter stupidity.






















Carnival detritus.


Recreational use of the gas is not a recent phenomenon. It was discovered in 1772 by British scientist Joseph Priestley and within 30 years the chemist Humphry Davy was using it recreationally.
Davy began inviting his friends round to inhale the gas from oiled silk bags and in doing so started a craze. "The nitrous oxyd [sic], or laughing gas was inhaled by a gentleman who after laughing sprung up in the air to the astonishing height of six feet from the ground," wrote a correspondent in the Times in 1819, describing a popular stage show.

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