Snow Blowing In Western Australia


The recent demise of another beloved pop idol has left me wondering about the circumstances. I suppose there’ll be an autopsy and I suppose there’ll be a report  but I also suppose there’ll be a fair bit of media footling about…

My own experience with cocaine has been limited, but I did once have my hands on 1.58 Kilos of the stuff…

My father -in-law was a dentist, as I was. When I was a student he purchased a practice in Victoria Park, a Perth suburb. About 1971 or so. I helped him out in cleaning the place and in refurbishing the old equipment for a more presentable surgery. No little thing, this, as with the foolish confidence of the ignorant I disassembled a 1950’s Japanese dental chair and unit and repainted it in powder blue. And a damn nice job it turned out to be. Dental units in this days were a mass of electromechanical parts and frequently had hydraulic-powered delivery systems reminiscent of naval gun turrets. I loved ’em and am glad I never had to use one.

Any rate, this old surgery had a dental laboratory attached to it, with lots of old gold scrap and dust buried in the floorboards. We vacuumed it all up, panned out the dirt, and took the result down to Matthey Garret to sell. It was a considerable sum. I scored a centrifugal casting machine and a set of 1940’s acrylic chisels that were used to finish dentures. The casting machine was eventually sold, but the chisels were of such good quality and form that I kept them all through my now dental career. Some tools are just made right!

The cocaine? In the drugs cabinet, under neither lock nor key. 7 eight-ounce bottles of the stuff made by Boots Pharmaceutical in England. Perfectly pure medical grade white cocaine powder. Not a good anaesthetic for dental purses but useful for nasal surgery. One wonders about it in a suburban dental practice, but given the age of the equipment and the lab, it was probably left over from the 40’s. The glass bottles had screw-top aluminium seals. They had the Boots label and contents information pasted on the front and were contained in grey cardboard boxes.

We unscrewed the tops, poured the 1 .58 Kilos of cocaine down the toilet, flushed it, and rinsed out the bottles. That was a serious mistake.

We should have kept the empty bottles and filled them with caster sugar. That way ants couldn’t get into the sugar.



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