Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The guy with the Spanish Fly

A black market haunts Dorchester. Illicit substances are being offered up for sale on street corners in Field's Corner and Codman Square by shady characters who don't have pharmacist licenses. Potential customers looking to spice up their love lives or attract someone of the opposite gender, or the same gender, are warned not to trust street vendors offering love potions. What you think you are buying may not be what you are getting.

I was riding my bicycle along Freeport Street last evening and one such suspicious character waved and hissed, "Psssssssst!" I slowed down. "I think I've got something you might want,"he said and he held out a vial, cupping his hand so that only I could see its contents. "Pure Spanish Fly, the best kind," he said. "Guaranteed," he added, flashing the USP label promising 10mg of powdered lytta vesicatoria per tablet.

I demurred, "I don't think I'll have much use for that. I rely on my natural animal magnetism." The pusher wasn't so easily dissuaded. "This is a hot ticket," he said, "It's the real deal. Look, bub, all the real players are buying off of me and scoring like Madoff if he were a gigolo. I have so much repeat business, I'm running out of stock." I said I'd think about it. I told him I was headed up to Codman Square and if I changed my mind between here and there I'd be back. "No need for a return trip, my friend," he said. "I've a partner in Codman and his merchandise is just as good. Go to the corner of Washington and Melville. Ask for Squinty. He'll set you up."

As often happens, I got distracted and ended up in Neponset rather than Codman so I never met Squinty, not that I ever intended to. When I got home though, I did a little due diligence. It turns out that Spanish Fly is illegal in the United States and, labeling notwithstanding, most preparations don't contain what they promise.

Today's lesson: don't buy drugs off the street. There's another lesson too: don't buy illegal drugs, but that isn't demonstrated very well by this story. Dorchester is a neighborhood of many temptations.

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