Dying for a drink

The urge to get totally obliterated can be fully understood.

But some will go to great – and deadly lengths – to achieve it.

Like the southern Arizona artist who drank homemade liquor laced with the same stuff put in fuel, paint and formaldehyde.

Might as well slam a bottle of nail polish remover while you’re at it.

Bisbee artist among 25 killed by tainted liquor, The Associated Press
Artist Rose Johnson, an English-born painter and muralist who spent more than 20 years working in Phoenix and Bisbee, was among 25 people who died after drinking homemade liquor in Indonesia.

Johnson, 48, was one of at least four foreigners who died in the past two weeks after drinking homemade liquor laced with methanol on the resort islands of Bali and Lombok.

In Indonesia, police spokes-man Gde Sugianyar said that 20 others fell ill and were hospitalized after consuming home-brewed rice liquor, arak.

He said two people had been detained in connection with the poisonings.

Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, can be used for fuel and is an ingredient in formaldehyde as well as plastics and paints.

Alcohol is heavily taxed in Indonesia, the world’s most-populous Muslim nation, and the high prices have spawned a huge black market for wine and liquor.

Speedballs, anyone?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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3 Responses to Dying for a drink

  1. Dave Day says:

    You are a dirtbag! Rose was a wonderful person and will be truely missed in bisbee. She painted amazing and beautiful murals all over town and was loved by all who knew her. You have made her out as just some degenerate. Shame and you!!!

    • Rynski says:

      Hi Dave,

      My post was not meant to put down Rose. It was meant as a warning how people should really think about what they are consuming or putting into their bodies as it can lead to disastrous consequences.

      Rose does not sound like “some degenerate” and I was not intending to portray her as such. She sounds incredibly talented and sweet, which only makes it more tragic. It also serves to enforce the lesson further that people should really be careful about what they drink and not let the prospect of a buzz or obliteration outweigh all.

      I am sorry for your, and southern Arizona’s, loss,

      • Dave Day says:

        Rose (and the other 22 people who died) had no idea the drink had Methanol in it. She died a horrible death, even going blind before being taken to the hospital. You said “Might as well slam a bottle of nail polish remover while you’re at it.” That sounds purposeful and degenerate to me.
        That is a terrible putdown, not a warning. You didn’t show any feeling for Rose or those who knew and loved her – just a cheap judgemental shot at someone you didn’t even know… “Speedballs, anyone?” Where is the compassion in that?

        You don’t know what Rose’s motivation for drinking was. She had just finished writing a book. Perhaps she was celebrating her achievment – not looking for “obliteration”.

        I appreciate your condolence on our loss however,

        Dave Day

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