Tonylee2Although the general reaction to BrumCon was positive (Rich Johnston has a good summation in this week’s crackerjack edition of Lying in the Gutters, more of which later) there was one untoward incident: it seems an expedition to a Goth club proved dangerous for a bunch of comics types, as Tony Lee was the victim of a spiked drink, as recounted at the Engine.

Then we went to the pub and then the Radisson – I knew of a goth night happening about 200 yrds down the road so I dragged a troupe of comic pros including one comic publisher to it. It was actually a lot of fun, but around midnight something tasted wrong in my whiskey and after one sip I got rid of it – I thought it was just the ice melting, but I then blacked out an hour and a half or so and was apparently giving symptoms of someone on either ecstasy or ketamine, depending on who had an opinion. Apparently I went from happily drunk to suddenly chatty, manic dancing and commenting that people had sparkly halos around them. And then I came back to my senses with a jolt and threw my guts up in the toilets.

I was forced to drink orange juice by Dan after having a serious turn for the worse, we weathered it out and I was taken home by Dan and Mike, who were both crashing. luckily I didn’t finish the glass, it seems. But, if it was ketamine, apparently that’s just someone buggering around rather than just wanting to date rape me.

While one is tempted to quickly run down a list of internet stalker types wondering WHO would be so hot to get jiggy with Tony Lee, or someone who really, really doesn’t like STARSHIP TROOPERS, in a later post PHONOGRAM’s Kieron Gillen explains that this is sadly par for the course, and it was just a random drink spiking.

I remember circa 2000 hanging out with the Ads women of Future Publishing of the period, and one of them telling they had a quick straw poll in the office and found that something like 20% of them had been spiked that year.

(There was at least someone actively going around doing it in a malicious fashion at the time. It was a major talking point in Bath.)

Clearly, the numbers there altered my perspective ever since.



  1. It wasn’t “K”. That’s not the effect of “K”. Probably a tab of acid if anything.
    When I was in Dublin I had the same thing happen. It’s actually a common thing in EUROPE I was told. I went back to the bar where it happened and just mentioned it to the bartendar in a kidding way that if felt like I was slipped something and he very plainly said “probably, happens all the time here.”

  2. General consensus is that someone dropped half an E into the drink, or threw a tab in. K just makes you lethargic, apparently. I have no idea. The bulk of my ‘drug filled youth’ days were over fifteen years ago!

    I will say however that I knew a lot of the people there, but it was the first time this night had been held in this bar, and there were a lot of new faces, apparently. It might even have been some nobby goth pissed at the large group of ‘Norms’ arriving, although to be honest we out gothed them for most of the night. I am Darkness.

    Still, alls well that ends well, Dan Boultwood didn’t have his wicked way with me and I’m now apparently Kurt Busiek’s drinks taster in Bristol next year.

    And hell – it’s it’s good enough for Zoe Bartlett in season 4 of West Wing – it’s good enough for me. Of course, I just don’t have a secret service agent to have shot in the head…

  3. Tony, I still say it was in revenge for you taking me there. I am – as you know – a barometer for the success of clubs.

    “Hey look, Budgie’s here… hell, yeah, might as well shut down now. All credibility has just left the building.”