Pump It Good
It looks like a sphygmomanometer, it talks like a sphygmomanometer (the cat says meow, the sphygmomanometer says pfff pff pfff), it smells like a sphygmomanometer (rubbery and dusty with a hint of hospital stink), so it must be a sphygmomanometer, right?*
Well, yes and no. Things are rarely that simple and sphygmomanometers are no exception.
Yes, it’s a sphygmomanometer, as used by doctors all over the world and in war zones in particular; hence the colour. The last thing you want to happen while taking a patient’s blood pressure, is the enemy unleashing a hail of bullets on you.
And no, since things are defined by their actual use as much as their intended use. The Erka sphygmomanometer –like many of its contemporaries- was and is mainly used by heroin enthusiasts.
It’s the perfect way to conceal your heroin use, which is still frowned upon in many cultures. The armband obviously serves to restrict blood flow, to make those veins pop up. Nine of the ten metal rods in the armband can be replaced by needles –you’ll need one sturdy rod to hook the holder onto, so that it stays nice and tight. The detachable green airbag is the perfect stash for your stock. And the meter part can easily be converted into a cooking spoon by unscrewing the lid and removing the mechanism inside.
Modern electric sphygmomanometers are useless for getting heroin in your system: they automatically start releasing pressure before you get a chance to stick the needle in your vein. Also, most models require a working power outlet to recharge, which is not a commodity generally found in the homes of advanced users. Therefore, as is so often the case, old school is best.
Mind you, the sphygmomanometer can also be used to actually measure blood pressure, so don’t automatically assume your doctor’s a junkie, just because he has a sphygmomanometer. Always check for additional evidence before planning an intervention or party.
And remember: drugs are bad. So I like to think I’ve made this world a better place by deconstructing this specimen.