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Celebrity Slam - One toad over the line

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Anyone who has read this space with regularity is aware of the basic equation for determining which items get included. Now, these rules are tweaked for assorted subgenres – your Twitter beefs, your celebrity romances – but what we’re talking about today is your basic scorn and mockery.

Essentially, it boils down to this: the outlandishness of the action is inversely proportional to the fame of the one who performs said action. So if we’re talking about someone very famous – an A-list actor, chart-topping musician, All-Star athlete – then the action needn’t be all that outlandish for it to make this space. On the flip side, if someone is niche famous – a reality star or a third-tier country singer – then the action better be good and bizarre for it to make that week’s Slam.

“So how outlandish is this week’s action?” Glad you asked, and I’ll answer it thusly – the person we’re talking about stars in one of those home renovation shows on HGTV.

Yeah – we’re gonna get WEIRD.

Christina Haack, star of the HGTV reality series “Flip or Flop,” caught our attention with a recent Instagram post in which she waxed poetic about the myriad benefits she derived from smoking Bufo toad on the advice of a “spiritual coach” that she hired. Haack claimed that the experience “basically reset my brain and kicked out years of anxiety in 15 minutes.”

Told you – weird.

She went on at great length in a subsequent Instagram Story video, wherein she offered up a rambling elaboration of the experience, acting somehow surprised that people were focusing on the fact that she smoked reptile venom before self-seriously saying “Smoking toad venom is a life changing experience and different for every person. It can't be summed up in a post.”

She went on to attach a video where Tony Robbins and Mike Tyson spoke about their experiences with the drug.

As you might imagine, someone as far down the fame ladder as Christina Haack needs to do something pretty wild to get any attention from us here at Celebrity Slam. It would be one thing if she was a Gaines or a Property Brother, but no – if you’re a 38-year-old real estate developer who hosts “Flip or Flop,” you’re going to need to do some crazy s—t to make it into this space.

So … mission accomplished, we guess?

Look, we’re no strangers to foreign substances here. And we’re not here to judge people for the choices they make in that regard. If you’re being safe and thoughtful with your choices and not hurting anyone else, then you go ahead and do you. But Carlos Castaneda-adjacent shamanic bullcrap like this CAN hurt other people, making them think that lighting a poisonous reptile on fire and breathing the fumes will somehow fix all your problems. It’s the kind of magical thinking that gets unsuspecting people in trouble.

Because make no mistake – Bufo toad venom has some legitimately powerful psychedelic properties. And psychedelics can be very dangerous if not treated with mindfulness and respect; any old head will tell you that set and setting – where you’re at, both physically and in your head – are extremely important when you deal with this kind of stuff. And while we can’t say for certain, it seems likely to us that sitting on a beanbag chair next to some hippie bulls—t artist you found on Craigslist because you want a quick fix for your problems ain’t it.

Again – we’re no squares. We recognize the therapeutic possibilities presented by some substances. Enough leftover puritanical prohibitions are falling by the wayside for us to start really exploring those possibilities in a meaningful way without fear of prosecution or persecution. But getting on Instagram and saying “I inhaled this toad for 15 minutes and now my brain is fixed” is not the way to encourage healthy behaviors.

All that said, we sincerely hope that Ms. Haack’s issues have indeed been fixed and that this isn’t all some self-deluded placebo effect that will leave her back where she started. We hope that, but we’re not holding our breath.

Whatever. Croak ‘em if you’ve got ‘em.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 July 2021 07:40


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