Over the years, intrepid high-seekers have devised a plethora of crafty means of turning their minds to gop. From licking toads to manufacturing molecules, it would seem every dark alley of alternative pharmacy had been mapped. But the American drive to explore and pioneer sometimes uncovers subterranean channels yet untraversed. This is corroborated no better than by the bold psychic spelunker thought that sucking down four to eight ounces of premium cough syrup would effectively hotwire their brain for a good six hours.

And so Robodosing was born. What this first stalwart explorer discovered is that Dextromethorpan Hydrobromide, the active suppressant in cough syrups such as Robotussin DM, is evidently one of the best bangs for the buck the narcotic world can offer. In short order, word of Robodosing, the act of imbibing large volumes of cough syrup for a cheap high, whispered through the invisible conduits of high school and college networks, becoming a cult phenomenon.

Right-minded, God-fearing citizens might ask why in Jove's name anyone would stomach something as nauseating as cough syrup in the name of escape when they could rent a flick at Blockbuster for a buck less. No doubt, most syrups are cloyed with a sickeningly sweet flavor, boasting only a perfunctory hint of "cherry" flavor. But Robodosers defend the drug, citing that it's entertaining, affordable, readily available, and, what's more, entirely legal.

Dextromethorphan is a simple cough suppressant that mops your throat clean of salty phlegm and irritants and, technically, isn't supposed to muddle your brain. But as Jim Hogshire, publisher of "Pills-a-go-go," contends in his article on DM "legions of high-school and college students have formed an entirely different opinion." And he should know too: To drive his point home, the committed Hogshire downed eight ounces of bitter Robotussin and proceeded to write a first-hand account of what life with a reptilian brain is like.

The trippers Melvin interviewed confirmed many of Hogshire's experiences and explained that the drug opened the doors to a Willie Wonka land of bizarre thought processes and deferred expectations. Some of the common experiences trippers detailed included a sense of space and time warping, a rapid fluctuation of energy levels, a greater appreciation for music, and, most commonly, a period of time during which they were absolutely convinced that they were a speedy dwarf.

Different types of cough syrup produce varying results and side-effects, depending on what types of inactive ingredients and the amount of active ingredient are present. Side-effects range anywhere from itching and wooziness to vomiting. Apparently, though, the side-effects rarely manifest themselves with much intensity. If you read the warning on a bottle of cough syrup, you'll find it says that you should seek medical assistance immediately after overdosing. This is most likely just legal ass-covering, though, as medical journals limit the effects of overdose (for people without certain preexisting medical conditions) to such things as "giddy feeling" and "shallow breathing." You get a sense in reading the limited available literature that some people in the medical community are winking as they scribble on their little prescription pads. Never is there a mention of "transformation into the Tin Man possible" or "enables leaping extraordinary distances."

Melvin asked two users to chronicle their experiences, one male advocate (JC) and one female detractor (RS). As everyone reads Melvin, we decided to cleverly conceal their real identities to protect them from parental and employer disapproval. Of course, our publishing their words in no way constitutes a Melvin endorsement of this lame-brained act of high seeking. Cheers!