December 1, 2020

"The male is barricaded inside and not answering the door. Everyone else is outside the house. They are trying to get him to open up."

Said the dispatcher quoted in "Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh was 'barricaded' in a shed when blaze broke out, as colleagues suspect his addiction to burning candles, Grey Goose vodka, and nitrous oxide whippets triggered the explosion that led to his death" (Daily Mail). 
Recently... nitrous oxide had become his drug of choice, taking it in the form of 'whippets' straight from the cartridge of a whipped cream dispenser. 'He would take dozens of them a day,' the colleague said. 'He lived a crazy, eccentric life. The drugs often made him hallucinate, he became paranoid — that could explain why he barricaded himself in,' he added. 'Tony was very fond of candles. He liked to set the atmosphere.' 'The guess is that he managed to ignite one of the nitrous oxide canisters which caused a small explosion that killed him.'... 

73 comments:

Darrell said...

Minor details.
Hope that doesn't affect Althouse's take on this.

Michael K said...

Darwin's law in action.

Narr said...

Shades of Richard Pryor.

Narr
Wow. Just wow.

Another old lawyer said...

So rich celebrities lead different lives than you and me? Huh.

Darrell said...

He would have been fine if he sent that $600 million+ to me. If you can't afford whipped cream cannisters, you can't abuse them.

Achilles said...

He was a visionary and people like that tend to have behaviors that most people don't understand. Often self destructive behaviors.

On the other hand it would be a shock to me at this point if the media reported something honestly.

I just don't see any purpose in the story one way or the other so maybe it was true.

RMc said...

nitrous oxide had become his drug of choice, taking it in the form of 'whippets'

When a problem comes along...

Darrell said...

Now he will be a permanent Democratic voter.
So there is that.

Joe Smith said...

All that money...what a terrible choice of drugs.

Doesn't the can have to be empty to do this?

Did he pay people to suck all of the cream out first?

Yes, I know the above line sounds dirty...

Achilles said...

Joe Smith said...

All that money...what a terrible choice of drugs.

Doesn't the can have to be empty to do this?

Did he pay people to suck all of the cream out first?

Yes, I know the above line sounds dirty...


Let the can settle, then turn it upside down and the gas is on the bottom and gets pushed out without mixing for a second or so.

rehajm said...

...taking it in the form of 'whippets' straight from the cartridge of a whipped cream dispenser

Straight from the cartridge? You're supposed to screw the cartridge into the whipped cream dispenser, then use the dispenser to inflate a balloon, dummy.

Darwin award, indeed...

Lurker21 said...


Idiot. The cream is the fun part. But Cool Whip is better.

And a whippet is also a dog. Maybe that's what Biden was playing with.

And on Biden and the dog: How does this not make him look more Mr. Magooish than he already looks?

gilbar said...

if you have $600 Million , you should be just buying the cans of Redi-Whip
You hold them straight up and you get one hit. Pressure is JUST RIGHT for inhaling
and no chance of fire; 'cause there's only the one hit

Sure, it's Wasteful... But you've got $600 Million!

Ann Althouse said...

I had a root canal a few months ago and I asked for the nitrous oxide but got a higher dose than anything I'd gotten from a dentist before. I thought it felt really horrible. I hated the feeling and asked for it to be turned down. I feel sorry for anyone who wants to feel like that.

gilbar said...

and NO you can do it to a full can (even if the full can is at the Quiky Mart*, and it's 3 am)


full can is at the Quiky Mart* does this tie into some of gilbar's encounters with police? Well, duh!

rhhardin said...

Les Barricades mysterieuses. I used to play it in high school.

Kay said...

I’m skeptical about so many aspects of this article.

Nevertheless, I’m usually a big fan of the writing style in the Daily Mail, whether or not they print the truth.

Joe Smith said...

I had friends in high school who worked at an ice cream store.

They told me they used to do this all the time.

It sounded so stupid I never did it.

They were nice guys but, unlike Hsieh, not the smartest people around...

Joe Smith said...

"and NO you can do it to a full can (even if the full can is at the Quiky Mart*, and it's 3 am)"

Or so you've been told...

: )

PHenry said...

Death by Laughing Gas?
Funny way to go.

MayBee said...

When I lived in Notting Hill, the streets would be piled up with these little canisters after the Notting Hill Carnival. That thing was a menace.

Robt C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Self medicating your mind to make everything feel good is never that a smart thing to do. Too bad he was stupid.

Jack Klompus said...

I think the last time I did a whip-it was at a Grateful Dead show, and the music still sucked.

RobinGoodfellow said...

“... burning candles, Grey Goose vodka, and nitrous oxide whippets ...”

Sounds like a dangerous combination.

Titus said...

The crowns season 4 soundtrack is to die for. 80’s love fest. Working out at the gym right now to girls on film. Duran Duran Diana’s fave group. My too back then! Time to work. Ready for some tricep heat.

Tits!

Clyde said...

Lifestyles of the Rich and Degenerate.

Bill Peschel said...

Edwin Arlington Robinson nailed it a century ago with "Richard Corey." Having wealth, talent, fame, your dreams fulfilled, mean nothing if you're empty inside.

One has nothing to do with the other.

Having wealth makes it even worse, because you won't hit rock bottom hard enough to get you to change your ways.

mockturtle said...

I thought whippets were dogs.

Big Mike said...

Is there a chemist who can check me on this? I understand that nitrous oxide is not flammable, but at temperatures on the order of 500 degrees or so it becomes an oxidizing agent that would act to accelerate combustion. (Not bad, considering my last college chem course was circa 1967 — and IIRC it was p-chem thermo.)

mockturtle said...

Big Mike: That's basically correct.

RK said...

if you have $600 Million , you should be just buying the cans of Redi-Whip

Buying cases of Reddi-Whip looks suspicious unless you're really fat.

RK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RK said...

I have a can of Reddi-Whip left over from Thanksgiving, and I just took a big shot of "dairy whipped topping". Yummy.

Annie C. said...

And the 70s are back again. Gotta find my platform shoes.

Fritz said...

I bought it in the economical 300 cf bottle when I was working.

J. Farmer said...

Nitrous oxide dependence is very rare. The classic inhalant abuser is an alienated teenage or young adult male. I suspect Hsieh was affected by much broader psychopathology than mere substance abuse. Outside of rave scenes, nitrous is pretty much a street urchin drug. With Hseih's money and resources, it's mindboggling that it became his drug of choice.

I tried it once at a rave in the late 90s where it was kept in small balloons. I hated the experience. From my perspective, if someone is abusing inhalants or OTC medications like Robitussin or Coricidin, you're likely looking at an utterly detached, isolated, and alienated human being. Emotional pain may not be as evident as physical pain, but it's just as real and often much more debilitating.

DavidUW said...

started a company, made lots of money, employed lots of people, didn't seem so bad.

too bad about the addiction problems.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

I remember the first time I saw a news story about whippet abuse, I thought the woman in question was beating her dogs. The story didn't make much sense..

Drago said...

"The male is barricaded inside and not answering the door. Everyone else is outside the house. They are trying to get him to open up."

This is what occurs anytime I am left alone in the house with all the rib-meat fajitas.

And I'll do it again.

AZ Bob said...

The initial report was that he was playing with his dog.

Iman said...

Cool Whip! Cool Whip! Cool Whip! Cool Whip!
I know a cat shoulda really used the Cool Whip!
I know a cat shoulda really used the Cool Whip!

Iman said...

These were known way back in the 80s to result in brain damage if used too often.

Rusty said...

RMc wins the thread

bagoh20 said...

He did a lot more good than most of us, or even most insanely wealthy people. Everybody has their addictions and sources of comfort. He simply screwed up with the fire safety, and that tends to be an existential mistake even if it's just a momentary slip.

One of us could be jogging through the park and slip and smack our head on a rock. It wouldn't mean there was something wrong with us, but people would make that argument anyway. Personally, I think the worst way to go is in a hospital bed after a risk free life.

walter said...

Look for pumpkin pie crusts.

Joe Smith said...

BTW, the dispatcher should be fired and assigned to diversity training for presuming 'he' was a 'male.'

Naughty...

Joe Smith said...

"whippet"

We are Devo.

boatbuilder said...

In a shed?
The guy had $600 million. I assume the shed wasn’t anything like mine.
If it was my shed the Grey Goose and a rake would have killed or at least badly maimed him before he got to the whippets.

MadisonMan said...

Burning Grey Goose Vodka? Burning whippets? Whatever happened to clear writing?

Bob Boyd said...

Candles and Grey Goose? A whippet exploded? Come on. That sounds totally made up.

He must have had some dirt on Hillary. It's the only thing that makes sense at this point.

Howard said...

What Bago said.

gilbar said...

J Farmer talked about.... abusing inhalants
Farmer? do kids still sniff paint thinner et al? It used to be a reoccurring problem

(an important part, is not to know any long term users.... Why do you think they call it: dope?)

Hercules, not that one though said...

I'm a blue collar, knuckledraggin' kind of guy, and I come here to find out what the eggheads are talking about. This post by Ann, doesn't fit. I'm pondering it, but don't get what grabbed her attention. I think it may be that the guy was a 'CEO', and exploded in a orgasm of Reddi-Whip. Ann likes to be provocative. I dig this girl.

BTW...Bruce Hayden was on fire yesterday. I appreciate his use of paragraphs now.

Joe Smith said...

"Farmer? do kids still sniff paint thinner et al? It used to be a reoccurring problem"

All I know is I took model-making classes in college (industrial design), and after a few hours of Bondo and paint it was difficult to remember your name, let alone where your car was parked : )

J. Farmer said...

@gilbar:

Farmer? do kids still sniff paint thinner et al? It used to be a reoccurring problem

Huffing has been trending downwards for at least the last 20 years. Rarely do I see inhalant use reported, but when I do, it's almost always household products (e.g. magic markers, spray paint, duster, etc. Occasionally nitrous. Once in a blue moon a client will report using poppers, one of a variety of alkyl nitrites, which usually suggests he's involved in gay hustling.

Tomcc said...

The grade-school nun that lives in my head says: "that's what happens when you are idle".
(She doesn't really live there, but visits on occasion.)

Unknown said...

> He was a visionary and people like that tend to have behaviors that most people don't understand.

Which came first - the vision or the whippet?

WK said...

I would imagine test scores on the 1960s were impacted by all the kids sniffing the mimeographed exam sheets before starting.

Marcus said...

Back in the 70s at my father's restaurant, he complained to the dairy guy that the whipped cream cannisters he delivered last time were no good -- the cream would come out unwhipped. I didn't know until years later that the teenagers working in the kitchen were doing the whippet thing (I abused many a drug, but that was not one I knew about)

Just a few years back, I worked as a Behavioral Health Tech at a Rehab. One of the guys in the men's house who had completed inpatient and were currently in the PHP portion relapsed on a duster can. He was SO effed up, it took him several days to get his head straight. After that, the duster cans were removed from the Houses.

Breezy said...

Gosh, this is sad. He couldn’t see himself settling down due to the risk of it not being forever. Well...

Hercules, not that one though said...

For as long as men walked on this earth, we've tried to change our state of being. Beer. Wine. Khat. Ganja. If you follow all the rules, do you find Nirvana? If you have a house in Montana, and a house in Madison, does that finally do it? Do you get to that place where it all comes together, and there is bliss? Have you ever experienced bliss?

Night said...

I never knew what a whippet was. I always thought it was a type of dog breed and didn't really understand how a person could get high that way.

Night said...

boatbuilder said...
In a shed?
The guy had $600 million. I assume the shed wasn’t anything like mine.


I think addicts lose an expansive consciousness. They retreat in to a cave that they thinks shelters their desires about their addictions. Something that builds a wall out to people that might judge them. Drug hermits. With a progressive extremeness that eventually kills them.

Similar to a modern day BLM supporter.

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ceowens said...

I thought NO was used in dragsters.

Steve Pitment said...

I remember my grocery store job as a kid back in the early 80s, before the Ready Whip people realized they needed to seal the lid on those cans. Management could never figure out why customers kept bringing the Ready Whip back because it had no propellant in the can.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I’m not generally an intoxicants kind of girl; just tried weed in high school and was unimpressed. Never was interested in anything else, even at raves when I was young. Other than the marijuana that time, which was just to be polite, it’s only been nitrous at the dentist once, and I fucking LOVED it, so much that I will never touch any kind of drug again ever. I could get in trouble.

gilbar said...

ceowens said...
I thought NO was used in dragsters.


yep! it's sort of like a turbo charge. You pump NO into the carb, with more gas
more gas == more horsepower (IF it can find oxygen to burn, which is why the NO is)

BUT! the bogus federal government, REQUIRES that the NO tanks you buy at the drag shop are contaminated with horrible taste, so you can't huff it

Bogus feds! what with their bogus Denatured alcohol and their GODDAMNED TAXES!!
Sure, right! POT is legal, but i still can't use my still!

bagoh20 said...

"...I fucking LOVED it, so much that I will never touch any kind of drug again ever. I could get in trouble."

I understand the concern, but that's no way to live. Did you do that with sex, chocolate, a warm bath, or swim in the ocean?

Narr said...

Homo sap. sap. isn't the only high-seeker on this planet, and an altered state of consciousness is one of the most alluring propositions around for a lot of people.

The Delphic Oracle is a story that recognizes a reality of ancient Greek life at the cost of concentrating our attention on one example only of their trippiness.

I think it's revealing that the culture that does the best job of prohibiting and shaming the use of drugs in general--i.e. Islam-- is also the most backward in all other aspects of human wellbeing and happiness.

Narr
1960s model builder: upstairs at Kenny's, closed room, oil paint and plastiglue hee hah

JAORE said...

“... burning candles, Grey Goose vodka, and nitrous oxide whippets ...”

Sounds like a dangerous combination."

Why are there no WARNING LABELS?!?!?!

/sarc

SensibleCitizen said...

It has occurred to me that many of my friends who were on the big-tobacco rampage in the 80's and 90's are now part of the movement to legalize the production and sale of pot, mushrooms and other drugs.

In 50 years will we have a group rampaging against the evils of big corporations who market drugs? When pot is legal nationwide, you can bet philip morris and brown williamson will jump in. Do you think they might make organic substances more addictive? Less safe? Is this not foreseeable?