My friend says “WHAT A TRIP” a lot. Gabby knows this, and so over the years he has acquired anything saying “what a trip.” Late in December he sent the collection to my friend. It shows the different senses of trip.
In my slang lexicography work, I have worked hard on the word “trip” in its drug experience sense. Norman Mailer wrote of a mescaline trip in the 1950s, but I am convinced that he was using the term as a literary metaphor, not slang.
We of a certain age think of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters when we think of a drug trip. I wrote Kesey and asked how the word first came up. He wrote me back, telling me that while they were driving the Prankster bus across the United States in 1964, Neal Cassady said “This trip is a trip.” I get it!
This is what Gabby sent my friend:
There is, of course, the Grateful Dead variant – “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”
In addition, my friend sent a few photos:
I had a pretty good idea what my friend was going to say about this little collection.
I was initially wrong. “Is this a self-reinforcing pretense of significant truth? Are we in the realm of tautology?”
I demurred. I did not study Logic and am not aware of the implications of my words in this context.
“What about the post?” I asked.