A man who was hopelessly addicted to drinking gasoline for 20 long years has finally kicked he habit, and it’s all thanks to Swedish superstars Abba.
Terry Ashcroft, or “Toxic Terry” as he was once known, due to his his tendency to consume large amounts of gasoline straight from the pump, has thankfully turned his life around and no longer hangs around garages looking for his next fix of pure petroleum.
How did this gas guzzling addict finally kick his dependency on fossil fuels? Well it wasn’t through the 12 Steps, it wasn’t through religion, it wasn’t through a stunning moment of clarity, and it wasn’t through a kindly intervention; it was through the divine euro pop of Swedish superstars Abba.
Toxic Terry put an end to his fuel slurping ways and was saved by the feel good factor of such Abba classics as “Mamma Mia,” “Waterloo,” “Dancing Queen,” and “Take A Chance On Me.”
Now, instead of being a fuel fiend feverishly searching for his next hit of gas, Terry chooses to kick back and chill with a slice of some of the finest exports Sweden has ever produced.
Although naysayers might snarl they’d rather drink gasoline than listen to Abba, the 43-year-old explained to The Mirror that the warm and reassuring tones of Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog, and Bjorn Ulvaeus saved him from dangerously filling his tank up without reason or rhyme.
“I’m obsessed with the ’70s now – it was a good era. I love Abba. I can’t get enough. It has pulled me back from the brink.
“The only thing guzzling petrol now is the bus I’m on. I want to tell people that Toxic Terry is the old me.
“Now I’m into my music and it has saved me.”
Terry gave up his dalliance with the “hard stuff” some six years ago when he first converted to life as an Abba fan.
Yet before his recovery, Terry was a notorious figure on the streets of his hometown in the U.K., Preston, Lancashire.
The born again Abba fan lived life in the fast lane in more ways than one during his fuel-indulging heyday and was subject to various anti-social behavior orders.
Banned form entering petrol stations or possessing petrol, Terry had to get creative to fuel his fire, and such was his fame he became a social media sensation, with thousands of fans on a Facebook site calling themselves the Toxic Terry Fan club.
Petrol or gasoline addiction is no laughing matter and is becoming more and more prevalent in Western culture. The abuse of gasoline is a massive problem in South America and Australia, where petrol heads get their highs from drinking it in small quantities and sniffing the fumes.
Ten years ago, BP were forced to roll out an odorless petrol named Opal in aboriginal Australia, simply to prevent residents getting high on the local garage’s supply.
Terry’s descent into the dark depths of the gasoline sniffing netherworld began at the age of 25 when he fell in with the wrong crowd and succumbed to peer pressure.
“It was all the rage in the ’80s. My friends at that time were all doing it. It was just that buzz I got into. But I couldn’t stop.”
So good you can almost taste it. (Photo Illustration by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
However hopeless Terry’s addiction to petrol became, he’s keen to stress that, unlike those addicted to crack or heroin, he had his standards and refused to steal to fund his habit.
“I have never stolen anything to feed my habit – I have never stolen at all.”
After stints in prison, Terry’s road to recovery eventually began after his addiction led to him accidentally setting himself on fire and being hospitalized.
He has now completed a computer course, is looking for gainful employment, and lives in a supported flat, with walls adorned with posters of, you guessed it, his Swedish saviors, Abba.
“I’ve been clean for six years. Everybody is saying how well I look.
“But it doesn’t really bother me people call me Toxic Terry. For 20 years of my life, it was a nickname and I came to terms with it.”
Although he has often been ridiculed in the past on social media for his habit, Terry’s critics are now singing a different tune and have nothing but praise for the Abba fan
Howard Lees wrote on Facebook, “Thousands took the time to call him and take the Mickey (myself included).
“Hope they all now take the time now if they see him to congratulate him and tell him how well he’s done. Well done Terry.”
Natasha Mary added:, “What a fantastic story and well done Terry. Good luck with everything you do.
“It must have took a lot of courage and strength to overcome what you have experienced. Keep it up.”
Terry’s certainly not running on empty anymore and as his beloved Abba once sung, “The Winner Takes It all.”
(Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)