Cosmos, humor, marijuana, Neil Tyson, Pete Townshend, The Who
I was always hopeless as a smoker. From infancy, I was opposed to tobacco use. Cigarette ads were banned from TV and radio in 1970, and even as a toddler I knew about lung cancer. One of my earliest memories is of asking my cigarette-puffing father to stop smoking. My mother thought smoking was unladylike, and to this day I harbor a residue of prejudice– savoring the sexiness of the manly smoker whilst deploring the unglamorousness of an ash-laden stub hanging from a female lip.
If conviction and sexism hadn’t turned me against smoking, ineptitude would have done the trick. I was a late bloomer, so afraid of fire that I couldn’t bring myself to strike a match until I was in my 20s (at which point I was forced to learn because my job as a waitress required me to light candles).
Then my older brother came home, on vacation from his private school, where he had been introduced to a cornucopia of pharmaceutical delights. He instructed me to inhale from a hand-rolled stick of herbal-smelling stuff, put The Who’s Quadrophenia on the turntable, and placed a set of huge, cushiony headphones over my ears. I’m not sure whether it was the pot, the headphones (a new experience for me), or my initial exposure to the Quadruple Ecstasy of the Lovely Lads from Acton, but my ears were opened and my mind was blown.
Another time, we got stoned and my brother climbed behind the wheel of our mom’s Ford Galaxy 500 to drive us to a midnight movie at the local cinema. You may have guessed it: The Kids Are Alright. As he turned left at a major intersection, the rear of the car was forcefully struck by someone who (no doubt) had the right of way. Brother Mine just kept driving, laughing maniacally all the way.
I don’t remember much about the film itself. What I do recall quite vividly is the introductory ad for the movie house, which consisted of bright colored lights, rhythmically moving and flashing around buckets of popcorn and boxes of Junior Mints, Dots, and Milk Duds. Mesmerizing. The next day, the huge dent in the car was explained to our mother as the result of a drunken clown careening through the parking lot whilst we were innocently enjoying the movie.
Having been introduced to the joys of weed and its delightful capacity to amplify sensory experiences (such as the consumption of Doritos and Chef Boyardee pizza while listening to Tommy), I was rudely deprived of this new pleasure by my brother’s departure for the Neverland of California. I had no idea where I might obtain some replacement weed, no idea how to roll a joint, and worst of all, no one to light it for me.
After a time, a birthday parcel arrived for me from California, containing a vintage beaded handbag. Touched by my brother’s unusual attention to the calendar and perplexed by his sudden interest in women’s fashion, I opened the bag to find an old fashioned powder compact secreted in a zipped pocket. Under the lid of the compact was a small supply of a sweet-smelling dried herb. There was no note.
I took this handbag to a party, where it drew a great deal of interest. A joint containing a liberal amount of the mystery weed was duly rolled, lit and passed around. Opinions as to the quality varied, with some declaring that it was “good stuff” and others insisting that it was nothing to write home about. For my part, I found myself paralyzed, unable to move from the armchair where I was sitting, and for a time even unable to speak, though my heart was pounding. Finally I mentioned that I did not feel at all well. My fellow partiers were concerned. The word “paraquat” was bandied about, and I was driven home by my disgruntled date, who never called me again. Afraid that my mother would find it, I flushed the rest of the herb down the toilet.
When I mentioned the incident to my brother, he scornfully informed me that I and my moronic friends were bumpkins and philistines, incapable of appreciating the finer things in life, and that anyone who would discard such a gift did not deserve it in the first place. Thus at the tender age of fifteen, my career as a smoker of weed came to a humiliating and ignominious end.
Many years later, when I met the Long Suffering Husband, I learned that in his early days he had been a bit of a pothead, inhaling much of the national supply of Wisconsin Green (one had to smoke it liberally, I gathered, in order to achieve the desired effect). But by then we both had something to lose, and I was acutely aware of the fact that we live in a country where a man who stockpiles automatic weapons is thought to be engaging in a harmless pastime, while the gentle individual who only wants to get stoned (and perhaps, if she could get up the courage, open a candle shop) is branded a menace to society and speedily incarcerated.
Wisely, we turned to drink.
Fast forward to the present day. A mysterious parcel arrives with a Washington state postmark. Perhaps not by coincidence, Washington state has legalized marijuana, and the Long Suffering Husband has recently visited that land of Abundant Greenery. Within the parcel is a charming wooden case embossed with a frog. The case contains an herbal substance and a tiny pipe.
We retire to the hallway bath (which has a ventilation fan), and I inhale the smoke from a minuscule amount of weed. The LSH assures me that the stuff is potent, and one toke is sufficient. The smoke expands in my trachea and lungs with an unpleasant burning sensation. I hold it in as long as I can, then sputter and cough. Armed with shots of Rémy Martin and squares of a Ritter bar (yogurt, my favorite), we settle in front of the television to watch Cosmos.
“I don’t feel anything,” I announce, as the colorful opening sequence plays over the screen. Then Neil Tyson appears, and the giggling begins.
You had me giggling outright here LM. Totes adore the description of your brother, yourself and the car. ‘Wisely we turned to drink’…snortworthy. I am and always have been a terrible smoker, tobacco gave me hay fever and I was too scared to try pot until I was older and by then I was far too sensible to get very carried away. I too turned to drink. 😊
I have never actually smoked a cigarette. I tried one as a “tween” and thought it was heinous. I do enjoy the occasional cigar, which seems weird, but the Long Suffering Husband corrupted me 🙂
Like cigarette smoke, pot is very irritating to the eyes, nose and lungs! I think I would rather eat it than smoke it, but that requires a sure knowledge of dosing.
I can attest to the fabulousness of Washington State greenery. 🙂 The state where I currently reside is debating its medicinal purposes right now and I have hope that it will be legalized for recreational purposes soon.
It seems to be a huge cultural shift, like the change in attitudes toward gay marriage. Younger people just don’t share the hysteria of the older generation, who were taught that it would turn you into an insane, perverted criminal.
Very amusing post, linnet! 🙂
Thank you! I’m glad I have those memories even if they are not much of an advertisement for pot smoking, especially by teenagers 🙂
LOL! First rate entertainment… now back to work. Sigh.
Glad you enjoyed it. Back to work for me too…
Funny and as previously said – first rate entertainment.
Thanks Ellen. Now I confess to a secret hope that you would share YOUR stories of “Wisconsin Green” 🙂
Oh, too funny. “I had no idea where I might obtain some replacement weed, no idea how to roll a joint, and worst of all, no one to light it for me.” Giggled all the way through this. I *cough* may have managed to maintain my 4.0 GPA and graduate Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Zoology, whilst partaking on an almost daily basis. I did stop in vet school because, like you, new town, new friends = no source. And soon I met Hubby, who was always on the straight and narrow despite looking like a leather-clad biker skinhead on our first introduction, so I’ve never revisited it. I do come by it honestly, though. Mom was a complete pothead in her college days and went on to become a successful businesswoman… like mother like daughter… I sometimes wish she and I could get high together some time, though I know it would be hell on our diet.
Yes, I definitely could not get away with all those munchies these days. And yet, wine has a lot of calories too.
Summa cum laude in Zoology is very impressive! Especially considering your recreational habits in college 🙂
My hubby was the opposite of yours. He strikes people as conservative and “straight and narrow.” But he really missed being able to smoke a joint all those years.
LOL. Well, I didn’t go to class or study while I was high. But I was always the type to procrastinate and only study at the last minute, like the night before. Leaves a lot of time for toking. =)
You must be a quick study! In my experience as a prof, it is rare for students who wait till the last minute to be so successful. I also had a 4.0 in college, but was obsessive about having things done ahead of time. And I used virtually no recreational substances. Made up for that later 🙂
I know, I was the exception to the rule and wouldn’t recommend procrastinating to anyone. It should be noted that I repeatedly regretted procrastinating when the night before the test arrived. LOL. It used to bother my then boyfriend- he was a molecular biology major and we took many of the same classes. And we lived together so he knew exactly how much I didn’t study and still managed to pull off the higher grades.
Yes, it’s common for kids to manage that in high school, but not so much in college. But procrastination is the norm. In our online classes, more than 80% of students turn in assignments an hour (or less) before they are due, even though they have a week to work on them. Work is typically due at midnight, and they don’t get around to it until 11:30.
Lol. Yes, I’d have started at about 10pm if due by 12am. But I didn’t know the procrastination statistics were so high! I do think there’s an art to test-taking whether in HS or college or standardized testing. Obviously you need to have paid attention in lecture and read the material and comprehended it, but beyond that I often used a mystical combination of logic, statistics and educated guessing with remarkable success. =)
Well, in my classes they have to write papers. Not recommended to start an hour beforehand, LOL!
mikeyb @ screenkicker said:
This really made me laugh. I’m a very occasional smoker and can attest to the glory that is doritos.
Yes, a lot of research went into making them addictive. Far more so than pot.
Sylvie G said:
Very entertaining! Thank you Linnet
Thanks for reading 🙂
LMAO This was a brilliant post. I’m completely reassessing my conception of you…and calling the DEA.
Haha. The one they really should go after is my brother. Pink Floyd and psilocybin have permanently twisted him, whereas I have virtuously stuck to Chardonnay and brie all these years…
You made me laugh ^^ 🙂
Thanks for reading 🙂
I love those kind of memories ^^
I have some too …..
Maybe you will share them 🙂
Ha ha ha! And no, I’m not stoned 🙂 I smoked a bit in college – it just made me paranoid, and one night I thought toast was flying out of the TV. I decided it wasn’t for me 🙂
Wow, I never experienced anything like that, though the really strong stuff caused that unpleasant “paralysis” for me.
Unfortunately, I usually keep going no matter what! I’m sure people wished I just lay down in a corner sometimes 😉
Not at all! Then who would demonstrate how to open a beer bottle with a lighter? (As you might have guessed, I stay away from lighters as much as possible.)
Ha ha, yeah, I thought so! Maybe you could open a fire extinguisher store instead of a candle one 😉
Mmm yes, a store frequented by large, muscular Firemen..
Now you’re talking 🙂
Lol, the stuff that keeps giving time and time again eh? ;-)))
Smoking not my thing though my parents were a packet a day types – back in the day not surprising even for doc and prof types such as them. I never found it interesting … until last year of highschool when my massive crush was a smoker and i tried minted ones with him, ew! ‘smoker’ kisses also not that yummy LOL That was my first and last cigarette.
The other stuff did not exist where i grew up 🙂 tho uni flat back in UK smelled of it, nay reeked of it plenty times 😉 Too old to be tempted by then, i preferred tequila shots 😉 or the adrenaline of last nigh cramming! 🙂
Yes, even though I love the look of a man smoking, I don’t like the smell or taste on him. And I enjoy cigars, but the taste lingers like garlic. It’s really only good if both partners partake 🙂
Use a pipe. Not as much fun, but easier.
We did use a pipe, but it was very small and did nothing to cool the smoke. Then the LSH bought a bong to make it easier. But I’m hopeless at it. It requires a certain amount of coordination. And skilled use of a lighter, LOL. Not my forte!
Oh the depravity….*she says while unplugging the Grow lights”
Grow lights! LOL. I think the LSH was interested in that but never quite got around to setting it up. But we do have a spacious basement 🙂
Let’s just say hubs is not much of a farmer… 😉
you may have guessed –> “don’t get me started”.
and as you probably have guessed: I/we have purchased “it” ¿legally?
( or so it seems ~ ~ that act alone is still so dream-like, unreal!)
a couple times now. prawblee may never get used to THAT.
Yes, it is hard to imagine doing so here. But even in Ohio, the winds of change are blowing. Or should I say puffing?
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