Thursday, March 6, 2008
Fear and loathing in Northern Minnesota. Or, alternatively: Hash browns are not the same as hash brownies.
I have never been very good at doing drugs.
Let me clarify: I have only tried most illicit substances once, and rarely has the outcome been less than, well...really, really wrong.
I grew up in the heyday of ABC "After school" specials and Nancy Reagan's "Just say no" campaign. Remember the after school specials? The mini-movies starring b-list actors & musicians that discussed divorce, sex, alcoholism, drug use, racism and such and such in a way that kids like us could understand and totally didn't make fun of? And the anti-drug commercials? Priceless.
Here's a reminder, if you need one. Here's another. And another. O.k, one more.
After seeing the After School Special where the guy takes Angel Dust and thinks he can fly (with predictably less-than-glamorous results), I was scared shitless of any and all drugs. Seriously. I was. Even though I had never once heard of "Angel Dust" at my small-town high school, I was sure it was everywhere and would kill you instantly upon encountering the magical fairy sparkles. Simply being in a room with it would cause severe brain damage, or so I thought. Helmets were never a good look for me, so I decided it was best to just stay the hell away from the stuff.
Consequently, my entire drug experience throughout high school consisted of: a self-diagnosed overdose of Vivarin, Copious amounts of Jolt Cola, and one miserably failed attempt at smoking a dried-out doobie with my friend Waffle in an alley when we were at a party with the cool kids.
Scandalous, I know.
After high school, I still retained a healthy fear of any and all contraband, though at this point I had also decided that if the drugs didn't kill me upon simply thinking about taking them, the S.W.A.T. team hiding in the bushes outside our apartment would raid the place and we would end up in a Women's prison the rest of our lives, forced into a lifetime of orange jumpsuits and not-so-hot lesbian sex with gals named "Big Bessie".
But, I still managed to push the fear aside a few times to join the ranks of the "enlightened" and "cool".
The "acid" story is one I will save for another day, but I'll give you a teaser: Underwear puddle-jumping.
I promise I'll tell you the whole story someday. Try and stop me.
Today, the hash brownie story.
The year was 1994 (or 1995?). I had been dating the future Mr. Whiskeymarie for not very long, at this point. He was so naive and cute. He had no idea what he was getting himself into, the poor bastard.
I lived in the infamous 1108A East 3rd St. apartment still, and one day when Waffle and I were hanging out at home we got a visit from a "drug-friendly" dude we knew that we'll call "Professor Drugsalot".
We stood around chit-chatting about such and such for a bit, then he pulled out a jar of thick, green goo to show us. We learned from Professor Drugsalot that the thick green goo was hash, a substance Waffle and I had encountered one other time on an ill-fated trip to Canada (another story, another time). Professor Drugsalot asked us if we would be so kind as to bake up a pan of brownies with the goo, and then asked if we wanted to go to a bonfire/picnic at an old friend of ours parent's home in the lovely village of Esko, MN, where we could partake of the goo brownies.
We shrugged. "Sure, why not?" We didn't have anything else going on.
He left the jar with us and went off to make further preparations for the evening.
We didn't know we weren't supposed to use the WHOLE jar for ONE pan.
Our first indication that we had done something wrong was when we noticed that the finished product smelled like gasoline-infused chocolate. Then, when we sprinkled powdered sugar on the brownies and the sugar instantly turned green, well we figured out our mistake.
When Professor Drugsalot came back and realized what we had done, he was a bit peeved. But, unfortunately for Professor Drugsalot he had been such a douche to us in the past that he had no choice but to forgive and forget. That's how karma works, dude.
We just needed to remember to cut them real small. And only eat one.
Later on, we journeyed out to Esko, ready for anything. The fire was lovely, beer in mason jars was consumed, and overall things were just peachy.
A bit later, we all decided to have a brownie.
We waited, and waited, and waited. Nothing. Happened.
I thought that maybe it was me and my limited drug experience that was causing the problem, but even the seasoned imbibers were completely lucid. "Just wait", Professor Drugsalot kept saying.
Waffle and I decided to go into the house to get a bite to eat. The brownies were just sitting there, looking lonely. We decided that there wouldn't be any harm in splitting one more between the two of us. What the hell? Nothing was happening anyways. Stupid hash. Stupid gasoline-tasting brownies.
Back outside, the party was starting to get weird. We thought maybe everyone had just had too much cheap beer.
We all (me, Waffle, Future Mr. Whiskeymarie and our friend Army) decided to head back to town and maybe try and catch a late drink in Superior. I had driven, and as I hadn't had much to drink I thought I was fine to drive. I pulled out of the driveway and headed down the quiet country road.
All of a sudden I realized that things were indeed NOT right. No, not right at all.
The road started to wave and roll, as if it were a ribbon in a rhythmic gymnast's routine at the Olympics. I calmly pulled the car over and stopped.
"I can't drive."
Unfortunately, the brownies were starting to kick in for Waffle and the Future Mr. too. The only one in the car who hadn't eaten the goo brownies was Army, who was marginally somewhat shitfaced.
Crapety, crap, crap.
Despite this, Army was selected as the most qualified to steer us towards home (the idea of just turning around and driving the 1/2 mile back never occurred to us, such was our drug-retardation at this point).
Once home, I was in full-fledged freak-out mode. I wasn't going anywhere. Future Mr. had embarked on a vision quest of his own (he had eaten an extra brownie as well), and our fates for the evening had been decided. Waffle was the only one feeling somewhat normal still at this point, and she decided to go to Superior and catch a few cocktails at the "Joker's Wild".
I retired to bed, as it was the only place I felt safe. Future Mr. curled up with me, and we tried to go to sleep, knowing full well that we were about to have an evening we would soon rather forget.
Me? All night I kept getting the strange feeling that I had wet the bed, prompting me to get up, turn on the lights and feel around the sheets for the pee I could swear was there, but wasn't. Future Mr. was nowhere to be found, so I druggily assumed that my incontinence had scared him off. Plus the little hashy voices in my head kept telling me that he didn't like girls that peed their bed. I assumed he was out having a grand ol' time with some foxy broad who could hold her hash. I repeated the pee scenario approximately 274 times that night. And no, I never actually peed in the bed- not that it would have made the situation any less odd if I had.
Future Mr? He spent the majority of the evening with his head in the commode, praying for a quick death that didn't involve hash poisoning, or brownies of any sort.
Waffle? She went out to the bar, then started hallucinating. At one point she thought that large birds of prey were dive-bombing her head, so she did what any sane person being attacked by birds in a bar would do- she dove to the floor and covered her head. I wish I had been there. And taken pictures.
So, what was the moral of the story? What would Nancy Reagan want to you learn from this?
Hash brownies will give you imaginary incontinence and a healthy fear of birds. Don't eat them.