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.

Oops, indeed.

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.
Just wait.

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.

The end.


Christa said...

for my 30th birthday i got a school-bus shaped box set of afterschool specials.

the kid who wants to be a dancer, his blue collar dad ignores him -- UNTIL HE SEES HIM DANCE! and it's beautiful.

i watched almost all of them. i'm drawn to moving pictures on a screen.

just sharing.

Iheartfashion said...

I only WISH the after school specials had worked on me...
great story; glad the future Mr. WM stuck around despite your imaginary incontinence.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Damn, birds already make me nervous. I definitely do NOT need hash-induced hallucinations about them diving at me.

Shannon Erin said...

Picture this (after drinking margaritas all day and night and then eating a hash brownie), in the kitchen we have my bestie/roommate, her boy toy, my ex-boyfriend and me. I tell bestie (loudly) that her boy toy is WAY cuter than my ex boyfriend (while I'm pointing at ex). Then I proceed to make out with ex in front of bestie and her boy toy. I remember none of this. In reality, I find her boy toy not attractive at all.

No more hash brownies for me. EVER.

CDP said...

"Professor Drugsalot" made me laugh out loud. I'm still laughing. I never tried hash brownies, and what I remember about the anti-drug propaganda of the 70s was the idea that if you tried it, just once, you'd jump off a building. You'd have no choice in the matter; the drugs would simply compel you to jump to your death.

gorillabuns said...

This made me laugh so hard!!!! Because I totally know what you are talking about. This story reminds me of Graduate school and a weekend retreat with the Psychology department. Pretty much the same scenario minus flying birds - only bonfires.

McGone said...

I'm picturing "Professor Drugsalot" popping in like a cartoon character, a la The Great Gazoo on "The Flintstones."

And I don't think they show Afterschool Specials anymore because they have "Requiem For A Dream" to scare kids shitless.

The Grand ChaHee said...

My first experience with illegal drugs (pot) went something like that…sans hallucinations. I ended up smoking way too much because nothing was happening. Then I started freak out because I didn’t like the sensation. I tried to leave, realized I couldn’t drive, then proceeded to fall asleep in the Gangle Monster’s bed for the best 2 hour nap of my life. I woke up perfectly normal, but decided that drugs weren’t for me (until I smoked again—and realized that moderation is the key).

Stacey said...

Cool, thanks for the warning because I had some at home I was going to make all ooey gooey in the microwave and dive in to tonight. ;)

I think you've generally made Nancy Reagan pretty proud.

diatribes and dish said...

I hate how long it takes for special brownies to kick in. It's like the universe totally effing with you, taunting you, daring you to eat more. Which I always do. And then curse myself later while drooling all over my shirt because I'm so high I can no longer do such difficult things like keeping my mouth shut and breathing through my nose.

Suze said...

My story involves a cow field and crawling about a mile so not to get electrocuted. Good times - I think.

Nature Girl said...

Oh My! That was kinda funny in a oooohhh that sux kinda way. My ENTIRE drug experience consists on overdoses of Vivarin washed down with copious amounts of Jolt cola....that was a page right out of my own diary there...well, that and the intense fear of what would happen if I ever tried anything and so I never have. I just laugh at other peoples stories about it.

Sizzle said...

I made/ate pot brownies when I was in college and lordhavemercy never did that again. It hits you differently than smoking it (that was news to me!) and all of us were off on our vision quests, puking or rocking in chairs like freaked out invalids. It was . . . awful.


ie said...

Shhhh! You're gonna get me into trouble!

That was too funny, especially searching for the non-existent pee.

My one and only hash experience ended up with me in the only bathroom at the party, puking. No thxokbai.

Ghost Dansing said...


H said...

Duly noted. Great story...I can't wait to hear about Canada!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

What a great story, unfotunately for me I read it 30 years too late. I liked drugs, well I liked smoking pot, a little too much.

Mommy Lisa said...

The one and only time I SMOKED hash I swear I felt my organs functioning and it was freaking me out. Not to mention I was in Molde, Norway watching "the Killing Fields" with Norwegian sub-titles. It was all to freaky for words.

Luckily the guy who gave me the hash took pity and drove me home to my bed so I could silently worry my liver was stopping and my lungs were exploding.


Anonymous said...

I LOL throughout this ENTIRE blog to the point that my coworker yelled over the cubicle "WTF is so FUNNY?!" Such a hilarious story :-) My drug days were never this funny... a bit slutty perhaps... but ah well :-) Thanks for making me laugh today!

LM said...

I also have vivid memories of the angel dust episode! Except for some reason I always thought the kid had done acid, not PCP. And I recall there was another one about cocaine, where I learned that it can cause a heart attack at any moment, even in a habitual user. I can honestly say, it is because of the fear put in me by those shows that I never touched any drugs in my life other than alcohol or pot (I guess I missed those episodes). And I had all opportunities to do so. Thanks, ABC after school specials. Well played.

Grant Miller said...

I miss after school specials.

Jon said...

Hey, could you put me in touch with that anonymous slut from a few comments ago?

No, no, just kidding. That's the hash talking.

Hugs not drugs.

punchlinewalking said...

Yep. This story sounds uncomfortably familiar. Except mine included cookies, and an hour of minutes of standing about 30 feet outside of my apartment trying to figure out why it was taking me so long to get there (until I realized it was because I WASN'T MOVING). I should have never eaten that second brownie.

punchlinewalking said...

"an hour of minutes"? You'd think I'm on drugs now!

BadWims said...

Damn evil brownies!

You were lucky to be in a private setting for your freakout. I had the misfortune of biting off more than I needed of a brownie about 10 min before going to a Timberwolves game at the Target Center. I was there with my mother-in-law's boyfriend. And we were sitting way up in the nosebleeds. I managed to hold it together with a mantra I used to hear my experienced acid-tripping friends repeat to someone having a bad time: "you'll be OK. There is a chemical in your system that is altering your sense of reality. you're going to be OK."

Distributorcap said...

my first time involves camp and counselors and stuff i clearly do not remember

meanwhile i would think Nancy had to do a lot of brownies to stay married to Ronnie and vice versa

Freida Bee, MD said...

You see, if you take the pot brownies with the acid, the affect is most pleasant.

For a second I thought you were going to say that you were at a party in Austin where you only spoke French and I English, but that language is no barrier as far as telepathy is concerned, apparently. I still don't know who the fuck that woman was, but you kinda look like her.

Freida Bee, MD said...


I may have been a pot head for too many years, but that is deplorable, mixing up effect with affect. I'm so embarrassed.

Beret said...

That very same after school special scared me shitless and is pretty much the sole reason I never tried "angel dust". I also saw a movie in school (during our DARE program) about a girl who took acid and then tried to eat her own arm. That's why I never ever even once tried acid, even when the majority of my friends were doing it.

I, too, missed the specials about drinking and smoking pot. Hmmm

I'd love to hear how you met your Mr. and how you knew you wanted to marry him. I love those stories.

NotSoccer Mom said...

heheh, don't we all have a pot brownie story?!

Landis said...

oh my gawd.

i just laughed so hard i peed the bed.

180|360 said...

This was so funny! I think I saw that same After School Special. Unfortunately, it only deterred me from Angel Dust- one of the few things I never did try.


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