The Grimm reefer

Hello, my name is Bob, and I’m a marijuana failure

OK, so I’m the paper’s movie reviewer, and my editor wanted me to do a guide to the best stoner movies. I accepted the task, but then realized something: I AM AN ABSOLUTE NERD FAILURE WHEN IT COMES TO MARIJUANA!

I have only smoked pot a few times in my life, and most of those experiments are testaments to why I’ve only smoked pot a few times in my life. I SUCK AT SMOKING POT!

So, instead, I have chosen to recount some pot smoking memories in chronological order as a sort of public service announcement for why certain people should never, ever inhale. You will find some references to movies, music, TV and concert-going, but you will also discover that I am the last guy you need to talk to when it comes to discovering the best “stoner movies.” I think you’ll conclude that no marijuana deliverance devices have any business anywhere near my lips.

The first time

The first time I smoked pot I was a junior in high school and was working the late shift at McDonalds. I had no concept of how many drags to take, or how long I should hold the shit in my lungs, so I smoked the whole joint quite quickly. I was in charge of dishwashing that night.

Needless to say, I did a crap job on the damned dishes, and because all of my coworkers were equally wrecked, I had to call my dad to come pick me up at 2 in the morning (“Hey dad … I’M STOOONNNNED!”). The effect of this phone call on my teenaged relationship with my dad is more the subject of a short novel than a paragraph in a newspaper story.

The second time

I was on a train from Long Island to see Roger Waters in concert. Some guys from Kings Park had a Hefty bag full of weed, so I joined in. I recall eating way too much at Wendy’s before the show and feeling very sleepy when I took my seat. I had bought my ticket after my friends and wound up in a section of Madison Square Garden all by myself. (Roger’s tour wasn’t selling very well.)

I fell asleep during his rendition of “If” and was woken up by that freaking loud helicopter in “The Happiest Days of Our Lives” with Roger yelling “YOU … YES YOU … STAND STILL LADDY!” It scared the piss out of me. Afterwards, I instituted my lifelong ban on smoking pot or drinking to excess at concerts, which remains in effect to this day.

The third time

I was at college, and my roommate had some pot on him. We smoked it and watched part of Apocalypse Now in our dormitory suite. THIS WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA! I then retreated to my room and listened to Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut on CD. It was wonderful! Then I made the regrettable decision to take in Michael Jackson’s Bad next. The terrible “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” ruined my night.

The fourth time

My best friend had a job at a college and one of his students gave him some weed, claiming that it was “really good.” We smoked it from a bong, and I proceeded to throw up all over the place.

We tried to cheer up our panicking selves by watching Ren & Stimpy and, let me tell you, Ren the angry Chihuahua is not something you want to see when dangerously high. He went into one of his angry, bug-eyed tantrums and I think this is where I started crying. Then, long before Donnie Darko was ever conceived, I saw evil bunny rabbits, nasty little brown fanged creatures scampering all over the floor trying to eat my feet.

The next day, my friend and I concluded that the batch we smoked had something considerably stronger than marijuana in it, and he should never accept any weed from students again. He then finished smoking the contents of the bag, and I swore off the stuff for over three years.

The return

In the early ’90s, one of my DJ friends had some weak, dimebag shit that we smoked while hanging out on the balcony of my new apartment. No bunnies attacked my feet, and no pivotal concert moments were missed due to napping, so it was an overall pleasant experience.

The next few times (probably three times) while divorcing

I was going through a sad divorce in the mid-90s and wound up living with the friend mentioned in the paragraph above. He would try to cheer me up with pot, and it sometimes worked. I remember when we heard the lyrics to a Pavement song (“We got the money!”) and laughed ourselves silly when we discovered the track was titled “Brinx Job.” We just thought that was a regular riot.

Trying to be cool after a play

I was in a production of Hair and would hide in the corner while everybody else really embraced temporary lives as hippies. I took a hit off somebody’s pipe to try and have some fun and be part of the crowd but wound up self-ruminating on current relationship troubles. I eventually fell asleep on a couch somewhere in a fetal position. I did not smoke pot again for 10 years.

Trying to be cool in Seattle

I was visiting a friend in Seattle. I have a long-standing policy of no drinking or drug-taking if driving is even a remote possibility. Consequently, I hadn’t been drunk in public since my early college days. I was relying on public transportation that night, so I dove right in on the beer and mixed drinks. When I got back to my friend’s house, he rolled a “spliff”—which I learned was a half tobacco, half weed contraption … very educational. For the first time in my life, I mixed drinking and pot smoking. I proceeded to “spin out” and wound up crashed on a bed, talking to myself and trying not to float away.

The most recent, and probably final, time I smoked pot

Late last year, I was hanging out with a girl I barely knew, and this girl loved her weed. I had been joking about smoking some with her for a couple of weeks and one night decided to partake. I was having some lung issues at the time, so when I inhaled, I coughed up like a mother. I got tragically stoned and temporarily lost my grip on reality.

We tried to watch Twin Peaks, which is not a good show for a novice pot smoker. Not good at all. I didn’t make it past the opening credits. Those long bass notes in the opening theme freaked me out.

I felt one of those huge pot-honesty waves rushing over me, so I just wanted to talk and talk. But I barely knew the girl and didn’t want to say anything stupid like, “I love your boobs!” so I kept getting up and leaving her apartment to go for walks. I probably did that 10 times in a half hour as she texted her friends about how messed up I was.

Also, this pot tasted awful, and that taste nestled in my lungs and throat, triggering my gag reflex over and over again. This poor girl had to sit and watch me quasi-vomit repeatedly in turn with my getting up and leaving the room all of the time.

Needless to say, she never hung out with me again, and I have hung up my pot smoking jacket forever.

So, as you can see, I’m probably not the best guy to be recommending movies to watch while baked. I have heard that John Cusack’s Better Off Dead is 10 times better when stoned, so there you go. I can tell you this … stay far away from Apocalypse Now if you are a novice stoner and a pacifist! You might very well hurt yourself and loved ones, and the psychological trauma might stick with you for eternity.

I am a self-professed Marijuana Failure, and I’m not afraid to say it, no matter how much of a dweeb that makes me.