By BOB WIRE
Today’s date has certain significance to enthusiasts of a certain pungent, smokeable weed. To get in the spirit of this counterculture holiday, I’m compiling all the marijuana-related songs I can find in my iTunes, to loop endlessly while I work.
Turns out I have exactly three songs, if you don’t count Bob Marley’s “Exodus” album. On the flip side, I have 3,714 songs about drinking. I’m not sure what that means, except that even when you’re drunk you can still remember to write down the words to the song you’re making up.
Like most musicians, I went through my pot-smoking phase when I was young(er). I never got into it too far, probably because for some of us, marijuana is a super-powerful obnoxicant.
Back in the hazy fog of my smoker days, getting stoned made me even more objectionable. I got so out of control that it frequently led to my ejection from the premesis (thanks, Mom), constant lectures and tongue-lashings (not the good kind), and the occasional ass-kicking. And not just from my first wife. My relationship with the sweet leaf has diminished to the point where, if weed was a person, I’d send her a greeting card once or twice a year.
Some of you can handle it. I know people my age who can wake ‘n bake, and they function just fine all day long. You can hardly even tell they’re stoned as they wipe your car dry at the car wash, say, or wave a sign around at a busy intersection.
Lots of musicians and artists use dope to enhance their creativity, as it can really make you see things differently and change your perspective in interesting ways. For me, if I get stoned all the creativity is channeled into preparing food. I always get a ferocious case of the munchies, and it overrides any other desires, no matter what the setting. That’s why, on the rare occasion I take a toke anymore, I make sure I’m either sequestered in my basement alone, or I’m in some remote cabin somewhere with no telephone. Or Cheez-Whiz.
As far as enhancing my musical creativity, it’s really counter-productive. I seem to have a latent but acute strain of ADD that is unleashed by THC. A couple hits and I suddenly have the attention span of a field mouse after huffing some Roundup.
I have a few relics from the past that offer evidence of this unfortunate trait.
One is a 4-track cassette recorded some time in the 90’s. Scrawled on the label is “Can Bob play the bongos for 22 minutes?” I swear to God. I listened to the tape recently, and the answer is no. The tape is blank, and I can only assume Bob was distracted by something on the way to the Record button.
Back in the day, we used to pass the pipe around the poker table. I would usually indulge, but it always resulted in the game grinding to a halt while I invented elaborately stupid rules, lost track of the betting (one of the guys suggested everyone wear a t-shirt that reads, “Quarter To You, Bob”), and crowded the table with food.
When I was single, childless, and living alone in Seattle twenty years ago, smoking pot was the way a lot of us coped with the oppressive grayness. I came up with stunningly complex, weed-fueled layers of food preparation. I had several things cooking, and timed it so one thing would be ready just as I was finished scarfing down the last thing. It’s a wonder I didn’t burn down my little house. To be honest, I did catch it on fire once, but the fire originated in the living room, not the kitchen. (And, yes, weed was involved.)
So these days, when someone produces a jazz cigarette, I decline. Part of the problem is that dope has been genetically engineered to be so power-packed that you can’t just take a hit or two, like in the 80’s, and have a gentle buzz. No, this stuff, this BC Bud, Glory Skunk Cloud, Purple Mountain’s Majesty, Frank Zappa’s Penis, or whatever brand name, is strong, expensive, and absolutely packed with unwholesome goodness. As I love to say at the poker table as I’m tossing down another loser hand, “Too rich for my blood!”
So enjoy 4-20 in your own way, friends. Be careful, respectful of others, and use the power of weed for good, and not evil. I’ll be over in the corner, sipping an adult beverage and listening to Big Bambu.
Check out all of Bob Wire’s posts in his blog archive.
Think of it as Gonzo meets Hee Haw: Missoula honky tonker Bob Wire holds forth on a unique life filled with music, parenthood, drinking, sports, working, marriage, drinking, and just navigating the twisted wreckage of American culture. Plus occasional grooming tips. Like the best humor, it’s not for everyone. Sometimes silly, sometimes surreal, sometimes savage, Bob Wire demands that you possess a good sense of humor and an open mind.
Bob Wire has written more than 500 humor columns for a regional website over the last five years, and his writing has appeared in the Missoulian, the Missoula Independent, Montana Magazine, and his own Bob Wire Has a Point Blog. He is a prolific songwriter, and has recorded three CDs of original material with his Montana band, the Magnificent Bastards. His previous band, the Fencemenders, was a popular fixture at area clubs. They were voted Best Local Band twice by the Missoula Independent readers poll. Bob was voted the Trail 103.3/Missoulian Entertainer of the Year in 2007.
You can hear his music on his website, or download it at iTunes, Amazon, and other online music providers.