Up In SmokeCommentary • ISSUE 37•28 • Aug 15, 2001 By Jim Anchower – The Cruise Hola, amigos. What say? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I've had my balls to the wall lately, working an overnight shift at a convenience store. Actually, it ain't all that bad, but I get pretty creeped out by all the cameras taping everything I do. One night, I started getting seriously hungry, so I grabbed a kippered ham stick and chowed down on that, then washed it down with a Mountain Dew. I'm telling you, that really hit the spot. The next day, though, when I showed up for work, there was a note from my manager, Mr. Dybzinski, taped to the register saying that I owed $2.21 for the food. That's all I need, having The Man watch my every move so he can bust my chops. I put the $2.21 in the drawer, then I flipped the video camera the bird. That oughta make Dybzinski think twice before he starts up with that shit again. Also, I've been real on edge lately because I haven't smoked up for, like, five weeks. See, after my dealer went pussy and stopped selling, I've had a hard time locating any weed. I'm not even talking primo stuff here–I would have smoked the rankest ditchweed for a two-minute buzz. I guess it doesn't speak all that highly of my social circle if, between me, Wes, and Ron, we couldn't line anything up, but there ya go. That's the problem with being King Shit. The guys who follow you around can't think on their own, let alone score weed. So, what did I do? What any reasonable man would when faced with a problem of this magnitude: I tried growing my own. Now, for whatever reason, Ron, though unable to score weed to save his life, had stashed away about a quarter-ounce of seeds he was saving for a special occasion. After spending half an hour doing everything short of sucking his pud, I was able to convince him to give me 12 seeds. He said it'd grow up to be the kindest bud I've ever smoked, and that I'd better share when it came down to it. No problemo, I replied. I wasn't exactly sure how to grow it, since I've never had what you'd call a green thumb. They've got ads for all kinds of growing books in High Times, but there was no way I could wait four weeks for the books to show up in the mail. Besides, I was pretty sure I knew at least the basics. I knew I needed dirt. Water, too. So I filled up some old soup cans with dirt and the seeds, poured in some water, and watched the magic happen. I started out just setting them on the window sill so they could get some light. Now, you're probably thinking that was a dangerous move, putting illegal shit like that out in public view, but no one can recognize a baby pot plant. Like human babies, baby plants all look alike. After a few weeks, though, you could sort of tell what kind of plants they were, so I decided I'd better move them to a less conspicuous spot. You better believe I didn't want any hassle from the pigs. Plus, I didn't want Ron coming over trying to mooch off of me like he always does. Whenever he asked, I just told him I hadn't gotten around to planting the seeds yet. I looked around the house for a new spot and eventually settled on this closet. It had a bunch of crap in it, like a box of shitty old NES Nintendo games like "Duck Hunt" and "Bad Dudes," and a black-light poster of Jimi Hendrix that was waiting for a black light. I cleared that stuff out and set up shop. From what I understood from this one High Times article I'd read, you need a special light to keep the plants healthy. I went out and got a light that was supposed to do the trick from a greenhouse. I think they had an idea what I was up to, because the old geezer at the register was giving me the business, asking me what I was growing. I just said strawberries, and he left it alone. My future was riding on this project, so I did my best to do a good job: Every day, I'd turn the light on before going to work and turn it off when I got home. I also made sure the plants had plenty of water. After about three weeks, they'd gotten pretty tall. I wasn't sure how long I was supposed to wait, but I figured I'd waited long enough. I cut the plants down and hung them up to dry on this clothesline thing I stretched across the living room, right above the TV. Then I popped a frosty MGD and sat down to enjoy the 4 p.m. showing of Cannonball Run II on TNT. But while I was sitting there, I kept getting distracted by that beautiful weed, which was practically begging to be smoked. Wanting to hurry up the drying process, I put the plants in the oven and fired it up. I checked on them after 10 minutes, but they still didn't seem ready. I drank a few beers and returned to watching TV, excited by the thought of the sweet, Cannonball Run-enhancing bud I'd soon be enjoying. The next thing I knew, I was awakened by the sound of my smoke alarm going off. I started to freak out, not knowing where the smoke was coming from. Then, once I figured out where it was coming from, I freaked out even more. I ran over to the stove and turned it off as fast as I could, but it was too late. I opened the stove, and a bunch of smoke came pouring out from the charred stalks. Thinking quickly, I sucked up as much of the smoke as I could. I think I caught a buzz off it, but it could have just been from lack of oxygen. Man, was I pissed! From the smell of it, it was pretty good stuff, and now I was gonna have to wait another month and a half to grow more. There was no way I was going to be able to make it. On top of that, Ron came over and was totally convinced I was holding out on him because the whole apartment reeked of pot. Then he shoved me and said he wouldn't give me any more of his seeds. As hard as I'm jonesin', though, this current dry spell ain't without its upside. Ron is pissed at me, which means I get a week or so away from him and his damn bitching. And the lack of a buzz hasn't hurt my job performance at the convenience store, for what that's worth. Still, I'd blow a muffler for a toke off a one-hitter. I ain't an addict or nothing. I just like to have all my options open, you know what I'm saying?