on being toked and stoked

EARLIER THIS YEAR, I responded to a posting on my Facebook page—it was an inquiry concerning my reputed stokedness now that I am legally a senior citizen—and in a somewhat derisive tone passed the whole thing off: “I was stoked once, but I forget when.” Alas, that is an incorrect statement.

Oh Hell’s Belles, it’s a damn lie—although not quite in the league of a (shudder) statistic.

The truth, then: it was a Sunday in 1975, in Westport, Connecticut. It had snowed heavily the night before and I had to get away from my married roommates, who were fighting*. Again. So I sought refuge in the only place that was open: the movie theater.

That’s right: there was so much fresh snow on the ground that not even the bars were open on Sunday, the day that bars are most sorely needed!

The theater was showing Monty Python And The Holy Grail . . . and I hated Monty Python!!! Damn dumb limeys! Not funny—stupid stupid stupid. (Wink wink, nudge nudge.) But what choice was there?

So, to lessen the staggering boredom of the next few hours—and I would probably be spending most of the day there watching the same loathsome film over and over again—I rolled a joint (a nice Acapulco Gold, some of the best Cannabis sativa that Mexico had to offer) and sat in the parking lot and smoked it. There were no people in the three other cars in the lot, so I toked away with impunity.

Finally, in I went and was I ever surprised! I could feel incipient stoking during the bloody credits, was taken aback by the clip-clopping coconuts and the peasant lecturing the king on class (“we’re an anarcho-syndicated commune”).

Of course, I passed into fullbore stokedness during the black knight scene. (“It’s only a flesh wound!”)


I stayed stoked throughout the movie and was still stoked the next day as I walked around saying “Ni!” to all and sundry. But on Tuesday, I had a stoked hangover, which wasn’t fun I can tell you. I tried the old hair-of-the-dog (playing my roomies’ Monty Python albums), but it didn’t work.

I just had to let the stoke wear off.

Now I admit that it was great while it lasted but the hangover made it all but impossible to function normally (I had to miss a day at work), so I vowed never to get toked and stoked again.

And I have remained faithful to that vow and remain stokeless in Seattle . . .


In hindsight and from a father’s perspective—something I did not have at the time—I should have rescued their daughter (the inimitable Kerryberry) and taken her to the movies with me but then this story would be different because there would not have been any toking before the stoking because I would never have lit up in front of a child and without the toking maybe the stoking wouldn’t have happened at all but the berry and I would have probably enjoyed the movie anyway especially when she saw the cow being flung over the parapet and we would have ended up getting ice cream somewhere afterwards even if there was a foot of the damn stuff on the ground and I should end this here so that the berry  can read something about herself before the day is done . . .



The beautiful Kerryberry and her squeeze Tim! (Kerry, you are now a footnote on your adopted uncle and old babysitter’s blog!)