Monday, May 16, 2005

The Blinder Munchies

It was a simple life, back in 1966, when I was a senior in high school, in the months after I was cut from the varsity basketball team. No more practices, no more working my ass off to play maybe a minute of garbage time. At first, I was stunned and disappointed. I can remember slamming the coach’s office door, in a very unprofessional and immature display of temper, moments after he cut me. I was way pissed.

In the weeks that followed, I flowed like water into a more natural way of being, for me. I began to let my hair grow. I wrote more songs and poetry. I bought some Kahlil Gibran, and The Hobbit. I got serious about my creative writing class, hosted by my all-time favourite teacher, Mrs. Avshalomov. I started smokin’ pot. After all, it was 1966.

Back in the day, pot was cheap. I would drive the blue and white Ford Galaxie my folks had given me over to the house of a long haired guitar player I knew, down by Reed College, listen to him play a bit of Peter, Paul, and Mary, some Dylan, take a couple of swigs of the house wine from a half gallon bottle, and then take home a huge baggie full of Really Great Weed for 5 bucks.

A couple of my buddies were becoming hippies too, and we got stoned often. None of us, however, turned into drug addicts. In fact, I don’t think any of us, college bound, took pot smoking all that seriously. We were good and serious students, (I may have paid more attention to school after leaving the basketball team), and determined to go on from high school to better things. To a life well lived.

But we did giggle a lot, gettin’ stoned. I must admit, I remember that time, the last few months of high school, with great fondness. We would meet at someone’s house, burn some incense, fire up some doobies, laugh our asses off, and then, being high school age boys, eat everything we could get our hands on. One friend of mine would smoke a joint after school, and then eat two frozen pizzas, you know, a little snack before dinner.

There was a period there, of about ten years, from 1966 ‘til 1976, when I smoked a hell of a lot of pot. For me, it was the time for pot. It was a tune in, turn on, drop out world. It was Frank Zappa, Grace Slick, Stephen Stills. Woodstock. And those yellow Zig Zag rollin’ papers.

After a couple of years at Willamette University, and joining a rock band, The Morning Reign, we all moved to Seattle, from Salem, Oregon, to be closer to our booking agent, and play more gigs. I was married, with a baby daughter, and we found a place to live in the basement of a big old house, across the street from Sea-Tac Airport. Rent was $75 per month, and it was a dump. But we were young, and we had our dreams, our patchouli, and we had pot.

There were two floors above us, and both floors were inhabited by other young hippie couples. I was especially fond of one of the guys, who was one of those naturally funny people. He and his wife would come down, bring pot, and copious amounts of potato chips and dip. After a joint or two, he would stretch his arms up, yawn, and then bellow, in a Texas drawl..... “shit man, I got the Blinder Munchies”. I almost fell off my chair the first time I heard that term, with my love of words, and it has been indelibly etched into my brain ever since.

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