One day, when you’re lying on your deathbed (or death ravine, depending on how you go out), you’ll look back on your life and think of the people who made you what you are. If you’re a piece of shit, you’ll recall those who cheated you, who took advantage of you, who turned you into the ghoulish, self-serving monster that the world won't miss. But if you’re a kind, decent person, you’ll review the virtuous shepherds that guided you through life, teaching you to live graciously and to pass on the very values they instilled in you. These are the two possible scenarios that may ensue when your life force begins to dissipate, and your pineal gland uses its last ounce of strength to flood your brain stem with DMT, causing the constraint of time to disappear completely and leaving you to revel for a perceived eternity in whatever choices you made in life.
When I inevitably meet my end, I’m quite confident that I’ll be spending that infinite moment in psychedelic paradise, not because I’m intrinsically a good-hearted person, but because I’ve got a guide whose teachings have kept me from becoming fully submerged in the dark side of which I’m constantly on the brink. I have my older brother to thank for whatever positivity I possess, and I will never be able to fully repay him for what he has passed on to me.
Among these monumental ideals are defensive driving, the ability to keep calm under pressure, a deep appreciation for the band Primus, and a comprehensive understanding of marijuana courtesy. Yes, my brother is a massive pothead, and a conscientious one, with great regard for the foundational traditions of Weediquette. This column would not exist without his influence.
Recently though, I've been at pains witnessing what has become of the free-living pothead in him. It began when he married a doctor, a woman whose medical training stood in direct opposition to her husband’s use of marijuana. Despite being rather "down” herself, she is a constant reminder of the very real health risks that accompany smoking just about anything. Yet even she has expressed distress over the languishing spirit inside my brother, confessing to me that she finds it “very weird that he waits until I go to sleep and then plays Xbox Live and smokes the tiniest joint you’ve ever seen out the window.” Small moments of liberation like these became less freqeunt when he and his wife created a daughter, which by all indication they did by compressing a metric ton of pure sugar into a tiny bundle. Despite their love for the man of the house, this small cadre of ladies has systematically removed all opportunities left for his favorite vice.
My brother’s 33rd birthday came and went this week, and prior to it, when I asked him what he wanted as a present, he stated in a hushed tone, “A decent vaporizer would be nice.” This was it--a chance for me to give something back to the man responsible for my mellow, agreeable state. This was an opportunity to reinstate his weed habit and allow it to exist in accordance with the various restrictions set upon him as a husband and father. For this to be an appropriately grandiose gesture, I knew I had to get him the best vape possible, something highly effective yet discreet and portable.
There are a ton of vapes on the market that fit this description, but only one has been nicknamed “The iPhone of vaporizers.” The Pax is, simply put, a reaaaally fucking nice vaporizer. Depending on the heat level you set and how long you pull, you can manage a hit of just about any size. It's such an efficient device that it makes burning weed seem like a waste.
The biggest disconnect for me personally, and one I’m sure my brother will have to overcome, is that we are used to the ceremony of smoking weed. Grinding the weed, rolling a joint, cuing up the Sealab 2021 episode, and finally lighting up are all part of a great tradition, and previous Weediquette articles have taught us the importance of that. The Pax, for all its efficiency and effectiveness, eliminates the need for these actions. But as we grow older and acquire new responsibilities, we sometimes have to set aside the old traditions and forge new ones. Even if that means having to vaporize your weed instead of smoking it. This is the nature of growing up. As I watched my bleary-eyed brother activate his Pax, flipping through the instruction manual with great zeal, I saw a dad reconciling two disparate facets of his life, and I felt proud that I had provided the solution. I savored the feeling, knowing that the next time I experience it will be on his 34th birthday, when I tackle his crippling alcoholism.
If you’re ready to be a grownup, you can get a Pax here.