Photo via Flickr user kmonojo
Everyone has a story about the first time they ever smoked weed, and it usually sucks. The better story is the one about the first time you got really, really high. Most people need a couple of tries before really experiencing it, and the first time it really has an effect is just plain awesome. When I was 15, I had smoked a couple of times and thought I knew what it was to be high, though I probably wasn’t feeling much. I finally got properly stoned at Warped Tour ’99 in Northampton, MA, and it completely wrecked me in the best way. I remember drinking free samples of Yoohoo hand over fist and struggling to walk around on the sea of flattened plastic cups that had formed around the booth. Later that summer, I moved to New Jersey and became stranded in a new town without a weed connect. It wasn’t really a habit back then, so I wasn’t looking for it too hard. It ended up finding me when a random dude gave me a ride home from school, and I got more lit up than I have been since.
I joined stage crew right when school started because it was the only club where you could smoke cigarettes out back and the teacher didn’t give a shit. A former student named Matt, who had to be in his mid 20s, was always hanging out backstage and helping out with stuff. I probably should have been a little creeped out when we offered me a ride home, but I had a doctor’s appointment to catch and my mom would kill me if I were late getting home.
Matt’s truck had townee written all over it. It had racing covers on the seats, a flashy audio head unit, and an eight ball shifter. As I could have guessed, he demonstrated his subwoofers with Korn before pulling out of the parking lot. As he turned onto the road, Matt opened his center console and pulled out a brass one-hitter. “Wanna take a little detour?” he asked. Again, this was a creepy statement, but I was really eager to smoke. How dare I question the intentions of this benign suburbanite offering me weed? I agreed and he turned down a quiet thoroughfare.
Matt loaded up the one-hitter and passed it to me. As I smoked, he perused the CD sleeve strapped to his sun visor. He came upon a selection and yelled. “Let’s bump some Catch 22, dude!” It was most definitely 1999, and I was more in New Jersey than ever. Matt continued loading the brass piece, and I continued to accept his generosity. His weed was insanely good, possibly the best weed I had smoked until that point. I’m sure being 25 and living in the boring suburb he grew up in gave Matt good reason to secure solid trees. Before pulling up to my building, Matt asked if I was OK to talk to my mom. I told him I’d smoke a cigarette and chill for a minute before going up. “Here, take one of mine,” he said, offering me a Marlboro menthol light. I thanked him and he jetted. Now I just had to cool it so I could talk to my mom and oh shit, that doctor’s appointment.
At the tail end of the cigarette, I discovered that I was crazy high. In the quiet apartment complex, I could hear the sound of birds echoing off the bricks and crescendo-ing into a loud, synthetic roar. I sat down on a bench and listened some more, wondering if I could hear the cells regenerating in my ears if I focused enough. After an eternity, my beeper jostled me out of my thoughts. It was my mom. I bolted up the stairs and found her ready to drive me to the doctor’s office. She nudged me right back out of the doorway. Before she closed the door, I bolted back inside to grab a bottle of water. I spotted a massive Costco container of honey-roasted peanuts on the kitchen counter. I grabbed that instead.
All the way to the doctor’s office, I ate the living hell out of those peanuts. As my mom asked me questions about my day, I attempted to respond while stuffing fistfuls into my mouth. When we got there, she told me to leave the peanuts in the car and I refused, shaking my head while chewing. She rolled her eyes and muttered something to herself about how weird I am.
It was my first time seeing that doctor, so I had to fill out a bunch of forms. My mom did most of the writing, but I managed to get honey-roasted crust all over the forms before handing them to the nurse. When they called me in for my checkup, I brought the peanuts with me into the exam room. I continued eating them as the nurse took my vitals. She only asked me to put them down when she weighed me. Finally, the doctor came in and started saying some stuff to me. I barely listened, instead studying the eye chart on the wall and munching on peanuts. I started paying attention as he was finishing up. “You’re fine, just a little underweight. You should eat more,” he said. With a mouthful of half-chewed peanuts, I said, “I’m working on it.” We both laughed and he sent me on my way.
Looking back, I have to question that doctor’s professional skill. Any idiot could have figured out that I was high as shit, and yet not a single person in this office said anything to me about my aloofness and obsessive peanut-eating. And how the hell did my mom not figure it out? I ate a pound and a half of peanuts in the space of 40 minutes right in front of her. Then again, my mom is very unfamiliar with weed, and maybe the doctor knew I was high but didn’t want to blow up my spot. Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with everyone’s response to how stoned I was. Although, I probably ruined honey-roasted peanuts for myself forever.
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