Featuring Karma the Smokehound
This was back in the old times, before everyone started smoking pot. The marijuana scene was still underground then. No one ever spoke about it except to those who you knew also partook of the weed, or unless you had a really strong suspicion. I never guessed wrong, and it was always a delight as well as a relief to find out that someone else you knew was a toker.
In those times there was a real feel of doing something subversive by smoking marijuana. It automatically made you a member of a secretive world that separated you from mainstream society, and we liked that about it almost as much as the buzz. But it couldn't last. The first time I realized that marijuana had gone mainstream was when the football players at the High School of Commerce started bragging about their reefer consumption. Except they didn't call it toking, they called it "partying." I didn't like that phrase. Our parents went to parties. The pot scene couldn't be underground or subversive anymore if the jocks were doing it and making it just an appetizer at their beer blasts.
As more people started smoking, the coolness of the scene also declined. Suddenly you saw people who had no sense of the customs and rituals of the herb. They smoked too much, too fast, they "bogarted" the joint by talking and holding it in their hand, taking hit after hit and not passing it on until it was half gone. The worst of this new breed was someone we called High Hank, who was like the guy who shows up at the party with one half drunk beer in his hand and then proceeds to stay the whole night drinking everybody elses.
We called him High Hank because he was so bold about his greedy weed-crazed ways. All around Pine Point he would flutter like a stoned butterfly from group to group, wherever he saw weed being toked or thought he could bum a joint, and invited himself into every circle of cannabis friendship, even though he wasn't really anybody's friend. He was so shameless that he liked to boast about his consumption, claiming that he could smoke more than any other person in the Point. Some people thought it might be true while others were unsure, but none doubted that he intended to smoke everyone's pot, wherever it was or in whatever quantity.
One day we were over my friend Jerry's house playing pool. My other friends Jim and Jay were there as well. Jerry's little dog Karma was sleeping under the pool table, like he always did. Watching the game from the sidelines was a girl we called Patty Pot, so called because of one time at a stoned gathering everyone was telling their best sexual fantasy. There were some pretty raunchy fantasies described, but when it came to Patty she surprised everyone by saying that her fantasy was to run naked through an endless field of marijuana. For that weird wish she earned her name Patty Pot.
Also present that day was High Hank, who had followed us over from the Nora's Variety Store where we had the misfortune to run into him when buying rolling papers. We probably should have rejected him with an insult or a threat or something, as some people did, but we sort of felt sorry for him for being friendless and so we let him tag along. That particular day Jerry was waiting for the pot dealer Leon to come over. No one anticipated Leon's arrival more than High Hank, who boasted that he could smoke Leon's whole stash.
Patty Pot decided she had heard enough. "I could smoke you under this table anytime!" she dared. Hank High scoffed, "Are you crazy girl? I'll smoke you unconscious." It went on like this, getting a bit heated, until Leon the dealer showed up. He seemed amused by the boastful sleaze and charmed by the brave young lady who said that she could outsmoke him. Leon had a good business, and was the sort to act on a whim, so we were surprised but not shocked when he suddenly said, "Let's put it to the test!"
Leon, whose weed was always above average, reached into his knapsack and threw a bag on the pool table. There was a gasp as we saw what it was - a whole ounce of primo Acapulco Gold intermingled with some pungent Panama Red. "I don't care who you are, no one can smoke that entire bag." Leon said. "But let's see which one of you can smoke more!"
So it began. A big thick joint was rolled. To enhance the enjoyment of the spectators, each joint was to be passed around among all present until it was half smoked. Then the second half would be smoked exclusively by Patty Pot and High Hank. Every hit had to be held in your lungs for at least ten seconds. When the joint came round to me I was amazed by the smooth rich taste. By my second hit I was noticeably stoned. By my third I was glad that it was time for Harry and Patty to go at it one on one.
Despite the incredible power of the righteous weed, neither contestant seemed overly stoned. When the second joint went around, Jim announced that he could smoke no more. The third joint saw Jerry drop out. Jay and I declined after joint number four. Leon, who smoked this powerful weed all the time, had very high tolerance, but even he had to quit at joint number five. That left Patty Pot and High Hank to go at it head to head for the coveted title of the Highest Head in All Pine Point!
It was obvious that joint number six would be the last, which was just as well because there was no pot left for another joint anyway. Both Patty and Hank had bloodshot, unfocused eyes. A dreamy sleepiness had overcome them and their words were slurred. But back and forth the joint went. Patty's head began to nod, as if she was about to pass out, but she suddenly rallied and managed to snap to attention just in time to pass the joint to the equally woozy High Hank. Slowly Hank tried to raise the joint to his lips, but seemed unable to focus on what he intended to do, staring at the joint like it was something from another planet.
It seemed as if victory might be within Patty's reach, as the stupefied High Hank began swaying on his feet. Then suddenly Karma the dog came bounding out from its spot beneath the pool table, where everyone had forgotten he was sleeping, and the dog leaped onto the pool table, something he had never done before! The dog's eyes were all bloodshot. The poor animal had become stoned out of its mind by the smoke that filled the cellar from the powerful weed. All at once the dog lunged for the joint in Hank High's hand and with a cry of fear he dropped it.
To our utter amazement the dog took the joint in its mouth and scarfed it down its throat whole, the burning head of it and all. Karma then calmly returned to its place under the table, walked around in a small circle a couple of times, then lay down, curled up, and slept for twelve hours.
So we never did find out who was the biggest toker in the Point, because Leon never sprung for a free bag again. He said he would, but we never pressed him on the matter because everybody knows that its the dope dealer's creed that the first bag is always free, but then you pay top dollar for the rest of your life.
Bill Dwight of WHMP took this photo of Greg Saulmon from Local Buzz with the big black dude from the Haymarket performing among the fruits (and lezzies) and vegetables of Serios Market.
This is something called The Snizz performing in Northampton a few nights ago.