This is the third and final installment in my tawdry tale of still one more indiscretion involving cannabis, in which I try to prevent my son's wedding from being shut down prematurely. Part One, "Encore!" and Part Two, "I Fucked Up," precede this grand finale, so here goes.
Facing the Music
“What do you want?” The speaker, who was addressing none other than me, was shaped like a small blockhouse and was at least half my age. His ham-like face was rounded on all four sides, his apple cheeks and chin were dusted with a sparse growth of light-colored whiskers, and he was wearing a red plaid, long-sleeved shirt.
He stared implacably at me through ice-blue eyes, as though I were nothing more significant than a writhing maggot, while one of the other two men in the room actually put one hand over his mouth, and giggled like a middle-school girl.
Easy does it; keep your wits about you now.
“I would like to talk about what just came down, upstairs.” I was dutifully respectful.
“You were smoking pot.” He spat the words out as if hocking a loogie. He seemed fixated on my mustache.
“Yes. We were. It was a poor choice. My bad.” I was abjectly apologetic.
“At a boy scout camp.” His face, if at all possible, seemed to inflate even more with indignation. His sense of outrage might have seemed comical, had not the stakes been so high.
Right on cue, Lackey Dude giggled again.
“Yes, I know it’s a boy scout camp. I brought two classes of sixth grade students out here more than twenty years ago, when it was also a boy scout camp. What’s your point?” I had no choice; I had to remain civil.
“My point is, it’s a goddamned boy scout camp.” He accompanied this witticism with a sneer.
“Fine. Except right now, it’s not a boy scout camp; we’re celebrating a wedding. Nary a boy scout to be found.”
Easy, Lad; keep focused.
Before I go further, a brief recap is in order. I was attending one of my son’s wedding, five years ago, at a venue where it was made clear in advance, that the appearance of cannabis would be met with great unhappiness. The facility had a policy that prohibited it.
Make no mistake. I may not have been thrilled about it, but I did know the boundaries. Besides, I had the situation well in-hand, because I had had the foresight to bake up a batch of gluten-free, oatmeal cookies, using cannabis oil instead of butter. No one need ever be aware of my indiscretion.
However, the occasion being most joyous, one of the participants had come to me with a request for an environment, in which he could indulge in the pursuit of his own happiness. Normally, the great outdoors is a marvelous setting, but unfortunately on this particular evening, the clouds were spewing.
There was snow mixed in with the rain, an indication that the temperature hovered near freezing, and the wind made it unthinkable that we would consider trying to smoke a doobster. Rain and wind have a tendency to dampen fire, if not spirits.
I had earlier that evening been in a building across from the main event, in which an upstairs room had been used for this exact pursuit. Yes, cannabis was being smoked.
I had returned to this venue as the pied piper, with a parade of happy revelers following me. There was no lighting on the external staircase leading up to the second floor, so we had tread carefully, the only sound occurring when one of the celebrants slipped on the staircase, and went down with a thud.
Almost certainly, this thud is what drew Blockhouse and his two henchmen up into our midst, and he had blown the doors off, with a vitriolic tirade that made some of us a little nervous.
We had come down the staircase and gathered beneath the overhang outside the main hall, contemplating the universe. We made brief conversation.
“Whoa, that is one pissed off dude.”
“I don’t know; this might not be good.”
“What do you mean? We did stop.”
“He said something about shutting everything down.”
“What an asshole.”
“What do we want to do about it?”
“Should we just go back in?”
“Maybe someone should talk to him.”
I spoke up. “Hey, it was my bad all the way. I am the one who suggested going upstairs. I will talk to him right now. You guys head back into the party, and I will face the music. If anyone is going to get drummed out of here, it ought to be me.”
I had seen our antagonist, followed by his buddies, enter a lighted door directly under the room we had just vacated. Even if they hadn’t heard the thud, they had certainly heard us moving about, directly overhead, anyway.
I pulled the handle of the door down and opened it, stepping into what appeared to be a bare-bones office with one chair, a desk, and three dudes standing there, now staring at me. Blockhouse had inquired, acidly, “What do you want?”
We had not gotten very far in the interim and were, in fact, regressing.
“Smoking pot at a goddamned boy scout camp. I should just have you thrown out of here.” Blockhouse gestured dismissively at me, but kept on staring.
“Look, can we have this conversation?” [Enough with the boy scouts, already.]
“Look, can we have this conversation?” [Enough with the boy scouts, already.]
Use your tools, Laddie. That’s what they’re there for.
“What. EVER.” Blockhouse stared malevolently at me.
The worm to the right of Blockhouse was his twin; he never said a word-just giggled.
“I do not want to see my son’s wedding ruined by someone who is pissed off at me.” I kept my voice even.
“You should have thought about that.”
“Thought about what, exactly?”
“That this is a boy scout camp.” He continued to glare at me, focusing on the braids of my mustaches.
“What is with you and the boy scouts? We’re having a wedding here. I don’t see any boy scouts. When I brought students here, there weren’t any boy scouts, either. This is a wedding. Folks party at weddings.”
“You people come in here and the next thing I know, you’re smoking pot.” The familiar sneer was back again.
“Yes, we’ve established that. I understand there is a rule. What I don’t understand is why you are so angry. You have taken it personally, and I don’t understand. You are furious. Why is that?”
“It’s illegal,” he said, self-righteously. At last! Now we were getting somewhere.
“No, it’s not illegal for those with a doctor’s prescription; I have a card here, which is designed to be handed to the CHP or county sheriff. Cannabis may be against your policy here, but that is not the same as being illegal.”
I had removed my plastic Compassionate Health card and presented it to him, so that he could see it was my picture on the front. He was not impressed.
“You people make me sick.” If his intention were to humiliate me, he needn’t have bothered. It takes a person deserving of my respect to insult me in the first place; otherwise, I simply consider the source, and not for very long.
“Because we smoke cannabis? You don’t even know us. I wouldn’t be able to attend this event if I didn’t have access to cannabis. I need my medication.”
“Yes, cannabis. Call it what you prefer. You do not have to like it and you do not have to approve. But you do not have the right to question what my doctor prescribes for me, just as I don’t have the right to question what your doctor prescribes for you.”
“But I don’t have to smoke my medication.”
“Neither do I. I brought my cookies,” drawing out my plastic baggie, and showing him the contents of gluten-free, homemade, oatmeal cookies, baked with cannabis oil instead of butter.
“I did not need to smoke upstairs, because I came prepared. However, a friend of mine was here, who has some of the same anxiety issues as I do, and he asked me for a place to smoke. Had I told him there was no place, he would have simply gone out to his car.
But I had thought that the room we were in was all right for that purpose, and had directed him there accordingly. I was wrong for having done so, and I have apologized.”
He stared at me with contempt. I didn’t have a problem with him being upset at the act; I had a problem with his pure malevolence. This man in front of me had an indisputable loathing for me. I could not say one thing that toned that malignant expression down one notch. Implacable hatred.
“Before I leave, I am going to request that you not interfere with the wedding celebration. It is not my son’s fault that I chose to disregard the rule about cannabis.”
|Something about my mustache.. Weird.|
He fixated on my mustache and did not say a word. His scornful eyes said it all.
“Fine.” I went on. “You like being in control. I’ve said everything I have to say. I made a mistake, admitted it and apologized. That’s all I’ve got,” and I turned and exited the building, stage left, and frustrated as ack.
Whether he never intended to interfere in the first place, or whether something I said actually penetrated his noggin, I shall never know, except to record that the wedding continued with no interruption.
As I noted in the opening chapter of this little drama, I have partaken of cannabis in a multitude of settings, and that though I ain’t proud, I have never been scared, either.
That last is patently incorrect, however, because I was scared-petrified is more like it, that I had caused the wedding to be shut down. Did I learn anything? Yes I did, but I am a slow learner so I have to repeat the lesson over and over again, to make sure I get it right.
One strategy does stand out: Bake those cookies and leave the lighters at home.