At the newly opened recreational marijuana dispensary in Colorado.
Clerk: Hello. Welcome to Bud’s Bud Emporium Place. How can I help you, obviously socially awkward customer?
Me: Hi. Do you sell bongs?
Clerk: Yep. Right over in that display case. Any one in particular you’d like to see?
Me: No, I just wanted to be able to say bong out loud without being asked to leave the store. See, in the old days when you went into a head shop you had to pretend that you were using bongs to smoke tobacco, and you had to call them water pipes, because if you actually said “bong” the clerk would legally be obligated to kick you out. So you had to do this surreal nudge-nudge wink-wink dance the whole time you were having a conversation. They even had a big sign saying that anyone talking about anything other than tobacco and water pipes use will be asked to leave. No kidding. In the old days it was especially —
Clerk: (Pointing to a sign that reads “Any customer mentioning the ‘old days’ will be asked to leave.”)Ahem.
Me: (Reading sign while moving lips.) Oh, sorry. Just as well though. Going forward, right? I’m here today to buy some marijuana so I can smoke it and get high. Whew, feels good to say that out loud.
Clerk: Well, I’m sure we can help you out. What are you interested in?
Me: Oh, man, it’s been so long since I’ve toked up on some reefer.
Me: I even brought my own film canister, in case you’re running low.
Clerk: What’s film?
Me: Never mind. I guess I’ll just take an order of some regular old Mary Jane, please. To go.
Clerk: No, it doesn’t work like that. We have over 35 popular strains of indica, sativa and hybrids. You’ll need to choose one. You don’t just walk into a restaurant and order “food,” do you?
Me: Well, maybe. If I’m really high from smoking marijuana. Which I will be very soon right after purchasing it in this store. Legally. Ha! Man, I feel so alive.
Clerk: Anyway, what would you like?
Me: Well, um. What’s good?
Clerk: Here, smell this and tell me what you think.
Me: I can’t smell anything.
Clerk: It works better if you close your mouth.
Me: Oh, right. Sorry. Like I say, it’s been a while. (Snifff) Whoa! That smells like Tommy Chong used a skunk for a deodorant stick.
CLERK: It’s called “Amnesia Wreck.” It’s quite popular.
Me: Amnesia Wreck? That doesn’t sound fun. That’s, like, two unpleasant situations and activities that I’d like to avoid all rolled into one. Why would you call it that?
Clerk: Maybe some “Jack the Ripper?” It’s a very well-received hybrid.
Me: Jack the Ripper? You do know that that’s the name of a gruesome serial killer from the 1800s, right?
Clerk: What’s the 1800s?
Me: Never mind. I’m not sure that any association with serial killing is really what I’m looking for in this experience. I was kind of leaning a bit more toward gentle euphoria, maybe some mild introspection. Occasional giggling also would be acceptable.
Clerk: How about some “Alaskan Thunderf–k?”
Me: Even though I’m not totally sure what it means, I’m pretty sure that getting thunderf—-d is not something I’d enjoy.
Clerk: We just got a delivery of “Total Irreversible Paralysis.”
Me: Please tell me that’s marketing hyperbole.
Clerk: Sort of. The irreversible part is a stretch. It does render you completely incapable of any bodily movement, but unfortunately it wears off after a few hours.
Me: Look, I just want to just get a bit stoned and watch some old Bullwinkle cartoons.
Clerk: What’s —
Me: Don’t say “What’s Bullwinkle?” Just sell me some marijuana that won’t totally and utterly obliterate me. Please.
Clerk: Hmmm. That’s not a request I’ve ever heard before.
Me: I’ll wait.
Clerk: Maybe some “Pantsless on the Playground?”
Clerk: “Rear-end a Cop Car?”
Clerk: “Burn Down the Neighborhood Making Nachos While Laughing Uproariously at the Human Condition?”
Clerk: “Flies Laying Eggs Under Your Skin?”
Clerk: “Unimaginable Paranoid Anxiety?”
Clerk: “Sobbing Incontinence?”
Me: Absolutely not.
Clerk: Sorry, gramps. I think you may be in the wrong place. Maybe you should head over to the grocery store and score a bag of oregano.
Me: Very funny. I’ll have you know that back in the old days we would —
Barry Smith’s column appears Mondays in The Aspen Times.
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