It had been 25 years since I smoked pot, when the Bear and I learned: Puff, Puff, Pass.
We were visiting the Boy’s house when he was still in college, and a couple of other parents were there. He was living in squalor with 7-12 “swimmers” in a termite-invested, piece of crap house. It was on a hill and had a million-dollar view of the ocean past Waikiki Beach.
The kids told stories of waking up to flying cockroaches on their faces. That’s when the Bear and I headed for our gay-friendly hotel.
Listen to Lewis Black read the Gay-Friendly Hotel rant.
The Swim House was just steps away from the dorms at the University of Hawaii, and every weekend was party weekend. We learned later the cops had a call-sign for the place “1326” (or some fucking set of 4 numbers, who can remember after the pot).
Every night at 10 p.m. the cops would stop at the park at the bottom of the hill, roll down the window and listen for “party noises” — you know, screaming, grass-induced laughter, crying from head injuries…
If they heard anything, they call in “1326” and go break it up. The numbers were the address to the Swim House.
The Bear decided these natives needed some Mexican food. There’s not much Mexican food in Hawaii. You know why? Because lettuce was $12 a head. Beans, cheese and edamame just isn’t a fiesta.
After she stuffed the kids with chicken and beans, they wanted to pay us back. They had no money. They started with booze.
We pressured Perry’s Mom (who doesn’t drink) into chugging 1 Irish Car Bomb – a mix of Guinness, whiskey and Bailey’s. Pour the Bailey’s in last and chug as fast as you can.
At first, it tastes like chocolate milk. After 5 seconds, it tastes like whiskey and rotten milk that was burned on the stove then left outside for 3 days. Delicious if you are a newly formed Kafka-roach — disgusting if you are still a human being.
The Bear and Perry’s mom chug their car-bombs. Perry’s mom makes some fucked-up excuse and leaves.
Then “the kids” switched the payoff to pot. Normally, the Bear and I would leave. But we just spent 15 minutes bullying Perry’s mom.
“How fucking old are you?” “You’re not dead yet.”
And finally: “Your son will remember this forever if you share this moment.”
The Boy hands the joint to the Bear: “You know I will remember this forever…”
She takes this enormous hit like it’s the last bit of oxygen on earth, and looks to hand off.
“No, it’s puff, puff, pass Mom. You have another puff.” And like a cult, the entire room chants: puff, puff, pass… puff, puff, pass…
I can already see her eyes turning red, and this crooked smile I have never seen before comes over her face. She takes another huge hit.
I knew that pot is a lot stronger than the twigs and oregano-filled crap we had in the 80’s, because I’m a reader.
I take a baby puff, baby puff and pass.
After that I’m not exactly sure the order of things. I believe we did some more drinking. We may or may not have left the car at the Swim House, but we definitely decided to stagger back to the beach (about 1 mile). And we clearly left way before the cops called in “1326.”
Halfway to our gay home there’s a Safeway.
I can’t remember everything we put in that cart, but there were definitely chocolate-chip cookies, and we filled it to the brim.
I remember the packages being heavy as hell and that half-mile seemed like a giggle-filled marathon.
We carried all this shit to the elevator. I do remember two very friendly men at the Gay-Friendly hotel helped me hold the door and lift bags. They ignored the Bear.
She claims they invited me to the dance club on the second floor, but I only remember falling out of the elevator and dancing back to the room.
I remember breathing hard at the door, and then it was puff, puff, pass out on the bed.
The Bear claims I didn’t pass out right away. She had evidence. In the morning, the cookies were gone, and there was a ton of half-opened food packages all over the floor. To this day, she swears I ate all that shit by myself. Do you believe her? I don’t.
But either way, now it’s puff, puff, pass the shame…
Update Aug 1, 2020
This is an old story now. But it’s still one of my favorites and I try to resurrect it once a year like a zombie (like a zombie not Jesus — he only rose once in 2000 years, but zombie movies come flooding in every decade).
I put this story on the Bullshit blog in 2017, but it probably happened in 2011 or 2012. Seems like centuries ago when we could travel, share a small space with a lot of people and pass a joint…