Monday 12 August 2013

Bong diving aardvarks

Kelso high school two hours after I started
cooking class.

Since I gave up drinking and rugs [Sorry, that's meant to be drugs, I have never been addicted to fabric floor coverings.] I've been slowly getting the world into focus and one of those things has been getting in touch with old friends, or more accurately, with people whom I didn't know were my friends.
Faceplant has been instrumental in this and even though I worked in IT, I was never an early adopter, as it's called.
I was brought to Facebook by Bill Louis, in the year ahead of me at Kelso High, with one of those social network emails, purportedly from Bill, asking if I wanted to join.
I did, and have been able to make a leap that I never thought I would, being friends in adulthood with people from school.
My time at school was very unhappy and I linked this with everyone who was there, which is of course the wrong thing to do.
But I think it's a human trait to weight bad things heavier in our minds than good things.
Is that right?
I think so, for instance the old customer service aphorism, if you treat someone well they will tell three people, if you treat someone badly they will tell thirty people.
And so (sadly) the things I mostly remember from school are being yelled at by the teachers and being bullied in the playground.
Which leads me to another piece of philosophy that I developed over the years: "The things that made you cool at high school, became proportionately less cool the further you get away from said school."
At my high school in the 70s and 80s in country Australia the coolest person, at least coolest male, played football, failed all his exams, drank alcohol, smoked pot and had sex with lots of women (at least he said he had sex with lots of women, we all know the truth now).
But as time went by and the same male moved into the adult world of jobs and marriage, he would find that women casting their eye about for a prospective male, wanted someone who was intelligent enough to have a good job, didn't drink or smoke pot, and clearly, only had sex with one woman, her.
I, like almost everything else in my life, did it the wrong way round, and fulfilled all the above categories of being cool at high school, once I turned thirty, behaviour which, as I have related, led me eventually into rehab.
And I can assure you, women looking for a relationship don't hang around outside the rehab centre looking for men.
Perversely though, men do.
Quite a few of the women I met in there, said that such-and-such a male was waiting for them to come out, and saw themselves as her protector.
Which is rehab speak for "he just wants a shag, and sees me as an easy option".
As if she didn't have enough to cope with without having to fend off the amorous advances of a dysfunctional male who felt that simply because he had driven her to Wyong hospital, she owed him something.
I'd like  to add that I don't mean to harp on about going to rehab, but I likewise don't want to glamourise excessive drug and alcohol taking either, but since many of the interesting stories of my life occurred whilst under the influence of, or recovering the next day from, drugs and alcohol, I think it is a good counterpoint to show the down side.
For that reason I feel I have something in common with Billy Connolly, one of the world's greatest comedians.
Billy built a career on riotous drunkeness, getting drunk, and then telling people what happened.
Sober Billy got on his bike.
But once married to Pamela Stephenson and had his first child, he realised it couldn't go on, so he became teetotal and moved away from stand-up comedy into the quieter world of funny travel logs.
It occasionally worries me that I may run out of stories to tell and things to say, with my own riotous behaviour now receding into the past.
Having said that, quite a few of the funny pics I've taken recently have been while out cycling, and there was no way I would have had the fitness to cycle anywhere while still on the juice, so we hope that, like Billy, I will soon develop a fund of stories that occurred whilst sober, so let's all look forward to that.
And so to the title of this post, one night I was so stoned that I developed the idea that Aardvarks were going to get into my bong and then jump up my nose.
An Aardvark is a rabbit-sized insectivore from southern Africa.
I worried this aardvark would penetrate my head.
Just where this idea came from I couldn't say since I was smoking said bong in Australia, and an animal the size of a chicken is never going to penetrate nasally.
Most of us under the influence of pot think we have had the greatest ideas since Newton discovered gravity, and we often write these things down, they're so profound.
However, when we stagger out to the living room the next day and try to check we find a sodden piece of paper with illegible scrawls disappearing toward the torn edge, where, short of rolling papers, we have ripped off a bit of our magnum opus to roll another joint.
If we can decipher some of it, we invariably find that it says things like, "Milk, and will, but only, yes."
Or, "Water doesn't grow!!!!"
Not least, "Stumps of trees, what use???"
Please note, the punctuation is mine, these scrawls are of course devoid of this aid to clear reading.
However I have had some good times on pot.
Daz and I smoked a joint in an alley next to the theatre before seeing the South Park movie in Sydney's George street movie complex.
We refer to it now as Hooter Alley (Hooter being of the many nicknames for pot), and I can assure you it did enhance the experience.
Perhaps, too much, I was shell-shocked when I came out, the sensory overload was phenomenal.
Also, I am probably unique in this, though if you have any similar tales please send them in.
I always wanted to be stoned whilst taking off in a jet.
So when flying off to somewhere I smoked a joint on the footpath outside the airport, then boarded the plane and strapped in.
That was a rush!
It was pre-9/11 of course, there is no way I'd encourage anyone to take drugs anywhere near an airport now.
Also, I did have one idea when stoned, for a new type of surfboard fin, which I then developed and am trying to sell.
I can assure you that whoever said "inventions are 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration", was telling the absolute truth.
It is attributed to Thomas Edison, but since he stole most of the ideas that would make him famous (and rich) then there is every reason to believe he stole that expression as well.
However it is true, I've done nearly half a decade of R-&-D and I still haven't got the fin to market.
If it ever sells and I make some money from it then it will have to be said that I had the original idea whilst really, really stoned.
Which reminds me of one person's secret of life: "a little bit of everything".
This was said to me by a young American on the grass lawn behind the backpackers we were staying in.
It was high summer and I was on my annual vacation up here in Byron.
We sat on the grass, women in bikinis and men shirtless in board shorts, music played from the ghetto-blasters.
Beach volleyball went on under lights, we had all surfed most of the day.
Beach volleyball in the background,
and the very grass where my
American friend expounded his secret of life.
The eskies were full of beer and I joined a group who were passing the peace pipe around.
A young american packed the cone with Nimbin buds, handed it to me and said, "my secret of life is a little bit of everything".
Which is pretty good (and one of the few stoned ideas worth reventilating).
Clearly, he didn't mean "a little bit of paedophilia", or "a little bit of murder", but a little bit of pot, a little bit of alcohol, a little bit of fatty foods, a little bit of work, a little bit of surfing and so on.
I can generally agree with this, if I could have have had a little bit of alcohol, or a just little bit of pot, then things would have been fine.
But of course it was the anaesthetic effect of the drugs that quickly became essential to my being, and so I overindulged, to put it mildly.
If any of you have a secret of life I'd be happy to hear it, and I'll add this bit of philosophy as well, since it likewise, in my opinion, is pretty good.
Whilst living in London my I was chatting (read: moaning) to my friend Don about a girl who had dumped me and the talk turned to human relationships in general, and Don said this: "In my opinion, the best relationship is one where both parties have to compromise the least."
Pretty good, huh?
The opposite, for instance the relationships in P.G.Wodehouse novels where Bertie Wooster is constantly having to give up cocktails, cigarettes, golf, sleeping in, meat, fatty foods, murder novels and even his man, Jeeves, every time he got involved with a girl, are clearly a recipe for disaster.
So find a relationship where neither of you have to compromise too much and have a little bit of everything.
With thanks to Don and a nameless stoned American for this week's tips on living.


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