Friday, 28 August 2009

Fear And Loathing In Amsterdam

My mate Fletch likes the anecdotes about my Dad, so here's another one. And while I'm on about drugs, this tale is worth telling. Dad's retired, so he won't get into trouble at work. Besides, he has a ponytail at 60, so everyone trusts he was a hippy, anyway.

Dad was anything but a hippy though and, when he found a bag of grass me and our Scott had when I was 21, he hit the fucking roof. I remember a few desperate minutes as he examined the bag in the locked bathroom, worrying it was going down the toilet. We got it back, Dad deciding that, if we must smoke, we had to do it in the garden or garage so we wouldn't get trouble with the Old Bill. Occasionally he'd potter around the garage while we did so, moving stuff around pointlessly. Scotty grinned at me, and we offered Dad a puff. He declined, but one day gave in and said he'd like to try it. A few curious puffs and a Don't Tell Your Mum later, he was back in the house. Despite his claims it did nothing, my laughing sister soon appeared from the house...asking if we'd given Dad a smoke? Apparently he was up a set of stepladders, unscrewing and polishing the lightbulbs...claiming they must be dusty, as the house was "dim".

And so to Amsterdam. He convinced Mum to go for a weekend away. In his first coffeeshop, he bought two joints. Mum hates smoking, so the owner gave her a hash cookie, along with strict instructions to do half and wait to see how it affected her. Did she listen? No...she got peckish and ate the other half soon after. Oops. So Dad's nicely mellow and well on his way. Mum's saying nothing was happening. They headed for a Chinese restaurant and ordered some food.

"Don...those people are looking at us."
"Don, those people over there are talking about us..."
Dad assured her it must be the cookie. Mum denied this, but was convinced that everyone laughing in the place was laughing at them, or talking about them. The room started tilting, and everything started slowing right down until people were speaking as if on a videotape about to be chewed up in a VCR. I think it sounded brilliant, but Mum was clearly terrified.

The food arrived, and Dad's stomach growled as the steaming noodle aroma tickled his weed-heightened nostrils. Mouth watering, he lunged for the chopsticks. Mum stood up, almost knocking her chair flying, and announced they were leaving. Adamant she must go immediately, Dad had to leave and put her to bed...enduring hunger pangs for the rest of the evening.

Dad'll have the occasional smoke with me and my brother. Mum's off it for life. The worst thing about the story is, they can't remember which coffeeshop they bought the cookie in?

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