“They say you never forget your first time, though in the case of your first high it’d be perfectly understandable if you did. Maybe you had a giggling fit. Maybe you got really absorbed in petting the carpet … Whatever you were doing the first time you got stoned, you probably look back on that time and laugh (or face palm, depending on how into the carpet you were).” — Sara Coughlin, Refinery29
illustrious predatory 42nd president, I have inhaled. Several times! This of course makes me decidedly usual and boring in this day and age, when over sixty percent of Americans favor straight-up legalization of marijuana. So why mention it? Well, I’m told I have a few amusing stories on the subject. As we head into the oft-stressful holiday season, I hope to perhaps brighten your day at my expense.
The first non-inhale I ever didn’t breathe was at a concert my sophomore year of high school. It was Edgefest. You Dallasites know what I’m talking about. 1996. A decent-sized group of friends sort of collectively decided to go. We did the usual nineties teenage group thing: the person with the coolest parents would put everyone’s ticket on a credit card and we’d each pay them back in cash. Easy peasy. Not only did this ensure the whole group got tickets the first moment they went on sale, it meant I had time to strategize dealing with my own parents, who I knew would not be happy about such an event. Not only would this musical lineup feature that great evangelical Christian bugaboo SECULAR ROCK MUSIC, the venue was in a not-then-but-now-gentrified part of Dallas. If you catch my drift.
All this to say, I knew better than to ask outright. I considered a few options and eventually settled on Asking Forgiveness Rather Than Permission. I bought the ticket, then asked if I could go. Somehow, and not without a few battle scars, it worked.
We had cheap seats, way back on the grass. We bought our Edgefest t-shirts right away and looped them through our belt holes, all vowing to wear them to school the next day. Some group we didn’t know sitting one blanket over was passing around a pipe. They said it was weed. They offered, some of us partook. In hindsight, that was probably very dumb. Who knows what shit was actually in there. It could have been crack! It probably wasn’t. Anyways, I was quite inexperienced at mind-altering substances then, so one hit was alllll it took. I floated the rest of the concert away. People around us kept smoking, we kept inhaling it second-hand, and by the time I got home I was fucking blasted. No, I didn’t drive, relax. But … my parents were still up when I got home. This was BAD! I said hi then pretended I was desperate for the bathroom and ran. I changed my fragrant clothes as quickly as possible but I suspected it was too late. I knew they had smelled the evidence of my teenage misdeed, and I waited with acute dread for the ax to drop. For reasons I cannot decipher, it never did. It was really weird. They had to have known. I reeked! And then my friends and I, as promised, wore those damn shirts to school a mere ten hours later, the fabric threads holding dear to the sweet pungency of THC. We were second-hand stoned all day long. And no one said a thing. I will never understand this.
So a year-ish later I found myself at a party where a joint was being passed around. Buoyed by my narrow escape the last time, and knowing I had plenty of time to destroy the evidence this time, I took one hit. Again, totally inexperienced. Again, so very affected. Our host, whose parents were not home and was probably not supposed to be throwing such a shindig in the first place, was adamant the joint not be lit in the house. We took it to the front yard instead. Some of us, for unfathomable reasons, decided to run down the block while giggling like hyenas and flailing our arms. Who knows. Chalk it up to the weed. At the end of the block, someone pointed in the dark to a vague four-legged shape topped with two glittering eyes and said something to the effect of, “Duuuudddeee, is that a coyote?” We panicked (paranoia much?) and frantically ran back to the group, breathlessly insisting we’d seen a coyote. Clearly. I mean, why wouldn’t a coyote be wandering around a residential suburban street? I’m sure no one would have noticed it digging in perfectly manicured landscaping and lifting its leg on all the “Proud Parent of an Honor Roll Child” yard signs. As you’ve already surmised, no one believed us. No really, guys, go over there and look for yourselves! Uhhh, that’s okay. And maybe don’t do any more of that shit? When I came down later that night, of course I started doubting it myself. It was dark. We were stoned. It was probably a dog.
But do you know what happened the following Monday? The local news reported that a coyote had escaped the local zoo and was at large. Huh. Whaddya know. Okay, fine, it was probably still a dog. We’re talking about a confined, residential suburb. The odds that an escaped wild animal could have run around in such a vehicle- and population-dense area without being spotted or getting killed are almost zero. But do such pesky details matter to idiot teenagers telling an embellished, braggadocious tale to their peers at school? They do not. When we regaled any poor suckers that would listen with that story around school, the joint part was curiously omitted and the probable dog was definitely a coyote.
And now that you’ve heard my dumbest anecdotes on the subject, you get my personal politics: legalize marijuana with an age limit, tax the living shit out of it so public schools get better funding and people get desperately needed property tax relief, expunge sentences, provide society reentry assistance to those who were unfairly incarcerated, make racial reparations since current marijuana laws are racist as hell and only Black people have suffered for them, provide a clear and easy pathway for Black people to make money off the legal weed business, fund medical marijuana research, don’t vote for Joe Biden, and thank you for coming to my TED talk.
Frosted Eggnog Cookies
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp rum extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ cup spiced rum
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tbs heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 350℉. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Beat in extracts.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. In a small bowl, combine rum and cream.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with the rum mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, until just combined.
- Use a regular cookie scoop or a spoon of equivalent size (about 2 tbs) to drop rounds of dough about 2 inches apart. Use your fingers to first pat the rounds into a neat ball, then flatten each ball into a small disc.
- Bake until lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Do not frost them until they are cooled.
- A note: I had a few more than 2 dozen cookies, which meant that sometimes I baked a few (like 3 or 4) cookies again after removing a regular batch from one of the baking sheets, and sometimes I just ate the dough.
- Spread the buttercream neatly onto each cookie (I like a small offset spatula for this, but I’m sure a butter knife is fine too). Garnish each cookie with freshly grated nutmeg, as light or heavy as you like.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla extract at medium-low speed until light and fluffy. Use immediately.