DeVos: Browsing the Green Mile antique stores
November 20, 2014
"Could I get an ounce of ditch weed?" I asked, trying not to count his nose rings.
"What's ditch weed? Good Lord, man, I can't believe I'm hearing you say that. It's all we smoked in the '70s. It was everywhere, you know, fueling the revolution. You've never heard of it? "
"The '70s!" he repeated, "Revolution? You mean like 1776? Did George Washington really smoke dope?" He stared at my hairline, as if noting that it was receding like a British warship.
I glared back, marveling at the ignorance of youth, "Uh no," I said, "I meant the hippie revolution where your grandparents tried to make sense out of the government."
"Why haven't I ever heard about it?"
"Because we lost and turned into Republicans."
"Look," he said, "all that's very interesting but I got 20 customers in the waiting room. Are you here to buy pot or what?"
"Okay then," I said, yielding my soapbox, "I suppose I'll have an ounce of Maui Wowie, please."
"Suppose something else," he said, "that's not happening."
"It's a staple like rice and wheat. How can you be out of it?"
"I'm not out of it; I never heard of it."
I shook my head incredulously. "This is strange and very difficult to believe. I'm afraid to ask about Panama Red."
His blank look caused my eyes to bug, "Don't tell me you don't have that either! How can you call yourself an Antique Pot store, sitting in the middle of South Broadway's Green Mile and say that you've never heard of Panama Red?"
He looked at me incredulously, "Huh? Where? Who?"
"It's not a who, you gosling, it's a what! Panama Red was the most potent weed the world had ever seen. We even sang about it, remember? New Riders of the Purple Sage, huh?" I decided to show this perforated child what life used to be about and warbled a stanza.
"Panama Red, Panama Red
On his white horse, Mescalito
He come breezin' through town
I'll bet your woman's up in bed with
Ol' Panama Red"
I shook my head, "Never made any sense to me either but that just meant it was good pot. We worshipped Panama Red. That stuff sometimes got close to 2 percent THC! Whew, talk about knocking your socks off!"
He put both hands on the counter and leaned towards me, "Three things," he said, "First, this is a pot store with an antique store next door. They sell old things, we sell new things. Secondly, I don't think there is such a thing as an antique pot store outside of maybe an Amsterdam Museum. You really should go there. Did you know you can catch RTD at the next corner? And finally, almost everything I sell is above 20 percent THC content."
I stared in disbelief, "Impossible. Pot that strong would alter history and change elections."
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