It's hilarious to smoke with your dad and hear him refer to weed as "that Bob Marley," but getting high with your parents falls under Stoner Stories 101. There are much stranger and more unfortunate people you could be stuck toking with. For me, the most unexpected and awkward person I've ever blazed with was one of my high school teachers, who actually turned out to be a great smoking buddy for students and in total sincerity never pulled any creepy shit.
It happened at a graduation party when he stumbled into a few of us already passing around a bowl. It didn't feel like he was trying to hit on any of the women, although I'm sure in retrospect his behavior was not totally respectable. However, at the time, it just felt like he was treating us like adults, which everyone dug. It was awkward because we were all so high and thought it was so hilarious that he wanted to join that we couldn't stop laughing and geeking out. Cheers to you, Mr. Thompson (name changed to protect this soul).
A friend who was with me that day later went to smoke with a boyfriend's grandmother who was using pot as part of her cancer treatment. Apparently, once the octogenarian was high as fuck, she gave my friend a palm reading and proclaimed that she'd end up with someone far better than her grandson. How do you even reply to that?
In other words, everyone has smoked with a couple or two awkward motherfuckers — it happens. Hell, we've been the awkward motherfuckers ourselves before, too. No one can be the perfect pothead. From pizza delivery boys and rich-ass grandmas, to mental hospital guards-turned-cops, I asked people to share stories about the most awkward people they've blazed with. Their tales will both make you cringe and also think twice before sharing that joint with the wide-eyed tourist who somehow ended up at your friend's barbeque.
Grace, Age 26
Once in college, my friends and I were blazed out of our minds, so we ordered several Papa John's pizzas. Something with chicken and artichoke on it I believe, do they still have that one? It's the best. Anyways, the pizza delivery guy was this skinny, awkward teenager who was so nervous and cute to be around all these girls. He had on some sort of Blink-182 merch, like a button or a patch, and we loved that so after he plopped down the pizzas, we asked him if he wanted to join us.
We were sitting in a circle smoking out of this giant bong that would certainly knock me on my ass if I smoked out of it these days, but in college my tolerance was crazy. So this sweet little pizza delivery boy sits down with us and takes some very impressive hits from the bong. This was sometime around 2008, I didn't know the high school kids were hip to Blink-182, but this one was, and it was awesome. I loved learning about Tom DeLonge's mission to reveal the truth about aliens because this kid was ahead of his time in that regard.
After his first hit of the bong, he started explaining to us all about Area 51 and government cover-ups and the difference between reptilian aliens and "the Greys." He swore he had been abducted and explained that you can spot UFOs all the time, that they were these bouncing little dots in the sky that belonged to the most common type of aliens, I think Greys but I don't remember because I was very high. Anyways, time is an illusion when you're stoned, and at some point, this kid remembered all the pizzas in his car and had to go, but we could have sat around listening to him talk about aliens all night long. The lesson is that weed works wonderfully as a tip sometimes. I always offer to smoke out people who I get good vibes from these days; it's the best way to get to know people.
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James, Age 33
I grew up in Boston, and one of my many American-Irish buddies was a year older than me, but still in my grade. Throughout school, he would be the guy that got to do things sooner than a lot of us, such as driving and whatnot. He could also sometimes buy beer underage from old shops because he was tall and mature looking and could pull it off. He was quite the party guy, and we loved him. He had two brothers that were cops and a father who was head of security for a mental hospital. He became a security guard for that mental hospital after college and eventually became a cop, but never stopped being the party boy (notice the emphasis on "boy").
Over the years, when I didn't live in Boston anymore, I would come home to visit for the holidays and hang out with him at the Irish bars and house parties. Although he was and is a stand-up guy and more of a "good cop" than we see in some discouraging news articles, a few beers (or more) never seemed to deter him from driving. I knew that, but a few years back I was finally shocked when I got a call from him to have a couple of beers with him, and he picked me up from my parent's house (where I would stay during these holiday visits) in his police cruiser.
We drove to a park and drank beers and chatted; then we discussed marijuana. He talked about how he doesn't think it's that bad and I mentioned how I loved it and even had some on me. We sat parked at a fairly discreet parking lot near a local lake that he used as an occasional hideout. He told me to take it out and light it up. I did so, but felt extremely awkward doing it simply because he was a goddamn cop. In my mind, it felt like sharing honey with a bear, even though he was my friend. Either way, we smoked it, got faded, and eventually, he dropped me back off and rode off into the night, still stoned I assume.
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Alex, Age 28
The most interesting and awkward person I got high with was my ex-girlfriend's grandmother. We dated throughout college; we were both living in Chicago for school. My ex had a bunch of older brothers, and right after graduation, I joined as her date to one of their weddings in a very rich outer Chicago suburb at a home owned by their very wealthy grandparents. I didn't know what would happen in our relationship now that we both had graduated, so it was a bit of a weird time. So when she disappeared from the reception of her own brother's wedding, I was very worried that the romance had freaked her out or something, and I went to find her.
When I found her, she was in the garage straddling and making out with a much older man who I would learn was her ex-boyfriend from high school and apparently was invited to the wedding, too. I was super bummed, and just backed out of the garage and was going to get my things and hightail it out of there when one of her brothers, who knew what had just happened, very kindly stopped me. He apologized on his family's behalf for the weirdness and said he wanted to smoke me out because him and the other brothers were about to "get stoned with grandma." We went into one of the rooms in their mansion, and there was this teeny primp and proper grandma dressed to the nines for the wedding, rolling the fattest and best-rolled spliffs I'd seen in a while. We all got high as fuck and then when my girlfriend still hadn't emerged from the garage with the other dude, I just tossed all my shit in my car and peaced out. We broke up, and that was shitty, but man, she had a cool grandma.
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Martha, Age 30
I'm going to go ahead and say that the most awkward person I've blazed with is myself. The last time that I smoked weed without having a full nervous breakdown (and this is pretty bad, so you can imagine what I acted like other times) was in 2007 when I went to see one of the Harry Potter movies with this guy. I was so stoned. You know sometimes when you're so stoned it's hard to tell how badly you have to pee? Well, I had to pee. I eventually got up and went to the bathroom, but ended up peeing all over my leg and on the floor because I totally missed the toilet seat I was trying to squat over. I was too high to realize I was peeing on the floor until my foot was completely soaked. I was wearing those plastic jelly shoes, and they were sloshing with piss, so I cleaned them and my feet off in the movie theater sink then went back to watch more Potter.
When I was in college, I was dating this really cool lady from New Zealand. She had batshit tattoos, an undercut, and was generally a punky person. I brought her to meet my parents the weekend they moved to a new house in a new state. It was the first time my folks had moved in 30-plus years, and they were totally shellshocked and overwhelmed by the process. In retrospect, it was the worst time I could have played "Meet the Parents." They weren't going to like anyone I brought home. It didn't help that my girlfriend was loud (with a thick accent), drank orange juice from the bottle, and liked to walk around without much clothing on.
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The whole weekend was tense, and on the last night we all watched a movie together. My girlfriend rolled a joint and lit it up. My parents were big pot smokers in their 20s, but hadn't touched grass in a long-ass time. Still, they got vaguely peer-pressured by her and both indulged.
Within minutes, my mom got so fucking stoned. I didn't even need to ask, I could just feel it. Her vibes were infectious, and not in a good way. Soon, she disappeared from the couch without saying a word. I left my girlfriend there with my father (who seemed to be really enjoying the movie at this point…) and went upstairs to check on my mother. I found her in her bedroom with all the lights off, victim to a classic case of The Fear™. She said the weed made her so anxious that she started second-guessing the decision to move states. She was convinced the house was cursed and that they had made the wrong choice.
At first, I was mortified. Not that she wasn't "playing it cool" in front of my girlfriend, but that our roles were reversed and I had to play parent to my own mother. It made me feel like I was the grown-up, but also that I wasn't handling adulthood well, as my decision-making led to my kin getting fucked up. My mom continued talking negatively, and I told her to take a few deep breaths as I got her water. I left the room, came back with water, her two dogs, and my sound-cancelling headphones. I put on an Isaac Hayes album and told her to focus on the music and not think about the move for a while. She looked nervous, but when I came back 20 minutes later she was laughing her ass off and said she forgot how good the record was. When I eventually went downstairs, my dad hadn't even noticed anyone was gone. The weekend ended on a somewhat positive note, but let's just say my parents never asked about that girlfriend again. She was forever associated with my mom's fucked-up reunion with weed.
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