- March
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One Time, at Bong Camp

I was never one to go to head shops. I don’t know why, they just never appealed to me. But after I went on unemployment, medical marijuana was legalized in my state, and I got my MMJ card; I felt like exploring the world of bong shops a little. I like to ride my bike there, in keeping with my new low profile and trying to reduce my carbon footprint as much as possible. The economic thing had turned me off to the corporate world, and I was trying to go green as much as possible.

What I expected from the bong shop and what I found were two different worlds. In addition to smoking marijuana, I had begun to roll my own tobacco as well. I had tried once before, but after quitting smoking everything for a long time while I was married with kids, I was not prepared for how far smoke accessories had come. First, I was floored by how much tobacco stuff there is in bong shops. I thought that it would be all pot related paraphernalia. But the first thing that caught my attention was the cartons of tobacco tubes that you could buy. My goodness, a perfect paper tube with a filter attached: Someone is a genius, I thought. Now how do I fill such a thing? If I bought a pouch of Top or Bugle, I would get the pack of papers to match. Then, I would start rolling pathetic looking things that looked like joints. That was years ago. I wanted to go big, if I was going back. I was shy to ask the young lady with all the piercings at the register.

I finally mustered the courage and struck up a conversation. She showed me the rolling machines. There was the usual one that really is a glorified dollar bill on two pins held together by a frame. Yuck, no thank you. Then she showed me the cartridge type. It was essentially a little plastic case, with a tube injector, a space for the tobacco, and a lid with a sliding mechanism. She loaded it up with a dose of tobacco and a paper tube, closed the lid, slid it back and forth like a credit card machine, and voila! Out popped a perfect cigarette! You couldn’t find anything finer off the rack at the convenience store. I was thrilled. She let me step outside and smoke it. Smoothest smoke I have ever had, hands down.

Ok, so I was hooked. I bought a carton of 200 tubes, a big pouch of some fine tobacco blend that she recommended, and I was headed out the door. Not so fast, I thought. What was this huge copy machine thing doing in the middle of the floor? Oh, that’s an automated rolling machine, she said. Just drop your carton of tubes here, your tobacco there, flip the switch, and collect your cigarettes at the end. No way, I said. You’re right, no way, she replied. Obama had outlawed them as soon as they hit the showroom floor. Nothing but a glorified museum piece now to decorate the bong shop. That must have cost a pretty penny.

Oh well, there were brighter days ahead, I reckoned, as I rode off with my new hobby: Rolling smooth smokes, one at a time on my back porch. Yee-tah, good times! I will be back to find out more about the bongs later. Stay tuned.


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