in rural Paris, Iowa, and Wordpress

The Third Joint

You know how one thought leads to another. Sometimes one thought juxtaposes onto another leading to a new thought. Or maybe it is process of Marxian synthesis. You know. Thesis, antithesis, and synthesis . . . no, I think that was Hegel, but I am not going to take the time to look it up right now.

Lately, I have been reading essays from the new collection of Geoff Dyer‘s work, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition. Geoff Dyer is a Brit who is enormously proud of what a ne’er-do-well he has been during his entire life, never having had any career at all as he puts it.

Many people leave university with only a vague idea of what they might do for a living but I knew exactly what I wanted to do: sign on the dole.  –From “On the Roof”

In another of his essays entitled “Something Didn’t Happen,” he reminiscences about three examples of his own conduct that really ought to have turned out very badly—ruined his life in fact—but did not. One of those incidents involved his going through U.S. Immigration in Miami on his way to the Bahamas to research a free-lance magazine article having forgotten that he had a large bag of skunky smelling weed and a pipe in the pocket of his cargo pants. And nothing happened.

At about the same time that I read that essay and for no particular reason, I got to thinking about who my all time favorite Mexican is. It seemed urgent to me for some reason that I get this sorted out once and for all. You all know how fond I am of Francisco Madero. But I am awfully fond also of Emiliano Zapata, although I have not written a thing about him for this blog. Or then there is Lázaro Cárdenas, the great President of Mexico who nationalized the Mexican petroleum industry just before World War II. After much thought, however, I had to concede that my favorite Mexican of all time is Carlos Santana.

The juxtaposition of these two unrelated things in my mind caused me to recall an escapade of my own from the bad old days that I had nearly forgotten about. I seldom write with any specificity about the bad old days for public consumption. On those rare occasions when I have posted something that I have written about those misbegotten days, I have always thought better of it the next morning. The next morning I have always taken down the entry.

The occasion was Carlos Santana’s appearance in around 2003 at the Marcus Amphitheater on the Milwaukee Summerfest grounds along the lake. I had been to Summerfest, a great music festival, many times. However, this was the Mexican Fiesta there later in the summer.

As we approached the gates in order to get onto the grounds, I saw that the security people were conducting unusually rigorous searches of the people walking in, not the kind of thing that I was accustomed to during Summerfest. I later learned that their primary concern was weapons. However, I did not know that at the time, and I had three joints in my shirt pocket.

My lady and I backed off in order to regroup. We had the idea that we wanted to ride the big ski lift that runs the length of the grounds along the lake and smoke one of those joints high up there in the air before going to the concert in the amphitheater.

Undeterred, I did what I always did in these situations, paranoid as I was and always a little concerned about my law license. I pulled my pants and shorts away from my belly and dropped the joints in there before going through security. Always before in these situations, the joints had ridden quite nicely on top of my pubic hair and could be easily retrieved later, none the worse for wear.

The problem on this occasion, however, arose from the fact that I no longer had any pubic hair. A few days previously, the young lady who was accompanying me had shaved me with my own electric hair clippers, that little scamp. I think she had gotten the idea from a porn film that we had watched, but I do not recall precisely how that all came about. Why I did not foresee the forthcoming problem as a result I can only attribute to the fact that I was already a little dazed and confused before ever getting to the Summerfest grounds.

I got through security with no problem. There was a large crowd coming through those gates by that time. However, just after I had been cleared by the security person at the gate and as I started to walk off, I felt one of those joints fall down the leg of my pants and out. I stopped dead, holding my arms out, saying to the people coming in around me, “Excuse me. Sorry. Be careful. I dropped something.” And I began looking for that joint on the ground. The lady I was with walked on.

While I was bent over looking for that one, another fell out of the leg of my pants. A Mexican gentleman next to me picked that one up, gave it to me, and before helping me with my search for the first one, announced in a loud voice to the people around us, “Be careful. Be careful. This man has dropped a doobie.” All of this took place just beyond the security people at the gate. More Mexicans joined the search. Come to think of it, I believe that it was right there at that point that my general love for the Mexican people began to blossom.

We did ultimately find the first joint on the ground undamaged. I put both of those two back into my shirt pocket and thanked them all for their help. A little further in and after I had rejoined the lady, I surreptitiously pulled out the waist of my pants and shorts in order to check on the well-being of the third. It was nowhere to be seen.

We walked on to the restrooms where I went into the Men’s Room to search myself. I entered a stall and pulled my pants down looking everywhere for that third joint. This took a while. Then as I was conducting this search, that third joint finally fell out of my ass and onto the floor. It had worked its way down and around and into the crack of my ass.

So I just . . . ah . . . threw that one away. Sometimes you have to recognize a loss and write it off. Any reputable tax accountant would back me up on that.

We went on to the ski lift and then to the concert, which was everything I could have asked for. Carlos assured us that there were angels all around us. Indeed there were.

Also Featuring Brief Appearances by the Virgin of Guadalupe


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