One Toke Over the Line, Sweet Jesus

There was no toke involved in this story. But the principle is still there, I promise. It begins with an idea I got one day, to order an electrolysis machine that would take care of all my hair related needs. I pictured myself lying on the sofa with a large strip of something electrical taped to my leg, while the machine forever removed the need for a razor or chemicals. I’d paid quite a bit for it, but figured that once I was done, I could lend it to my friends. Excitedly, I took the pieces out of the box, impressed by the smallness of the machine and the multitude of parts. It was when I started reading the instructions that I realized I’d made a mistake. ‘Make sure the client holds the stabilizing rod firmly in hand or has tucked it securely beneath her thigh, to avoid electrocution.” 

When I ordered it, the company had said the machine was made for professional use. I thought they were bragging. But indeed, the machine was meant for a spa, or for those experienced at keeping people alive when applying electrical jolts. I sent it back and I’m happy to say I got a full refund. 

My next purchase was sleep related. I’d been waking in the middle of the night with a bit of anxiety, sitting bolt upright with my heart pounding after some crazy dream or other. I don’t like sleeping pills or even night time antihistamines. They have a way of backfiring in ways I won’t get into now. But marijuana that’s approved by Health Canada seemed like just the ticket. I got hold of Flin Flon’s famous Mr. W. and went over to check out his store. He had everything you could imagine possible in the world of marijuana related items. “I want candy,” I said. “Sleep candy.” He looked deeply into my eyes like he was gazing into my soul. “You need something that will cheer you up before bed. What about this delicious caramel made with all natural ingredients? But remember to only use half.” 

I went home prepared for the night ahead, cut the sucker in two and ate it by 8 pm. Apparently, edibles need to be devoured two hours before you actually need them. By nine o’clock I was staggering slightly as I walked around the house. My balance was that of someone who’d had about five straight shots of tequila. By ten o’clock, I could barely climb into bed. It took me a while because I was drying a few dishes and their importance had magnified to such an extent that I was in raptures. “This pot lid is the Dalai lama of all pot lids,” I remember whispering to myself. I was full of deep thoughts that took place in very slow motion. Then I got the giggles. Everything struck me as funny. I was laughing wildly at something that probably wasn’t funny at all, when suddenly, the room seemed to close in on me and I started feeling like I couldn’t breath. And then shadowy shapes started approaching my bed. 

“Not the zombies from the Walking Dead!” I cried. “Oh sweet Jesus, I’m having a really bad trip!” I wanted to call one of my sisters for help, but 

a) didn’t want a lecture 

b) didn’t want to wake anyone up (forgetting that it was only ten PM.) 

It took a few hours for that part to wear off and for me to settle into a restless sleep. I woke the next morning still completely stoned. But my lesson was learned. I am not a half-caramel-marijuana-filled-candy kind of person. I am a tiny sliver cut carefully off the end, person. The bigger lesson of the whole thing? Always check my cockamamy schemes with others first. I can be impulsive, and my dear departed husband is no longer the voice of reason in my life. Perhaps I’ll ask myself some questions before I embark on the next big thing. Like, will this kill me? Will I want it to? The good news is, once or twice a month, I will have a very good sleep. As for the hair problem, I’m so over it. 

In honor of an old blog, ‘Fifty Shades of Cheese’ and my friend, John Scott, who found me this song, here it is in its full, 1971 glory.

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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