Welcome to Rd1 of Knucklehead's Blog-off 2011. It goes like this: There are nine competitors. In the 1st two rounds, the 2 competitors with the least amount of votes will be out. So, I hate to ask this stuff, but please, please, venerable readers, if you would go and vote your hearts out, it would be much appreciated. Of course, please give the other competitor's equal time and only vote based on merit. And remember, that I love you all. A lot. Bordering on inappropriate. On to the show...
It happened at my house after school.
Most days at that time, the house was empty except for me, a classic latch key kid kickin' back and soaking up life lessons from Mother Television.
Either that, or I was experimenting.
The places I put my penis in those formative years; well, don't eat that bagel, is all I'm saying.
This specific time though--the time of The Tea-- I had a friend over.
Two hormone cocktails with under developed cerebral cortexes and time to burn. Nothing was on tv. We were bored like only 12 year old boys can be -- "Wanna go see a dead body?" bored.
When you're a pubescent boy with a friend and boredom overcomes you, unless he's a really good friend the bagel route is out.
What's left? Boyish cruelty--"let's hit each other/your sister/the cat with these nunchucks" -- or intoxication.
I don't know how we ended up in the kitchen. I'm sure one of us mentioned having tried pot or wanting to smoke some (probably me) and the other said, "yeah, me too." One or both of us was lying, but by then it didn't matter. 'Course, we knew no one who could get actual marijuana.
So, we ended up in the kitchen and I'm pretty sure it was my idea. I'm pretty sure (almost positive) I'm the one who said, "Dude . . . you can get high from smoking tea!" Probably after banana peels had been discussed and discarded as "stupid" and "we don't have any." And tea, my mother had in abundance.
My poor fool friend didn't even blink.
"Yeah." He said. "Awesome! Let's do it!" like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Because when you're a teenage boy, everything is the most natural thing in the world. The same lack of working synapses that allows a teenage boy to jump into the window of a moving car (did it) is the same phenomenon that convinces him the he "totally heard, for sure, that smoking tea will get you wicked baked." Despite all logical arguments otherwise. Like, "they sell it in the supermarket" and "nothing happens when you drink it."
So we ended up in my little kitchen, and we got that shit on.
"First, we have to roll it." I announced. The Professional.
Rolling it consisted of breaking open a couple of English Breakfast tea bags (known in the tea smoking world as"commercial") pouring them into a paper towel, and loosely rolling said towel into a sort of tea scented flattened taquito shape. Then, we lit it on the stove and inhaled. Mmmm, tasty.
We sucked bitter smoke and hundreds of tiny tea embers past our young palates and into our young lungs.
We coughed. We coughed and we stumbled around my kitchen half blind with tears from laughing and coughing. At least, he did. I kept it totally together.
Then, we lied.
"You feeling it dude?"
"Totally. You're not?"
"No, I am, I mean, I totally feel high."
Of course I'm sure we felt a little woozy. Smoke and lack of oxygen and the constant background hum of dumb boy-puberty hormones will do that.
From there, we decided the English Breakfast didn't taste good. We moved on to the good stuff.
We found the Chamomile ("Dude, Herbal!"). Chamomile, Lemon Zinger, and finally the dankest of the dank, Sleepytime.
By this point, we weren't even bothering with the rolling anymore. We would just set one side of the tea bag on fire and inhale straight through the other side. The smell of singed eyelashes mingled with the tea smoke.
The kitchen was a swirling firestorm of tiny burning leaves, a miniature tea forest firebombed by tweenage stupidity.
The whole thing lasted maybe half an hour.
The kitchen was a smoky ruin. Junkies don't do clean-up. Torn, blackened tea bags and burnt paper and ashes and tea leaves on every surface. It looked vaguely like some sort of a half-assed drug den. A pleasant, lemony-tea smelling one, but still, I imagined a couple of people driving by would treat us like a crack house:
Driver: "Hey, you see that place? That's a tea house."
Passenger: "You mean, like scones and shit?"
Driver: "No. Like drugs!"
There were very few ill-effects from the Tea Incident. I never found myself wandering the streets, offering to perform sex acts for cash so I could score a bag of Constant Comment. "C'mon Mister. I'll suck ya dick for some Oolong."
My mother and stepfather came home and found the mess of course. They just laughed and my mother said something to the effect of, "You tried to get high of off smoking tea? You idiot."
Imagine if it had worked though? My drug kingpin name would've been Earl Grey.