Our band Coke Weed lives in Bar Harbor, Maine where being a pothead often seems like a necessary life-style choice. Our small town is typical of most small towns where the endless twists and turns of mundane things are so persistent that the whole place takes on a surreal glow. This feeling is compounded by our official status as a seasonal tourist trap that turns ghostly for half of every year.
The grass is usually strong and as the seasons turn and overstay one is liable to find himself habituated to smoking despite the endless responsibilities that rule our days. While some of the members of Coke Weed may or may not smoke weed, we are all heavy thinkers, and so we have turned our hand to describing the virtues, or lack thereof, of running stoned the different chores and errands that color the backgrounds of our lives.
We developed a loose methodology based on the relative levels of fun, fear and efficiency on a chore-by-chore basis. This system is not writ in stone and was developed to provide a framework for describing what your typical pothead who is out running errands is dealing with at all times.
Volumes have been written about the fear and we’re not here to retread. Suffice to say the fear is when you get freaked out because you got too high. Simple. There are obvious ways to keep it at bay when out on the town: you’ve got your hats, your sunglasses and in the case of one well-know female vocalist, you’ve got your weird ladies’ turban/headband thing. Hippie drivel is so prevalent because there are important truths to be found therein. So bear with me when I affirm that these personal effects take on talismanic importance in the role of deflecting harsh vibes from weirdoes and normal people.
One chore looms as tyrant over all others and that chore is grocery food shopping. Our local market used to be called Don’s and remains Don’s in the town’s imagination, but it’s actually called Hannaford’s (phonetically “hannafids”). Grocery food shopping is a g-d’d blast. You do it all the time and you get good at it. Goofing on the carts while the weird Don’s station plays Fine Young Cannibals or Sade. You’ve got your hat, your turban, your sunglasses and you just feel so in control. You know where everything is and your pulling faces for the security camera. This is the best it’s going to get, but it’s not perfect. It’s never perfect. You can still get the fear and you’re a damned fool if you think otherwise. It can be as easy as going to the deli counter and getting the cross-eyed Ben Stiller guy. Then your spider-sense will be tingling and it’s telling you to get the fuck out of Don’s. I know someone very, very close to me who turned a corner and almost bumped into an emaciated adolescent boy whose gaze turned my friend’s blood to ice water. Terrified, my friend flinched for an instant, when he looked up the boy was gone. My friend then canvassed the entirety of Don’s looking for the boy, for proof that he wasn’t some phantom. (He found the kid in the front shopping-cart area with his family who were all deep Maine and spooky as hell.)
Scary campfire stories aside, grocery food shopping is as good as it gets for the errand-running pothead. It’s good goofy fun and shit gets done, but you can never be sure that the cold skeleton hand of the fear won’t tap you on the shoulder.
Once we, the members of Coke Weed, established the Don’s paradigm, two of the highest band members drafted a “single quadrant Cartesian plane” (?) to apply the fear versus fun axiom to ALL the stuff we have to do to just get by every day. Here’s how some of it shook out:
According to the majority of band members, getting scripts filled at Rite-Aid used to be cool until some dude in a hoodie, sunglasses and blue crocs robbed the pharmacy of all the yes-you-guessed-it Oxycontin. Now you have to take off your hat and sunglasses, but ladies’ turbans are seemingly still OK. I never liked it in the first place, even before the robbery. The older of the two pharmacists is way too into deep eye contact.
Banking ranks even lower. All headgear is verboten, the lighting sucks, and every single bank employee looks like an ostrich or some other weird bird-person.
On the upside, going to the town dump is pretty chill unless the dude in the Recycles Building is obviously re-sorting the trash that all the stoners put in the wrong bin in the first place. That makes me uptight. Most members of Coke Weed really like going to the dump. Fun fact: the guy who supervises the big hopper for the landfill trash is an old-school townie whose honest-to-god name is Leroy Brown.
Cleaning house and the Post Office were other good-vibey activities on the chart.
Here’s the stuff that was mostly a bummer:
• Cooping chickens. Yes, this happens and they are fast and weird as hell. It’s almost impossible in my experience, unless it’s dusk, then they just waddle into their house.
• Re-upping the supply. The kids are young and have crazy-looking giant pipes, huge TVs with video games that look realer than real life, and they listen to jam bands I’ve never heard of, like Lotus. Does anyone know what that is?
• Shaving, cutting your hair, trimming bangs, etc. You will get it done quickly, but there’s a 50% chance you will get the fear and a 50% chance you will fuck up your hair.
• Talking to your dad on the phone. Duh.
• Operating chainsaws and earthmoving machinery. Actually, these activities rated pretty high.
• Smoking a bowl, putting on the first Black Sabbath, and trying to create a Facebook event. Is fucking impossible.
I think you guys get the idea and I’m sure some of you can relate. After all you are reading a thing on Impose written by one of the dudes in Coke Weed. Toke it up and tend to your business!
– Milan McAlevey, Coke Weed July 30, 2013
Coke Weed's Back To Soft is out now.