Marijuana Rocket Ship

In Austin, Texas during the late 80s, Sixth Street was a crazy place.  It had dozens of live music venues every night.   You could just wander down there on a Tuesday night and find lots of quality live music.  At the time, I was going to school at University of Texas and had a high quality fake ID.  I was 20 and looked much older.  The atmosphere in many of the clubs was such that weed was often smoked out in the open, at least during the shows.  I would often see live reggae music from Burning Spear, The Killer Bees, and Toots and the Maytals and bring a dugout and a few joints.  The joints I'd roll with good, but common weed to pass around to people in the crowd.  The dugout I'd pack with high quality space alien weed. 

For the uninitiated, a dugout is a wooden rectangular prism with a space drilled out to hold a cylindrical brass pipe and another larger space drilled out to hold weed.  A wooden lid was slid over both spaces to hold the contents in place and the pipe side was spring loaded so it pops out when you slide the top off.  You could discretely carry enough weed for the night with a smoking utensil in your front pocket.  You wouldn't have to worry about loading a pipe from a baggy or keeping joints from being broken in your pocket.  You could hit your high quality weed one bowlful at a time.

One night I had just gotten done watching a reggae show and the people I went with had to leave.  We had smoked up the joints and I was feeling pretty good, not ready to leave.  I decided to walk up and down Sixth Street to see if anybody I knew was around.  Walking by a dance club (I didn't care for 80s dance music) called City Lights, I noticed the bouncer was somebody I went to school with, Monty.  He was working the door.  Since the alien death weed in my pocket was of a particularly high quality, I decided to give him a hit or two.

In an overly relaxed and casual mood, we fired up right at the door to the club.  The pipe was small and we were being discrete, it would appear that we were lighting a cigarette.  I was putting the dugout back in my pocket when I saw a uniformed cop walking purposefully towards us.  He was downwind and apparently caught a whiff of some smoke that definitely didn't come from a skunky cigarette.  That's when it hit me that being high had impaired my judgment and I was doing drugs in public.  When I made eye contact with the cop, he asks, "Hey, what's that youve got there?" pointing towards my dugout.

My weed addled brain working quickly, I replied "This?  This is a rocket ship."  I then flung it over the roof of the club.  I really zinged it, presumably putting it into orbit.  Pleased with my cleverness, I was waving in the direction I'd thrown it yelling, "Bye... dont forget to write... have a nice trip..." when the cop slammed me up against the wall. 

I was surprised.  I had made the false assumption that with the evidence gone, I would be free from persecution.  The cop, however, was PISSED.  I wasn't worried about myself.  I had no other contraband besides the discarded dugout.  What I was worried about was the cop had Monty against the wall as well.  It was highly probable that Monty had an eight ball of cocaine in his pocket weighed out in quarter grams to sell.  I could be involved with a drug felony charge.  What's worse is anybody that I'd ever known who'd been caught with a small amount of weed by an Austin cop had never gotten in trouble.

Fortunately, Monty was clean.  But after searching us, the cop wasn't done.  He walked us both around the alley and behind the club to find the dugout I'd thrown.  I'm thinking this is a stupid move just to detain us longer and freak us out.  There's no way we're going to find that thing, I flung it a mile.  Behind city lights there is a giant parking lot where you pay by the hour to park near the clubs.  All the cop is going to have to do is bend down and look across the ground to see the backlit dugout on the smooth asphalt.  I have a vision of us walking up to a brand new Corvette with a giant star on the windshield and my dugout on the ground next to it.

Our stoner luck holds out though.  The cop keeps us back there for thirty minutes looking for it.  At one point he even tells us to look for it.  Monty and I just looked at each other.  Yeah, right.  "Hey, I found it, officer.  Can we please go to jail now?"

The cop has already written down our names and addresses from our drivers licenses and copied the fake phone number I made up so he releases us.  Monty is on the clock at the club and nobody even missed him.  There was no trouble at the door or fights in the club.  He totally lucked out.  I even went back into the parking lot to look for the dugout myself.  But I couldn't find it.  I'm thinking somebody saw it ricocheting across the asphalt and recovered it, thinking it was a gift of skunk weed from the gods.

Uploaded 03/07/2009
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