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Columns > Dean Budnick - From the Editor

Published: 2004/04/30
by Dean Budnick

My Current Whereabouts

So where the heck have I been anyhow?

Before I answer that, well actually as a step towards doing so, let me offer up this fine image- my vantage point from the Jammys…

Glorious no? I caught the posterior views of many a gripping performer.

Come to think of it the photo has little to do with my opening query I just figured I'd start running an image or two here each month besides my old Mikey cartoons (since, frankly, I'm running out of those). Of course the operative phrase above is "each month" because alas this space remained vacant in March. And no it wasn't post-Jammys burnout, or Tour or witness protection extreme makeover but rather the impending birth of our second child. Well, okay "impending" birth, quotation marks required. Indeed, I fully expected to have images of the newborn this month but alas, as my wife's obstetrician says, "He's hanging onto the umbilical cord with both hands." Cool. Ambidextrous.

Back to the Jammys, here's another image of the night from my second perspective when I slid up to the left of the podium behind the curtain.

I would proffer a photo of myself in my nifty tux but alas, I don't have one. If you do, please send one my way…

As for the Jammys and my family which seems to provide this month's theme, here's a photo of my daughter, wearing her Minnie Mouse dress and holding an award- we ran this in last year's Father's Day edition of the Bonnaroo Beacon.

The Difficulties of Celebrating 4:20 on 4/20

4/19/2004 6:11 PM

I picked up the phone at work, and it was none other than Krickstein. "We're going out, dude," he screams. "4/20 is only hours away. It's time to partayyyyyyyyy!"

Krickstein is 34. He says he graduated from college twelve years ago. He's a liar.

"This is it man. It's time to rally the troops for an all-night 4:20 on 4/20 celebration"

"But why," I ask.

"Because, man. This is what you do. 4/20 only falls once a year, and that time is now, hombre."

"Okay, cowpoke, but I have a job and a life, and I'm not gonna spend the entire night engaging in unmentionable behavior with you and the rest of Animal House."

"Dude, you can say it out loud. SMOKE POT!"

"Shut up, man," I whisper. "I'm at work."

"I don't care, pot smoker."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Okay, Captain Kindbud, Mr. Green Jeans, my little reefer reaper…"

"Stop it!"

"...Stoner Supreme, Ganja Guru, purveyor of the Acapulco Gold…"

"Shut up now."


"I mean it."


"I don't know you. I think you have the wrong number."


"I'm hanging up now. Don't ever call me again. There's no way in hell I'm going out tonight."

4/19/2004 8:49 PM

I'm getting ready to go out with Krickstein. It shouldn't be so bad. We're meeting at O'Smith's Generic Irish Pub for a couple of pints. The plan is to return to Krickstein's after midnight to smoke a little weed. Then I'll sneak out after a couple of puffs, and I'll be home early enough to get plenty of sleep for work. This way, I don't look like a total wuss, and I still get a weekly paycheck. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 12:11 AM

We're back from the pub, but quel surprise, we're at my place. Krickstein said that his cat puked all over his living room, and his whole apartment smells bad. Pile this feline regurgitation on top of the typical stench in Krickstein's apartment, and we could be talking about an olfactory disaster of epic proportions.

Oh, yeah, and "we" are much more than two. Krickstein invited the entire gang out for this party, and now my place is filled with the likes of Johnson, Stewpot, Tiny, Rutabaga, and some guy with a "Fuck You" hat. Of course, everyone is very neat and tidy, as expected after a night of drinking.

Well, I guess I can get everyone stoned real fast, and then I'll kick them out. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 12:14 AM

We have no pot. None. Nada. Nil. Zilch. Zero. Jack squat. An amount with no quantitative value. Nothing.

How do you have a 4/20 gathering to celebrate pot smoking without any pot to smoke? I have posed this question multiple times to Krickstein, but right now, he is mesmerized by my food processor. Krickstein always gets excited about kitchen appliances when he's drunk. I don't know why, but he's always been this way. Alcohol propels some people to eat Doritos, watch TV, or play cards, but Krickstein prefers to mess around with five-speed blenders.

I have no stash to help this cause, and no one else came prepared. If we didn't live in New York, we'd be worried, but delivery service is only a phone call away. We'll have pot in twenty minutes tops. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 1:23 AM

No answer from my delivery service. That's okay because I just realized I can probably score a bowl or two from my upstairs neighbor, Craig. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 1:24 AM

We're gonna have to wait a while before we ask Craig. Why? Well, he's presently engaged in the act of sexual intercourse. How do I know this? My whole building can hear the elated orgasmic screams of his girlfriend.

This is wonderful. Seven drunken guys sit in a living room in search of pot, while the man who has the pot is upstairs spelunking in his significant other. We get the pleasure of hearing every jubilant stroke and slap while we wait for the two rabbits to finish their mating ritual.

Well, having lived one floor below him for the last two years, I know that Craig won't last long. We just need to wait for five minutes, and the green stuff will be ours. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 2:33 AM

It's already been over an hour, and Craig appears to be going strong. I must say that I am quite surprised. He's already shattered a new personal record, and his girlfriend has suddenly become quite religious, frequently screaming for both God and Jesus.

Craig should be finished soon. He can't go on much longer, or he's likely to have a heart attack. He'll be done any minute now, and our eyes will soon be redder than a baboon's ass. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 2:59 AM

Craig has really bad rhythm. I don't understand how he is still going at it, but beyond that, I don't understand how his girlfriend isn't bored by now. I mean, this is the whitest sex I've ever heard! There is no beat and no driving pulse behind it. It's all random. I've always strived to be the James Brown of the bedroom, but Craig is obviously John Cage in the sack. All I hear is:

Thump, thump, thump-thump…thump…..creak…thump-creak…thump…..thump….thump….slap-thump….creak…creak creak creak creak….thump-thump….slap…moan….thump….thump-creak…thump thump thump…

You could analyze these sounds, and you'd never be able to decipher a pattern. I always knew that Craig was a math teacher, but I didn't realize that he had sex as if he were calculating Pi.

Oh wait…I hear a dismount. Whew! I'll just give him a minute to use the bathroom, and then I'll make the phone call. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 3:30 AM

I'm starting to wonder if Sting is subletting the apartment upstairs. This performance is incredibly impressive. Craig is putting the Energizer Bunny to shame.

What we thought was a dismount turned out to be a mere changing of positions. "Let's do the inverted pile driver," Craig's woman screamed. Tiny informed us of exactly what the inverted pile driver entails, and we sat enthralled with his description. (Tiny knows what he is talking about because he's been watching porn religiously since he was eleven, and in some states he would be considered legally blind.) After being enraptured with every slap of skin as we all envisioned the sacred inverted pile driver, I realized that a nice puddle of drool was forming on my couch. Thankfully, Craig and said woman did not stay in this position for too long. Otherwise, the drool would have caused a small flood in my living room.

Under normal circumstances, being stuck without weed as the upstairs neighbor with the stuff engages in a bacchanalian fantasy would leave us all incredibly pissed, but to be honest, the seven of us are really admiring Craig's technique. It doesn't seem to make any rhythmic sense, but he's obviously getting results.

While no one can detect a pattern in Craig's thrusts, Stewpot thinks he has discovered a few of Craig's trick moves, and he's given them names, such as "The Shredded Cabbage," "The Fruit Roll-Up," "The Slopbucket," "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride," "Creamed Corn Casserole," "The Deus Ex Machina," "The Five and Dime," "The Ditto Machine," and "Steve." Johnson has been taking notes, and he's been particularly enthralled with a stirring sequence in which Craig started with "The Fruit Roll-Up" and went directly into a medley of "The Shredded Cabbage," "Steve," and "The Ditto Machine," before a brief tease of "Creamed Corn Casserole." Immediately afterwards, Craig went into a long jam that featured variations on "The Slopbucket" theme. Forget Algebra II, Craig should be teaching Sex Ed.

The guy with the "Fuck You" hat had a good idea. Seeing as how Craig shows no signs of slowing down or at least reaching for "The Deus Ex Machina," we should probably look elsewhere for our weed. He suggested we checkout a local late-night bar called "Impending Doom." It sounds like a friendly place, so we're on our way out. We'll probably find someone with a joint to spare. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 4:10 AM

I have done things that I never want to talk about. I'm not going to go into much in the way of details about Impending Doom, but I'll say that it was rather strange. That bar could really use a "Ladies Night" promotion because the place was anything but gender balanced. I did find a very attractive, scantily clad woman, who took a shining to me. She was very intrigued about my experience working at Martha Stewart, as well as my short-lived career in musical theatre. Everything else was going wrong this evening, but I felt like I had a chance to score with this hot woman. She even said that she had some pot, but she wanted "something from me first." Oh, and I wanted to give her something in a bad way, so we retreated to a back room.

This is where we reach a gap in the story. All I can say is that I saw some things that I never wanted to see and did some things that I never wanted to do. She seemed like such a friendly girl. She seemed like such a nice girl. She seemed like such a girl.

Anyway, I lost my pride, but I did get a dimebag. We are only a couple of blocks away, and we still have time to make it to smoke at 4:20. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 4:21 AM

While it does smell nice, oregano lacks the intoxicating powers of marijuana. Not only did I lose my pride in Impending Doom, but I also fell for the oldest trick in the pot dealing book. Holding a dimebag of oregano instead of weed, I now feel like a sixteen year-old rookie. Not only did we fail to score any weed, but we also missed 4:20. This night has been a disaster.

The guy with the "Fuck You" hat suggested that we try to smoke something else in an attempt to get high. He offered lots of ideas, such as banana peels, orange rinds, or Tylenol. After following his previous suggestion to its perilous end, I'm about through with the advice of the guy with the "Fuck You" hat. In fact, I'm starting to wonder just who the hell is this guy with the "Fuck You" hat, and what the hell is he doing here?

Rutabaga has just had a stroke of brilliance. He realized that the coital sounds of glee have ceased to flow from upstairs. Craig is now presumably unattached, which means that that we are going to score some ganja. God bless Rutabega!

I'm going upstairs to the Promised Land, and I'll be coming down from the mountain to share the love. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 4:43 AM

I knocked on Craig's door, and he answered with the most bloodshot eyes I have ever seen. He was wasted. I said, "Christ, man. I know you just had some great sex, but you look annihilated."

"Of course, I'm annihilated. It was just 4:20, dude," he said. "And what do you mean that I just had some great sex?"

"Man, I've been downstairs listening to you pound your woman for the last two hours. Your rhythm leaves a bit to be desired, but I can't argue with the results. You could have a second career as an evangelist because your woman got quite religious."

He then laughed uncontrollably.

"Dude, this is too much," he said. "Cheryl and I broke up yesterday. I've been consoling myself by smoking a shitload of herb and watching porn on my new hi-def TV."

"That was just porn?"

"Yeah, man. I just got The Harder They Cum, The Harder They Ball III on DVD. You should borrow it sometime. There's one shot where this guy does the inverted pile driver with this very flexible chick. It's incredible!"

"I can't imagine."

So I finally got some weed from Craig, and since he was so wasted, he was gracious enough to spare a full half-ounce. Seven desperate men can do a lot with a half-ounce of marijuana. The possibilities are endless.

The hurdles have been cleared. The obstacles have been shredded. We are going to get higher than Courtney Love on a late-night talk show. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 4:54 AM

We can't smoke yet. Krickstein is demanding that we wait until 5:20 A.M. so that we can celebrate 4:20 with the residents of Bowling Green, Kentucky. The guy with the "Fuck You" hat has raised a valid point, countering that residents of the Eastern Time Zone might still be passing bowls as part of their 4:20 celebration, and therefore, we could still celebrate the Eastern 4:20 instead of waiting for the Central version. However, Krickstein shot down his argument by asserting that residents of western Kentucky are more important because marijuana is the foremost cash crop in the western portion of the state. An avid supporter of economic development, the guy with the "Fuck You" hat ceded his case.

Now that we have agreed to wait until 5:20, Krickstein has suggested that we comb through my music collection to find the perfect accompaniment to our stoney celebration. The guy with the "Fuck You" hat backed him up on this, asserting, "Smoking pot to bad music is akin to wearing synthetic fibers in warm weather months. It just can't be done."

Everyone is starting to wonder about the guy with the "Fuck You" hat.

Nevertheless, we will be getting stoned to good music. I have a nice collection of musical nuggets, so we should be A-OK. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 5:08 AM

We are in the midst of a heated debate. Stewpot is lobbying for the "Dark Star" from 8/27/72. Tiny wants to hear Galactic's 6/22/02 late-night show from Bonnaroo. Rutabaga is pining away for String Cheese Incident's 8/11/01 Set III Ritual Ballet from Horning's Hideout. Johnson is pulling for Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Krickstein is insisting we play Phish’s entire midnight to sunrise set from Big Cypress, desperately petitioning for a seven-hour smoke-a-thon. I am casting my vote for James Brown’s Love, Power, Peace. Meanwhile, the guy with the "Fuck You" hat is begging everyone to support his suggestion of Barbara Streisand’s Greatest Hits. He must have brought it himself because I do not own Barbara Streisand’s Greatest Hits. I'm not shitting you. I really don't have it. I'm not lying here. Don't look at me that way.

Okay, I admit that I do own the soundtrack to Funny Girl, and I do have Prince of Tides on video (it was a gift from a pain-in-the-ass ex-girlfriend), but I would never own Barbara Streisand’s Greatest Hits. I do have standards. They're low standards but standards, nonetheless.

Music choice aside, a secondary debate has risen regarding the method of smoking. Johnson wants to smoke joints, while Rutabaga wants to pack a glass bowl. Tiny has suggested smoking out of an apple, and Stewpot has picked up on Tiny's theme, suggesting we "go back to our roots" and smoke out of a humble handmade tinfoil pipe. Krickstein wants nothing to do with these ideas, demanding that we seize the opportunity to have a session of the hallowed Fifty Bonghit Club in an attempt to "smoke ourselves sober." Frankly, I could care less which path we take. All I know is that we have an assload of pot, and we'll be stoned out of our gourds in a few minutes. This should be a piece of cake.

4/20/2004 10:15 AM

I just woke up after having passed out against a wall, and my neck really hurts. Everyone else was asleep before I woke them up, too. Krickstein was hugging my electric can opener, and after awakening, he seemed genuinely pissed that I startled him from his bizarre culinary fantasy. One look at the still full half-ounce of pot tells me that we have once again failed in our mission to get high. At least we kept our streak of screw-ups alive.

This is not good. Not only have I missed 4:20, but I also missed 5:20 and every other possible session. I've also missed work, as well. The guy with the "Fuck You" hat suggested that I call my boss and explain exactly what happened. I now officially hate the guy with the "Fuck You" hat.

I am kicking everyone out of my house, and I'm trying to get my life back in order. Krickstein is really pushing to stay, insisting that we can still get high at 10:20 and celebrate along with the residents of American Samoa. I now officially hate Krickstein.

This has been the worst 4/20 ever, and I don't think I want to see marijuana for a long time. It's just not worth it. On top of everything else that has gone wrong, I am now potentially jobless, I have a crick in my neck, and I'm starving. I can only solve one problem at a time, so I might as well start by eating that damn piece of cake…

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