A hip hop artist from Nova Scotia once used a leitmotif taken directly from our national anthem as a sample in one of his jams. Nobody got their knickers in a knot over it. Because this is Canada.
My other favourite holiday is coming up. Merrie 4/20 everybody. At the slight risk of pooping the party, it is with a heavy heart I announce that my go-to smoking implement is no more. Thankfully, I speak not of my bong Her Majesty, who is resting comfortably in her royal chambers until such time that she is summoned by the Parliament of Summer to make her grand entrance and throne speech at the state opening of patio season. No, I’m talking about my other pipe. My trusty silver bullet. I accidentally dropped it in a dumpster.
As many of us know, The Man has been oppressing and persecuting smokers for decades now, and because I’m such a slimy piece of worm-ridden filth, he won’t permit me to partake of my bad habit in convenient areas that are continuously well-sheltered from the wind, like the inside of my own apartment. Hence, I must necessarily go outside to see a man about a dog, regardless of whatever inconveniences the elements pose to hinder or frustrate the smoking experience.
The wind was being particularly inconvenient while I was out having a wake n’ bake in my usual neighbourhood. Inconvenient enough that I couldn’t get my lighter to stay lit long enough to toke. In order to remedy that situation, I tried leaning inside a nearby dumpster, so I could make use of its large lid as a barrier against the tormenting gusts. The ploy worked like a charm the first time I tried it, but when I attempted the same technique to smoke the last of the resin left in the bowl, I accidentally dropped the whole damn pipe. One moment it was clenched in my teeth, so I could have both hands free to work the lighter. The next moment it had plummeted to the bottom of the dumpster like an aluminum stone. There was a layer of negligence somewhere in between those two moments; I was admittedly a lot more mellow on the second attempt.
I did briefly consider climbing into the dumpster to retrieve the pipe, but ultimately decided against that. Too legally risky. Especially with all those security cameras around. I can smoke ganja in plain view of those cameras and not get arrested, because this is Canada. But climbing inside a dumpster is another matter entirely. The local authorities might not take as kindly to that.
So instead of going through the trouble to get the old pipe back, I opted to simply buy a replacement. Smoking implements of this type are not expensive; I only paid five dollars for the silver bullet, and it’s not far-fetched to assume I should be able to pick up something similar for similar. Why, there just happens to be a head shop literally right around the corner from that dumpster! Ain’t Canada grand?
I would go there later that day to pick up this snazzy new red thing on my keychain…
This is one of those stealth pipes, of the type that will be increasingly seen as charmingly quaint as more and more people and governments reject Nixonian pruditude and awaken to the healing powers of Our Lady of 420. Not quite an exact replacement, but the closest approximation the local head shop had in stock at the time. It’s similar to the silver bullet in that it’s small and sturdy and can be easily tucked away in a pocket and forgotten about when not in use. Close enough for me.
At first glance, it looks like an ordinary pocket flashlight. Of the type that people are less and less wont to carry these days, on the grounds that flashlights are as common a feature on modern smartphones as cameras. Like I said, charmingly quaint.
But wait… why does it have a hole in the side of it like that? Aha! It’s not a flashlight! It’s a Transformer!
This guy packs quite the mean punch for such a little thing. More than the silver bullet did. Way more. After two tokes from this Transformer, it dawned on me immediately that the silver bullet was a very utilitarian pipe. Not a peace pipe. It was not an esoteric whistle to call out to the animal spirits and departed elders who continue to roam Turtle Island. No, it was just a pipe. Just a metal chamber with a rubber mouthpiece, and nothing more. A training wheel the vehicle of my mind no longer had any use for, now that it had grown wings of fire, its motor roaring with the vibrations of ten thousand thunders. Verily, the silver bullet had died and resurrected as a phoenix reborn. I now had a god whistle. Like a dog whistle, only backwards.
St. Patrick’s Day has always been one of my favourite holidays, even though these days I’m more inclined to smoke the green than drink it or wear it (I love stout, though – that shit’s the nectar of the gods). In a perfect world, the vast treasury of Irish drinking tunes would be as thoroughly burned into the public conscience as the holiday standards that Mariah Carey tortures us with every Christmas. This blog post probably won’t bring about that perfect world. But I guess it can’t hurt to try.