Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Another publishing success by the "Quarks", fellow travellers of this blog. LOCO WEED TALES FROM OKLAHOMA by E. A. Monroe
Doug T drove a beat up piece of shit orange z-back sports car that’d logged a lot of miles driving back and forth from Anadarko, Oklahoma to Salt Lake City. Doug was a Chinese language major at Brigham Young University and his family was one of Anadarko’s founding families. His father’s family originally came from Cornwall and settled in the South, but I’m not sure about the entirety of Doug’s family genealogy other than they came from Cornwall, fought for the South during the Civil War, were Mormons and were one of Anadarko’s founding families.
Anyway, Doug T and I had both gone to Anadarko Senior High and graduated together in the same class but we’d never hung out together during high school. Doug was into journalism and I was into art and drama. We knew each other the way most kids know each other in a small town, but my folks were Baptists living on one side of town and his folks were Mormon living on the other side of town and big in the local Mormon community.
Doug and I didn’t hang out in the same social circles during high school, but we had friends in common. Doug was one of my guitar-playing boyfriend’s best friend and that’s really how we got to hanging out together that summer while my boyfriend was off living in Weatherford and touring and gigging with his band Judd. Doug and I often drove to whatever town Judd was playing in on the weekends.
Sometimes, we’d swing over to Weatherford and pick up my boyfriend and then we’d cruise to Oklahoma City and visit all the local museums. Our favorite showplace housed an extensive Chinese art collection and Doug would saunter around the glass encased exhibits and read all the Chinese inscriptions and characters because he really excelled in translating and reading the Chinese language, and also because the boyfriend and I wanted to know if the English translations were written correctly on the display cards. We were damn impressed with Doug’s Chinese reading skills.
My dad was a prominent physician and chief of staff at the local hospital. The coolest thing about my dad was the marijuana license that hung upon the wall of his office right alongside his University of Oklahoma medical license. He also knew the latest pot-smoking lingo and would ask us kids if we knew what “toke” meant. He’d also lived in India and trekked through Burma. Amphetamines, speed, was more his thing though. I knew that because all the amphetamines in the medicine closest were kept in a box that had his name clearly written on it.
Oh yeah, the doctor’s home housed a cornucopia of pharmaceuticals in the “medicine closet.” Of course, we took the assorted drugs in the medicine closet for granted just like you’d take for granted the towels in the towel closet or the sheets in the linen closet or the plates and cups in the cupboard.
Anyway, every town and county in Oklahoma has its local pot patch where locoweed grows wild and every growing season the local sheriff and his deputies and a few state DEA officers show up for the benefit of the TV news and the story’s smoking all over the broadcast airwaves of torching the latest discovered patch of locoweed and how the sheriff saved the local teenage population from the evil corruption of drugs.
Anadarko’s patch, our favorite patch, was known as the New Hope Baptist Church locoweed patch and Doug just happened to know where it was located, just as he knew all the nefarious hang outs and people around town (founding fathers, remember).
So, sometimes we’d drive out several miles south of town and sneak through the woods to the locoweed patch and harvest a few plants before Sheriff Taylor and his crew decided it was once again time to show up and torch the wild growth and do their charitable good deed for the local citizens of our community.
Locoweed pretty much grows wild in Oklahoma — some of the finest shit in the world whether wild or cultivated. So anyway, Doug decided that summer he’d transplant some of the New Hope Baptist locoweed over to his grandpa’s farm north of town and me, being the naïve idiot that I’ve always been said, “Sure, let’s do it.” I mean we didn’t have anything better to do, right?
Doug and I headed out in his orange sports car to the New Hope patch, along with a couple of buckets and a shovel tossed into the back of his heap, and we dug up as many plants as we could, as fast as we could, and loaded them into the hatch back of Doug’s car. We hauled ass over to his grandpa’s farm all the time peering back in the rear and side view mirrors or over our shoulders for any flashing lights or sirens because who knew who might be keeping vigilance on the New Hope locoweed patch.
The whole time I was imagining the local newspaper headlines — Prominent Doctor’s Daughter and Founding Father’s Son Busted!
My dad would blow a gasket and ground me for a year. But, I’d learned early on how to fly under the parental radar and had excelled at it throughout high school. All the same, occasionally I’d still say or do something stupid, like stay out too late on a school night, and get myself grounded for six months, which usually only lasted for about a week before I’d be back out cruising the boulevard with my friends, drag racing at Old Town in my 68 Mustang named Dangerous Dan, or hanging out at the Pow Wow Drive In and going to the Saturday night teen hops.
Only this time, if busted, I doubted Sheriff Taylor would simply subject me to his usual blackmail of threatening to tell my parents on me like he did that time when I let his sophomore son get drunk. I was actually being a good friend Samaritan by not letting Sheriff Taylor’s son drive drunk that night, too, but the skunk still ratted me out.
Getting on with it, Doug and I traipsed across his grandpa’s wheat fields to get to the river where we transplanted Doug’s future locoweed crop. Afterwards, we hiked back to his car where he’d left it parked on the country road just outside the gate to his grandpa’s farm.
As we were sitting there recuperating from our gardening activities, a dusty blue car came along and pulled over to park beside us.
Vanessa V. and two of her Comanche friends that we’d gone to school with were out driving around, happened to recognize Doug’s beat up for shit orange sports car and the two of us sitting there, and decided to join us and cram into the back seat.
“What are you guys doing way out here?” V asked first thing. She and her two friends were giving Doug and me the hairy eyeball and she expected an explanation out of us, too.
I imagined Vanessa V and her two Comanche friends were thinking Doug and I were parked on the side of a country road for the reason anyone goes parking on a country road — to make out. Only it’s broad daylight, the middle of the afternoon, and not nighttime when most hormone fueled make-out sessions take place. We hadn’t exactly planned a cover story of why we were parked out there on that country road in the middle of nowhere.
Doug and I are just sitting there too exhausted from our farming/transplanting activities, and that Doug is certainly one industrious gardener. Mostly, we’re still sitting in his car waiting to see if his grandpa or the sheriff might come along and still bust us while we’re trying our hardest to look like we’re up to nothing.
But, we both caught the suspicious looks V and her two friends kept passing around while they’re sizing us up, and I’m sure Doug and I pretty much looked like we’re smirking about a secret. Doug and V are long time friends and they’d dated off and on during high school and it’s not like the idea of making out had even crossed our thoughts, at least not mine because I had a boyfriend and Doug only cared about transplanting his locoweed crop on his grandpa’s farm, learning Chinese, and going back to Brigham Young University that fall for his junior year. He had grand plans for getting himself kicked out over BYU’s discrimination policies. Discrimination was the one thing Doug abhorred more than anything else.
So, finally after the triple x inquisition from V and her friends, Doug trusts V enough to tell her that we’ve been planting locoweed down by the river on his grandpa’s farm. That’s why we’re sweaty and grubby, plus the dirty buckets and shovel in the back of his car pretty much confirms the truth of our story. It's not the romantic liaison that V and her friends suspected and it’s not any kind of tribal mafia burial or something like that.
V nods her head and says, “Cool.”
V’s two Comanche friends chuckle at our story. “You guys want to smoke some peyote?”
Doug and I grin at each other.
Because Comanches having peyote is legal in Oklahoma. It’s part of their tribal “religious” thing. And well, after all, Doug’s a Mormon and my folks are Southern Baptist and we can’t get any more hellfire and brimstone religious than that.
Oh, and by the way, after returning to BYU, Doug did manage to get himself kicked out of the university for being too “radical” and later on achieved one of his dream goals. He became a Master Gardener.