Dave’s not here, man…

September 8, 2007 at 3:30 am (Waxing Nostalgic)

Aah… classic cinema at 3 AM.

Peewee Herman.

Edie McClurg.

Michael Winslow before the Police Academy series.

What masterpiece could this be?

Why, Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie, of course!

“Did you hear about the guy who had French asthma? He could only catch his breath in snatches…”

Ever use a phrase so much that you forget where you got it from?

“Big ol’ wet donkey balls.” “Ain’t that a peach?” I’ve used both those phrases at least once a month for the last near-thirty years, and I just realized the origin. I could not have told you that yesterday. Must be short-term memory loss.

I can’t believe, when discussing midnight movies, I overlooked this gem. My Freak brethren and I must have seen this film 10-15 times in theaters.

Cheech’s cousin Red, played not-so-subtly by Cheech, had my hair. (At the time. Currently it’s redneck short.) I had let it grow, and it flamed out into a bouncy red mane. The Lion from The Wizard of Oz describes it nicely. It was puffy like a dandelion, but not curly or kinky. After a brief stint with a punk ‘do, I devolved into mullet-ville. (More pro-wrestler than Joe Dirt.) That lasted until a moment of clarity, when I went short and haven’t went back. I get tempted to grow it out once more, but don’t want to deal with an awkward-looking mess in the meantime.

The rainbow sticker on Cheech & Chong’s front porch window is a nice touch. Early supporters of the Gay Pride movement? Maybe, but in 1979 it just meant you were a hippie, in tune with nature. Mork from Ork had rainbow suspenders, and I was photographed wearing a pair as a promotional shot for the college bookstore. If I’m ever busted toe-tapping, that picture will haunt me…

Cheech and Chong were pioneers in stoner humor. I’m sure Harold and Kumar are very nice boys, but I haven’t bothered to check them out. Pot humor was a lot funnier back then. But it could be me. In those days pot was counter-culture, and the one drug you could do without facing real jail time. (Now we call it “medicine”.) I managed to avoid getting too attached to any other substances, save for the legal ones. (I’ve had the hardest time kicking alcohol and cigarettes…) Bonging out on Friday night, then checking out the midnight movie was a ritual. And yes, we tried rolling joints that big. It seemed a waste, so we rolled them about half that big. (Once I managed to roll a full-sized joint out of the roach left over!) Back then (when I was a young ‘un, by cracky) the dope wasn’t as good. Or as expensive. These days, a Cheech and Chong joint is a month’s supply.

How appropriate that I am burning the late-night oil, coming down after an evening with Cheech and Chong. Typically I’d be having a beer, like the ‘wild’ Rainier pounder Cheech pulls from his fish tank. I’d sit up until sunrise, catch a rerun of Bullwinkle, or watch Ramblin’ Rod. Then, when cartoons started sucking, I’d pass out until early afternoon, then get up, have a beer, and do it all again. Saturday night usually involved Saturday Night Live, with similar mental stimulations, though we tended to do more drinking on Saturday. At 6 PM on Saturday, a half-hour episode of The Pink Panther Show would air, and I would start the evening party with a few bong hits, watching Pink Panther (sound off) while listening to Animals or Dark Side of the Moon. The gang would wander in, and the night would take shape.

Next Movie was a nice trip down fuzzy-memory lane. These days Ramblin’ Rod has moved on to that great Pop Shoppe in the sky, the Pink Panther and Bullwinkle live only on DVD, and I hardly ever get hammered on a Saturday afternoon. Though when I do get hammered, it’s the time I start most often. Something about a shiftless Saturday…

I suppose, if I wanted to get my green on, I could mosey out to Sellwood Park, where the Hempstalk is. Tommy Chong is even making an appearance! But I won’t.

Over-enthusiastic stoners make me paranoid…

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