The Stoner Diaries: Holiday Edition  

Back in those carefree days of living single and childless in the city, the concept of a "functional state of mind" had a lot more range to it. I mean, over a long enough time line, the human body can get used to almost anything, like say... carrying on as a productive member of society while being semi-blitzed all the time. Sure, you eventually have to fly higher and higher to avoid sinking lower and lower, a practice that will ultimately place you well past your own ability to be functionally inebriated, but that's a part of my story best saved for some other time. Today we're talking about living in the moment and the consequences that lie therein.

Flash back to nearly a decade ago; 20-year-old Jay was (assistant) managing a Hollywood Video, his pockets were flush with VHS money, and rollerblading was still arguably cool. The week before Christmas we had some staff changes at the video store, which is code for "you have to be retarded to get fired for stealing a copy of Beaches for your cougar girlfriend," so I got stuck working the opening shift on Christmas day. Because of this I couldn't attend my roommate's Christmas party up in the mountains, and since I had already put myself through the guilt-ridden task of opting out of Christmas with my parents, I decided to have a very merry time being ripped out of my gourd the entire day. Granted, a little bit of the fun stuff was already a well-established part of my routine, but in this case I wanted to see how far I could push it before the world turned on me. You know, just like Jesus.

My store didn't open until 11, so somewhere around 10:30 I woke up and had my first supplement of the day. The next few hours were a blur of coffee, bagels, and customers begging me to hunt them down a copy of Rudolph from some other store. On Christmas day. Remarkably, I'm the only high one in this story.

I lived close to the store and walked home for lunch, determined to make sloppy mouth love to some leftover kabobs I knew to be in my fridge. As they mocked me from the carousel inside the microwave, my eyes were drawn to a small, skinny object on the kitchen table that was wrapped in aluminum foil and dressed with a red bow. A present for little old me! It was from my roommate, with a note that read: I was saving these for up at the cabin so I could leave you naked out in the snow... hopefully you can make just as good of use of them without me. Merry Christmas! Inside the foil was a considerable amount of mushrooms -- Merry Christmas indeed.

I'm not sure it's necessary for me to try and explain the thought process behind what I did next, for the same reason you would find it difficult to align yourself with the motivation of someone who climbs a bell tower, rifle in hand. But yeah, I ate all of them right there on the spot. I only had three hours of work left and really believed that I would make it through them without problem. My only semblance of a contingency plan was to rhetorically ask "what's the worst that could happen?" Turns out I can actually answer that one; during those last 3 hours at work, all of the following occurred:
  • I had to duck below the checkout counter to puke... TWICE.
  • I began referring to customers by character names from the board game Clue.
  • I felt that the color black had a distinct taste, a theory I tested by licking the back of every Playstation game that was returned.
  • I wrote rude yet earnest notations onto people's accounts, things like "obvious thyroid/fast food problem" and "probably a serial rapist".
  • I gave out more free rentals (not just free - I didn't even check them out on their account) than I care to admit.
  • I made the other employee that was working sing Christmas carols to a customer I thought he should date.
  • I played Jack Frost on the storewide TVs. No, not that one, THIS one.
  • I convinced an elderly woman that Gremlins was an excellent Christmas film for her 8-year-old grandson.
  • I'm fairly certain I spoke with an Irish accent.
This is really just a highlight reel of those three hours. Let's not overlook the fact that every one and thing I laid eyes upon appeared to be an ever-changing blob of hilarious colors and shapes. That, and maintaining focus was a near-impossible task given the state of mind I was in. The number of people who thought that Hollywood Video was getting some huge tax credit by employing a person of such low intellect must have been staggering. Although I do have to say that the constant stream of people mussing up my hair and saying "Good job, buddy!" was kind of nice.

After I got off of work I went to an "upscale" strip club near my house, where I paid a $25 cover to watch girls get naked to the soundtrack of all my favorite Christmas classics. There was one in particular who insisted on spreading her ass cheeks each time the chorus of Bon Jovi's "Back Door Santa" came around. Appropriate enough I guess, but that's a surprisingly frightening visual on shrooms. It was almost as if that little brown bastard could see directly into my soul. I thought a lap dance would help level me out, however, all I did was waste ten minutes petting the frilly edges of her slutty elf costume.

If you hadn't assumed by now, let me confirm that this was the worst Christmas I've ever had, in no small part because it was the only one I ever spent alone. Not that there wasn't also this giant looming beast of a part where I made a completely reckless decision that could have cost me my job and/or had me beaten to death behind someplace featuring an all leather-clad Santa. Nonetheless, I learned a very important lesson that day, in that not every stupid thing you do in life is going to magically become some important lesson with which you can justify said stupidity; sometimes, people just do really fucking stupid stuff. So in the end I guess it was worth it after all.

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