The Helicopter

The Helicopter

(or My Adventures with Pot)

So I was born in Tucson.  But we moved away when I was an infant.  Texas, New York, West Virginia, Louisiana and then overseas to Indonesia – where my father was working as a chemical engineer for a liquefied natural gas plant on the eastern coast of Borneo.  The company provided school to 8th grade there, and all the high school students were shipped off to Singapore. We lived in a big house, girls on the top floor, house parents in the middle, and boys on the bottom.

In Singapore, even with my baby face, I could go out to the bars and drink the wonderful libation that is known as Tiger Beer.  On a humid day there, nothing better than an ice cold bottle, and the bottles were liter size, and higher alcohol content than American beer, so very refreshing.  Often half my high school sometimes it seemed would meet up on Friday night at one outdoor market or other and drink and socialize.

Drugs though were another story.  That part of Asia has some scary drug scenes. Singapore still canes people.  They are shipping central amongst prime opium growing areas – so they have to be strict.  We had drug tests at our American school if ever suspected even.  And if busted, at a minimum you are kicked out of the country.  But we were in high school, and dumbfucks, so we imbibed anyway, on some rare occasions.  Generally not opium, never anyone I knew at least, just pot.  Still it was a very very stupid risk for us to have taken.

So I return back to Tucson to attend UA, thinking pre-vet.  I remember the biggest culture shock of pulling up to Burger King at noon for lunch and 3 people getting baked in the car next to me in plain view.  THAT you would never do in Singapore.

I ended up getting in to conservation biology.  Save the animals.  Even the snakes.  I worked an internship for AZ Game & Fish Department surveying the state for two threatened garter snake species — so I got paid to hang out in all the most beautiful riparian areas across the state.  And given the presence of water, we’d often stumble across someone’s mini farm, and help ourselves to a small share.  I mean I used it rarely, 2-3 times a year, and this was a college rebel kind of thing.

That grew to this rebellious attitude towards paying for it, and to supporting the environmental and social damage of the drug war over Mexico, and a desire for something more than sativa.  Remember this is back a long time ago before they had designer everything.  and it was not like I used it very often.. I was getting A’s in school and serious about school, and it makes me lazy, so we are talking still only using it very occasionally, with friends;  a social toker so to speak.

However, I ended up with a roommate who was predisposed to abusing such things, and was living in a trailer out in the country, going to grad school.  And my roommate was a very bad influence.  We had an extra rundown storage trailer, and an old king size waterbed. We converted the water bed to a grow bed, with fancy lights, and sea of green all buds indica, and did hydroponics, pumping the solution from the existing bathtub and then letting it gravity feed back to the bathtub.  The hydroponics part especially was a fun science experiment.

One day my roommate was gone for the weekend, and I was working in the storage trailer, and I kept hearing a helicopter.  We lived close to I-10 and the helicopters would often go by following the freeway, but this one seemed to be staying close.  I had to take a leak anyway so I headed outside to do so, and to check on why was I hearing that helicopter.

So imagine yourself a young college guy, fairly naive and innocent, opening the door to the trailer to look at a helicopter hovering overhead and two Swat looking guys with guns drawn facing you down just outside the door?

Hands up.  I was wearing only a pair of shorts, so they could see I was no threat.  I’m like oh shit.  and I still needed to pee.  Only now much more urgently.  Like really really really urgently.  So I told them I gotta go, and indicated could I pee up against the side of the other trailer, which ran parallel to the one I had exited, like 20 feet away.  The cops were like sure, oh yeah, go ahead, don’t shit yourself, so to speak.

So I start to do so, just getting going, my back to the cops, and around the side of that trailer comes this lady Game and Fish agent!  so there I am bouncing trying to quit the flow while maintaining my modesty in front of this woman from Game & Fish – a woman with or for whom I might literally have had to work closely with someday.

Well as you could imagine it was quite the comic situation.

It turned out they had an informant.  My roommate liked to brag to his loser friends — the other loser friends he made, not me (-; So he told some “friend” he had made a whole bunch of stuff that wasn’t really real, and that led Mantis, the team that busted our tiny 4x6ish foot operation that day, to believe that they were coming after some hardened criminals growing pot and trafficking in guns to Mexico and poaching rare wildlife (exotic reptiles).

But the only gun we had was my roommate’s old .22, and I had valid scientific collecting permits for the gila monster and rattlesnakes we were keeping at the time, part of my grad research.

The end result?  I was cited and released; never actually arrested.  Arizona was a mandatory sentencing state at the time, but the prosecutors had this idea my roommate was more hardcore than just a dumb college kid like I was.  They offered me a misdemeanor plea if I testified to his involvement.  I knew they had him anyway because of all his stuff in the trailer, and we discussed it and agreed to a plan.  The prosecutors were pissed when I said we were 50/50, as then they had to give him the same misdemeanor plea.  We each had to pay a hefty fine and pee in a cup monthly for two years of probation.

Other than that, looking back over the years, I have been a casual, very rare user only.  Like years not at all, and then maybe once, and then years not at all. It makes me lazy.  But has a spiritual feel for me; and great for sex, again on a very rare occasion.