Well, this is it. The final day of this year’s A to Z Challenge. And that means that it’s also time to post about the last letter of the alphabet — Z. My Z word is “zig zag.”
Decades before medical marijuana could be sold with a doctor’s prescription and, even more recently, in a number of states that have legalized the sale and use of marijuana for recreational use, the only way to score some pot was if you knew a guy who knew a guy.
Hence, there was a vibrant underground for the buying grass. At the same time, though, a number of small, retail places that serviced the pot-smoking community sprung up in strip malls and shopping centers. These storefronts were called “head shops.”
Most head shops had a lot of psychedelic posters, black lights, multicolored plastic beads hanging from the front door and separating the front of the store from the back room, and smelled of burning incense. Some had beanbag chairs and played albums from Hendrix, Joplin, and Jefferson Airplane on the shop’s stereo system turntable.
These head shops from the late 60s through 70s didn’t sell pot or any other drugs. Their merchandise consisted of pot paraphernalia, from pot and hash pipes to bongs, roach clips, posters, and scented incense. And, of course, joint rolling papers, the best of which were Zig-Zag brand papers.
The label on the Zig-Zag packaging called them “cigarette papers,” but I never, ever saw anyone smoking tobacco in Zig-Zag rolling papers. And it’s not like you could find Zig-Zag rolling papers at the local pharmacy, grocery store, or convenience store. Just at head shops.
So, I dedicate this final A to Z Challenge post to Zig-Zag brand rolling papers. They really helped keep my shit together back in the day.