Fandango’s Flashback Friday — April 30

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 30th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on April 30, 2018. It was the final day of the 2018 A to Z Blogging Challenge.

Z is for Zig Zag


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.
C6B23260-C282-4EAF-A7E7-C1E2D14CCA9CThe 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.

Song Lyric Sunday —Along Comes Mary

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us the names Maria, Marie, and Mary as the theme. I chose the song “Along Cones Mary by the Association.

“Along Comes Mary” was composed by Tandyn Almer, an American songwriter, musician, and record producer, for the American pop/rock group, the Association. It was recorded in 1966 and released on the Association’s debut album And Then… Along Comes the Association. It was their first hit and reached number seven on the U.S. charts.

There was a lot of speculation regarding what this song was about. Some believed it was a “slice of life” song about a man troubled by all the corruption of his “world.” Then along comes Mary. At first she seems pure as the driven snow. But then he starts to see her as a heartbreaker who uses men and tosses them aside. The song serves as a warning to other men to stay away from Mary, if they can.

Others interpreted the song to be about marijuana, which is also known as “Mary Jane.” And some believed the lyrics were about Mary as the virgin mother.

I used to love this song when it came out, but I never really paid that much attention to the lyrics. Now reading them, they don’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

So listen to the song, read the lyrics, and let me know what you think. Is it about a girl named Mary, marijuana, the Virgin Mary, or just a word salad set to music?

Every time I think that I’m the only one who’s lonely
Someone calls on me
And every now and then I spend my time in rhyme and verse
And curse those faults in me

And then along comes Mary
And does she want to give me kicks , and be my steady chick
And give me pick of memories
Or maybe rather gather tales of all the fails and tribulations
No one ever sees

When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch

When vague desire is the fire in the eyes of chicks
Whose sickness is the games they play
And when the masquerade is played and neighbor folks make jokes
As who is most to blame today

And then along comes Mary
And does she want to set them free, and let them see reality
From where she got her name
And will they struggle much when told that such a tender touch as hers
Will make them not the same

When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch

And when the morning of the warning’s passed, the gassed
And flaccid kids are flung across the stars
The psychodramas and the traumas gone
The songs are left unsung and hung upon the scars

And then along comes Mary
And does she want to see the stains, the dead remains of all the pains
She left the night before
Or will their waking eyes reflect the lies, and make them
Realize their urgent cry for sight no more

When we met I was sure out to lunch
Now my empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch

Thursday Inspiration — Back in the High Life

BA282950-8068-4F10-BCD5-545CC5A57F36For this week’s Thursday Inspiration prompt, Paula Light gave us the theme “high” and presented us with a psychedelic (sort of) picture of San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Given that I live in San Francisco and that I enjoy getting high (occasionally), there was no way I could resist responding to this prompt.

When I was a young man, back in the dark ages when smoking marijuana was a crime, I was a criminal. I had friends who had friends who could score a dime bag of grass — the good stuff, Acapulco Gold, dude — and would sell it to us. By us, I mean my friends, and then after I got married, my wife and me.

I only indulged (got stoned) on occasional weekends and I became quite adept at rolling well-packed joints using Zig-Zag “cigarette” papers.3CD8842C-746C-47BD-B96A-5EA05DF5CAF6And then there was my bong. Talk about a mind blowing high!

One day, my wife found out that she was pregnant and she and I immediately went cold turkey. For decades. Pretty much until January 2018, when the recreational use of marijuana became legal in California. Our kids are now grown up and are out on their own. A pot dispensary store opened up about six blocks from where we live. And they sell the most tasty marijuana-infused cookies, gummies, and marshmallows. Yum.

And so here we are, living virtually next door to Golden Gate Park and in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. We are truly back in the high life again!

In Other Words — Potluck

E16FBCC7-BE20-4DDB-B165-94D177F2BA13“This amazingly good,” Diana said about the beef stew.

“I have never in my life tasted anything so delicious,” Anna added.

“You have to give me the recipe and tell me what your secret ingredient is,” Barbara insisted.

“Wait, did you just say that you seasoned the stew with a generous helping of marijuana?” an incredulous Marianne asked.

“Well, you did say it was a potluck dinner party, didn’t you?” Heather said with a smile.

In other wordsWritten for the In Other Words prompt from Patricia’s Place. The challenge this week is to write a story or poem of five lines or fewer using the picture above and/or the word “potluck.” Photo credit: granat from Pixabay.

Time to Write — The Peephole

513BBE11-0F37-4BDE-AB11-0E0A58674BEA“How did you find me?” Jimmy asked Anita.

Just an hour earlier, Jimmy had been sitting on his living room couch sucking on a joint and watching a baseball game on TV when his doorbell rang. “Damn, who the fuck could that be?” he said aloud. He slowly stood up and walked to the door. When he looked through the peephole, he saw a young woman, maybe in her late teens or early twenties, someone Jimmy didn’t recognize.

He decided to just ignore the unexpected visitor, whoever she was, and to head back to his couch and finish watching the game, but as he started to back away from the door, the doorbell rang again and he heard the woman’s voice say, “I know you’re in there. I saw you look through the peephole.”

Jimmy opened the door and said, “Whatever you’re selling, whether it’s Girl Scout cookies, magazine subscriptions, or Jesus Christ, I’m not interested.” He started to shut the door when she literally stuck her foot in the doorway.

“Wait,” she said. “Are you James McMurphy?”

Surprised that she knew his name, he said, “Yeah, who the fuck are you? What do you want?”

“Do you know Rebecca Hartley?” she asked.

“No, I don’t,” Jimmy responded, although in the far reaches of his mind, the name did sound a little familiar.

“Did you go to Northgate High School?” she asked.

Jimmy was losing patience. “So what if I did? Who are you and what’s this all about?”

“May I come in?” she asked.

Jimmy sighed, stepped aside, and waived her in. Once she was inside, he shut the door and said, “Yeah, so?”

The young woman made a sniffing gesture and smiled at the familiar aroma of marijuana. “My name’s Anita,” she said, putting out a hand for Jimmy to shake. “And you’re my father.”

Jimmy started laughing. “Yeah, right,” he said. “Listen, I don’t know who you are or what your game is, but you need to get the fuck outta here.” He reopened the door.

“Rebecca Hartley!” she blurted out. “She is, or was, my mother. She died last month.”

Jimmy closed the door. “I’m sorry about your mother, but I don’t know your mother and I sure as shit ain’t your father.”

Anita reached into a backpack she was carrying, pulled out a few old photographs, handed them to Jimmy, and said “That’s you in these pictures with my mom, isn’t it?”

It had been 22 years since Jimmy had seen these pictures, but when he looked at them, his mind was flooded with memories. “Becky,” he whispered. He looked up at Anita and said, “You’re Becky’s kid?”

“And yours.”

“No way. Becky would have told me if I’d have knocked her up.”

“She never told you because she knew you weren’t right for each other,” Anita said. “You only went out three or four times, but she said you were hot and, well, I happened. It was the summer after you graduated when she found out that she was pregnant with me. You were getting ready to leave for Ann Arbor on a football scholarship and she didn’t want to burden you.”

Jimmy was dumbfounded. He walked over to the couch, sat down, grabbed the remote, and turned off the TV. He picked up the joint and lit it, took a deep drag, looked up at Anita, who was still standing by the door, and asked, “How did you find me?”

Written for this week’s Time to Write Sentence Starter prompt from Rachel Poli.