Close Encounters

I am one of the few folks who never tried drugs. It was a decision, not something thrust on me. This really confused folks when I went to high school, since a lot of the folks I hung around with were in the druggie clique. I guess I was already so naturally fscked-up in the head that I could easily communicate with stoned people. I never judged them, and they normally would not pressured me. It was an unspoken truce.

One of my friends broke the truce one day, and asked me if I would like to take a tab of LSD. I eyeballed him for a minute to see if he was serious, and he was. I declined gracefully, but I was a bit perturbed. I dismissed it and went to talk to his very attractive sister (one caveat of being straight in a stoned environment).

A while later I went back outside to see what the guys were doing. They were hanging out by the shed, drinking Kool Aid. I noticed that their conversation changed when I approached.

"Here, hang out and have a cuppa lemonade," said my pal. I thanked him, accepted the cup and sat down on a log.

They were all very quiet, and they were all looking at me. The first thing I did was to make sure my friend's sister had zipped up my trousers properly. They were fine, so I figured something was wrong with the Kool Aid.

"All right, dickheads. What the hell is in this drink," I asked suspiciously.

One of his friends handed me his cup. "I think you would prefer this one. Yours has a tab of acid in it."

As you can understand, I was very angry. I didn't talk to my "pal" for three weeks, and we were normally inseparable. I completely ignored him daily when I came over to "talk" some more with his sister.

I decided to forgive him. To his credit, he never tried to do anything like that again. He said they were discussing how I would react to LSD while I was in the house with his sister. The majority thought I would do some scary things, either kill one of them or have my skull explode. My friend was absolutely convinced that I would do something like the Weird Lock Incident.

The Weird Lock Incident

That same friend had an older brother, who incidently introduced his younger brother into the wonders of LSD. We were sitting outside with two other friends around a small fire, and they dropped some mild acid. One of these friends was playing with a crusty old Master padlock whose combination had been long forgotten.

They were tripping and laughing at the fire when my friend's older brother took the padlock. Without looking at the lock, he said three numbers out loud as his fingers twisted the dial. The lock opened.

Now, I certainly do not believe that LSD activated the latent X-Files section of his brain. It was just one of those very spooky experiences, an amazing coincidence. We put the lock on a chain around a pine tree, where it hangs to this day.

The Finest Pastels from Paris, France

Several months later, I was sleeping over my friends house with his sister (we came "out of the bedroom", much to his mother's chagrin). I was awakened from a sound sleep by my friend, who told me to put some goddamn clothes on because he needed a favor.

How could I refuse such a well-worded request? I donned my clothing and met him in the kitchen.

"Just what do you want," I asked as I poured myself a glass of his orange juice.

He frowned at my purposely large glass, then said, "I need you to pick up some friends of mine. They're waiting by an exit off of I-87."

"Why don't you borrow your mother's car," I inquired between gulps of OJ. "She would" gulp "let you if" gulp "you asked." gulp

"She doesn't like them. Besides, you're awake now. Help me out, Bud."

I finished my glass, and we set off down the highway. These pals of his were about 45 miles away. When we arrived at the exit they said we should turn off, I pulled off of the highway.

"What do these friends of yours look like?" I asked.

"One looks like Jesus, and the other guy is six-foot-eleven and weighs over 300 pounds."

We cruised slowly up and down that section of road, looking for Jesus and the Giant. I decided to try some quick toots of the car horn, and that flushed them out of the underbrush.

I was introduced to David, the Jesus look-alike, and Dan Dan the Vacuum Man, the large gent. They loaded up their gear into my trunk and I started heading towards the highway. It was at that point the New York State Trooper decided to turn on his lights and tell us to pull over.

He had been watching the odd couple for almost a half hour. He figured he was in for a nice juicy drug bust. I was sorry to disappoint him.

The Trooper asked me if it was OK to search my car. Since I was drug-free, I gave permission. He looked at where I was sitting, then reached in and produced what looked like a plastic bag. "And what is this, Sir?" he asked, sarcastic emphasis on the 'Sir'.

I looked closer. "Ummm, it looks like the Twinkie wrapper I put on the floor. Didn't want to litter by tossing it out the car window."

That's what it was. For a minute I thought the officer had planted something in my vehicle. He scowled, and asked me to open the trunk. "And where did you get all of theose engine parts, Sir?"

"I just had my engine replaced. Here's the receipt, it's with the registration."

Scowl, scowl. He asked my friends for ID. The Giant gave him his ID, and Jesus said he had none. The only thing he had was a can of Bumble Bee tuna fish in his pocket. The Trooper searched him and his clothing bundle, but there was nothing to identify him. My friend told the Trooper his name and other information, which Dave corroborated. He searched through the Giant's things, when he asked what was in his leather "purse".

Opening up the purse, Dan Dan said, "Only the finest pastels from Paris, France, Sir," as he displayed a large case filled with what looked like art supplies.

The cop told me that someone had called in that there were suspicious people in the bushes. I agreed, they were suspicious-looking. He told us to drive safely.

We were all in the car, cruising down the highway at stupid speeds, when they all burst out laughing.

"OK, what is the joke, guys," I asked.

"I never finished my sentence," replied Dan Dan the Giant. "Only the finest pastels from Paris, France... and the finest acid from New Paltz, New York!"

Suffice it to say I never volunteered to pick up any more of his friends.

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