Archive for the ‘pop culture’ Category

Joe Valachi, the Man Who Revealed the Existence of the Mafia

March 26, 2019

Until 1962 law enforcement officials considered rumors of the existence of a mysterious organization known as the mafia to be a myth or exaggeration.  Then a low level mafia soldier, fearing for his life while inside prison, began telling narcotics agents and the FBI everything he knew in exchange for protective custody.  Joe Valachi is the man who revealed the existence of the mafia.

Joe Valachi was born in 1904 in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City when it was mostly Italian.  His father worked as a vegetable vendor, then later earned his living as a garbageman.  The Valachi family lived in an apartment with no running water and a coal furnace that kept everything inside covered in soot.  Valachi’s father was a brutal alcoholic, and his mother frequently walked around with black eyes.  Not surprisingly considering his upbringing, at the age of 11 Joe Valachi threw a rock and hit his teacher in the face, and he was sent to a Catholic reform school where many of the priests regularly molested children.  (Valachi mentioned this in The Valachi Papers 30 years before the Catholic pedophilia scandal broke into the national news.)  After he was released from reform school he returned to public school but dropped out at the age of 15.  He worked as a  garbage man with his father but was forced to give his entire paycheck to his dad.  For his own spending money he started a career in burglary.  He organized a 4 team gang, known as the minutemen because they could totally loot a store in a minute.  He stayed behind the wheel of a getaway car, while 1 guy smashed into a store front window with a trash can and took the loot stolen by a 3rd accomplice.  The 4th stood as a lookout.  They would then sell the loot to a fence.  They were successful for a while, but eventually Joe was busted and sent to Sing Sing Prison.

Joe served a short stint in prison.  His old gang had hired a new getaway driver, so Joe started a new burglary gang that included some Irish and Jewish gangsters.  They were so successful Joe bought a nice new car under a phony name.  The car was faster than any police vehicle.  But once again police caught him in the act.  The gang fled, and a policeman shot Joe in the head.  His friends carried him around the corner and fired shots in the air, hoping an ambulance would pick him up after they left the scene.  They came back 6 hours later and found Joe still alive, undiscovered by the police, so they took him to a doctor on the take.  During his recovery Joe, still foggy from the gun shot wound to his head, let his friends retrieve his car which was still on the scene of the aborted burglary.  The police had the car staked out, followed it back to Joe’s apartment, and arrested him.  He served a 2nd stint in prison.

Upon his release Joe started looking for a new crooked scheme because police were installing radios in their cars, making his old style of burglary too risky.  The mafia recruited him and many other gangsters and crooks during 1930 when there was a major war between Joe Messeria and Salvatore Manzanaro. Each side was looking for additional soldiers to beef up their strength.  Manzanaro won the war because Lucky Luciano and Dutch Shultz switched sides and figuratively stabbed Messaria in the back.  Manzanaro organized the mafia into a structure that lasted for decades–there were bosses, underbosses, lieutenants, and soldiers.  Manazanaro appointed himself “boss of all bosses.”  Valachi never rose above the rank of soldier, but he became 1 of Manzanaro’s drivers and bodyguards.  Unfortunately for Valachi, Lucky Luciano stabbed Manzanaro in the back a few months later and became the new boss of all bosses, though he never officially accepted the title.  Valachi went into hiding because as Manazanaro’s personal bodyguard, he rightly believed this made him a marked man.  But his low ranking saved him (he wasn’t important enough to purge), and he ended up working for Tony Bender, a lieutenant under Vito Genovese, Lucky Luciano’s underboss.

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Vito Genovese, 1 of the most feared mobsters of all time.  He unfairly accused Valachi of being a rat, while they were both in prison.  This forced Valachi to flip.

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Joe Valachi, testifying before Congress.  The testimony was kind of a fiasco.  Goofy politicians asked him stupid questions.  For example a Senator from Nebraska asked him if there was organized crime in Omaha.  Valachi had no idea where Omaha was located.

Lucky Luciano let Valachi and a partner have 20 slot machines located in various bars and candy stores, and this was lucrative for him for awhile, but Mayor Lagaurdia cracked down on this vice, so Valachi got into the numbers racquet.  The numbers are a kind of illegal lottery–the winning numbers then were based on the unpredictable pay-off results of the first 3 horse races at a local track.  During the 1930s this was Valachi’s main source of income, but he also made money as a loan shark.  Debts acquired from loan sharking allowed him to become part-owner of a restaurant and dress factory, and financially he was doing really well.  He owned race horses too.  The late 1930s were successful for Valachi.  Lucky Luciano went to prison, Vito Genovese fled to Italy to avoid a murder charge, and the smarter, more business-oriented Frank Costello took over.

The advent of World War II and the end of the depression ruined Valachi’s main businesses.  Everybody had good jobs, and they didn’t need to borrow money or play an illegal lottery.  So Valachi began selling stolen war ration gas stamps, and this tided him over until the end of the war when his numbers and loan-sharking rackets picked up again.  However, Genovese was arrested by American troops in Italy and returned to the U.S. to face murder charges.  He beat the rap by having a corroborating witness poisoned, and he was able to force Frank Costello to retire.  Genovese ordered many hits, and Valachi arranged some of them.  He wasn’t paid to arrange these hits…it was just part of his job duties as a soldier working for Genovese.  Valachi didn’t like having to share his money-making schemes with the higher-ups and he didn’t like having to arrange murders, but he had no alternative.

Valachi suffered business reverses during the late 1950s.  The Narcotics Bureau pressured local authorities to revoke the alcohol license for Valachi’s restaurant, effectively killing it, then his dress factory partner died.  He couldn’t find another partner because his previous partner hadn’t been paying employee tax withholding, and the government seized the factory equipment.  Valachi was forced to turn to narcotics dealing and had to share in the profits with Tony Bender and Genovese.  The feds busted Valachi, and in a separate case nailed Genovese.  They both ended up in a federal penitentiary in Atlanta.  Genovese wrongly thought Valachi had ratted him out, so he ordered a hit on him in prison.  A man who looked similar to 1 of Genovese’s men walked past Valachi in a prison yard, and Valachi hit him over the head with a pipe, killing him.  The man was just a white collar criminal with no mafia connections.  The authorities put Valachi on death row, so to save his own life, he started telling the Bureau of Narcotics, and the FBI agents everything he knew about the mafia.  The federal agents realized his story corroborated evidence they had, and they put him in protective custody.  Valachi even testified before Congress about the activities of organized crime.  Valachi died of an heart attack in 1971, 2 years after Genovese died of the same thing.

Reference:

Maas, Peter

The Valachi Papers

Bantam Books 1968

 

Woody Allen is Probably Innocent

March 11, 2019

Self-righteous Hollywood celebrities and political talking heads who condemn Woody Allen for an alleged incident of child molestation unfairly ignore the facts of this case.  The hysteria of the #metoo movement threatens to sweep up many innocent men into an automatic public assumption of guilt, and Woody Allen is 1 of them.  I studied the facts of this case, and I don’t see how any fair minded person can assume Woody Allen was guilty.  The facts strongly suggest he was completely innocent, and the alleged incident was the invention of a jilted lover in the middle of a custody battle.

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I think Mia Farrow is a crazy, jealous actress who was furious that her adopted adult daughter won Woody’s heart.  She used false accusations of child molestation to win a custody battle against him.

Woody and Soon-Yi, together for 27 years.  They adopted children.  Adoption agencies don’t normally award custody to people they think are child molesters.  Hint: the adoption agencies also investigated the accusation and believe it to be false.

Woody Allen began having an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, in 1991 when she was between the ages of 19-21 (her real age is unknown–she grew up in an orphanage after being found in the streets of Korea).  Contrary to popular belief, Woody was not Soon-Yi’s father, and he took no part in raising her.  Mia Farrow discovered the affair, but she still continued seeing Woody Allen for almost a year.  However, during this time she began accusing Woody Allen of being a child molester.  Note, this is before the alleged incident took place.  Woody and Mia had 2 adopted children together including Dylan in addition to 1 biological child.  The alleged incident occurred in 1992 during Dylan’s 7th birthday party when supposedly Woody took Dylan up in an attic where he allegedly molested her.  However, there were 7 other people at that birthday party, and nobody saw them go into the attic.  Later, the babysitter claimed she saw Woody put his face in Dylan’s lap, and this seems to be the origin of the accusation.

Instead of reporting the incident to the police, Mia filmed Dylan, describing what had happened.  There are numerous starts and stops in the film which took 2 days to complete–obviously Mia was coaching her.  The pediatrician who examined Dylan found no evidence of molestation.  Connecticut state authorities then investigated the incident.  They concluded Dylan had not been molested, and they determined she was either mentally disturbed, coached, or a combination of the two.  When these investigators interviewed Dylan, the child seemed to be uninterested in the details, and merely expressed sympathy for her mother because Woody had cheated on her with Soon-Yi.  New York state authorities also investigated the incident, and they too concluded Dylan had not been molested.  A clinical psychologist reviewed the case and testified in a custody hearing that Dylan had not been molested.  A nanny who was in attendance at the birthday party testified at the custody hearing that Mia had pressured her to claim she saw Woody molesting Dylan–more strong evidence that Mia had fabricated the entire incident.  In recent years, Moses, 1 of Dylan’s brothers, admitted Mia coached the children into believing Woody was a child molester.  So there we have it:  Woody was exonerated by 2 state authorities, a pediatrician, and a clinical psychologist.  Furthermore, the nanny and Dylan’s brother exposed Mia’s vindictive conspiracy.

People who believe Woody is guilty bring up the judge’s ruling when he awarded custody of the children to Mia. The judge stated he saw no evidence Dylan had been coached, though he was not 1 of the experts who actually interviewed her.  That judge was an asshole unfairly prejudiced by a prosecuting attorney who claimed he had enough probable cause to arrest Woody but didn’t because he was afraid it would traumatize Dylan.  That prosecutor was later reprimanded for prejudicing this case.  I think many people, especially women,  are condemning Woody because he has had a successful relationship with a woman who is 30 years younger than he is, not because of the alleged child molestation.

I never heard of a child molester who was accused of molesting just 1 victim. Most child molesters are serial predators with a long list of victims, but  Woody has never been accused of molesting any other child.  Usually, 1 accusation of a public celebrity is followed by many others as they gain courage when they learn about fellow victims.  That nobody else has come out of the woodwork to accuse Woody is more strong evidence he is innocent.  In fact he married Soon-Yi in 1997 and they are still together.  This must really rankle Mia and Dylan.  I think Mia is simply a vindictive jilted lover who brainwashed her daughter.  Now, whenever Woody is up for an award, Dylan makes public statements condemning Woody for something that very likely never happened.  I think she is a brainwashed psycho.  Nevertheless, more and more actors and actresses ignorantly believe this nonsense and announce they will no longer work with Woody.  How unfair.

Mia Farrow demonstrates incredible hypocrisy.  Despite probably orchestrating a false slander campaign against Woody, she publicly defends real convicted child molesters.  She has issued statements supporting her brother and Roman Polanski.  Her brother is currently in prison for molesting 2 boys, and Roman Polanski admitted drugging and raping a 13 year old girl.  How ironic.

The Senility Episode of Supernatural

March 7, 2019

My wife and I watch every episode of the television series, Supernatural.  The heroes of the show are 2 brothers who travel around the U.S. to hunt monsters.  It is a successful formula because the show is currently on its 14th season.  The brothers battle ghosts and ghouls, vampires and werewolves, changelings and evil genies, witches and warlocks; and nefarious organizations that occasionally masquerade as allies in the brother’s war on monsters.  The brothers often confront demons and overzealous avenging angels; and both have died, gone to hell, and been brought back to life. Grim reapers are recurring characters on the show, and even God and the devil guest star on some episodes.

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Sam and Dean Winchester played by Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.

The premises of some episodes are remarkably inventive.  My favorite was when the brothers discovered their adventures had been chronicled by a writer in a series of obscure books with a cult fan following…but he had published the books before the events occurred and he narrated their exact thoughts.  The writer turned out to be a prophet of God.  In another episode the brothers were transported into the real world where they were just actors in the fictional tv series, Supernatural.  Perhaps the most original episode was when the brothers got stuck in a Scooby Doo cartoon.

Season 12 episode 11 dealt with senility.  The episode entitled “Regarding Dean” superficially was about a witch’s spell that caused 1 of the brothers to gradually lose his memory.  The other brother panics when he realizes the memory loss kept getting worse.  Really, this episode was about Alzheimer’s disease and how the victim and their loved ones suffer the consequences of dementia.  Eventually, Sam figures out how to reverse the witch’s curse, and Dean regains his memories.  But in real life there is no cure for the 2 leading causes of dementia–Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

My mom suffers from dementia and her decline has been shocking and rapid.  Within about a year’s time she went from being a little off on little things to being unable to walk and incapable of consistently communicating.  She primarily shows symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but she also shows signs of Alzheimer’s, and it is not uncommon for people to suffer mixed dementia.  Symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors, muscle rigidity, slowness in movement, change in posture, freezing when walking (leading to frequent falls), weakness in facial muscles, insomnia and falling out of bed, and constipation.  People with Alzheimer’s suffer from memory loss–they misplace objects, get lost in familiar places, and can’t remember family members.  Parkinson’s is caused by low dopamine levels in the brain; Alzheimer’s is the result of brain cell death.

Last time I visited my mom she made very few coherent statements.  When we entered her room she said, “hello Mark and Daphne.”  After that she mostly repeated words over and over or spoke long strings of nonsensical syllables and vowels, much like a baby babbles.  She would fall asleep between babbling.  The only other coherent statement I remember her making during our visit was “lamp, lamp, lamp, lamp, lamp, I don’t think I’ll ever be really well again.”  The nurse’s aid who takes care of her made an encouraging statement.  She said “sure, you will.”  It’s sad my mom is aware enough to understand her situation.  I understood the symbolism of her repeating lamp over and over.  It meant the light bulb in her head clicked, and she remembered how to tell us what she probably had been trying to say for most of our visit.  I can’t stand seeing my mom in this condition, but I can’t do anything about it.

Parkinson’s disease is an inheritable condition that runs in my family.  My great-grandfather had it.  My grandfather had it.  And my uncle has it. I don’t want to ever be like this…so senile that I can’t remember how to chew and swallow my food.  Some scientific studies suggest drinking wine may help prevent dementia.  The polyphenols in grapes may stop the environmental wear and tear on the brain.  I’ve long thought white wine was the antidote to dementia, but red wine has 8 times more polyphenols.  Red grape juice would probably work as well as wine, but it is not as fun to drink.  So I am going to keep drinking lots of wine.

If I ever start to show symptoms of dementia, I’ve thought about stepping in front of a bus.  But I might survive, and the driver might suffer from guilt.  An alternative might be to have some heavy women sit on my face and smother me to death while she holds my erection.  (If I could choose my death, this would be it.  What a way to go.)  But again, that might cause her to suffer from guilt, not to mention possible jail time.  The only solution then will be to drink myself to death.  Any 1 of these 3 options beats dying of dementia.

Kentucky Fried Hard Work

February 11, 2019

In his autobiography Harland Sanders tried to sound like a dumb country boy, but he can’t disguise how smart a businessman he was for most of his adult life.  According to information I found on several websites, Colonel Sanders operated a ferry boat across the Ohio River as 1 of his early jobs.  Apparently, 1 mistaken source spawned this erroneous information.  I can find no actual evidence he ever operated this ferry boat.  Instead, he founded the company that built and ran this ferry boat from 1912 until 1942 when a bridge was built in the vicinity and put the ferry out of business.  That is much more impressive than just “operating” a ferry boat.  This was an amazing accomplishment, considering Colonel Sanders dropped out of school during the 7th grade because he hated algebra.  He admired Clarence Darrow–the famous lawyer who defended the teacher in the Scopes monkey trial–so he took a correspondence course in law.  Sanders never passed the BAR exam and may have never even taken the test, but he practiced law in his spare time, while working for the railroad.  He learned enough from the coarse to understand how to set up the ferry boat business.  There already was a ferry service in the area, but it was unreliable and in such poor condition it couldn’t be used for part of the year.  Local people never chose to establish a new ferry because it was mistakenly thought to be a grandfathered-in monopoly.  But Colonel Sanders carefully studied the local laws and determined this wasn’t true.  He established the company, sold stock to investors who purchased the boat, and took a fee of $22,000 (the equivalent of over $300,000 today).  He was still in his early 20s.

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Photo of a middle-aged Harland Sanders with his children and grandchildren before he founded KFC.  He worked hard from the age of 10 until he died at the age of 90.

After reading about this incident I thought I might entitle this article “Kentucky Fried Smarts,” but then I read his entire autobiography and realized hard work was more important for Colonel Sanders’ success than smarts.  Colonel Sanders began work at the age of 10 when he cleared an acre for a farmer.  The farmer was not satisfied and fired him, and Sanders’ mother admonished him for his failure.  Her husband died when Harland was 5, and she was desperately poor, working in a cannery while sharecropping.  But she instilled a tough work ethic in Harland, and the next summer, he got another job working for a farmer and was proud he could keep up with the adults.  His mother remarried, and Harland left home at the age of 12 because his step-father was abusive.  He worked as a farm laborer and as a street car ticket clerk before a short stint in the U.S. Army.  He took care of army  mules in occupied Cuba (the army stayed there after the Spanish-American war to prop up a puppet dictator).  The army honorably discharged him, probably because they discovered he was underage.  Sanders worked for the railroads, sold insurance, and then took a job selling tires.  This last job led to his eventual fame.

The Michelin tire company closed their American factory and Harland had 1 last allotment of tires to sell.  He was forced to hitchhike after his last sale because a few days earlier a bridge collapsed under him, wrecking both family cars (he was towing his son’s car).  An oil company businessman picked him up and offered him a gas station to manage.  Harland took the job and worked harder than his competitors–opening up at 5 am (2 hours earlier than anyone else) and staying up until 9 pm fixing flat tires.  The depression and a drought that devastated local farmers killed this business, but he soon opened up another gas station and added a small restaurant for travelers.  This business expanded to include a larger restaurant and an hotel.  However, years later, a new highway was built bypassing this location, and at the age of 65 Harland knew this was the end.  He sold the business and decided to franchise the fried chicken recipe he’d perfected over the years.  Within 9 years there were hundreds of Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises, and a big corporation bought the business, though they continued to use Colonel Sanders as a spokesman until his death in 1980.

The best way to cook fried chicken is in an iron skillet, but Colonel Sanders realized this took too long.  Most customers didn’t want to wait for 40 minutes. If too much chicken was made in advance, it was wasted and he lost money.  He could fry them in deep fryers, but the chicken took on the flavor of onion rings or shrimp or whatever else had been in the fryer.  So Colonel Sanders developed a method of frying the chicken in a pressure cooker.  The chicken would cook rapidly, and there was no waste.

After Colonel Sanders sold his business he wasn’t happy with the way the big corporations cut corners.  They no longer made a cream gravy to go with the chicken, and there is not 11 herbs and spices in the breading any more.  An independent analysis found just flour, salt, black pepper, and monosodium glutamate.  The Chicago Tribune claims they may have found the original recipe.  The 11 herbs and spices may include salt, celery salt, garlic salt, black pepper, white pepper, paprika, mustard, oregano, basil, thyme, and ginger.  I have duplicated the modern day KFC in my home kitchen, but I have yet to try it with the original 11 herbs and spices.

Reference:

Sanders, Harland

Life as I have known it has been finger lickin’ good

Creation House 1974

The Mutual Influence of Bob Dylan and the Beatles

February 4, 2019

Bob Dylan first met the Beatles in New York during 1964.  He visited them in their hotel room and brought them some marijuana.  It was the first time Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr ever tried marijuana, though John Lennon and George Harrison had previously smoked lesser quality pot.  More importantly, however, was the exposure they had to each other’s music.  The mutual influence of each produced some of the greatest rock and roll albums of all time, and their creations then influenced rock for decades.  Without the mutual influence of Bob Dylan and the Beatles, there probably would not have been the ballad rock of the 1970s, the glamor rock of the 1980s, and the grunge rock of the 1990s.

Bob Dylan began performing as a folk rock and blues singer, and he had moderate early success with such songs as “Blowin’ in the Wind, and the comical “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues.”  Ed Sullivan wouldn’t let Bob play the latter song on his show, so his appearance was canceled.  They were afraid the John Birch Society would sue over being referred to as Nazis in the song.  Bob was a great lyricist, capable of writing a wide variety of songs, and other groups had big hits with songs he wrote.  The Beatles had incredible early success with their syrupy, popular rock songs. The quality of both musical acts dramatically improved after they heard each other’s work.  Bob Dylan started incorporating more energetic rock and roll into his music, while the Beatles began writing more meaningful lyrics than just “She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah” or “I want to hold your hand.”

Bob Dylan introduced the electric guitar to his live act, shocking fans of his acoustic guitar-oriented folk songs.  At a controversial concert in New Port, Rhode Island fans booed, and 1 famous folk singer went looking for an axe to cut the cord.  Nevertheless, Bob ignored the crowd’s reaction and continued to include an electric part of his show.  Folk music fans thought his hard rock was too “commercial” (as if it was a crime to make money). During the next few years he created some of the finest albums of his career including Bring it on Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, and John Wesley Harding. Blonde on Blonde is my favorite Dylan album and I play it over and over.  Meanwhile, the Beatles created Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, The White Album, and my all time favorite–Abby Road. 

This is 1 of the songs folk music snobs booed during Dylan’s concerts of the late 1960s.

This Beatles song is an ode to marijuana which half of the band first smoked with Bob Dylan.  This song was influenced by the Motown sound and Stevie Wonder.

The Beatles broke up in 1970, but John Lennon and Paul McCartney continued to enjoy success through the 1970s when ballad rock became a staple of top 40 music.  Bob Dylan still performs today and regularly recorded new albums for decades after the Beatles broke up.  His albums of the 1970s were uneven–some were almost great, others not so good.  I think he recorded 1 album just to screw his manager.  In 1964 Bob Dylan stupidly didn’t read the contract he signed with Albert Grossman (his shady manager).  He had given 50% of his song royalties to Grossman for 10 years, and this was outrageously unfair. To get revenge Bob recorded a double album of cover songs he didn’t write, so Grossman would get no royalties.  The ironically titled Self Portrait is rated 1 of the worst rock albums of all time.  Other Bob Dylan albums recorded during the 1970s were much better, but he often didn’t choose the best songs he created in these sessions for the albums.  On some he left off the 3 best songs, though they would later be released in his bootleg series albums.

Bob continued to fill stadiums during the 1970s, but the gospel singers he kept around as back-up vocals (and to satisfy his sexual urges) influenced him to convert from Judaism to Christianity.  He became a kind of obnoxious born again Christian and he performed nothing but Christian rock at his concerts.  This turned off a lot of fans, and concert sales suffered.  Some of the Christian rock is actually good (“You gotta serve somebody” is a great song”), but his career success declined.  He has since mellowed out.  He revived his career by playing small theaters and by making better, less religiously-oriented albums.  His concerts included a mix of his popular and obscure songs.  I really admire the way he always played whatever he wanted to play regardless of the audience reaction.

Music created today is terrible compared to that based on the mutual influence of the Beatles and Bob Dylan.  Rap (which 1 loosely could refer to as music) and corporate-sanitized country dominate today’s popular music.  Almost all modern country music sounds the same–there is absolutely no innovation.  And pop songs with electronic mouth organ crap seem to make young people happy.  Modern acts just don’t create good music any more because they are too distant from their roots.

Reference:

Sounes, Howard

Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan

Grove Press 2011

 

 

Special Cookies

January 17, 2019

Someone gave my wife and I special cookies for Christmas.  They contained tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient found in recreational marijuana. From the age of 18-30 I almost always possessed marijuana, but I am now 56 years old, and I have not been a regular pot-smoker since I was 29.  I’ve only smoked pot once in the last quarter century and that was from a roach I found discarded near a construction site.  My wife had never even tried marijuana.  Whenever I suggested to my wife that I smoke marijuana she usually got mad at me or told me to wait until it was legal in Georgia.  Her main objection was the illegality of it, though  I never got busted in all the years I smoked pot, except for the time my mom found my stash and flushed it down the toilet.  Nevertheless, I always honored her wishes and part of the reason I originally hooked up with her was because she did not share my enthusiasm for mind-altering drugs.  I decided it would be better for my health, if I was with someone who didn’t want to get high all the time.  So I was shocked when she ate the whole cookie without even consulting with me.

I’ve read that modern marijuana products are much more potent than they were when I was a regular pot-smoker, and I was more cautious than she.  I just ate half of the cookie and planned to eat the other half a few days later on my weekly drinking night–I normally drink a big bottle of white wine every Thursday.  The cookie caused my wife to become giddy and giggly for a short period of time, then she acted quite inebriated for hours.  She told me it felt like she was very drunk.  She actually seemed semi-comatose, and I realized the drug might be interacting with the Prozac she takes.  The next day I researched the interaction between the 2 drugs and learned the combination of marijuana and Prozac can cause either mania or sedation.  It was definitely the latter for her.  I didn’t like my wife on marijuana because she wasn’t bossing me around like she normally does, and I missed that.  She didn’t start bossing me around as usual until about 6 hours after she ate the cookie. (My wife is an overbearing, bossy, brunette–I guess you could say that’s my type.)  I suggested from now on, if we indulge in special cookies, she should just eat half and give me the other half, but she didn’t agree.

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The inside of a legal marijuana dispensary in Colorado.  Edibles are an alternative way to ingest the drug for people who don’t like to smoke.

I could tell a definite difference between marijuana and alcohol–perhaps because I had so much more experience using it.  It was trippy, more like LSD than alcohol; and indeed marijuana is classified as an hallucinogen, while alcohol is a depressant.  In all the years I smoked pot I had never tried an edible.  It took longer to feel the buzz, but I felt just as high.  It seemed weird because I’m used to just alcohol now, though I used to combine the 2 all the time.  The situation I found myself in was also strange.  Back in the day when I smoked pot, I often hung out with peers–cool dudes my own age with similar interests.  But instead I was with relatives–mostly fat old ladies in dodgy health.  When I was younger I would do something after I smoked pot.  I would go to a rock concert or a party or I would go to a bar and strike out with the chicks.  I even would go to work while stoned.  But here I was stuck inside a house with nothing to do.

I noticed more differences between alcohol and pot when I ate the rest of the cookie a few days later.  I started to drink a bottle of red wine and realized I was high enough that I didn’t need it.  I began drinking much more slowly than I normally do.  I became totally paranoid about the internet.  I had a sudden revelation that now the government and the public knows everything about me.  All a person has to do to learn about my personality is look at who I follow on twitter–a few celebrities but mostly sex workers and drug dealers.  This either never occurred to me when I’m drunk or perhaps I just didn’t care, but now I was concerned.  When I used to smoke pot there was no common use of the internet, and this was something new, and I started imagining how the government could spy on everybody through the internet.  Of course, when I sobered up the next morning I didn’t care any more and I was ok with the entire world knowing I’m a fucked up fucker. Besides the government and the public are just not that interested in me.

Alcohol makes me feel overconfident and decisive; marijuana makes me feel just the opposite.  Maybe that’s why they are such a good combination.  It’s kind of a balancing act.  Normally, after I wash dishes during my Thursday night drinking bout, I go watch music videos on youtube, and I know exactly what I want to listen to.  But when I was stoned I couldn’t decide which song to choose.  However, the internet thinks for you sometimes (a scary thought that contributed to my paranoid revelation), and youtube picked songs for me from my past history.  So I sat there and let it choose.  Incidentally, time distortion, another THC intoxication symptom, made dishwashing worse.  It felt as if I was in hell, stuck washing dishes forever.

After watching youtube videos I usually watch the television series, Supernatural, with my wife for an hour and take a break from drinking.  It was a rerun and I could barely follow it.  The effects of the marijuana began to dissipate, and I started drinking faster.  I know I went to listen to music CDs, but my memory of what I did the rest of that night is totally gone.