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Dear Little Bobby,
I recently found myself on vacation with a little bit of unexpected pot and no pipe or papers. My friend suggested that we make a pipe out of an apple. So we did. Does this mean that we were being creative or does this mean we were being trashy?
—Smokin’ It, Cause I Got It
Dear Smokin’ It,
To me it sounds like you were being creative and perhaps even MORE importantly you were being resourceful. If there’s an apple available, then use it.
Also, an apple is definitely a healthier alternative than the aluminum foil that I used to wrap around a ballpoint pen and call a “pipe” back in “high” school. AND an apple has gotta work way better than the single square of toilet paper that my friend Mike and I used for rolling a joint when we were 15 years old. It looked alright but as soon as we tried to spark it up…POOF!! The entire thing ignited in a flash, the single sheet of paper was gone and we were left with some barely singed dirt weed falling to the ground. Ah, being 15 was awesome!
However, in all seriousness, that same friend, Mike, died of brain cancer a few years ago and each memory is a memory that I cherish. At the time of his death, he was only 36 years old. He left two children behind. His death seems like one of the biggest ripoffs in my life. We had lost contact when we were in our early 20s and this was before social media blew up which meant that 10 years went by before we reconnected. Eventually we found each other online, and after 10 years, we spoke on the phone. That is when he told me that he had cancer and, although the prognosis was not good, he was still hopeful. A few months later he was dead. And just like THAT, at 36 years old, my best friend from high school was gone.
When I look back on the friendship Mike and I had back in our teenage years, I think of that time we attempted to smoke the toilet paper joint. I think of a lot of naive things we did. Some of them were very dangerous, some of them just stupid. But I also think of the fun, the laughter and the way we were just two guys missing our fathers and going through puberty in a time and place when that was not exactly easy (Texas in the early ’90s was NOT the bastion of knowledge and liberalism that it is now… HA HA!).
We became friends in our teens because when my mother remarried AGAIN, we just happened to move into a house very close to the house where Mike lived with his mom. Since we were in the same grade, both starting high school and both with absent parents, we had a lot in common and we had a lot to smoke about.
I don’t think 15-year-olds should be smoking pot, but I do not question why we were doing it. We were two young men looking for something, looking for direction and looking for friendship. And we found both.
I miss Mike. He was a creative guy and he would approve of your apple pipe, just as long as you were having fun and not hurting anybody else in the process. Smoke it if you got it! Or better yet, buy a vaporizer or some edibles—SOOO much easier on our bodies!
—Little Bobby Tucker
“Teacher don’t you fill me up with your rules, ’cause everybody knows that smokin’ ain’t allowed in school” —Brownsville Station, “Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room,” 1973
Dear Little Bobby,
My life is so hectic. I try to spend enough time with my kids and my wife. In addition to that, I have a full-time job and I’m trying to play music with my buddies on a semi-regular basis, but it is really difficult.
Between my kids, paper work, changing the oil, changing guitar strings and more, I have been feeling really lost lately. I’ve been overwhelmed and sometimes forget about band practice or forget to email my boss or kiss my wife enough. I need help getting a grip. How could I possibly organize my life better? Any tips on managing my time?
—Stressed-Out Rabbit on the Run
It comes down to priorities and then efficiency. The smart thing to do is to make your children, wife and yourself priorities. Make the effort to kiss her enough. The definition of “enough” is open to interpretation, but making the effort will help ensure that your wife and kids know how much you love them. And do not forget about yourself. Take care of your mental state with meditative breathing. Even just minutes a day of relaxed breathing is a good starting point and you will greatly benefit from it.
As far as managing your time, it’s about changing habits. MAKE it happen or it will not. To eat right, for example, oftentimes we have to plan ahead. At first, we have to read a few more ingredient labels, but once we learn our way around the store, we can save a lot of time.
At the beginning of each week, write a quick list of projects that you would like to accomplish by the end of that week. Or maybe daily, or when you are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.
Your list is like a game plan for the day. Often writing it down is enough, because later we remember writing it down and then do it. So maybe when you have some time in the evening you will think, “I will change my guitar strings,” and, “I need to pack my equipment for practice tomorrow.”
Just do not get to the point where you are writing “kiss wife” and “spend time with kids” on your list. If you do, you will have bigger problems than not making band practice. Those parts of your day should obviously be front and center. When they feel loved, you will feel more relaxed, able to manage your time and the time that you spend on you will be more meaningful. You will then turn around and have more meaningful relationships with others. It is a win-win, positive feedback loop of love and support and it all starts with breathing and being mentally relaxed.
—Little Bobby Tucker
“Run, rabbit run” —Pink Floyd, “Breathe,” 1973