Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Notes From Indiana

Well, this week I had the pleasure of visiting the great state of Indiana. John Cougar Mellencamp was born there and I was reminded of that the minute I crossed the border when the first radio station I tuned into was playing “Cherry Bomb”. While driving from Angola to Seymour (the city I had to attend a business meeting in and coincidentally, the town that John Cougar Mellencamp was born in), I also heard “Jack and Diane”, “The Authority Song”, “Hurts So Good”, “I Need A Lover That Won’t Drive Me Crazy” and a bunch of other ones that I did not recognize but assumed to be the b-sides of the singles I knew. Now, I can’t say that I hate John Cougar songs (except for Jack and Diane – I hated it in the early 1980’s when it came out and I found that I still hate it now) but I have to admit that they begin to wear on you after a while. I have always found Indiana to be a great state with fine, friendly people but I would implore them to inject a little variety into their soundtrack. Maybe they should try a little Twisted Sister down there some time.

I also discovered while tooling down I-69, that Indiana also claims the actor James Dean and the cartoon character Garfield. I always thought the movie Giant to be a fine film so I can concede Indiana bragging rights on the actor they spawned, but after nearly thirty years of lasagna jokes, I think Garfield has grown more putrid and stale than the body parts Mr. Dean left behind in the mangled Porsche he ended up killing himself in.

So, what else can I say about Indiana? Well for all I saw of them, it boasts clean highway rest rooms. Also judging by all of the fireworks stores, Indianans seem to enjoy playing with explosives. I can’t blame them for this. Blowing things up is incredibly fun and from what I could see from the freeway, there didn’t look to be a whole lot of other things to do there in the middle of winter. They also have cheap cigarettes.

Though I did not see this personally, I have heard that marijuana grows wild and rampant in Indiana, which could provide some wildly entertaining behavior in the midst of state with an overabundance of fireworks stores. Legend has it that during World War II, the US government planted the stuff like crazy to harvest it for the fiber in which to make rope with. After the war, but before its official criminalization in the 1950s, the plants were essentially abandoned with no attempts being made to curb its spread to other areas. A former acquaintance of mine (who I had the pleasure of get arrested with in 1987), allegedly found out about this during another stint in the hoosegow for drunk driving and obtained a map of where he could find some. I heard that immediately after posting bail, he drove down there and filled his trunk up with the stuff only to get pulled over with a trunk full of grass, earning him a federal conviction for drug running on top of the citation he received for having failing to signal a lane change. I never did get hard confirmation on this story, but I still believe it. Chris was kind of a moron and no one that I know has heard from him since the early 1990s. I can say though, having spent fourteen hours in the Allen Park City Jail with him, he is a lot of fun to get arrested with….but that’s another epic that I just do not have time to write about right now.


Blogger Sacto Ritch said...

The tale of the wild dope growing along our highways and byways in the middle west of our nation is quite true. It is curiously enough VERY common in a little place I'm quite familiar with, Fort Riley Kansas. Before I saw it with my own eyes it seemed like one of those urban myth things you hear about like waking up with no kidneys, or the elevator in Gerish Middle School,or like being sent for a bucket of muzzle blast before your battery can commence firing.
The dope growing in the American heartland is quite abundant and easy to find. I'm also sorry to report that it is no good for smoking.
My first sighting in the field was as a kid in a candy shop. I grabbed as much as I could without attracting the attention of the 1st Sergeant. I giddily got back to the barracks and dried as much as I could in anticipation of my first hit. Well, a few days later some of my buddies and I were in Manhattan Kansas smoking down as it were. We kept smoking and smoking, not really feeling the effects, thinking "Man this is some good creeper shit".Well the next morning our lungs felt like we'd spent the night inhaling the fumes from an untuned Greyhound bus and we all had the worst headaches we've ever experienced this side of the "Tijuana Travesty".
As the story goes, my room mate in the Army was a former dealer. He knew when to harvest and when the plants were ready to be dried and all that other stuff that never crossed my mind as a teenager. I just thought it came from nature in little baggies.
Turns out that the wild stuff in the fields of the Great Plains states is actually "hemp". Yes, it looks the same and it smells the same. It is, unfortunately, lacking the one thing that makes it usefull to most of us outside of making rope and hippie clothes. The Goddam THC content is nil.
So before you go renting a Ryder truck to go to Indiana, Kansas or anywhere else you'd never go to for any other reason, don't. It's a lot of work to dry pot discretely just to be dissapointed and slapped down with an enoumous headache.
Or maybe we're just saving it for ourselves.

5:45 PM  
Blogger JEP said...

Ritch, I so wish you also would blog! That was great!

You may also recall a similar story involving the person I refer to in this blog as Lucky, who stole a car that unkowingly belonged to a big pot smuggler. The trunk was full of the stuff which got soaked because it had a faulty seal that couldn't keep the rain out. We spent the weekend trying to dry the stuff out with a microwave but accomplished little more than making the entire block smell like Ground Zero at a Grateful Dead concert.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Sacto Ritch said...

You know Jim, I'd love to blog on a consistant basis but the muse rarely kicks me hard enough in the sack to do so. I'm the "Iron Balls McGinty" of blogging. I much prefer to coat-tail on your blog. Thinking up what to write about is almost as hard as writing a song. Who am I kidding? I am yet to write a decent song. I'm just a bass player. Plus I never get that damn word recognizer right the first time!

8:37 PM  

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