“Frustrated Hempster Blunted by Mary Jane,” by Paul Handley

Jun 3rd, 2015 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Dear Principal Andy Lendelsom,

I want to bring to your attention a situation involving your students with the hope that we can resolve this issue. The bus stop shelter in front of the 7-Eleven at the intersection of Price and Monroe is filled every day before school with your students smoking marijuana. They have apparently mistaken it for a clubhouse, wallpapered with advertisements for the seasonal return of traditional meals to fast food restaurants involving green coloring and fake rib molds.

During the winter months it is necessary for people to take cover from the elements. I don’t enter the shelter because I do not want a contact high that early in the morning and I suspect others share my reservations.

I have witnessed a few altercations at this bus stop even though I am usually there prior to the students’ arrival. Most are minor provocations when the students accost commuters. On one occasion the students were unhappy with a boarding passenger and they rushed the bus to beat on the side of it with their fists and gave us a good rocking. I felt like a cat locked in a rolling garbage can.

The most unsettling incident occurred when my wife who also rides the bus, was confronted by a student who projected vomit at her feet. Her quick reflexes prevented getting the front of her coated with puke. The student then lumbered a few more feet, vomited again, then circled the 7-Eleven and let loose with another stream. My wife guided other arriving passengers through the puke obstacle course.

Between tokes, your students also spout spit. They have raised spitting to an art form. It comes from every mouth angle with volume regulation. Occasionally, I forget to remove my shoes in the house or have to run in quickly because I forgot my to-go canister of java. I imagine spreading gobs of saliva throughout my residence laced with donut cereal or some fructose laden abomination that is resistant to the natural cleansers we use, forcing us to pull out the toxic big guns that will find its way into our water system and ultimately back to me. We are a one car family and endeavor to conserve by means such as mass transit. The end result of our preservation efforts is poison in my system.

Less this sound like a get off my lawn screed, I recall from my glory days, shot-gunning whatever rotgut brew we could afford and sucking from a bong made of pcv pipe sealed with electrical tape that traveled half the distance of a basement floor. I understand marijuana is now legal here in Colorado, but so are satanic theme music in horror movies, yodeling, falsettos, scat and many other types of music I deplore. On our communal rides I am often party to ‘tunes’ where I try not to hold my nose, in what so many obviously take delight. They desire to share their passion with fellow commuters foot tapping, unrestrained singing, and whole-body grooving.

Sorry, took a little detour, as some of our less experienced bus drivers are apt to do, which is why I sit up front to provide guidance. Preferably right behind them so I can speak directly into his or her ear. I know those seats are reserved for the elderly, disabled and I suppose parents with babies, but it’s a necessary evil. Winding up and down the streets of Denver with a novice at the wheel is not a journey I relish.

So, although marijuana is legal here, I imagine the restrictions are at least on a par with alcohol. A minimum age of 21. Open container laws. I’m not nipping at a flask or proffering a blunt in public. Although I no longer partake of marijuana, in an effort be ecologically responsible I am an advocate of hemp in its own place and time.

What about the children? Do you want infants already in a challenging situation, on their way to daycare, and from what I gather from loud cell phone conversations, with single, illiterate, knocked up by the age of 16 Moms, going to their day shift job, have their first word be ‘dude’? It’s cyclical. You are further condemning the little stoner to the cycle.

In high school I rarely saw the principal. He was a doctor. Not a medical doctor, not even a PhD, but an Ed.D with lofty educational ideals floating around in his head like so many items to check off on a to-do list of career advancement. My appeal to you is to step outside of the educational career ladder box and consider the broader societal implications of bus shelter doping.

Although the encounters with your scholars are enlightening as they provide a greater awareness of the youth culture of today, I just want to get on the bus without feeling like I’m in the movie The Warriors. Anything you can do to reduce this sense of adventure would be much appreciated.

Steve McDede

Defenestration-Paul HandleyPaul Handley’s fiction has appeared in Gargoyle Magazine, Monkeybicycle, The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, Gone Lawn, mojo, and Ostrich Review. His cartoons are in Hobart and Forge.

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