High Tea with Carlton Milhouse, edition 5

High Tea w Carlton Milhous

Greetings Stoner Nation! If it is Sunday (and it is) and the clock on the wall says it is 4:20 (and it does), then it is time for High Tea, with me….Carlton Milhouse. Your botanist. Prepare your tea and your greenery, and…..

Okay! It is time. Today it will all be decided. In a few hours it should be determined beyond any remaining doubt whether or not the New England Patriots, under the Belichick/Brady regime, are the greatest team in league history.  In any endeavor when one individual or organization dominates the field for as long as the Patriots have there will always be people gunning for you. Like the legendary gunslingers of the Old West, after so many years on top it leaves no place to just quietly fade away. The only way to exit is with guns blazing. It would be a perfect symmetry for the legend to end where it began, against a Rams franchise which appeared previously during their exile in St. Louis. I could not imagine any way possible to top the dramatic conclusion of Super Bowl LI. That would have been the perfect exit point right there. For the ride to end with anything less than another Super Bowl victory is completely anticlimactic.

In a little over a year we will reach the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Super Bowl trophy’s namesake, Vince Lombardi. It is entirely believable to posit the idea that fifty years hence the very same trophy would bear the name of Bill Belichick. I am left to wonder, though: will there be an NFL in 50 years? And, if so, will it resemble anything like the NFL of today? Today’s league looks nothing at all like the league of 50 years ago, 1969, the last year before the AFL-NFL merger. In the past decade the NFL has drifted, not navigated, into the murky waters of popular sociological trends. This is because the league’s leadership has fallen away from the very capable hands of men like Pete Rozelle, a man who understood and revered the game, into the hands of technocratic types Paul Tagliabue and Roger Goodell.

The most pointed of controversies that the NFL has navigated in recent years is the whole stand/sit for the anthem fiasco. Goodell’s helmsmanship has been akin to that of the ill fated Titanic and worse. After failing to miss that iceberg the first time around he actually reversed course to strike it once again! Even with the media’s determination to make this the dominating story a league under the direction of a Pete Rozelle would never have allowed it to become a vehicle for an agenda. All of this began with the pink armbands and socks during the month of October for breast cancer awareness. The minute the NFL signaled that they were willing to be used as a platform for one cause they opened the floodgates to became fair game for any and all. The Washington Redskins. How racist. Where is the outrage for the Kansas City Chiefs? Then there was the domestic violence awareness program because of the ill considered actions of a few of the league’s players. I do not for a second mean to condone any of those acts and it is proper for the league to have well established and uniformly enforced code regarding these behaviors. That does not entail making the league a vehicle for virtue signaling their advocacy on behalf of the victims. Oh, and the concussion protocol. Again, yes it is good to evaluate and monitor, but can we get real here for a minute? It’s FOOTBALL, okay? It’s a fucking game played by grown men for lots of cash because there are lot of people out there willing to watch. And with breast cancer awareness or no, at least 35-40% of that audience is female. Yes, there are actually women who like these rabidly toxic displays of masculinity on the gridiron every Sunday.

The way things are headed it is only a matter of time before the LGBTQ community is up in arms because of the homophobic use of the terms “tight end” and “wide receiver” used to designate certain player positions. I don’t care to dwell on these questions in their broader social context, that’s not my thing, but where it comes to football? The only toxicity I see is of a decidedly effeminate variety. Some might say that is a part of the pussification of society. I might be inclined to agree with some. These social trends will go the way they will, with or without their cheerleaders, but they are no matter for the NFL to concern themselves with. They should stick to football. Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have done this for the past 19 years with pretty impressive results. Perhaps with a sixth ring at the end of the day we might someday look forward to a Commissioner Belichick?

Okay, that’s my rant for this week. Regardless your partisanship let’s hope this Super Bowl proves to be a great contest and that the most toxically masculine team prevails.

Enjoy the game and until next time… stay stoned my friends!

 

My tea at 4:00

Got my 4:00 cuppa

Tea wi’ me friend Carlton

We celebrate The Fall in winter

through the years

til High Tea at 4:20

We blaze up his latest concoction

Me, Carlton and Mark E.

Let the Undilutable Slang Truth Live!

My Dog’s Thoughts on Pink Floyd

Not long ago I was introduced to a meditation channel.  It is not the sort of thing I would seek out on my own, but I actually sat and listened to it for a few minutes.  Within a very short time it had formed a reminiscence of the Pink Floyd song from their famed LP Ummagumma, Grantchester Meadows.  I then forced myself to sit and listen to some more of this channel.  I came to a conclusion.  Someone identified the need to create one of these channels (actually there are several) and there are people checking in. This can not be a bad thing if it leads to more people finding their chill and not being such colossal dicks all the time. Or…they could just listen to some Floyd!

There are certain standout pieces from the band’s portfolio which appear with regularity in my various playlists. Dark Side of the Moon in it’s entirety, of course, and select tracks from their other LPs. As I was caused to make a review of these I made a discovery that rather surprised me. There were no tracks from the Animals LP on any of the lists. Naturally my reaction was to cue it up and give it a listen.

The first time I ever heard anything from the album was quite probably some time in February of 1977. We were in the midst of what was up to that time the coldest winter of the twentieth century. In my bedroom above the garage I huddled about the heat register in the floor, a blanket wrapped around to contain the warm air. It was probably in this fashion that I sat huddled in the dark, next to a small radio and listened to a WCOL-FM DJ introduce Pigs (three different ones). Upon revisiting the full LP I am still of the opinion that this is indeed the most striking track of the album, both lyrically and musically.

Though it is hardly February and nowhere near to record-breaking cold temperatures, the change of season has brought with it no shortage of grey, miserably damp, chill days upon which to spend contemplating these weighty matters.  I happened to have at hand an intriguing new strain from my botanist, the Montana Flowering Dogweed, which I employed to good use for the occasion. Both were consumed in the dark, save for the light of the fire. Pink Floyd has always served as a fine soundtrack for any blaze.

For those who are unfamiliar, and those who may have simply forgotten, Pigs (three different ones) was on side two of the original vinyl. The lead off of the LP is the plaintive Pigs on the Wing, followed then by the stark and brooding piece Dogs. Perhaps it is somehow connected to that cold place where I first listened to this work, but I found that the song Dogs takes me to a very cold, dark and distant place.

Beginning at the 6:14 mark of side one there is a segment of about 45 seconds where there are the barks and howls of various hounds. Where I sat enjoying this my dog, Matthau, was at my feet and I noted his ears prick up slightly at this point. In the idle chatter one often engages with their pets I asked ” Well, old boy! Know what they’re saying, do you?” He gave me one of those looks, as dogs sometimes will, which seemed to question my sanity. He raised his massive head to snuff once at the smoke billowing from the glass bong and then rose from the floor to pad across the room and take a seat in the chair opposite. I wasn’t expecting an answer and his behavior, though somewhat odd, was not entirely out of the ordinary. Then he began to speak.

” The dogs, yes… they do go on there a bit, don’t they? Rather funny, that….”

He was sounding a bit like Alec Guinness. “Matthau? I didn’t know you could talk!”

“Of course I can speak, you pillock! I’m an English Mastiff, not some Neapolitan dullard!”

“No offense, Matthau! I just wonder why you waited until now!”

“It’s the Dogweed, old bean. Otherwise you’re too thick to hear it.”

“Is that it?”

“You have a better explanation?”

“I do not.”

“Well, there it is then.”

” I suppose you’re right, old boy. We’ll have to ask Carlton to get us some more of this soon. So what are those dogs saying anyway?”

“Oh they’re banging on about what worthless sods their agents were. Couldn’t even negotiate a reasonable royalties contract, could they?”

“Really? You’re having me on!”

“Am I? Perhaps you’d like corroboration from another hound?”

His point was well taken and I surely had no reason to doubt him. I have since learned of rumor that Roger Waters has advocated on behalf of the estates of these long departed canines. Mr. Waters has declined any comment upon the matter.

 

Summer 2018

A Smoking Bong report

by Carlton Milhouse

 

Boy did I have a fun summer! I have traveled, met new people and have sampled some great new strains. Some of these I would never have had the chance to try had it not been for being on the road. Way back in 1947-51, when Kerouac was on the road, that dude really got what it was all about. The Beat Generation understood and Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs lived their lives complete against a backdrop of jazz, poetry and drug use. My own recent travels had less to do with jazz or poetry, though they do figure slightly in my tales. I too was on the road:  for the green!

Early this summer I discovered a strain in Montana that was, honest to God, covered in a fuzzy, pink and purple hair. That fellow botanist is deep in research developing the best “non-paranoia” strain ever created. He’s getting close because after lighting off some of this bud I was left feeling pink and purple. And quite fuzzy. I hope to have some more details to share with all of you stoners as this research progresses!

About a month later I came across a delightful home-grown strain in Yellow Springs, Ohio that was the deepest green I had ever seen, through and through. It was a green so rich I offered the suggestion of including Emerald somewhere in it’s name. The high was great! And it already had a name: Pine Cones. I had to admit the name suited it as it truly did taste like breathing in a pine forest, the high was so light! I laughed and made jokes, wanted to break into dance.

And when I saw that particular woman walking down the road… Oh, I won’t forget her any time soon! Dark hair and eyes, caramel skin and when we made eye contact? Lady, you know who you are and if you should read this please contact me. When our eyes met, if only for that instant, I had to fight every urge I had to grab her and cart her off to the nearest field for a little afternoon delight. In the Ohio Valley you are never far from a field somewhere.

Well I could act like every other casual tourist and give you a blow by blow account of my summer road trip, but what I’d rather discuss is travel itself from the perspective of the herbal tourist. In my lifetime I have traveled to three different continents. Most of my early travels were made during my studies. It was then, during my college days, that I first discovered this magnificent herb that the gods have blessed us with. I found it grown on all three of those continents, among those few things that nearly every place has in common. The best green I have ever smoked was a strain from Phuket, Thailand (or somewhere near there). The worst? Some nasty, dry, brown scrub I obtained in a little town outside of Paris. Ugh! Choked the shit out of me, gave me an instant headache and a sorry buzz that only lasted about 20 minutes. Kind of like the Colorado weed you find common these days. It costs a lot and leaves you wishing it had never been legalized! Damned commercialization! But that’s another discussion…

Travel changes people. Different people in many, many different ways. One thing that most can agree on is that travel grows the mind. That is if you let yourself go with the experience. Ninety percent of my travel has been solo, which is a definite plus. I have personally witnessed families traveling together in places like Venice and London who were obviously unhappy, stressing out and fighting like they were making a trip to the local mall back home. These poor souls have not given themselves a chance to fully immerse themselves into the experience.

Whether your travel is just stateside, like Kerouac, or put on your big boy pants and explore outside of the US, you have to give yourself to it. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t complain about the monkeys carrying on outside your room when you’re in Cambodia. Ask yourself, when am I ever going to have to worry about monkeys outside my window again?

And stoners? We are worldwide. We don’t look the same everywhere you go. You won’t find any tie-dyes or ponytails from the locals while relaxing in the Canary Islands, but the discerning stoner will find “that guy” (or gal, with any luck) who can hook you up. Like that red and golden bud that made me buzz all over, the one I obtained from that lovely dark brown girl who wanted to sing me Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. In my travels I have learned that it is not only weed, but apparently Bob Dylan too, that is universal in it’s reach. 

The similarities between all people seems to be nearly as many and as amazing as all of our differences. And we all have something we can learn from each other. I spent a summer in Trieste, Italy, where I left my job bussing tables at two in the afternoon (along with the rest of the staff) to go and have a siesta for two hours before dinner service. I like that way of life. Rarely did I rest, though. During that period I had found a luscious, young Italian mother with cleavage to die for. The strain she sold was as rich, dark and decadent as her rich, full bosom. Many were those siestas that we spent smoking the rich, dark herb while she rode on top of me. Yeah, I really liked that way of life! But I digress…

So get out there now! I mean it, a personal note to my fellow stoners. For just a little while anyhow, put down that remote, put the bong in the sink to be cleaned and grab a few bags of Lays from the cupboard. It’s time to travel. Don’t worry about our little green friend: you’ll find it anywhere if you look. Maybe you don’t want to travel with your stash, depending on your mode of travel of course, but don’t let that stop you from adventure. Go on. Go. Get outta here! I’m serious!

This is Carlton your Botanist. Until next time….keep it niiiiiiiice!