This is going to be a short post – (well, hopefully. I’m never quite able to judge these things, as I never plan, I just rant) – about a growing and arrogant group of people. I was standing outside a pub a few months ago and a guy I never met before offered me a joint. Now, I’ve got nothing against smoking hash. It’s pretty harmless, to be honest. I do have an enormous problem with some of the people who spend most of every day smoking it because it’s non-addictive.
Let’s just start with that fallacy. Ok, it’s not essentially addictive in the same way as heroin is but its absolute nonsense to say it’s non-addictive. Sunday driving is addictive to some people. Wanking is addictive to others and smoking hash is addictive, in habit, to a lot of others. To say its not addictive is like saying the Irish government is competent.
Ok, so that’s out of the way then. This benevolent stranger starts with, “how’s it going?” He then takes a long luxuriant toke from his joint and says, “Here, check this weed out. It’s fucking great”. I thought it to be a nice friendly gesture but I, nevertheless, declined by saying, “Nah, you’re grand, thanks”.
‘Don’t you smoke,’ says he.
‘Not really,’ says I.
‘Why not?’ asketh the benevolent stranger.
‘I just don’t,’ I replied. “I’ve nothing against it and I don’t dislike it, I just prefer a pint”.
‘That’s a drug too,’ informeth this paragon of generosity.
‘I know’, I replied, beginning to get a little irked by his Mrs Doyle behaviour.
‘It’s more addictive than weed,’ says he.
‘No it isn’t,’ I replied.
‘How do you make that out?’ this now very annoying stranger asks.
‘When was the last time you spent a day without smoking a joint?’ I probed.
The stranger spits out a hoarse guffaw, followed by a good ten second coughing fit into the sleeve of his shirt, before saying, ‘Probably twenty odd years, man’.
‘So how do you know it’s not addictive?’ I asked.
‘Because it just isn’t,’ he replied indignantly.
‘How do you know?’ I asked.
‘Because I do,’ he replied, now beginning to regret his initiation of our discourse.
‘But this is my first pint in about two weeks. I don’t generally drink during the week so how can you say that pints are more addictive than smoking hash?’ I asked.
‘Look at all the alcoholics,’ was his well thought out reply.
‘That’s a bit different. They are people who crave drink every day. Even at that, I would say that most alcoholics wouldn’t have had a drink every day for the past twenty odd years,’ I replied.
Now, clearly miffed, my new friend says, ‘They’re still alcoholics. In fact, they’re the socially accepted drug addicts’
‘I beg to differ,’ I countered politely, ‘alcoholism has never been socially acceptable. In fact, possibly the only socially acceptable form of addiction is drug addiction…’ I offered.
‘What are you…’ he interjected.
The carrot had been dangled and this benevolent moron had gone for it like a rabid donkey, before I interrupted him with, ‘prescription drug addiction, of course’.
That had him fuming. He didn’t really push me on that but continued with the line that all of these peace loving hippy hash smokers use; ‘You are paying a corporation like Heineken to get richer and they don’t give a fuck about you. All they do is add chemicals to the beer and you drink it up like a good little soldier, don’t you!’
‘Yes I do,’ was my simple reply.
‘So you admit it then?’ he said, eyes dancing with glee as he now thought he had drawn first blood.
‘Yes,’ I replied, not even bothering to point out that he himself was drinking a pint of Guinness, ‘Heineken provide quite a lot of employment, which helps the economy. They also produce a beer that I quite like to drink. They don’t hide the fact that there are chemicals in their beer but they don’t always publicise that their beer contains less chemicals than any of the other leading lager brands. So, in answer to your question, yes I am paying a corporation for their product, every time I go to the pub.’
‘And you don’t find anything wrong with that?’ Adolf Poppins inquired.
‘No,’ I replied, ‘I find nothing wrong with it at all. Now, since we’ve cleared that up, would you like to answer a couple of questions of mine?’
‘Fire away,’ he replied, getting settled in for a good debate.
‘Ok, tell me, why do you think there’s so much violent crime in Ireland?’ I asked.
‘Because the economy is fucked and it was corporations like Heineken that fucked it up,’ he answered.
‘I’m pretty sure that Heineken had absolutely nothing to do with the collapse of the economy, unless it was responsible for the erosion of Bertie Ahern’s soul, but I would go some way to agreeing that economic pressure has increased crime in general but violent crime rose exponentially during the boom years, so I don’t think you can really blame it on the economy. So, tell me, who are the people committing these crimes?’ I asked.
‘Fucking scumbags?’ replied my now chastened new friend.
‘That’s right,’ I replied, in possibly an overly condescending fashion. ‘ So, how come all the scumbags drive around in new cars and have every comfort they desire?’
‘They fucking rob everyone,’ my friend informed me, now getting a little more antsy and requiring a larger but not so luxuriant toke of his joint.
‘That’s partly the reason,’ I replied, ‘but what’s the real reason?’
‘They’re fucking scumbags. Murdering scumbags,’ he announced.
‘Again, no argument there,’ said I, ‘but being a scumbag doesn’t automatically entitle you to a pimped out Mercedes with bulletproof windows,’
‘Yeah,’ my new friend spat, ‘but they’re drawing every penny they can out of the government and they’re getting away with it.
‘Right again,’ I said, ‘but that hardly explains the lifestyle and possession they enjoy. Where do they get all of this money?’ I asked.
‘They control the fucking drug trade,’ my new friend exclaimed in a burgeoning ball of fury.
‘Nail on the head, my friend,’ I replied. ‘That is exactly right. Now tell me this, do you grow your own weed?’
‘Do in my fuck,’ he replies, ‘I get it from a fella down the road.’
‘Oh, so he grows his own dope?’ I asked.
‘Does in his fuck,’ my new friend pouted.
‘Ok, so let’s cut to the chase here. You get your hash from someone who is supplied by a fucking scumbag because they control the drug trade, right?’
‘I don’t know where he gets it from,’ my friend replies.
‘Is it safe to assume that he didn’t get it from the Dalai Lama?’ I asked and, when no reply was forthcoming, continued; ‘chances are that your money is helping to bullets in the guns that may have been used to kill an innocent person at some stage, or maybe threaten an eye witness or two?’
‘You can’t say that,’ my buddy fumed.
‘Maybe not,’ I replied, ‘but will you at least admit that there is every chance that that in fact is the case and, in admitting that, you must also admit that my support of a company that provides employment, tax revenue and a damn fine beer is ever more dignified than your support of a knuckle-dragging thug, who has blood on his hands?’
‘Fuck off, you cunt,’ my, now not very peace loving, new friend spat.
‘I’m just enjoying my pint, buddy,’ I replied, before basking in the sight of him downing his pint of Guinness, rivulets of tar black porter and foam running out either side of his mouth, before storming off up the street
So, there you have it. Not quite as short as I promised, but hey, I’m a cunt. I don’t care what you take to suspend reality a bit, but please don’t judge my choice.