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February 19, 2024

The Many Faces of George 06

By Sand Pilarski

Long ago, I worked in the vault room of a large retail store. A secure, windowless room, the vault's daily sameness was driving me nuts. In a feeble bid for some entertainment, I began collecting defaced one-dollar bills.

I only ever kept one defaced dollar bill that put the words "I grew hemp" into George's mouth. There must have been a high school history teacher who titillated students with the insinuation that George Washington was a pothead, because I found bills like this all the time.

Artist: "Why George Washington, you old pot farmer, you! I never knew you did that!"

George: "I did not grow pot. I grew hemp."

Artist: "Same thing. I suppose you're going to try to tell me you didn't inhale."

George: "My hemp was used for making rope and textiles. It was especially useful as rope for ships' riggings, as it did not mildew. It was an admirable and useful crop."

Artist: "And it gave you the munchies!"

George: "Considering the condition of my teeth, increased appetite is the last thing I would have wished to suffer!"

Artist: "My mom didn't even know you grew pot -- she thought I was making it up."

George: "IT WAS NOT POT."

Artist: "You're just embarrassed, as my trusty highlighter reveals. I think we should tell the world."

George: "The world would be better off if it increased its hemp crops. Very well. People of America, as a wise farmer and prudent landowner, having learned of the many products possible from its cultivation, I grew hemp."

Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2006-07-10
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