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April 15, 2024

The Five Pound Blunt

By Michael Dundrea

Kenny wasn’t that smart or athletic or talented in any particular thing. He couldn’t play the guitar like Jack or sack the opposing team’s quarterback like Fat Matt. He couldn’t do a kickflip like Ryan or draw obscene caricatures of their Biology teacher, Miss Williams, on the bathroom stall door like Sketch. He wasn’t a clown cracking wise from the back of the classroom like Andy, and his parents weren’t rich enough to buy him a Camaro SS so he could zoom around the city, clocking 90 on the highway to impress his dates like Noel.

Kenny was a stoner, had been since he was in 7th grade and smoked his first blunt with his older brother and their friends behind the dumpster of the apartments where they lived. Some people don’t get high the first time they smoke but Kenny did; he got very, very high. He got so high, he couldn’t walk in a straight line back to their house and his brother, Sam, had to keep grabbing him so he wouldn’t fall off the sidewalk. He was so blazed he felt like he was floating on air and kept shouting that he couldn’t feel his legs.

The next day, Kenny bought his own sack of weed and his brother taught him how to roll a blunt. He showed him how to grind the weed, how to fill the blunt paper, how to roll it and lick it and fold it so it burned evenly and cleanly, he showed him how to add a filter so he wouldn’t get any herb in his mouth as he smoked. “Like this,” Sam said and folded the blunt over and sealed it shut.

Some potheads preferred to pack a bowl or roll a joint but Kenny loved the meditative experience of taking the time to sit and chief a blunt. He liked how slowly it burned, putting the smoker into a hypnotic trance that further accentuated the pot’s quasi-psychedelic effects. He considered smoking from a pipe or bong to be more of a solo act, something most easily done at home but since his mother didn’t approve of his toking habit, he was forced to rely mainly on portable options. He had tried to carry little pipes but the glass ones needed constant cleaning and would shatter if he was clumsy.

Kenny liked the social aspect as blunts were best consumed in large groups. On the way to school, he and his friends would congregate in the parking lot of the rundown apartments across the street. The thick cloudy plumes of purple haze and the unmistaken odor of skunk permeated the area and attracted other students who were so inclined. Many potheads were stingy and would refuse to share with unknown randos, but Kenny thought the bigger the circle, the better, and he was often rewarded with homework or quiz answers in addition to pats on the back, hugs from attractive girls, and promises of IOUs that did or did not materialize. Kenny never kept score, he believed in karma, that everything freely given would eventually return to him ten-fold.

After the last bell rang, Kenny had enough time to chat with friends and after a short walk to the neighborhood park, he would find a spot on the wood benches, camouflaged within the dense thicket of trees where he could fold a blunt and light it on schedule for the sacred time of 4:20. He refused to work any earlier than five as he considered this time to be holy and although this annoyed his supervisor, he gave the kid a pass since unlike most of his peers, he was reliable and a hard-worker as long as he was stoned.

Kenny prided himself on the fact that he had mastered all forms of blunts. He could crack up and twist a Swisher Sweet with his fingernails, didn’t even need a razor blade. He could expertly pack a Phillies or a Dutch and he even mastered the most difficult to control and therefore the most often botched, the wispy onion skin of the Optimo. Kenny had been dubbed on more than one occasion, the “Swisher Sweet surgeon” as he saved failed blunt-rolling attempts of others at parties. He never shied away from a challenge, no matter how deformed and unsalvageable the condition the blunt was in when presented to him. He would carefully take the broken blunt and render immediate aid like a military medic, moving to a table with good light. He had the steady hands and steely grit that would deliver success even under the most harrowing of conditions. Stems poking out, jagged runs up one side, you name it, Kenny could fix it.

Although talented, Kenny never thought of himself that way. Sure, he could roll a mean blunt but so could a lot of kids. He was probably better than most, but at the end of the day, rolling a blunt wasn’t a gift that gave you esteem and recognition in his school. It wasn’t like being the Valedictorian, giving the commencement speech in front of the entire school or being the point guard of the varsity basketball team, breaking ankles with a crossover fade and then sinking a three while your entire school cheered. It wasn’t shredding a guitar solo at Battle of the Bands or doing a stand-up routine for the talent show. Although Kenny had his small cadre of friends, most knew him only as that “stoner kid who rolls fat blunts” if they knew him at all. He went unrecognized by the majority, leaving behind only a thick aroma of skunk matched by his lavish use of patchouli.

Kenny wanted more. Kenny wanted to get stopped in the hallways by hot blondes he didn’t know and be on a first-name basis with the Student Body President and he wanted to get shout-outs during the morning announcements. It was more than mere popularity. Kenny wanted every kid behind him -- the juniors, the sophomores, the freshman -- to talk about him long after he had graduated and left this school where he had spent four years of his life. He wanted to become a legend, a myth whispered about in the hallways of Garfield High for generations to come. Kenny wanted a legacy.

As graduation approached, Kenny felt that he needed to do something unique, something that would set him apart in the minds of his peers, something memorable, but he had no idea what that could be. It was at a house party the first weekend of April when inspiration struck. Call it divine intervention, call it luck, call it a group of friends talking big with their heads in the clouds of smoke, but the gods looked down favorably on Kenny that day and planted a seed that would take root and inspire him like he had never been inspired before.

It was at Ryan’s house, his parents having gone away for the weekend, with a keg he paid his older sister to purchase. It had gone off as any normal house party would. Keg stands, trashcan punch, kids coupling up and making out in the garage, in the bathrooms, in the closet, or any nook and cranny they could find to shield them from the prying eyes of their gossiping peers and possibly their significant others. This house party was destined to be unlike every other house party in one particular way. Kenny was handed a Phillies Titan and a quarter ounce sack of purplish buds, coated in white trichomes like a powdered donut, and challenged to roll it all up in celebration of Noel’s 18th. A particularly lofty investment for most, the hundred-dollar blunt wouldn’t be a significant hardship for the wealthiest kid in school.

Kenny set up shop on the kitchen table with plenty of overhead light and went diligently to the task at hand. Noel and several of the other party-goers helped grind the bud into a fine grain while Kenny sliced the Titan with a razor and dumped the bark-like tobacco into the garbage can dragged to his chair for that purpose. It was tricky at first and Kenny had to pause and make adjustments on the fly but ten minutes later, he had done the seemingly impossible and handed Noel the fattest cigar anyone at the party had ever seen. All his classmates marveled as Noel strutted outside and held up the stuffed cigar like a trophy before sparking it and handing it back to Kenny so he could take a puff. The entire party made their way to the circle and Kenny’s blunt. Conversations halted, arguments stopped, make out sessions paused, and the group enjoyed the act of toking the largest blunt they had seen up to that moment. With his mind on an alternate plane, Kenny had a realization that he was not a mere blunt-roller, but someone who brought people together. People sought him out and new friendships were made and old grudges put to rest in the shared pleasure of enjoying his handiwork. Popular or despised, black or white, Muslim or Christian, athletic or weak, intelligent or ignorant, they all came, one and the same to toke on Kenny’s masterful creations. He was not only a blunt roller, he was a unifier and he would outdo his largest creation ten-fold one day. The dream was turned into a concrete goal when Ryan announced during the rotation that his parents would be out of town again in a couple more weeks on the revered date of April 20th. This was when the usually soft-spoken Kenny proclaimed in a booming voice to the circle that he would not only return to the party on that day but he would attempt what many believed impossible, he would roll the largest blunt the world had ever seen for everyone to share and enjoy together.

“How large will it be?” asked a nameless voice in the crowd.

“One pound?” guessed another.

“Two pounds?”

Kenny raised his hand with all fingers fully extended and said, “I will roll a blunt that is no lighter than five pounds in weight!”

The crowd erupted in cheers while Kenny smiled and took in the moment.

“The sheer audacity,” someone said.

“How will he get five pounds of weed?” someone else said.

“That’s like twenty thousand dollars, he could buy a car with that,” said another.

Feelings of terror and panic shot from head to toe as Kenny remained silent and poised.

Over the weekend, Kenny crunched the numbers and the total would come out to more like ten to fifteen thousand, considering he could buy in bulk, but even at that slightly reduced number, he had no hope of reaching this mark, especially within the short time frame he had allotted himself. Perhaps if he had until the end of the schoolyear and put in massive amounts of overtime, maybe if he had started way back in fall, maybe just maybe he would have gotten close to his goal…but two weeks? It could never happen. As he thought about it more, he become despondent. He hoped that everyone would forget by Monday. Even if they didn’t, who could hold the word of a stoner at the peak of his high up to scrutiny?

Unfortunately, when he returned to school, Kenny’s gambit was all anyone was talking about. All those who had missed the party were regaled with the story of the quarter-ounce Titan that smoked out fifty for an hour and were determined not to miss what was sure to be the largest blunt in marijuana history, not only within their school but the entire world. Kenny, amongst all that knew him, enjoyed a glowing reputation as the rare, honest stoner since he had always sought to be fair in his pot dealings. Most believed him when he had publicly made this outlandish pact and even those who doubted his ability to successfully engineer this smokable structure, didn’t doubt his sincerity to do his best to make his dream a reality. Kenny knew that his legacy would be forever tied to his performance on the Friday night after the next.

The first and possibly largest hurdle was the money. The cheapest pound of weed he could get through his dealer was two grand. Kenny had about that saved up, his mom made him take out a portion from every check of his part-time job and he had been working since sophomore year. His mom thought it was for college but he had decided a year ago that college wasn’t in his future and had, instead, intended to use it for a car or possibly a work truck. His older brother, Sam, worked construction and he figured he’d do the same after high school and a used pickup would be just what he would need to cart around his tools and materials. But now he felt that this dream would be more important and so he decided to forego the truck and buy the pound himself. One down, four to go. Kenny remembered an older hippie telling him once over a joint in the park that every long journey begins with a single step. He also figured that if he didn’t quite get the entire five pounds, no one would complain, it would still be the most epic blunt anyone had ever seen. He also decided to reach out to Ryan and see if he would be OK with charging $20 a head. If they could get a hundred people there, he could at least make his own money back.

Kenny talked to Noel after school, by his cobalt blue Camaro and laid it out for him. Noel had no problem blowing a hundy on a quarter for his birthday but even for the richest kid in school, two thousand bucks wasn’t pocket change. Kenny appealed to Noel’s desire to be seen as wealthier than all the other kids and told him that if he was able to do it, everyone would know. When that didn’t work, he told him about the idea of charging people at the door and said he’d split it with him. He doubted that they’d get any more than a hundred but he figured getting back half would be better than nothing at all. “One more thing,” Noel said. “Can you dedicate it to Julia?” Julia was his girlfriend and he wanted to do something special for their anniversary which was coming up. Of course, Kenny agreed. He didn’t have a choice.

That evening, He went into his stash and began to roll himself a blunt to calm down but then took a long look at his sack and realized that every gram was going to count. He would have to hold off from toking until the event. Only through self-sacrifice would he ever hope to reach his ambition.

With his head pounding on his first day of sobriety, Kenny talked to Ryan in 3rd period English and Ryan said it was OK to charge but he wanted a cut. “A cut? I’m putting in two grand of my own money and so is Noel. We can’t afford to give you a cut.” But Ryan reminded Kenny that it was going to be at his house and then Kenny said it didn’t need to be, that he was pretty sure he could find another house of someone more generous and they would get the honor of having the largest blunt known to mankind smoked in their backyard and it would be their house who everyone would be talking about for the next two weeks. Ryan asked if he could keep the money left over and Kenny said sure, although he doubted there would be any left over. “It’s too bad we can’t get the money ahead of time. That way, we’d know how much we’d actually have to play with.” It was then that Jessica Thompson stood in front of the class and announced that tickets were on sale for the Senior Prom Dance. “That’s it!” Kenny said. Ryan looked confused. They’d never been to a dance all throughout high school and Ryan didn’t think Kenny would be the type to go to prom. “We’ll sell tickets to your party! That way we can get the money ahead of time.” Ryan didn’t think this would work, but said to go for it.

After school, Kenny avoided the park and went directly to work. His boss, Chris, noticed the time and that Kenny was two hours earlier than he usually arrived and didn’t smell of skunk. “Are you sick or something? Go home if you’ve got the flu, I can’t afford to have you spreading it.” Kenny told him it was only a headache and that he wanted to get some more hours in if that was OK. He didn’t want Chris to know, he didn’t want anyone at work or school to know, he was abstaining from the devil’s lettuce. He wondered who he even was if he wasn’t a pothead. Chris told him to grab some Advil on Aisle 7 and mark it out as shrinkage before he clocked in.

Walking up the aisles, searching for the Advil, instead Kenny found spools of those red, “Admit One” tickets and after spending $3.62 with his ten percent employee discount, he was the proud owner of two thousand tickets. Now all he had to do was sell a couple hundred. He approached Morgan who worked the register at CVS. She balked at the twenty bucks. “I’m not made of money. Besides, we’ve worked together for the last three years. Don’t I get any kind of discount for that?” Kenny had always had a bit of a crush on her so any resistance on his part melted away and the additional brain fog from lack of THC left him defenseless. “Half price is the friendship price,” Kenny said and Morgan handed over the cash for her ticket. She did come through and sell one for her friend, Stephanie, but wanted the friend price for her, too. Kenny had to put his foot down this time but she reminded Kenny that Stephanie was not only a cheerleader, she was cheer captain and if he sold her a ticket half price, she would sell more tickets to the rest of the squad. Begrudgingly, he relented not only because he wanted more cheerleaders at the party to witness his achievement but also because he decided to use that as a sales point to other potential customers. Kenny was able to sell tickets, at full price to a few other of his high school-aged part-time coworkers but when he told his manager, Chris about it, Chris informed him that as a father of two and a middle-aged man, he could not be caught dead in a party full of underaged kids. He loved Kenny’s hustle though and recognized for the first time the pride he saw in his employee and bought a ticket anyway even though he knew he wouldn’t attend. Chris’s act of selfless generosity gave Kenny another great idea halfway through his shift while he was stocking the cookie shelf with store-brand thin mints. After the Advil kicked in and the throbbing ache in his temples was subdued, Kenny remembered all the times kids would come door-to-door to sell chocolates to get money for a school field trip or sell Girl Scouts cookies. Half the time, especially if she was busy or in a bad mood, his mom would dig in her purse and hand the kids some loose cash, not expecting anything in return. After work, Kenny called his brother about the idea and he found it so hilarious, he told Kenny to come to Al’s Sports Bar, where he and his coworkers drank after work, on Friday evening when the bar was packed.

That night, physically exhausted from work and a full day of school without puffing the ganja, Kenny wanted desperately to sleep off the discomfort which had made a nest underneath his skin, scratching on his insides like a snake trying to shed its skin. Watching the digital clock on his alarm tick the minutes and then the hours away in illumination of the lime green neon light, Kenny couldn’t make the trip to sleepy-town until the early aughts of the morning. When he finally woke, his clock read 9:00 am and he had already missed his first-period government class. He rushed to school and barely made it in time for second period math and hoped no one noticed.

Friday evening came and his older brother’s crew had finished work on a large apartment building and were more jovial than usual. The deal his older brother made with the owner was he would only be allowed a few minutes inside to get up on their makeshift stage used for open mic nights and karaoke. With a newly cleared head, Kenny practiced his speech throughout the week, perfecting his pitch in his pleas to classmates in the hallways and the cafeteria during lunch and after school in the park. He was not used to speaking in front of a crowd, usually choosing to stay in the background, blending into his surroundings. By the end of the week, he started to feel more confident than he ever had. The memorization was coming to him naturally, he didn’t have to struggle with it like he thought he would. He felt ready and excited about the challenge that lay ahead.

His brother, who was held in high esteem by his coworkers for his talent as a carpenter and work ethic introduced his younger sibling. Kenny approached the mic, sweat beading from his forehead, hands shaky, voice cracking. This, he thought, was an entirely different experience than reciting his words to his classmates at school. When he stood on the stage, sticky from spilled beer, the microphone screeched from the feedback which caused the grunts to laugh but his brother yelled at him to get closer to the mic and hushed his obnoxious and drunk friends. Kenny felt the weight of the eyes of everyone in the bar, terrified that he had already forgotten everything. He tried again, describing what building the world’s largest blunt would mean to him and his friends and how he planned to roll it. He asked the audience if they had ever had a dream when they were his age and what happened to those dreams and what would it mean to them to be able to achieve those dreams if they had the ability to rewind the clock. It was a small act, twenty bucks, they wouldn’t miss it, and it would mean the world to him and his friends. By the end of his speech, out of breath and spent, Kenny rested his case to overwhelming cheers. Inspired, his brother took out a hundred-dollar bill and dropped it in the bucket that sat on stage and then he picked it up and walked through the audience. Grown men with tears in their eyes took out wallets and dropped money in the bucket, bartenders took out their folded tip bills, even the dope dealers in the crowd took out their wads of rubber-banded cash, remembering the dreams they once had in youth. With the bucket full of cash, his brother drove him home. “Never thought the simple act of getting my little brother high all those years ago would amount to this,” he said choking up. Kenny had never seen his brother teary-eyed.

Throughout the next week, Kenny continued to sell tickets; Stephanie and her cheerleader friends came through and bought a couple dozen, which meant the football, basketball and baseball teams bought tickets since many were dating and would have to go. After that, the word spread to the entire school and tickets sold to anyone and everyone.

Kenny felt more alive and energetic, a little more pep in his step, since he had continued to abstain. He couldn’t put his finger on why he wasn’t arguing with his mom as often until she remarked one day about how helpful and tidy he was becoming. It was true. Kenny noticed how his floor was covered in dirty clothes and his sheets hadn’t been cleaned in a month and spent the weekend doing a spring cleaning. He started taking his plates to the sink and doing the dishes and taking out the trash, all the chores his mom would constantly nag him to complete which would start most of their fights. He wasn’t disappearing to the park or hanging out late with god knows who, worrying his mom to death. With his newfound time, he was even doing his homework not only to pass the time but as he paid more attention in class, he actually started to become more interested, especially his government class. He loved the three branches which appealed to his sense of justice and fairness. Kenny’s mom brought him a cup of tea and went on for a good ten minutes about how much she appreciated all these sudden changes and for the first time he saw his mom, not as a monolithic figure, sitting on Mt. Olympus ready to judge his every move, but as an exhausted and frustrated woman who was working her fingers to the bone trying to keep the wheels of the home operations greased and turning until her son got the education that she failed to get herself and failed to ensure that his older brother received. Kenny’s mom then cried but she assured him they were tears of appreciation and tears of hope that she would see at least one of her two children graduate high school and walk across the stage in cap and gown to grab their diploma in front of the school with her in the stands, hollering until her voice went hoarse and clapping until she couldn’t feel her hands.

On the day before the party, Kenny took out the money he had hoarded and when he and Ryan sat down to count it out, they had ended up with ten grand, having sold over five hundred tickets. “Five hundred tickets? What the hell? There’s no way we’re going to fit five hundred people in my house! We’re going to have to call this whole thing off. They’ll ruin my house and my dad will choke me out.”

Kenny told Ryan what might happen if they canceled at the last minute. “Do you want the entire school to hate you? We took everyone’s money, now we don’t have any choice but to deliver. Besides, many bought tickets who won’t show.”

Kenny did his best to calm Ryan and assure him that he’d help clean after the party ended. Ryan relented. He didn’t want the entire school to hate him so close to graduation. Plus, if he pulled this off, he knew it would be epic and how often is one given the chance to graze the wings of greatness?

When he wasn’t selling tickets, Kenny had been working on the design, consulting schematics and pouring through internet forums on his lime green iMac about how to construct this monument to herbal decadence. He drew and redrew plans until he came up with the blueprints for something he hoped would work.

On the day of the party, Kenny met up with his weed dealer, Jimmy the snake, but he was still a couple grand short. He begged Jimmy to front him the extra pound but no dice, he didn’t have it even if Kenny had the money. The four pounds was wiping him out and he wasn’t even making much selling it nearly wholesale. Had this been more recent where pot shops are on every corner, this would have been less of a big deal but as it was, Jimmy was tapped out. Kenny felt defeated, having done all this work and still finding himself short, but he had people waiting and he was going to do his damn best no matter how it turned out.

Before the bell rang for his first period government class, his teacher, Mr. Dixon, asked to see him after class. He was a tall and hulking figure, the no-nonsense assistant coach of the football team and had a reputation for not playing games off the field. He informed Kenny that it was his turn to monitor detention tomorrow, Saturday morning, and he expected Kenny to be there with him to make up the test he skipped when he overslept and missed class the week before. He explained to Kenny that he didn’t have to retake the test, that he could take the zero but that would cause him to fail and since government was a required class, he would not graduate on time with his friends and not be able to walk during the graduation ceremony. He could still go to summer school and pass later or do like his brother and opt for the GED, but Kenny didn’t want to let his mom down who had confided to him only a few nights prior that seeing him walk was one of her biggest dreams in life. Even though Kenny knew that this would be the day after the most epic party he’d ever see in his life, he knew he couldn’t let his mom down and assured Mr. Dixon that he’d be there. Kenny knew that passing the test wouldn’t be an issue, he had been keeping up with the readings and retaining the information which Mr. Dixon had commented on several times in class. The only worry Kenny had was how intact his memories of the government textbook would be after inhaling a five-pound blunt into the wee hours the night before.

Kenny and Ryan and Fat Matt and Jack amongst several others went directly to Ryan’s house. His parents had left that morning and the house was empty. They began by setting the weed on the table and grinding it down, little by little, in giant piles. People started showing up and watching the crew work their hand grinders. Many offered to help, breaking up sticky buds by the handful. When they asked how much they had, they revealed they only had four pounds so far but asked for any donations. People dug into their own personal stash and began throwing nugs on the table. They would remind Kenny of a time he had helped them out in the past when they may have been a bit short on cash to be able to purchase a blunt. “This is for when I was a buck short,” one said, telling the story to those who had arrived in detail. “This is for that time you smoked me out in the parking lot after my ex dumped my ass,” another said. They came in a long line, a procession, and dropped their sacks on the table and hugged Kenny. He had thought he hadn’t made much of an impact during his time at Garfield Senior High, but apparently his contributions hadn’t gone unnoticed or unappreciated. Not in a million years would Kenny have guessed all the different lives he had touched throughout the years.

Kenny began unboxing crates of blunt wraps and licking them and sticking them together. He fused enough to stretch across the entire six-foot dining room table. Then they emptied the ground up pot, bowls and buckets of finely ground dust-weed and did their best to evenly distribute it amongst the length of the blunt wraps. At one end, Kenny fashioned a filter from a piece of cardboard while more people kept dumping plates of ground weed into the massive blunt. By the time Ryan’s house was full, inside and out, and they had run out of weed to grind, his friends and classmates looking at him in awe with sticky, green-stained fingers, he announced that it was time to roll. He started at the end with the filter and began twisting and licking, little by little, twisting and licking. It took two others to help lift the blunt and turn it so Kenny could work his magic. Like an origami master, Kenny shaped his creation into a six-foot-long cigar.

Kenny was spent. He fell back in the dining chair and couldn’t speak. Everyone looked at him cautiously until Ryan asked, “Are you done?” Kenny nodded and the crowd gathered around the table erupted into cheers. Two guys, one on each end, picked up the blunt as gently as if they were moving an antique vase, and began moving it outside.

“How do we know this actually weighs five pounds?” one of the girls yelled out. Ryan told everyone to hold on and ran to his bathroom and grabbed his scale. He brought it back outside and the two guys holding the massive blunt stood it up on the scale vertically until it was standing taller than Ryan. With bated breath, all who could get close enough, watched the digital numbers clicking ahead until it reached its final tally—4.99 pounds. The girl laughed. “See! It’s off.” A kid in the back of the crowd offered up a joint he had behind his ear and it was passed from one to another to the front and then to Kenny. He broke the joint open like a pixie stick and powdered the last bit of weed left. The digital scale didn’t move at first but by the time Kenny had finishing emptying the joint, the weight read five pounds flat.

The crowd cheered and the girl rolled her eyes. With renewed strength, Kenny grabbed the massive blunt with both hands and lifted it above his head like he had just won the Stanley Cup and the crowd cheered once more.

“I bet it won’t even work!” the annoying girl said, trying to bring the attention of the party to her once more.

Kenny handed the blunt to the two guys who had brought it out and they each held it up as Kenny put the filter to his mouth, but was struck with the pain of remembering his promise to his mom and the fear of letting her down and the government test he had committed to take the next morning. He offered the honors to Ryan who felt appreciated for the risks he was taking by offering up his parents’ home for such an enormous event. Kenny tried to light the massive beast but it took too long so he grabbed one of the lit tiki torches that were stationed around the backyard and used that instead to light the other end, which was as wide as a salad plate. Ryan huffed and puffed and sucked until his face turned red. He had to take a break but then he returned to the task at hand, and finally after several minutes, he exhaled a long plume of smoke into the air. The blunt was hitting! Ryan took a few more rips and now the lit end had cherried up nicely, the red-hot embers glowed like the sun, and he took a step back and exhaled a cloud of haze, hacking and coughing like an amateur.

Noel was next and then everyone in the backyard and house stood in a massive line and waited patiently for their turn to take a couple puffs while Kenny stood by monitoring the blunt, making sure it didn’t run or burn unevenly, using the torch to keep it smoking smoothly. Ryan and Noel monitored the line, to make sure no one tried to cut or cause any problem. But there were no problems, everyone was stoked to be there, they knew they were a part of history that would forever go down in the annals of Garfield High legends.

After everyone at the party was completely faded, having found a spot to sit and converse about philosophy and the origins of the universe or lay down for a nap, many began filtering out in order to hit up a drive-thru and alleviate the intense hunger pangs brought on by a serious case of the munchies, the blunt still burning. Everyone was so high, no one had even noticed that Kenny never toked his extraordinary creation. Kenny let himself out, it was not even 9pm yet, and he got home as fast as he could.

There are popular kids in school, some more popular than others, but after that party, Kenny was a god amongst mortals. There wasn’t a single student in the 3,000 that attended Garfield High who didn’t hear about Kenny and his blunt by the time school rolled around again on Monday. On top of that, Kenny not only made it to his government test the next morning clear-eyed and sharp but he got a B- which was pretty damn good for Kenny.

There are rumors, whispers told in the hallways and the beneath the staircases, that Kenny did eventually get to smoke remnants of his undeniable accomplishment. During the clean-up the next day, it is widely believed that Ryan kept the giant roach that was left at the end and legend has it that he, Noel, and Kenny smoked it on graduation day on the roof of Garfield High after they received their diplomas and Kenny’s mother got to witness her youngest son walk the stage and receive his diploma. There are some who swear, to this day, that if you climb on the roof of Garfield High and smoke a joint that you will hear the faint sounds of Kenny laughing in the distance. Many people live but not many ever get to experience true greatness like Kenny did on that fateful night on April 20, 2001. Kenny may not have been a lot of things but Kenny was a stoner and that was enough.

Article © Michael Dundrea. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-12-05
Image(s) are public domain.
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