Y’know, for someone who survived the crazy years of university in the late 70s, my experience of recreational drug use is virtually zero.
Note that ‘virtually’ – I had my moments when I was young. I remember taking a tiny tablet I was told would make me dance all night.
Pah, I said, I bet not. Four hours later I was still whirling like a dervish around the dance floor at Joy, shouting: “This stuff doesn’t work”. Turned out it was a TicTac. My pals near wet themselves.
I never really took to the drug culture. Call me an old fogey, but I prefer my mood-enhancing substances in a glass. There is nothing quite like a smooth pale malt whisky for making me feel so much better about the world.
Even that dread gateway drug of the Daily Mail, marijuana, sort of passed me by. Probably just as well. I’m not sure I can handle eating an entire Mars Bar at two in the morning, which seems to be the major effect of smoking dope.
When it comes to dope, or weed, or whatever the trendy name is for it this week, perhaps it’s time we dropped the bad boy image and legalised it.
We could start growing it. They can grow world-class tomatoes in the Clyde Valley. Think what we can grow in those greenhouses. Gee whizz, it could be worth more than oil.
We could create our own Scottish strains with their own unique properties. Perhaps a type that makes you want to drink Irn Bru or eat tablet. It appears that it’s a plant that is open to fair amount of selective breeding.
That being the case, the first task we should set the growers of the Clyde Valley is to create a strain that doesn’t smell.
As I say, get yourself cheerful if you like, listen to Bob Marley records all day long, stuff yourself with any amount of munchies, let’s legalise it and tax it, but for the love of Pete, can we do something about that reek? There are times when the waft of weedy smoke coats the whole of Great Junction Street. It’s eye-watering and stinks to high heaven, and for some weird reason, makes me sneeze.
Clinging ming is worrying
Boy, does that weed smell cling. It’s possibly an even more persistent whiff than cat pee and that is saying something. It can be embarrassing to batter into a meeting at the Scottish Parliament in one of those tiny rooms to suddenly be aware that an unmistakable ming has attached itself to your clothes and even now is suggesting that breakfast this morning consisted of coffee, toast and joint.
Make crime against whisky illegal
The great thing about my drug of choice is that I know exactly what’s in that glass.
The chances of my Macallan being cut with talcum powder or rat poison are fairly remote, unlike the substances that wash around Leith Walk.
It would appear, from what friends in medicine tell me, that international drug barons have much the same idea of customer care as Ryanair, and very similar standards of industrial relations. We tend not to cut our drink with horrible things.
At least, that’s what I thought until I fetched up to a bar in the Old Town last week and watched two tourists each order a large Glenfiddich. Twelve years old and sherry cask conditioned, a thing of beauty. To be mixed with Diet Coke and a slice of lemon.
There really should be a law against that.
They don’t like that, said the Cat in the Hat
HE was about four, all bright eyes, curly hair and energy. She was mid-twenties and dog tired, not surprising since the bouncing boy looked like a handful. They were in Tesco, he was demanding a toy. She was quite firm, but she resorted to every weary parent’s back-up plan. She fibbed.
You can’t have that, she said, it’s for six to seven year olds, and you’re not old enough. No, it isn’t, he said. It says three to four on the box.
She looked at me. Our eyes locked. We both knew what that meant. The wee monster could read. It’s a moment every parent dreads, because they know now. They can read the sign in the shop door and they know it doesn’t say Closed.
They know you are making up the last page of the bedtime story because you are sick to death of that Cat in the Hat.
They know that sweetie jars do not say Makes Children Turn Into Frogs.
OK, I admit, I used that under extreme circumstances, when the Girl Child was being particularly demanding. It didn’t work.
She sighed and said it didn’t say that and read the label out in detail. She was five. I knew then the gig was up.