Geoff Parkes

Bong Talk

It took me some time to learn bong talk. My friends, including Doc, who I’ll talk about later, put up with me for a while. They accepted that when I was stoned off my tits, I could see faces in walls, posters, crusty coffee cups overflowing with cockroaches, and other assorted items where previously there had been nothing. They got used to me ranting about contentment, and for a while, they even put up with me getting up every thirty seconds and dashing to the front window of the flat to check whether a specially trained squad of elite SWAT troops was preparing to raid us and take us to jail for possession and consumption. But it took my lengthy and, now I consider it, rather wanky reflection on the icecream man that finally snapped Doc’s nerves.

I’ll explain. One afternoon, while Doc and I were making our merry way through a nice pile of almost purple buds, gurgling away at the bong like a coffee percolator from psychedelic heaven, a Mr Whippy van drove by, blaring its kiddie-land tune out and harshly fucking with the semblance of balance and inner peace I’d reached after 5 cones.

Suddenly the Mr Whippy van was no longer an icecream vendor. Now it was a plot, designed by the cops, to draw out onto the streets all the drug-fucked happy hamsters who, instead of being out slaving their asses off in a white-trash job with a white-trash noose masquerading as a tie around their neck, were merrily getting smashed off their faces in the privacy of their own homes. The Mr Whippy song acted on the ears as a subliminal message to the hunger nerve that pot always seemed to activate, the same nerve that more often than not resulted in 3 AM visits to the Night Owl for 7 bars of chocolate, a tub of icecream, a tin of condensed milk and a bag of frozen chips. Anyway, having received this subliminal message, all us bleary eyed stoned folk would rush out onto the streets with an urgent need for icecream. But rather than being greeted with a happy smile from an old fart with a white cardboard hat on, we’d all be pounced upon by cops and shipped off to the lockup for the night. Paranoia extraordinaire! Get the Picture?

During my Oliver Stone-esque conspiracy theory, Doc just sat there, one eyebrow raised in disbelief at the pure crap that was running diuretically off my tongue, as he so kindly put it later. When I’d finished, he started shaking his head very slowly (not that difficult, but after 5 cones nevertheless an effort) and banging his left hand on the table. And then he let loose.

At exactly the same moment as “That has got to be the biggest load of shit I have ever heard in my life!” came out of his mouth, I lost it completely. Brain-drain. Drug-fucked. Stoned, capital S. Whatever. For at least 30 seconds I had no idea what I had said, and as a result, I began to feel rather upset at this unexpected barrage of abuse. It was only when the Mr Whippy van started up again and drove off, chiming loudly in its search for more acne-covered teenagers and bloody-eyed stoneheads, that my mind clicked and I too became aware of the effluent that I had just sprouted forth.

Doc’s tirade lasted for another minute and a half until he too lost track of what he was saying and we both decided it was time for another cone. We packed, we smoked, we coughed, we giggled and then, at exactly the same time, looked at each other and said, “Hmmmm, icecream”.

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