The spring semester had just ended during my freshman year of college. My first year away at school had been everything I had hoped for. Except I rarely went to class.
My dad called me the night before I was coming home with some good news. He had gotten me a job for the summer working at his plant. For reasons you’ll soon discover, his place of employment will only be referred to as the plant.
Knowing that I had completed my second semester with a solid 2.0 GPA was reason enough to celebrate. Now I just found out I shagged a high-paying gig for the summer. Party time…
One of my roommates had a two-foot bong. Another had the necessary ingredient to fill it. We sat there for hours, smoking and laughing the night away.
Back home the following day…
My dad told me to be at the plant at 9AM sharp. When I arrived, the security guard called his office, and he came down to meet me. We walked through the various departments as he introduced me to his co-workers.
“My boy is going to be working here this summer,” he would proudly announce.
The last stop on our tour was the company physician. My dad said, “This is Dr. [can’t remember his name], and he is going to give you a physical.”
I got a lump in my throat because I knew what a physical meant. It meant a drug test.
Three days had passed when I got the call. My dad was on the other end and said, “Put your mother on the phone.”
“She’s not here right now,” I replied.
“Put your mother on the phone.”
“I said she’s not here right now. What’s wrong?” I asked, as if I didn’t know.
“Well, it seems that a certain son of mine has been spending his time at college going to pot parties.”
“Pot parties?” I started to ask, but stopped. A million funny lines went through my head, but this wasn’t the time for humor.
Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. Even worse, I had embarrassed my dad. He told me to find another job while he figured something out.
I got a job driving an ice cream truck for few days; the perfect job for a pot smoking college student. A typical stop on my route would involve a screaming kid chasing me down the street.
“How much is a Push-Up?” they would ask in between breaths.
“How much you got?” was my usual answer.
The following Monday, my dad told me that he had gotten another job for me at the plant – a dishwasher in the cafeteria. The job paid half as much as the other one. And, as my dad sternly put it, I would most likely be working with other potheads.
I’ll never forget my first night. I had to wear those black and grey checkered pants with a white shirt. I was just getting ready to clock-in when one of the cooks arrived for his shift. He noticed a pan of food on the counter and scooped a handful into his mouth.
“Cool. It’s shrimp night,” he said.
Sittin’ downtown in a railway station.