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A Step by Step Guide to Finding Lost Objects from a Pothead Looking for His Phone

One day this year our well-coiffed, sexy one-hitter of a prime minister is going to legalize sweet lady Mary Jane. Obviously, this is good news despite the roll out of legalization being seemingly designed by someone who has never tried pot because they are worried it will make them paranoid. (One decidedly unsubstantiated rumor I heard was that there is only going to be one bong in Ontario and we all have to share it.)

After seeing my grandmother share another non-ironic link to an article about the widespread blight of people getting their pets high, I do have some hesitancy though. I wonder if Canadians are ready. Specifically, are Canadians ready for how much shit they are about to lose?

As someone who has dabbled in marijuana pretty much daily for the past ten years, I know the harsh truth that no object ever truly belongs to a pothead. The object and the pothead are on two separate journeys, destined to be intertwined for a moment before passing by one another. Pens, debit and credit cards, keys, documents, articles of clothing; I like to imagine that all the objects I’ve lost are twirling in a psychedelic afterlife, holding hands and dancing to CCR.

So in a bid to prepare Canadians for the legalization of misplacing-enhancing devil’s shrub, here is a step-by-step guide to finding what you’ve lost from a legitimate weed addict who is currently, as of this writing, looking for his (flip) phone.

Why People Think Potheads Are Lazy: A History

Step One: Leave Rationality Behind and Roll One Up

If you are a true pothead you know that there is only one way to do anything that is slightly productive but also boring: get baked as hell (anyone who has spent an hour plus washing dishes because the warm water feels so nice knows what I’m talking about). Plus, listen, it was stoned you that got you into this mess and goddamnit it is stoned you that is going to get you out of it. You think a sober, clear mind is going to be up to the task of finding your checkbook? No, sometimes you have to think like a serial killer to catch a serial killer, and some sometimes you gotta get high to figure out that you left your checkbook in the drawer with all the ladles and wooden spoons in it. So the first step before you put on your searching outfit (I prefer camo shorts and a sturdy pair of binoculars) is to roll one up and get yourself in an exploratory mindset.

Step 2: It’s In Your Pocket

Oh my pockets, what frailties and weaknesses of my psyche do you hide within your seemingly endless twists and folds? Reaching into my pockets sometimes feels like I’m an archaeologist dredging through the ruins of a life not well lived, their subconcious depths stuffed with bus transfers, coins, scraps of paper with jokes on them that I confuse with money sometimes only to pull them from my pocket see that it’s not money and whisper to the joke, “Someday you’ll be a money-making joke…someday,” before releasing it into the wind.

Before you begin the nitty gritty work of getting on your hands and knees, check your pockets. There’s a good chance at least something important is stuffed in those things. The key is not being afraid of what you’ll find in your pockets—just keep digging around in there. This summer I was in a drink line at music festival, incredibly high, obviously. I knew there were drink tickets in my pockets but every time I reached into my pockets it felt like I was dipping my fingers into a strange anti-matter universe where the rules of physics did not apply but I kept rummaging and ignored the mounting panic and eventually found the ticket and attained a thoroughly unnecessary new beer. So keep rummaging you’ll be surprised at how often what you thought was a pointy, jagged coin is actually the house key you were looking for.

Step 3: Snacks

This is going to take a while, so you are going to want to fuel up. Chips, granola bars, so much juice. Also you can use the snacks to help with your search. Dust your room with Cheeto dust to find some clues, pour 7UP on the floor to find any hidden caverns or divots where your change may have tumbled into. Just be careful. You’ll be surprised at how easily you can lose things in the very chip bags you came to rely on. It’s shameful, the amount of times I’ve found the debit card I was looking for at the bottom of Ruffles bag emptied with savage ruthlessness.

Step 4: Escape the Physical Realm

Been searching for what seems like an eternity (which in pothead searching time is about six or seven minutes) with no results? Don’t worry, there are other ways of searching if one is desperate enough (cue sinister cackling). That’s right it’s time to appeal to darker power of the occult and supernatural. Find yourself a Ouija board and/or paint a pentagram on the floor of your living room and sacrifice one of your wilting houseplants hopefully summoning a helpful house spirit that will assist you in your quest. Myself, I’ll occasionally bust out a pack of Tarot cards. Admittedly, they haven’t helped me find anything but I am becoming increasingly convinced that my tragic death is imminent which makes all worries about misplaced objects seem irrelevant.

Step 5: Trust No One

You’ve stocked up on snacks, looked under every damn pillow in your apartment and even attempted to gain the assistance of Cthulthu and still no answers. Perhaps the problem is that you have been too trusting. Ask yourself: who is benefitting from my present situation, who are my enemies? Let that sweet pot paranoia into your heart while you tear your apartment apart. Did you ask your roommate if he knew where your wallet is? Did he say, “No”? Of course he did but how do you know that you can really trust him? Where does he go all day, who’s he talking to on his phone all the time? It could be anybody, it could be your parents, my god it could be the feds, who knows how deep this whole thing could go. On pot, every lost object presents a chance to fall into a delicious wormhole, a clandestine world of shadowy figures, secrets, lies and, like any good secretive intelligence operation, an opportunity to rummage through a trash can.

Step 6: Let It Go

Based upon my own history there’s a good chance that (like notorious tax cheat Bono sings) you aren’t going to find what you are looking for. That’s why the penultimate step is to let it go. Take this loss as an opportunity to reevaluate your relationship with the possession. It’s like the expressions says: God doesn’t empty a pop bottle without creating a sinker/water pipe.

You’ve done all that you could: you’ve flipped the couch cushions thricely, you’ve looked under various blankets and towels, you’ve cursed the heavens and your own hubris. Now is the time to take a step back and re-evaluate how much you really need the missing thing. Credit card? Hell, a good pothead should be aware that credit is a trap set up by the police to make us obey the rules. That other sock? Who said socks need to match anyways. Your keys? You’ve always wanted to be closer to nature, that journey can begin now. Once it looks like the object is gone forever, take a deep puff and realize that maybe you were just trying to free yourself from these fabricated obligations and responsibilities and now that you don’t know where your wallet is you can truly be free.

Step 7: Quit Smoking Pot (Optional)

The most desperate step of all and one that, if you related to this article at all, should probably consider. I’m attempting to do it right now. The pro is that things are normally in the reasonable spot where you left them. The con is that it turns out when you stop smoking weed you find all your repressed emotions like old food you forgot about it in your fridge and now searching for anything longer than ten seconds fills me with earth-scorching rage that quickly dovetails into seething despair. But also I’m having dreams again for the first time in a decade and they are killer and awesome; intense, sexual affairs where I end up in a long-term, Before Sunset-style relationship with one of the walking hammers from Pink Floyd’s The Wall so this step is worth it for the DMT-but-sober dreams alone.

So there it is: a quick seven-step guide to finding a lost object that admittedly will probably not help you find a thing at all. But, if you follow the steps accordingly, you just might find what you have been actually looking for this whole time: yourself.

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Step one: Procure cannabis.

The Best Time I Smoked Too Much Weed
And Lost My Mind

May is MENTAL HEALTH MONTH at DADDY (and also in the wider world, too!). We’re getting up close and personal about what happens when we cross the
self-protective lines we set for ourselves, as well as chatting about
therapy, stress, anxiety and more.

May is MENTAL HEALTH MONTH at DADDY (and also in the wider world, too!). We’re getting up close and personal about what happens when we cross the self-protective lines we set for ourselves, as well as chatting about
therapy, stress, anxiety and more.

Two summers ago, I smoked a disproportionate amount of weed with a friend of mine, A. and promptly lost my mind. I knew A. enjoyed a joint every now and again and she had a birthday coming up, so why not buy some from my friend B., right? On A’s birthday, I went over to her flat. A. had taken the day off work for the occasion. The idea was that we’d smoke a little bit and then go to a stupid IMAX superhero movie and get a manicure afterwards, one exquisite pleasure of the body after another. There was just one glaring issue: neither of us had ever rolled our own joints before! This was so improbable – A. hails from Holland – that I hadn’t anticipated it. But we had always been passive recipients of other people’s generosity. At this point, A. and I did what we generally did in the face of our shared incompetence, which was to watch several different YouTube tutorials on the subject. And eventually a joint was constructed.

The punchline was this — I didn’t know that B. had sold me a decent quantity of weed. You know, the sort of amount that someone who knew anything about marijuana might smoke over a couple of weeks or so. I dutifully packed most of it into one joint. Which meant after we hotboxed A’s study and I’d smoked most of the joint, I found I could no longer speak. Up until this point in my life, I’d been labouring under the illusion that weed wasn’t my drug because it barely affected me. I was TOO STRONG and vital for weed. I’d get a little sleepy or a little more introspective and that was about it. But of course, I’d only ever done the half-hearted few puffs on a joint at a party or before sex when ONS-ing with someone who had some to hand. But this was my personality on weed: the Little Mermaid post-swapping her voice for legs. Except that my legs were now pretty shaky, too.

“The movie’ll be starting soon. Shall we head out now?” A asked and I’d nodded, but when we floated down the street, I knew deep in my bones that if I had to sit in a room filled with other people, if I was placed in a situation where I might potentially brush up against a stranger’s arm while reaching for my Pepsi, that I would stop breathing. So we beat a retreat to A’s flat.

With her talent for making the best of a bad situation, A ordered a pizza and started streaming a TV show about a mother and a daughter duo and something extraordinary happened. What you have to understand is that the show is famously funny. Modelled on old screwball comedies, it had a joke rate of something like four-five quips a minute. Suddenly I realised that I hadn’t just lost my ability to speak, I’d retreated so deep inside my flesh prison that I could no longer even understand jokes. I sat and watched episode after episode of the show for hours and every time the raven-haired mom tossed off a joke with a little moue, there was the same grinding noise a car makes when it can’t start. I started doing what I used to do when I lived abroad in Paris for the year and spoke French to a degree of competence which was fine for everyday but inadequate for the important things in life (flirting, humour). I started waiting to see when A would laugh and HA HAing along half a second later. After a while A turned and looked at me for a long time, face creased with concern. “Are you OK?” she asked, perhaps mistaking my attempts to feign normal human laughter for breathing issues, and I grimaced a silent yes at her.

Have you ever seen the Jane Campion film The Piano? It’s about a beautiful mute Scottish woman, Ada McGrath, who instead of using words, communicates through her piano playing. It won a bunch of Oscars. Anyway. A part of me wondered if there would be some sort of cosmic compensation for no longer being able to talk, no longer understanding humour. Maybe I would have become an artistic genius, like Ada. I went to the toilet and tried to compose poetry on the notes app on my phone but the words kept slithering away from me. Later, looking at the note sober, I understood why Jack Kerouac’s novels are such trash. Writing high is bullshit. or at least for me.

The trip went on for hours, as these things are wont to do. And while my now-sober friend then spent her birthday tidying her flat and ferrying me glasses of water because my mouth was so dry, I spiralled into the abyss. Eventually I recovered enough words to cry down the phone to my then-boyfriend who was at work and begged him to fake being sick so he could come and look after me. “You’ll be fine,” he kept saying, which was short for no.

It felt like I would feel that way forever. Like I’d have to spend the rest of your life navigating society minus words or jokes! But eventually I felt merely shitty, rather than apocalyptic. And eventually I felt a little better than that. And by the very next day I had both words and jokes again!

You may not, at this point, be surprised to learn that such a carefree, chill individual like your narrator occasionally suffers from depression. When I’m wrestling with a bad week, I think about my friend’s terrible weed birthday a lot. Not because I learned to love live laugh, but because sometimes depression feels eerily like that day. I’d always assumed that getting goofy on weed would be precisely that – the Broad City model of lighting up. Capers! Laughter! Two pals having a time! But actually, there was the exact same sense of tunnel vision I get when I’m entering the emotional abyss: a weird timelessness that has me convinced that I’ll feel that way forever. Like I’ll have to spend the rest of my life being trapped in the velvet maze of my own head, so divorced from any sense of humour that I can’t even sniff out a joke in an adorable mother-daughter comedy.

And it’s weirdly relaxing to reflect on that day – how despite being 200% convinced that this was how I would have to spend the rest of my life, that eventually I felt normal and – wait for it – even good and giggly again. Nowadays, I try and focus on weird weed birthday when depression comes knocking. This is it, depression whispers in my ear, cuddling up to me on a grey Sunday afternoon. Why try and outrun me? This is your default state. You’re never going to be happy again. But then I remember the breeze in my hair as I walked home from my friend’s flat and my flatmate making me the best sandwich of my life when I get home and that Rosemary’s Baby reference landing with such precision, exactly eleven hours after watching it, that I sat up in my bed in the darkness at 4am to emit a low honking laugh. And I think everything’s going to be okay.

It felt like I would feel that way forever.