Monday, July 23, 2012

Gas Station Weed

One sunny Saturday in 2004, my then boyfriend and I pulled into a Chevron in Mission Viejo. When he was pumping gas, I looked to my left and noticed a sizeable bag of weed on the ground in the middle of the crowded station. People milled around it obliviously. My boyfriend noticed it at the same time I did, and walked toward the gallon Ziploc slowly with a perplexed look, like the leafy contents were going to blow up in his face.

“Is that what I think it is?” I yell-whispered from the truck. He glared at me, as if to tell me to shut the hell up and stop drawing attention to us.

He stood over the bag trying to decide what to do. He picked it up carefully and held it in the palm of his hand for me to see, with scrunched eyebrows and an open mouth.

What a bizarre place to find drugs! I swear I could smell it from fifteen feet away. Who the hell dumped a bag of marijuana this big in the middle of the gas station? I thought.

I envisioned the scenario: A) Someone thought he or she was being followed, panicked, tossed it, and drove away. B) It was on the floorboard of someone’s car (or taped to a wheel well) and fell out. Either way, right about now a dealer was out thousands of dollars and was banging his or her head against a coffee table.

Suddenly, reality set in, and my boyfriend realized he was holding a felony in daylight in public. He walked quickly toward me, dropped the bag, and kicked it toward the tire in a feeble attempt to hide the premium bud.

My boyfriend got out his cell phone and dialed his sheriff deputy brother’s number, who worked in the same city. He described the situation to him, slightly underestimating the size of the merchandise. It was a good, solid pound. His brother figured it was an ounce, and told him to wrap it in paper towels and throw it away.

So he did, and in the process, every stoner between San Clemente and Huntington Beach looked up from their collective Deluxe Del Beef Burritos to gasp at our serious misstep. Think of all the money we could have made, and all the people we could have made happy? If we were into that sort of thing.

Now that Brother Cop had our backs and the chrondiggity—as my boyfriend called it—was tucked tightly in a nearby receptacle, I thought we were home free, but he was still in panic mode. Shaken, expecting cops to soar out of nearby trees to arrest him for “intent to sell,” he hopped in the truck and hit the gas.

There was a slight problem with his eagerness to bail. He forgot to take the pump out of the tank. As we drove away, the hose ripped clean off, and the nozzle stayed attached to the truck, dragging the hose down the cement. The shocking metallic noise caused everyone to turn to locate the idiots in their midst.

The sweet, lingering aroma of marijuana still wafted from the trash.

I burst into laughter.

A teenage attendant came from inside and scurried toward us with a pen and a pad of paper. He wanted our address and phone number, in case Chevron asked us to pay for the damage.

We were now the center of attention, and I couldn’t wipe the smirk off my face.

When the boy had sufficient information to track us down, he let us go, and I giggled all the way home next to a visibly trembling man.

Thankfully, Chevron never called.

We told that story to everyone, and every time it got more outrageous. All of my boyfriend’s former frat buddies collectively responded, “Dude, why didn’t you take it home and smoke it?”

I couldn’t help but think some unsuspecting trash guy was about to hit the jackpot. Most likely, though, the kind herb is in a landfill and a dealer had a lot of explaining to do.

To this day, that was the most marijuana I’ve ever seen in one place, unless you count the time a ridiculous opening band brought five six-foot plants on stage with them. Those plants looked real enough from afar, but for all I know, they could have been plastic. The gas station pot sure wasn’t.

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