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Advertise on the Tentacle

January 4, 2012

Recreation for the Eyes and Mind

Tom McLaughlin

Venice Beach, CA – Two leggy, busty, 20-something girls clad scantily in green were standing next to a sign with a huge green cross smiling at passersby. With that kind of advertising, I could not help but stop and ask what they were selling. Behind them, a narrow walk up climbed to an upper floor.


We were on the boardwalk lining a wide beach with the Pacific Ocean crashing on the shores. On the land side, shops were selling T-shirts, key chains and the usual tourist paraphernalia. On the beach side, individual blankets were spread peddling homemade paintings of wide eyed cats, jewelry, sea shell art and a myriad of other low priced items. A young lady was performing body twisting acrobatics with a tip can nearby.


My wife had gotten used to me starting up conversations with perfect strangers, especially the female kind. She knew I was harmless and was just satisfying my curiosity, (okay, nosiness, my word) and took no notice of my speaking to these barely-dressed, ample-cleavage-showing individuals.


Marijuana, they said, was for sale and, eyeing my age, “just like the 70’s,” they exclaimed hoping I would be a customer.


“I thought marijuana sales were only for medical purposes,” I said confused.


“Oh, we have a doctor upstairs who will find something wrong with you and issue a prescription.”


“A real doctor,” I asked, envisioning a fake Internet Johns Hopkins degree.


I thought medical marijuana prescriptions were written only for those near death, or in the throes of very painful neurological disorders issued by a doctor in a sterile office or hospital. The patient would then go to a pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens to have it filled, and then smoke themselves peacefully into the next world.


I queried further. “Is that a real doctor upstairs?”


“Oh, yes,” she replied. “He has over 45 years experience, has retired and does this on the side.”


“How much does he charge for an examination?”


“Only $40,” was the reply.


At that price I was going to ask him to look at my bum knee, my wife’s dry skin condition, my son’s Dzul diaper rash and any other malady, real or imagined.


“How do you fill the prescription,” I asked.


“We have it for sale, lined on a shelf.”


So much for my thinking the stuff was tightly controlled.


“How much, I asked.


“The top shelf sells for $180 to $200 an ounce.”


I tried to mentally calculate what I paid in the 70’s and realized it was around the same price.


“We have all different grades and the price declines from there.”


I envisioned the cheapest being dried lawn clippings with oregano sprinkled on top.


I asked if I could interview the doctor for this article, but he was out (I wasn’t sure whether it was mentally or physically) but I could not wait. We only had a few minutes before our tour bus left.


We all took pictures around the clapboard sign with one of the girls commenting, “Look, he is holding his baby for the picture.”


We smiled broadly and I asked the girls to pose with us for a family photo next to the sign advertising marijuana with my arm firmly wrapped around the waist of one of them.


…Life is good


For a copy of my “Borneo Tom” send $15 to my daughter Mary McLaughlin Box 514 Malta, Montana 59538. Proceeds benefit the orangutan rehab center in Kuching.


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