Dave's Mental Meanderings
2003-05-12 07:16:16 (UTC)

The Far West End is not a stoner-friendly place

I live in Richmond, Virginia. Allow me to be more
specific. I live in the west end of Henrico County, which
is a suburb a few miles outside of Richmond. In the past
10 years, the far west end of Henrico County has gone from
being devoid of human activity with the exception of a
middle school and a Wal-Mart to being a hotbed of upper
middle class yuppie activity. We’re talking strip malls as
far as the eye can see. But not regular old strip malls,
mind you. They’re yuppie strip malls. The Arby’s out
there looks like a goddamned 5-star restaurant. They even
bring the food to your table. There’s also a place out
there called The West End Bistro. Any part of town that
has something called a bistro is a little too rich for my
So anyway, I just got back from a semester at
college a couple days ago. I go to Virginia Tech, which is
nestled in the scenic New River Valley in a town called
Blacksburg, about 25 miles from Roanoke, Virginia. Things
are a little different there. Folks move a little slower.
They honk their horns a little less. All in all, it’s a
much more comfortable place to get stoned. You can drive
around the country roads, go to the river or one of the
nearby lakes or mountains. You can even walk around
downtown aimlessly without ever encountering even the
remotest source of stoner paranoia. What do I mean by
that? Let’s take a few examples of what happened to me in
the far west end the other night. None of these things
would ever happen in Blacksburg.
Last night around 7:00 I decided to get high and
cruise around. I had a few errands to run and none of my
friends were doing anything until around 11:00, so I
figured I’d take a few bonghits, drive around listening to
good music, and just have a swell time. First stop: Wal-
Mart. Bad idea. The parking lot was like a fucking
circus. People cutting out in front of you in their cars,
people running out in front of you on foot, stray shopping
carts, a complete lack of turn signals, everybody hurrying
to get wherever they’re going… doesn’t sound very stoner-
friendly, does it? So I decide to scrap the whole Wal-Mart
idea and head to Best Buy, since all I needed at Wal-Mart
was a CD.
So I go to Best Buy, where the parking lot
situation was only a nominal improvement over Wal-Mart. I
go in the store and, for some reason, I set off the theft
detector alarm ON MY WAY IN!!! What the fuck is that?
This security guard looks over at me, eyes me up, and asks
if I have anything in my pockets. So I reply, “Yes
officer, I’m stealing something on my way into the store.
You caught me. Good police work.” No, I didn’t really say
that. I politely said that I didn’t have any stolen goods
and he waved me away. Not the type of situation that a
stoner likes to find himself in. But the Best Buy
experience isn’t over yet. I try to find the CD I’m
looking for – no dice. It figures that Best Buy would have
9000 copies of that god-forsaken Kid Rock album with Sheryl
Crow and zero copies of “Album 3” by Loudon Wainwright
III. It’s a good album, you should check it out some
time. Oh wait, nobody fucking sells it. So anyway, on my
way out of the store, I see a couple of my friends from
high school, Mike and Chris. They’re cool guys, but I
haven’t kept in touch with them too much since I graduated
high school 3 years ago. So of course I have to do the
whole stop-and-chat routine, which is made more than a
little uncomfortable by the fact that I’m blazed out of my
head. After 10 minutes of that shit, I was out the door 10
minutes later than I would have liked.
Although it’s always fun to get blazed and go
driving around town for a few hours, I miss Blacksburg for
its exceptionally stoner-friendly, laid-back environment.
As for Richmond, I think I’ll just stay home next time I
want to get blazed and chill by myself.