Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bad Combo - Marijuana and El Fenix

Most of you know that I don't smoke pot. HOLD IT! Stop The Presses... the previous statement is not true. Actually many of you, if not most of you, may actually suspect that I have been smoking pot for years. Honestly, I don't smoke pot and am reasonably happy to pee in the cup when called on, just to prove it. But, and this is the important part - I don't smoke pot because I am against it - actually I am a big believer that marijuana has potential medical use, can be very relaxing, and should be a legal herb that anyone can grow in their backyard. The only reason I don't smoke pot is that I can't smoke it without getting completely stupid.

Back in the day, when I would attempt to smoke pot the same thing would happen every time - I laugh till tears were running down my face, fall down (sometimes in public places), and eat like a starved hog, until I can't even swallow one more bite. Imagine the problem this causes when you bring me into the All-You-Can-Eat Mexican Resturant in Dallas "El Fenix". For those of you who have not been there, El Fenix on Web Chapel Road in North Dallas, operated cafeteria style. For about $2.99 you could get all the Tex-Mex you could eat. My buddy, David McGrady introduced me to this place and when we went there we measured our success by how many "full plates" of Tex-Mex we ate that night. A "full plate" as we measured it, had to be completely covered on the bottom of the plate and stacked above the rim of the plate to count. Couple this fine Tex-Mex feast with a couple of frosty mugs of Cerveza - and you were all set. So as to set the record straight ....I believe that Dave holds the record with 4 and 1/2 "full plates". We were dangerous anytime we went there.

One particular evening, David and I loaded up our little bong-pipe (with the big bowl) and got ourselves loaded before we went to El Fenix. By the way - the name of our bong was "Bubble E. Tokes". David and I were partners in this fine piece of equipment - we each paid half for it, both of us were just out of college - and we didn't have much money. The picture on the right is similar to the pipe David and I had.....only I think our was better. I think we paid $20 bucks for it and it had a double circulating cooler that the smoke wouldn't burn your throat. As Bongs go, Mr. Bubble E. Tokes was top of the line. Dave and I barely knew how to use it, but we would put wine and ice cubes in the bottom to make it even "better". This was a real ritual.

Somehow, after we fired up "Mr. Bubble E.", Dave was able to drive us to the El Fenix Tex-Mex place in Dallas. I can remember stumbling through the parking lot and seeing the 12 foot hand-carved Spanish Oak Doors of El Fenix. But I was already getting shakey. Once again, everything seemed just toooooo funny. The picture to the right is one of the Dallas, El Fenix resturants - but not the one Dave and I were at this nite. In any case, there was about a 20 foot hallway, you walked down and on the other side of it was the long cafeteria line, with steam trays full of tacos, enchiladas, beans and rice, chalupas, you name it. As always, the nice Mexican Ladies were at the line prepared to serve you anything you wanted. They spoke little english, and if you wanted just kind of nodded at them and said yes or si'.

Here's where my difficulties started. All at once, I glanced at the Mexican ladies in the serving line, and they seemed to transform themselves into my grade school and middle school teachers........worse yet, I could tell that they knew I had been smoking pot. I also knew for sure I was going to the principal's office next.....and I simply couldn't bare to go down the cafeteria line with Ms. Canant, Ms. Mooreland, Ms. Maxine, Ms. Maydell, Ms. Davis, Ms. Cole and Ms. Loretta Griffin all giving me the eye. I started laughing so hard, I fell down in the corner of the resturant. (See picture on left of a cafeteria line..I am down in the far corner). Now everyone was really staring.....which made my problem with laughing even worse. Luckily for me, David was able to pick me up off the floor of the resturant and get me to a table. He brought me a glass of water - I was still laughing.

David went back and brought us both a "full plate" of good El Fenix Tex Mex food - and we had our usual feast and fiesta. Dave helped me get back to the car and drove us home.

So as Ringo sang in the "no no song"....

"No, No, No, No, I don't smoke it no more,

I'm tired of waking up on floor."

No thank you please,

A Beer is fine for me.

All the best,



  1. OK, so you must have some medical condition whose symptoms are the OPPOSITE of alzheimer's, where you remember every single fact and detail. It amazes me, since I am really lucky if I can remember what I had for lunch yesterday. I thought the pot smoking was supposed to make you have a bad memory... You even remembered the type of door it had. Uncle Mike, that is not normal and very cool. Is it a photographic memory that helps? Either way, great story...

  2. Sounds like a happy time in your life. Peace & Love!

  3. I'll bet you'd remember if your grade school teachers caught you smoking pot too!

    Seems kind of unforgettable to me.