Mrs. Curmudgeon and I were having lunch at a coffee shop in a nearby small town.
“Hey”, says I, “let’s go check out that new hydroponics shop that just opened up.”
Indeed there just happens to be a small hydroponics and indoor gardening shop in this town. Living in the middle of nowhere this is somewhat unexpected. I, being a nerd, am fascinated with all technology at all time. Imagine growing strawberries during the freezing ass end of winter!
“What’s the matter?” Mrs. Curmudgeon laughed, “need to raise some dope?”
I was shocked, shocked I say! I’m no fool, I’m well aware that the plant light economy is probably driven by stoners raising crops of the whacktacular herb. But it seems to me that the same technology that can grow dope can grow anything.
I soldiered on. “You know that trashed out spare bathroom we’ve got? I was thinking of tearing into it and maybe doing a hydroponic setup. The bathtub is toast right? Maybe I can pull it and substitute some sort of water circulation deal.”
“Yeah, so you can get baked Chong!”
“No dammit. I’m totally serious here. It’s like a zillion degrees below zero out. Wouldn’t fresh… I dunno’ fresh strawberries maybe… wouldn’t that be bitchin’ cool? Plus I don’t want to fiddle with that old leaking showerhead. It could be a silver living to a crappy spare room. Rebuilding a bathroom sucks.”
“Tell it to the cops stoner. You’re gonna’ have black helicopters overhead and teams of bored DEA agents following you around all day long.”
I was getting frustrated. “No I’m not! It’s the same damn technology that…” I realized Mrs. Curmudgeon was toying with my head. “…oh I see. You’re messin’ with me.”
“It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.”
Alas, I was already on one of those mental trips that takes hold of people who think too much.
“Remember science fiction in the ’70’s? Every space station showed a garden. It was like hydroponics was the wave of the future.”
“Or soylent green…”
“And then those jackoffs in Star Trek came up with the replicator and now it’s all unicorn power.”
“Tea! Earl Grey! Hot!”
“With pot in it.”
“Dammit. I’m thinking ‘outside the box’ here. Imagine a little ‘salad farm’.” I gestured toward the snow outside. “When it’s -30 degrees and dark out, and there’s nothing fresher than a can of beans, think of a fresh cherry tomato.”
“Mmm… that’s a good point.”
Ah ha! I’d won an argument! Write this date down for posterity! It can happen.
“But,” Mrs. Curmudgeon came back for the kill, “you just know you’re going to go into the store and it’ll be all pot all the time.”
Sigh… she was right. “I suppose you’re right. I’m thinking strawberries and tomatoes but it’s going to be Acapulco Gold.”
“Ha ha ha.”
“And I’m going to be asking about pH and they’ll be writing scripts for glaucoma!” I was laughing too.
“He he he.”
“And they’ll have Bob Marley on the stereo!” We were both laughing. “Beanbags in the corner!
By now my nerdy idea of checking out the hydroponics store for winter salads was totally upended into a big Cheech and Chong joke.
“But hell,” I grabbed my keys, “I’m going to go anyway.”
Mrs. Curmudgeon agreed.
I continued. “…But if I see dreadlocks we’re friggin’ outta’ there!”
I paid the waitress and grabbed my jacket. A deep voice behind me cleared it’s throat.
“We’re closed right now for lunch.”
It was a middle aged fellow. The sort of guy that would look absolutely at home at the wheel of a minivan. No sign of counterculture at all.
“It’s my store. I shut it down for lunch.”
I turned beet red. “So you probably heard…”
“Bob Marley? Really?”
“That’s what I was saying!” I defended myself.
“I know, heard it all. No strawberries though.”
“Sure that’s fine. I was just ya’ know thinking of stuff that could grow…”
“Beans, lettuce, cucumbers, got a nice bunch of peppers coming up too.”
“Precisely. No bean bags. But I’ve locked up for now.”
I was still fatally embarrassed. “Maybe some other time I’ll check it out.”
“Please do. You’ll love it. Especially if you’re in a space station.”
I turned red again.
I made my best attempt at a graceful exit and shuffled out before more stupidity got pinned on me.
Mrs. Curmudgeon laughed all the way home.