We are going to keep it dirty this week, DGO. The previous edition of STTS had us out back smoking spliffs. This week, we are going to increase the tobacco content in our cannabis delivery mixture by examining that mighty dirigible of liftedness: the blunt. The fact that I happen to be a huge fan of these bombers lies somewhere in the intersection of the Venn diagram containing the circles of “incredible highness,” the “golden age of hip-hop,” and “my birthplace.”
Little known fact (to those of us who are not cigar aficionados or residents of places like Windsor and Suffield, Connecticut): the most prized outer wrappers for the world’s most desirable non-Cuban cigar tobacco is the leaf tobacco grown in the Connecticut River Valley, just a few miles from the area where I and the couple/few generations that preceded me have spent most of our days. It is sought after because its mellow flavor allows the flavor of the filler tobacco to shine through. Our comrades at Wikipedia, on the topic of CT Shade Tobacco describe a history extending back to the colonial days of this American experience – the tobacco trade is one of the oldest we as a nation have to offer. I have watched the workers in these fields, summer after summer, as they sweat under the elevated sheets of fiber – put in place to keep the direct sun off the leaves – next to the two-story barns with vented sides. I have been saddened to watch large swaths of land being sold off, reducing the acreage of the fields from over 20,000 square to around 2,000, to make way for more condos, Amazon redemption centers, strip malls, and other similar drek, which plagues every formerly quaint and distinct corner of this sprawling land. But, the workers will be back out there soon, and those shade-grown wraps will continue to make their way into my smoking rotation.
It would have been hard to have be around in 1993-94 and not end up a big fan of a bunch of $60 an ounce brick weed, spun up inside the gutted carcass of a Phillie, Garcia, or White Owl. That was just how it was. Cypress, Snoop and Dre, Tribe, Wu Tang, B.I.G, Pac – always the educator, Nas, and dozens of other MCs were creating word-worlds that made the hair on this word nerd’s neck stand straight up. It would come at us through speakers and subs cranked up so high that the room, or car, or bar, would buzz to the point of liftoff. They were unapologetic weed psalms. Heads would be bobbing, with everyone getting blunted while we bugged out to classic album dropping after classic album. It was a communal ceremony that opened the circuit between music and listener, making for a fully immersive experience. With my main man NapDog keeping us in back-to-back-to-back honey blunts, days got fuzzy in the best way, and we did our thing, trailing clouds.
When you’re blunted, you’re blunted. It’s a fact, a scientific-ish fact. When you commit to filling a fine cigar – meant to be enjoyed over a period of an hour or more by someone who can handle the face fire – with today’s high-test bud, you have committed to an influx of THC not too far south of a fat dab. That means deep space if it’s not your usual thing. There is a beauty about the blunt, though, in that it seems to encourage sharing. There are few things in life finer than to gather about five folks you want to pass a day with, run some bangers through the biggest speakers you can find, and get blunted. I promise.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected]