BY LANCE DOILY As any driver worth his salt can attest to, there’s a point in your career where you’re going to somehow or another find yourself working under the influence of psychedelic drugs. My dad’s 2-year string in the late 60’s, where he did every delivery under the influence of LSD, is the stuff of legend, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Royce’s “mushrooms and morphine” phase in the mid 80’s is still spoken of in similarly hushed, reverent tones by all who witnessed it. Although I’ve obviously driven under the influence of psychedelics before, Royce decided this would be the day I go on a true space oddyssey. Of course, it’s just my luck that it happens on a day when I’m scheduled for 34 stops, more than triple anyone else on the force. I can’t say I didn’t have it coming; after last week’s pig roast fiasco there wasn’t a soul in the front office who wasn’t out for revenge. I just wish they had better timing.
I was coming off a particularly rough night and walked into the break room feeling like I had just finished a string of concert dates with Funkadelic in the early 70’s. Most mornings, I have a volatile relationship with solid food but that day I was feeling pretty good so I asked Royce if he had something to gnaw on. He handed me a stalk of what looked like celery, but in actuality was some religious sacrament called “vision root” he got from a shaman during one of his South American wisdom quests in the late 90’s. Since I hadn’t eaten in a couple days I took down half the stalk in one back molar crunch, which triggered gales of laughter from the rest of the guys. Uh-oh, I thought. Once Royce settled down and told me exactly what I just ingested, he went on to explain that the average amount a human needs to enter the realm of the spirits for good can’t even be seen with the naked eye, and what I just took would probably make me experience all of 170 billion galaxies in the known universe at once. So there I was, standing with the truck run in my hands, thinking of ways to get through the workday while I’m arm wrestling with Arcturus in some infinite void 600 parsecs from home.
To add insult to injury, my truck was in the shop due to structural damage that incurred after I tried to ram it through a White Castle drive-thru (long story) so I had this dude Terry’s rig. I’m a firm believer in the power of music to bring me down gently when things get out of hand on hard Amazonian tribal drugs, but as far as I could tell all Terry had on hand was a cassette tape of “Tuff Enuff” by the Fabulous Thunderbirds. At first I figured I would just opt for silence, but after about 45 minutes of feeling like I was in the graveyard freak-out scene from “Easy Rider” I had to make a decision, and “Tuff Enuff” it was. I got about two minutes into the title track before it occurred to me that this was the sound of God giving up, but I begrudgingly kept it on as I needed something to distract me from entering a state of total mind/body disassociation. For reasons I still can’t fully explain I was able to work my way through the first couple stops, although it was obvious to even the casual observer that I was on something given that I was sweating like a pig in a slaughterhouse, my pupils were the size of silver dollars and the only thing I could say was “It’s all too beautiful.”
I finally waved the white flag inside Nutley News, a bodega off the corner of Washington Street that perpetually smelled like a litter box in desperate need of changing. The basement door was cracked open so I snuck down with the beer cases to avoid any human interaction, but human interaction would turn out to be the least of my problems. I was down there thinking things had finally settled into a manageable groove when the kaleidoscopic visuals began to spiral out of control and it was certain I was about to hit the peak running. I plundered the stock room for a neutralizing agent, which I found in the form of a bottle of Wild Irish. I noticed the seal was broken as I unscrewed the cap, but that didn’t stop me from from tilting her skyward immediately. Bad move. I barely made it through my third gulp when I ended up taking on a mouthful of what seemed to be a large insect of some kind. I spit it out and sure enough, it was a dragonfly, larger than any I’ve come in contact with thus far. There was a reason someone had this thing trapped. I mean this was one of those 6 inch long fuckers you find staring back at you on the cover of a National Geographic while half drunk in the dentist’s office for repairs after a fisticuffs the night before. I puked the whole thing up on a case of Coors and headed back out to my truck. It was at this point I decided that, 22 more stops left or not, I was done for the day. I rode the next 12 hours out in the parking lot of the abandoned hospital off Rt. 23 and prayed for sleep or death or some combo of the two. It was a hard fight, but for once in my life I have to admit I was soundly beaten by a drug. Not gonna say I never tried it again, but that’s a story for another time.
PREVIOUSLY: The Auspicious Debut Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Second Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Third Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Fourth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Fifth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Sixth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Seventh Installment Of Blotto
PREVIOUSLY: The Eighth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: How I Came To Know Lance Doily