Many, many moons ago, back when I was young and dumb, I attended a hippie music festival with Andy. Everything – everything – was legal in that place (or at least was overlooked by the rent-a-cops in attendance) except one thing – nitrous.
There was no nitrous allowed.
The security guards searched cars – not for drugs, mind you, because if they searched for drugs and you didn’t have any they’d probably try to give them to you – but for nitrous tanks.
No nitrous! That shit’ll kill you.
However, one group of hippies managed to get their nitrous tank past the fuzz and into the camp grounds, and in the middle of the afternoon Andy, our friends and I were sitting near our tent minding our own business (not doing drugs, for the record. I read Sweet Valley High – Regina Morrow’s fatal overdose scarred me for life, thankyouverymuch). Ahem. As I was saying. So all the sudden we hear this loud boom and a handful of hippies started rolling out of one tent, running for their lives. Their nitrous tank had exploded. BUT – for every hippie that fled the scene, there were four more hippies running in the direction of the explosion. Dozens of hippies crawling around on their hands and knees, furiously sniffing at the cloud of nitrous that was quickly disappearing into thin air.
At the time, I looked on them the same way I looked at all hippies with disgust. For shame, for shame. Breaking the rules, risking their lives doing DRUGS. Someone needed to call Nancy Reagan stat.
Fast forward to today, when I innocently walked into my dentist office for a crown and walked out two hours later as a drug enthusiast.
The dental assistant, kind soul that she was, asked me if I’d like some nitrous with my novocaine, and after determining that yes, I’d be safe to drive, I told her to hook me up. I’d never had the stuff before, but OMG people, I wanted to take it home with me! They could have sawed my jaw off and I couldn’t have cared less. I just wanted to keep huffing the laughing gas. $500 for a two-hour procedure suddenly seemed like a bargain. Man, that was good stuff.
So, hippies I looked down upon all those years ago – I get it now. I totally get it. The next time a tank explodes, I’ll be right there with ya.