Today is my birthday. Today also happens to be April 20th. Or, if you prefer numerics, 420.

420 has gained notoriety as the police code for marijuana possession and, more commonly, the pothead code for “puff, puff, pass”. As is the case, today has become the holiest of days for those who toke, smoke, and go broke on the sticky green leaf.

Despite my fateful entrance into the world, I would classify myself as only an occasional, recreational smoker. However, seeing as April 20th is my birthday AND the pre-eminent holiday for marijuana, it generally calls from some recreation.

The following is a recount of 420 a year ago today, as told by a guy with an extreme tendency to blackout, under the effects of a drug known for causing short-term memory loss. What actually transpired is anybody’s guess.

I awoke to the sounds of excited voices and stampeding feet coming up the stairs to my third floor bedroom, followed by a knock on my door. “Hey Opp! Wake the fuck up! We’re celebrating your birthday on the roof!”

So, no fewer than five minutes after I surfaced into consciousness, I was helping several of my friends play “hot potato” with two pieces of drug paraphernalia.

Because it was a B-E-A-yoootiful day, we decided to play some wiffle ball. (After all, what’s more appropriate than a bunch of stoners taking baseball and making it even lazier?) But first our hunger pangs were stickin’ like duct tape. And since we were in no shape to drive to Magnolia and mack on some cupcakes, we fired up the barbecue grill. Due to our frequent appetite enhancement, the grill ended up seeing more action that day than M-16s saw during the entire Vietnam War.

The wiffle ball was pretty uneventful. I was assaulting the strike zone with my arsenal of nasty wiffle pitches; many laughs were shared over things that probably weren’t that funny; and for the first time in several months, this white boy got some sun. Most significantly, at some point along the way, I ate a pot brownie. Now, if you’ve never ingested a THC-infused brownie before, let me assure you, that shit is POTENT.

So it was 4:20 PM, the brownie had just started to kick in, and we were back on the roof to simultaneously spark one up with thousands of others in the Eastern time zone, when my phone started to ring, displaying a number I don’t recognize.


“Hi, am I speaking to Daniel?” inquired the voice on the other end of the phone.

“Uh oh” I thought to myself. “This can’t be good.” The only people who ever call me Daniel are 1) my parents and 2) people who are reading from some kind of official document. I was high as a kite, but I was pretty damn sure I wasn’t talking to my parents.

“Yes” I replied.

“Hi Daniel, this is [name withheld] from [company withheld]. We got your application today for our summer internship and would like to schedule an interview for sometime later this week.”

So, with every functional neuron focused on coherent speech, I managed to schedule an interview for the following morning. Crisis averted.

Unfortunately, I was now burdened with the unenviable task of e-mailing my professors to let them know I wouldn’t be in class the next day. Not wanting to come across as an idiot, I typed very slowly and meticulously proofread both e-mails. As a word of caution, please know that it’s extremely difficult to be meticulous when the screen begins to slowly rotate around every piece of text you choose to focus on. Content with my handiwork, and about half an hour after I first sat down at my desk, I finally clicked ‘send’ on what would have to qualify as the most painstaking three-sentence e-mails I’ve ever written.

With that out of the way, I was ready to kick back and take it easy for the rest of the day, which was good, because that brownie was totally fuckin’ my shit up. I flipped on my TV, fully prepared to fade into a deep sleep, when my buddy Chris came trotting into my room, basketball in hand.

“You ready to go?”

“Fuck!” I exclaimed. “We have basketball playoffs tonight. Don’t we?” I then buried the bases of my palms into my eyes and let loose with a prolonged wail. After the brief outburst, I calmly confessed, “Dude, I’m so fucked up.”

I couldn’t skip out on intramural hoops because, to put it modestly, I was the straw that stirred the drink. To put it arrogantly, I was the greatest thing that had happened to intramural hoops since the 2-ring binder scoreboard. So, to basketball I went.

Unlike most other activities, basketball was not at all fun to play high, since it relies heavily on something called “hand-eye coordination”, and my only remaining semblance was being relentlessly bombarded by that fuckin’ brownie. Somehow, I kept it together well-enough early in the game to avoid injuring myself and by the second half, the heavy respiration had worn off my high. With a lot of help from my sober teammates, our team took care of b’iness and moved onto the next round of the playoffs, closing out what was quite an eventful day.

And to top it off, I got the job.