>>> Against Your Will
By staff writer John Marcher

July 29, 2007

I had a friend in high school whose nickname was Jesus. He was called Jesus because that’s who he looked like, being of Persian descent, with the long hair and beard to match. I always wondered why he would purposefully groom himself to look like the Son of God. For example, if I were to grow my hair out like that, people wouldn’t call me Jesus, they would call me The Last Samurai. But as questions of this nature are all but incomprehensible to those of us who are circumcised, I usually found myself moving on to contemplate more pressing issues, like Britney Spears in a schoolgirl outfit (remember, this was 2001 and I was still incredibly virile).

Outside of having the appearance of a demi-god, Jesus was a fairly typical guy. I met him when we were seniors in high school and it became all too apparent to me what had happened to him. He had become ensconced in the warm blanket that is being a pothead. I later came to understand that in his youth, Jesus was a top-notch student with extreme hyperactivity. He had found a way to calm down, and also give up on the world, by smoking fatty lumpkin. His brilliance could now only be evidenced through his incredible prowess at video games such as Tony Hawk, Crazy Taxi, and of course the abominable Snood.

One day when I was hanging out with Jesus he asked me to take him to the head shop. One of his friends had crashed his car recently, and he didn’t have a ride. I told him it wasn’t a problem, so we lit up and then headed on our way, because it’s clearly a crime to shop at a head shop sober.

“People were so giddy to hit the thing that they were smoking Jesus up just for inviting them over.”

The head shop in our town was a piece of shit—your typical mom and pop operation with overpriced ceramic shipped in from India, cheap glass from Canada, and some Nag Champa I’m pretty sure wasn’t even the real thing. I’m also fairly certain if you brought a ROOR through the doorway, the place would fall apart like the tomb of the Holy Grail in The Last Crusade.

Once inside, I experienced first-hand, for the first time in my life, the concept of love at first sight. I had seen all the cheesy depictions in movies and pornography, but none of them did justice to the real thing on that fateful day. Sitting on the top shelf behind the counter was the most elegant piece of glass I had ever seen: The Dragon Bong. This thing was practically a local legend in our town—and at $200 it well should have been. It was always there when I went in, mostly because it was waaaaaay overpriced, so I must have seen it a hundred times before. But this was Jesus’ first time, and as it turns out, not his last. His eyes locked onto The Dragon Bong with a steamy gaze only Fabio himself could replicate. Well, that or he was just high. Either way, once he saw it he knew, I knew, and even the grungy old hippie behind the counter knew, it was to be his.

Jesus spent a chunk of the money he had gotten as compensation for his car and an hour later we were in Jesus’ dad’s new tool shed, chiefing like Native Americans. Thinking back to that day it all felt very surreal. Up until that point in my life I had owned only one smoking apparatus, my faithful bong Mr. Pibb. Mr. Pibb was a durable piece plastic that had served me well throughout the years, but it lacked the chaste lineage of the almighty Dragon Bong, and this was evidenced in every flick of the lighter that took place that day in Jesus’ backyard.

Jesus and I were like giddy schoolboys as we called up our friend to let them in on the good news. Soon enough, our whole circle of smoking buddies was there, immersed in the delight of our new friend and compatriot, Dragon Bong. (Originally, it was called Smog, because Jesus was a huge Tolkien fan and wouldn’t acquiesce to my claims that Puff the Magic Dragon Bong was a wittier and more magical name for the piece. However, I patently refused his reference and called the pipe simply, Dragon Bong. Fortunately, after a couple of hits Jesus can’t even talk, so I was able to convince most of our friends that was his name.) As word of the magical Dragon Bong spread throughout his subdivision and our circle of friends, more and more traffic began swinging through the tool shed in his backyard.

The most amazing part was that people were so giddy to hit the thing that they were smoking Jesus up just for inviting them over. At the time I didn’t realize it, but this would become the most important factor in the wild ride that the Dragon Bong would give Jesus over the next five days. By about two in the morning I was pickled and decided to call it a night.

The next day was a Saturday and I woke up around noon. I gave Jesus a ring but he didn’t answer, so I called his best friend, Polak. He told me that Jesus had stayed up all night inviting people over to smoke him out, and at sunrise his dad had taken heed of the situation and flipped out. I quickly began my own investigation of the situation—and by that I mean, “played video games ‘til four or five in the afternoon”—when Jesus finally woke up. He told me his dad had locked the door to the shed, with the Dragon Bong inside. I pressed him on the issue of what to do about it and he had nothing. From his viewpoint the entire adventure was over, and the bong long lost. If he hadn’t been so catatonic from frying his brain all night I think he might have cried.

“What are you doing with your life? Listen to me you dumb piece of shit. We’ll just wait for your dad to get drunk and fall asleep, then break into the shed. It’s not fucking rocket scientist you dumb fuck. Get the fuck out of bed and shower you useless piece of shit.”

Excuse my language, but that’s how you have to talk to Jesus sometimes. He just gets so wrapped up in his own incompetent nature he loses all capacity to function. What’s more, the situation was genuinely remediable. We followed my plan exactly, waiting for his dad to get drunk and fall asleep, then prying the screen window off. Within ten minutes we were all high as kites noshing on Funyuns. I tried to talk to Jesus about how keeping things low key would allow for an environment where all of us could smoke in his shed without blowing up his dad’s spot. He forlornly agreed and the night played out much like the one before, with a few of our friends rolling through to chill until I left at about two-thirty.

The next morning, or early afternoon rather, I called Jesus. Turns out this time he had kept things low key all night and slipped back into his house before dawn with the DB in tow. Problem was, he left the screen door off and his dad had gone ape shit over the defacing of his brand new shed. Jesus was already out of the house, with the Dragon Bong in an old backpack, looking for people to fire him up in exchange for some face time with his new pet. I met him behind a church out in the cut and we smoked in a now derelict Saab 900. I yelled at him for fucking up the best thing that ever happened to us but he didn’t care. He was too busy penciling people in to smoke him up throughout the day. He even brushed some people off until after school on Monday. The legend of Puff the Magic Dragon Bong had grown immensely in the two days since it had hit the streets and everyone wanted in on the action at this point.

Tuesday rolled around and I got a call from Jesus. I hadn’t heard from him since smoking with him in the SAAB.

“Ummm… you better come over here.”

“What the fuck do you want, Jesus? What’s going on?”

“I think I broke the Dragon Bong.”

“(Sounds akin to the Tasmanian Devil doing his tornado thing) Don’t FUCKING move Jesus, whatever you do don’t move a FUCKING muscle you piece of shit!”

I balled over there in my sweet red Celica and burst in his front door to find him eating peanut butter crackers. He looked like a broken man. I went on to learn that Jesus had been capitalizing on the sudden fame of the Dragon Bong ever since I left him Sunday. He had traveled all over town smoking with people he had never even met before, skipping school and spending the night on other people’s couches. Eventually he had called Polak for a ride home and had gotten into an argument about where to store the DB during the ride. Polak didn’t want the dirty pipe in his car and insisted on putting in the trunk. Jesus was convinced it would break, but through a sheer lack of willpower and complete laziness, he had allowed Polak to convince him otherwise.

I glanced over and there was the Dragon Bong in a million pieces, in the same backpack he had left the house with, sitting on the table next to his peanut butter and fucking crackers.

The ride was over almost as quickly as it had started for Jesus. He had ridden an MC Hammer-like roller coaster of fame and fortune, only to have it spoiled by an act of sheer ineptitude. His greed had gotten the best of him, and in the end he was left with nothing more than a pile of glass and some peanut butter crackers.