>>> Against Your Will
By staff writer John Marcher

August 6, 2007

At this point I have introduced to you the vast majority of my friends from back in high school. But this most dubious list wouldn’t be complete without the White Rhino. The Rhino was two grades behind me and I met him through his older brother who was in my class. How we met is actually quite a story within itself, but I need some material for next week, so you’re just going to have to wait with bated breath.

The Rhino and I hung out often, as we shared many similar interests in our lives at that time (read: smoking). He had become acquainted with some old school hippies through his many travels and tribulations, and through these associations he had been able to obtain the occasional sack of the fatty lumpkin from one of the hippies’ many hookups.

On one occasion however, the arrangement had worked out such that the hippies were to drop off the product in his mailbox, where he would leave the money in an effort to complete the transaction. Unfortunately, the Rhino had gotten too intoxicated for his own good, and was not able to make it out to the mailbox to collect the drop—instead, Father Rhino, a perpetual early riser, had nabbed the smoke just after sunrise.

“The Rhino didn’t want even the slightest possibility of his father lighting up on some Elmer’s Glue.”

(I should probably mention at this point that the Rhino’s parents were under the impression that their son was a perfect angel. Even through the most egregious of violations, they were able to maintain a certain semblance of impropriety when it came to their sons, and this last incident was no exception.)

Over breakfast that Sunday morning, the parents proceeded to explain to their son how they found the sack in what must have been a foiled drug exchange! The way they saw it, someone had been carrying the drugs when a police chase ensued, and they had been forced to ditch the product in the quickest manner possible, which just happened to be their very mailbox!

I know what you’re thinking: this is an absolutely ridiculous explanation, and there is no way anybody’s parents would go to such lengths to justify an otherwise obvious reason for finding drugs in their mailbox. All I can tell you is that the human mind knows no bounds when it comes to creating the fantastical reality that allows us to live from moment to moment in a state of total complacency. So the Rhino, already catatonic from the previous night’s festivities, did exactly what anyone would do in that situation: he kept his mouth shut.

As usual when fatty lumpkin is involved though, we couldn’t just leave it at that. And so we found ourselves at my house discussing how to get the sack back.

As we saw things, Father Rhino no doubt had been in control of it from the moment he found it. The only question was, what had he done with it? Father Rhino didn’t smoke, but he had friends who did, and the White Rhino was convinced that he would somehow try and save it for them. The other possibility was that he would throw it away outright.

I suggested a two-fold strategy: first, donning gloves and straight rifling through the family trashcans, and second, searching high and low through Father Rhino’s office. Sure enough, no more than an hour after I dropped the White Rhino off, he called me to tell me that after rifling through the trash and his father’s office, he had found the sack stashed in his cigarette carton.

Absolutely elated about procuring his stash, we exchanged enthusiastic kudos for a few moments until we realized that taking the weed from Father Rhino’s cigarettes would do us no good since he would know for sure who took it. This last revelation was a serious downer, and the high of our hard fought success (as well as the actual high) was soon eradicated. It was then that the Rhino told me what he planned to do.

He wanted to replace the weed with bird nuggets.

Bird nuggets were a combination of common spices and birdseed glued together to resemble weed. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of, but we had used it to get out of a few tight spots in our day. The Rhino had mastered the technique through the years to the point where they became virtually indiscernible when compared with the real thing. That is, until you lit up. Herein lay the problem: the Rhino didn’t want even the slightest possibility of his father lighting up on some Elmer’s Glue.

After postulating long and hard about what could be used in lieu of processed horse hooves, we decided that honey would be the best alternative. We figured that first and foremost, Father Rhino had little experience with the fatty lumpkin, and any resemblance would be secondary in importance to his health.

I’m not sure whether or not Father Rhino ever smoked the bird nuggets, or if he ended up giving them to his friends like the White Rhino had thought he would, but he never brought up the incident with his son after that. And what’s even more surprising, the Rhino vowed never to use the bird nuggets for evil again… or to forget to check the mail on Sunday mornings after that.