« Back to The Smoke Fort, Chapter 1

Chapter 2

A little over an hour later, we were parked behind Best Buy smoking yet another fatty-fatty stiff-stiff, tingling with the anticipation of our impending mission. Our plan was to find a pair of the best fucking walkie-talkies money could buy, take them into the bathroom with us, cut them out of their plastic casing, and ball the fuck out. The key aspect of this mission was the fact that I had a pair of Cutco Cutlery Scissors.  

If you don't know anything about Cutco or the Vector Corporation, then consider yourself extremely lucky. All you need to know for the purposes of this story is that these were the finest scissors money could buy. They cut through pennies. Literally. Steve also outfitted himself with some razor blades and a pair of voluminous cargo shorts. 

I thought for sure a blue vested employee was going to tackle me at any minute.

The plan wasn't very complicated, as you may be able to tell from the synopsis I just gave, and it was really more predicated on the lack of security at our local Best Buy than anything. That one guy in the yellow shirt who stands at the door and has access to the all the cameras was really the only true threat to our ploy, and we both felt like if we just acted like we were shopping, all we really had to do was get into the bathroom and we were home free.  

In an effort to perpetuate the façade of being regular law-abiding shoppers as opposed to…well, intoxicated vandals, we walked around the store a little bit. Now, I can't really tell you how or why, again ‘cause I was high off my ass, but the White Rhino got it in his head that he wanted a radar detector. So after picking up the most expensive radar detector in Best Buy, we went to check out the walkie-talkies.  

The finest pair they had were Cobras with a 7-mile radius and 15 channels for $150. Both of these items were in the sealed plastic that commonly adorns small electronic items. The kind you can't really open with your bare hands unless you're some sort of strong man. We sauntered over casually to the bathroom and made our move.

We quickly huddled into the large handicap stall at the end of the row and got to work. I tore through the radar detector with ease and I was soon on to the talkies. A problem occurred though: the scissors weren't cutting through the packaging! I realized that I had a thick collection of instruction manuals just as someone walked into the bathroom.

Thinking fast, I jumped up on the seat and balanced myself against the Rhino's shoulder. The look's we exchanged at this moment in time was indescribable. The tension in the bathroom at that moment seemed to bounce back and forth off the very tiles below us. For maybe thirty seconds we were absolutely quiet. 

As soon as we heard the door close, I cut around the manuals and tore through the rest of the packaging. We haphazardly threw the remnants on the floor and balled the fuck out of the bathroom. The security guard didn't even spare us a glance as we walked out and once in the parking lot we began to hoot and holler like drunken wino's with a winning lottery ticket.  

The accomplishment was euphoric. Walking amongst everyday society, high off our asses, doing what we wished with little or no recourse…it simply catapulted our emotional state and concept of what was possible into another echelon. We felt untouchable.

Once back in the car, however, we both realized that there was a little bit of a problem. Our booty from the raid consisted of two equal prizes, and as the Rhino didn't yet have his license, let alone a car, it seemed only natural (at the time) that he would have to keep the walkie-talkies.  

With that thought in mind, we realized we needed to purloin ANOTHER set of talkies, and as fate would have it, right next door to Best Buy was a Wal-Mart! It had to be fate!  

I burned a little rubber in the Celica turning into the parking lot and we both laughed like maniacal vandals as we parked in a close pull-through parking spot. We were living Bigelow style that day my friends, and nothing could stop us.

Living Bigelow style was a term that had come from a birthday gift the Rhino had gotten me one year. He had bestowed upon me a gas card that was the property of one Laura Bigelow. At the time we both had surmised it was worth a good two weeks of gas, but as it turns out, I proceeded to use that bad boy for well over two years. I handed it out casually to friends and foes alike in need of a fill-up. I would barter with drug dealers and panhandlers using it as a crude form of currency in illicit transactions. It was probably the single best gift I've ever gotten and I milked it like a Himalayan sheep herder. That's living Bigelow style my friends.

Once inside Wal-Mart a sense of pure, youthful untouchable-ness washed over us. We decided to steal a few CDs and computer games from the electronics section, batteries for our freshly keifed electronics, and I even stole a motion-sensor nightlight for my bathroom. It was absolute anarchy as we walked around Wal-Mart that day, stealing anything we wanted (that could fit in our pockets). Once we decided upon some walkie-talkies, we made our way towards the bathroom and ended up just ripping the packaging open in the bedding section and chucking the packaging under a comforter. The sense of impenetrability had reached record heights, so we made our way towards the entrance.

As we approached the door however, an alarm went off. I can only imagine that the gigantic grouping of shit we were stealing created such a large magnetic field that those stupid sensors by the door picked up on it from a good 20 feet away. An employee yelled for us to hold on a minute as the alarm seemed to increase in volume. So, we did what anyone else would do in the same situation: we ran like Kenyans.

My heart began to race as we broke into the parking lot at full gait. Being a tad bit heavier (say maybe 260?) I was lagging behind the Rhino and I thought for sure a blue vested employee was going to tackle me at any minute. We ran past the car, past the parking lot altogether, and into an Arby's across the street. Out of breath, I began to converse with the Rhino about what we should do.

Being so high and enjoying such a dramatic sense of euphoria, only to have it come crashing down in a chaotic sprint through the parking lot had frazzled me considerably. I ended up convincing the Rhino to change clothes with me before going back to retrieve the car, at which point our adventure was, for the most part, over.

The smoking fort was an amazing venue from that day forward however, and I ended up using it all the time. Everyone who saw it was completely amazed at not only the venue, but also the story that accompanying its origins. My sister proved a worthy sentry as well, and the walkie-talkies worked like a charm.

Sadly, everything must come to an end, and one day after I had moved off to college, my mother stumbled upon the fort, literally. Apparently, she slipped while maneuvering through the shit-storm that was, well, all her shit, and she fell through a part of the wall that made up the smoking fort. I wasn't really too sad when I found out, considering I had moved on to bigger and better things being off at college ‘n what all. Until I realized that she had found my FIRST bong, Mr. Pibb, which I had stored in one of the dresser drawers, and thrown it away!

Mr. Pibb has his own story, and I may even one day share it with you, but for now, all you need to know is, he died defending the smoking fort that day, and it is upon the shoulders of courageous men like him that the luxury of smoking with leisure is predicated. That and a good set of a walkie-talkies.

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