Back in 2011 a couple friends of mine started a magazine called Drollhouse. It was cool. They even asked myself and Nick Orsini to contribute, which was also cool. In honor of this holiday, (4/20) I wanted to share something from 2011. Below is an excerpt from Drollhouse Issue 2 in which Nick and I both recount the time we went to go see the stoner classic Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.
Look, I don't think I'm picky. I like things to be a certain way (the way I enjoy it) otherwise what's the point? If my steak is cold then I'm not going to eat it. If the party is going to be full of frat boys then I'm not going with you. If we're not getting to the movie theater 20 minutes before the previews and if it's packed full of teens and if people won't shut up and I don't have something to drink and if you don't want to play one of four 'pre-show-movie-games' then I'm not going to be happy. That's not picky, that's commitment.
I have never been peer pressured into any of those things (steak, parties, movies) without meeting my exact specifications, except once. I was a junior in college, my third year at a school that I described as 'Daycare for rich, white kids from Connecticut', I hadn't made many 'real' friends. Mostly because rich, white kids from Connecticut don't find my brand of humor or general being amusing. However through the Radio Station, a small and almost invisible outfit at our college, I found some people. My people. You know, weirdos. Especially the president of the radio station, Nick. He was a Jersey kid who liked a lot of things. Want to know about Blink-182, ask him. Want to know about the WWF, ask him. Want to know how to anger an entire theater of movie goers... wait.
It was a normal night in early May, I was sitting around and watching bad reality TV with my girlfriend and enjoying the peace and quiet that 10pm on a Thursday night brings and BAM! In through the door comes Nick. He's manic. He's loud. He smells like Frito's. And he is on a mission. And it is clear that he is very, very high. Every sentence starts with a loud and boisterous "BRO!" followed by words that he thinks form a complete sentence. Here's his idea: Drag me, my girlfriend and his girlfriend to Regal Cinemas at 11pm to watch him watch something called Harry and Kremer, some dumb thing about smoking pot and eating burgers or something. I never got 'pot humor'. And without ever seeing a Henry and Kulap movie, I bet I can tell you every joke: dick joke, fart joke, eating a lot of food joke, poop joke, mistaken identity joke, whoops-gag, sliperoo and then some titties, right? We three kings of sanity and sobriety said a unanimous: no.
Then Nick did something that any desperate high person does when it looks like they won't get their way: he offered to pay... for everyone. That's $48 for a Jerald and Kevin movie about smoking pot and then eating things after you smoke pot. I couldn't pass up the amazing opportunity to watch him waste his money. So at 10:45 we loaded up into my awesome car while Nick, despite what I had just told his dumb head, smoked a cigarette and made us listen to The Offspring for the whole 20 minute ride.
To say the movie was bad is an understatement. The movie was horrid. What made it even worse was the shit head next to me laughing at every line, not every joke, every LINE! And not just laughing but cackling, screaming, crying and flailing. He is the only person laughing in the entire theater (in between shoving Sour Patch kids down his face) and he happens to be my friend. It was embarrassing, and feeling embarrassed in a theater full of white dudes with dreadlocks is hard! I'm not sure but that may have been the last movie we saw together before Nick graduated. He was a year older than me and hence one year closer to the real world. It seems like he has grown up since 2008, although I just got a text from him that says "BRO! Harold and Kumar in 3D!!!!!", what does that mean?
I was really high. Somehow, every story told, by anyone in the history of everyone, that begins with those four words has been a letdown. But the fact remains...it was my senior year in college. I was taking classes like Germ Warfare 101. And on this night, it wasn't a goofy high...a play-Mario Galaxy-for-three-hours-then-pass-out kind of high. It was the cold chest high..when everything revolves around the attempt to obtain movie theater pretzel bites. This was before I asked them to hold the side of cheese. The high that night...well it made a side of cheese absolutely and unquestionably necessary.
My girlfriend at the time hated pot. My now ex-girlfriend, for all I know, still hates pot. People never, ever change that much. My roommates did not hate pot. My roommates still do not hate pot. In fact, in a culture that begs you to grow up...sometimes I think marijuana is the last-ditch thing that keeps you giggling like a 16-year-old at a school dance. That night was no exception. The details, and I'm sure you understand, are filled in like smudges on sunglasses...and I still can't remember every piece of that everything. I remember Harold. I remember Kumar. I remember George W. Bush.
It began as a joke...a rag-on-Nick type evening. Every sober person will pick on every blazed stoner from now until the day John Cusack pulls up in that limousine, just ahead of an explosion, and asks you to get in. The new "Harold and Kumar" movie had come out to a critical drubbing. That didn't stop me. It should have, but it didn't. I mean, "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" is a New Jersey classic. It sent recreational drug users across the country on most epic food adventures. "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay" had to be good...it just had to. No matter what AO Scott said.
That's where Dylan came in. I was in no shape to walk upright into the theater, let alone drive the 10 miles to get there. Dylan is picky, always has been...I credit that to his refined taste in all things artistic. When I suggested the "Harold and Kumar" sequel, he scoffed in my general direction and turned his back on me. My girlfriend at the time, one of Dylan's good friends, persuaded him to take me. I'm so thankful for girls. The three of us loaded into the Dylan Death Mobile- a station wagon fixed with spray-painted Darth Vader stencils and an Aiwa portable CD player plugged into the radio.
Needless to say, we made it to Regal Cinemas. I remained very, very stoned. I wish I could tell you what the theater smelled like, what Dylan was wearing, if my then-girlfriend slept over that night...fact is, I can't because I don't remember any of those things. You know what I remember? Being the only one in the theater laughing out loud like a maniac. To this day, I have never seen "Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay" again, even though I own the 2-disc limited edition of the film. I want to remember it exactly as I experienced it on that stereotypical night. I want to remember that it was hilarious.