The Stoner Olympics
Because Navigating the World While Baked Takes Guts, Focus, and Lungs of Steel
Some tasks are easy when you're baked—like eating three Totino's pizzas while fanning yourself with a flyswatter.
Conversely, some ordinary tasks are more daunting for the stoner, like resisting that second and third pizza. Every summer at Hempfest, the largest marijuana-legalization rally in the world, Herculean stoners are called to perform incredible public feats: conversing with strangers, doing math, noticing stuff, and resisting delicious foods. They prove that true stoner athletes can conquer the overwhelming urge to just sit. In place. For hours. As Seattle Hempfest plants its fuzzy green butt at Myrtle Edwards Park on the downtown Seattle waterfront this weekend, the time has come once again for the greatest competition in the world: The Stoner Olympics.
It may sound relaxing, this ancient human sport of sitting on the shore and counting boats in a harbor. Amid the haze of Hempfest, however, it is anything but, as the THC- proximate mind must overcome distractions like shirtless guys and the delicious smell of Nag Champa. Not to mention distractions from the counting: Do those paddleboards count as boats? Is an analogy real if it seems real in one's mind? Such profound existential obstacles also slow the task of the stoned boat-counter.
Speed and stamina are key attributes for competitors in the Juggalo Hug, a quick and exhilarating team sport. Originally called "Shiv the Snitch," the event first appeared in the Berlin 1936 Games. In modern times, stoned pairs approach a Juggalo or Juggalette. One flashes a wicked clown sign while the other offers a traditional Juggalo greeting like "Yo, ninja, whoop whoop!" The first stoner then initiates a hug while the teammate stays vigilant for shivs and other handcrafted clown weapons. If the hug is completed without blood loss or clownshed (i.e., becoming caked in makeup or sweat), a gold medal and a celebratory Faygo are awarded.
Sidewalk-spiel escapees at the 2012 Stoner Olympics will need nerves of steel, balls of brass, and a watch. To compete, a stoner need only plant himself or herself in the vicinity of one of the many clipboard-wielding, cause-hyping babblers who crowd around Hempfest (9/11 Truthers, LaRouchies, Americans for Listening to People with Clipboards). Once eye contact is established, the Stoner Olympian must listen to the ever-more-enthusiastic spiel-giver for one full minute—after which the stoner must somehow escape. Forbidden escape tactic: capitulating to the spiel-giver's demands. The victor will break that fucker's heart.
In this contest, two hungry and thoroughly baked stoners stroll a block south of the sculpture park and take a seat at a table in the Old Spaghetti Factory, facing each other. After five minutes of silence (which will feel like an eternity to the stoners), waiters place a huge plate of sauce-rich, steaming, meaty spaghetti in front of each contestant. Here is the challenge: The first person to put a fork in the food and stuff it into his/her mouth loses. This test demands, as you can see, superhuman will. Only the best can overcome the munchies under such conditions. The mouth is dry, the head and stomach are begging. How long before you give in and lose the gold medal? The opponents stare at each other looking for signs of weakness.
Some Olympians call this "the most dangerous game," as the event not only involves the stealth of a hunter and the nimble fingers of a pickpocket, but if the stealer gets caught, it requires the agility of a martial artist—or the puppy eyes of a puppy—to fend off the enraged hippie. This is because some wearers of dreadlocks think their hair is sacred (psychologists call this the "Narcissus-Samson Complex"). Successful dreadlock stealers will need a very sharp blade and the lightning-fast reflexes of a sober person.
Ryan Lochte, who has won gold medals for swimming in those other Olympics, is also known for mangling the English language like a baby in a wood chipper. For instance, he memorably said in a recent interview, "You can tell a great athlete by, like, not how many times he wins unlike when he loses, because that's what is going to make a swimmer." So true, Ryan. In order to prove the stoner athletes' superior command of the spoken word, they must be more coherent than Lochte by forming comprehensible sentences. Remember: Cottonmouth kills!
As Mitt Romney knows, there is no sport more essential to the American way of life than dressage, also commonly known as horse ballet. Romney's pretty, prancing pony Rafalca did not dominate in dressage during this year's Olympics, but stoners are encouraged to carry on Rafalca's dream by enlisting the noble hoofed beasts of the Seattle Police Department's mounted unit—also known as Justice, Harvest, Charlie, Tiger, Blaze, Jet, and Cody—in an impromptu dressage ceremony of their own! Using carrots and the ever-present ambient cloud of smoke, stoners can encourage police horses to frolic with fulsome abandon. The prettiest pony wins!
As every watcher of the non-stoner Olympics knows, some sports are for hardcore amazing athletes (women's gymnastics!) while others are for dumb people (dressage). The same holds true for the Stoner Olympics, and here is its most hardcore athletic event. To compete, stoner Olympians first need to navigate the maze of food stands to find the one selling corn on the cob. Then they must buy some corn on the cob. Then they must take the corn on the cob into the nearest Honey Bucket porta-toilet and eat it. When the cob is clean, the Stoner Olympian has triumphed. Pukers are losers.
Bob Marley made his debut on the world pot stage in the 1960s. Since then, his image has been reproduced so many times that counting all the Bob Marleys in even a single day of Hempfest is a serious challenge: Bob Marley songs, Bob Marley bongs, Bob Marley hats, Bob Marley tats, Bob Marley wind socks, Bob Marley gas masks, Bob Marley toothbrushes, Bob Marley French toast, Bob Marley in latte foam, and white-boy Bob Marley impersonators talking about Bob Marley. Fuck it, everyone gets a medal.
Often, a vendor of toe rings or head scarves at Hempfest will also be vending fragrant Rice Krispies treats, pot brownies, or giant squares of mushroomy fudge from underneath their spread of junk-gifts. To go for the gold, scout for crowds four times larger than any you would logically see around a table of toe rings.
In this remarkable test of both mental and physical quickness, competitors race to list as many products that can be made from hemp as they can. While speed and mouth agility will definitely play a factor in the 60 second sprint, the stoner can only expect gold if they're capable of thinking outside the bong and name rare products like hemp diapers and motor oil.
Medical-marijuana activists have taken up driving impaired as a way of life (or their own private New Year's Eve). It's their right as a human with back pain to get behind the wheel after an infinite number of bong hits—without fear of or shame for putting people's lives at risk. But as science has shown, these pot patients have lost motor function, react slowly, swerve about the road, and can't walk a straight line. It's only the most intrepid Olympian who negotiates a downtown intersection against the onslaught of hurtling Buicks—with pot patients who believe Gaia is on their side!—and avoids being crushed like a bug.
While the stoner's enhanced state may naturally fend off most bouts of anger, even those elevated THC levels don't help most stoners confronted by medical marijuana patients arguing to reject Initiative 502, which would legalize marijuana for all adults. The successful cannabis gladiator engages these loons—who contend that legalization should include no restriction on stoned driving so they can drive high. And then, when the medical marijuana hacks start arguing that we should continue locking up 10,000 pot smokers a year in Washington State, the gold-medal winner will walk away calmly. Platinum medals to the stoners who remember to vote this fall for I-502.
While the sober mind adeptly filters out unwanted sound, the stoner contemplates all the sounds of her environment. At Hempfest, this means a cortex ravaged for hours by white reggae bands and butt rock, fresh from the last century. Only a stoner with the auditory tolerance of a thousand Helen Kellers (or dollar-store earplugs) can survive this tirade. The winning stoner must also endure a deluge of unknown pot activists from California who hector them from the stages about people busted for running pot farms large enough to make Monsanto blush. The triumphant stoner can do this for a full hour without fleeing.
Held each year at some random moment (40 minutes before 5 p.m.), the Collection of Joints Raining from the Sky is a test of stoners' quickness of mind, fleetness of foot, sharpness of elbows, and hand-eye coordination. Pinpoint precision and a ready fanny pack or pockets are required; large hands confer an advantage, as does a lack of empathy. The Collection is generally an individual sport; however, duos or teams may compete with the aid of a quickly unfurled blanket or tie-dyed sarong. The scoring is simple: more joints, more points.