Sunday, November 24, 2002

Gardening With the Tuna Can Man. (by the Tuna Can Man)

My friend Steve back in New York, his parents owned a beach house on the Jersey shore, and every summer we'd take off and go down for a couple of weeks and just hang out, me and him. You know, a total party house, beer, booze, pizza every other night.

Well, one summer, Steve was going to go down there and spend the whole summer, and I said, "Hey, I'll go with you." He said, "Well, how are you going to get off work." At the time I was working for the EMS, and I told them, "You know, if you don't let me outta this job I'm going to go crazy." I was losing my mind because I was a paramedic, and we had a pretty comprehensive union disability, like if you felt mentally ill. So I told 'em I was going nuts and they gave me the whole summer off.

So I go down there, and it was really cool. Unlike most summers, his parents never showed up until the end of summer, so we had the place to ourselves the whole time. Sometimes maybe his brother would come by and visit us from time to time, but his brothers were older than us and just as wild.

I got a job selling sea shells by the sea shore. It was off the books, because I couldn't work a job while I was collecting pension from New York City so it had to be something off the books. So I'm raking in all this money. And neither of us really worked, we just ate pizza and drank beer and smoked pot that entire summer.

So I guess what happened is that one of the first couple of weeks we were there we bought like a whole eighth of weed, or a half-ounce or something. And I was cleaning it, picking the seeds and stems out, and I was swallowing the seeds. I didn't think much of it. Well, a few days later, you know, I gotta go to the bathroom. There were two bathrooms in the house, so I go to the one downstairs and I get done with my business, and I go to flush the toilet and the whole thing clogs up. A big long turd is sticking out of the water, and all this toilet paper. So I'm like, "Oh, man." And all stoned and drunk I go outside and say, "Steve, man, I think I clogged up the toilet. You got a plunger?" Steve, all stoned and drunk, responds, "Ahh, don't worry about it. Just shut the door and I'll get it later."

So I close the door, and two and a half months go by. We never went back in that bathroom, we just closed the door and used the bathroom upstairs. We even forgot why we closed the bathroom. We knew something was wrong, but we just never went back in there.

Well, the summer was just filled with crazy shit. We bought an African killer frog at a pet store, and we let this thing loose in the house. We'd dangle raw meat on a string and it would attack it. We'd be sitting watching Beavis and Butthead and a grasshopper would go hopping by, and a second or two later the frog would be in hot persuit chasing the grasshopper. We'd be all stoned, and it was just like watching Beavis and Butthead. We'd go, "Huh huh, you see that? He's going to eat the grasshopper."

After about two and a half months of this, Steve's sister calls up. "Steve, our parents are going to be down there this weekend, and if I know you guys you better start cleaning that house up now! I'll bet it's just destroyed. Get on it before they get down there!"

So it was this mad frenzy. We had a week to sober up and clean the house. I mean, between the both of us it was amazing what was coming out of that house. Garbage bags full of shit were coming out of the house. Huge huge bags of garbage. Plates with ketchup so hard I had to chisel it off there with a knife and a spoon. It was terrible. So finally I'm like, "Hey, I guess I need to go in there and clean that bathroom." And Steve's like, "Yeah, you better get in there." So I go in the bathroom with some Comet and a plunger and some glass cleaner. And I walk in, and I'm not kidding you, I've had horticulturists say it's impossible, I've had scientists say there's no way it could happen, but I looked down at my turd that's still sticking up out of the water, and there is a little sprout, or branch, and two little leaves growing out of the side of it. I was like, "Holy shit, wow!" And I guess it was perfect because it had the water, and there was a bit of sunlight coming in the window shining right on the toilet bowl. So I'm like, "Hey Steve, come check this shit out!"

So Steve comes running inside and says, "Holy shit, what is that?"

"Um, I don't know."

"Well, what did you eat?"

So I tried to think, and I said, "I think it's a pot plant, 'cause I was eating the seeds around the time that this happened."

And he says, "I'll bet that's some of the best bud we'd ever smoke"

I said, "Maybe we should get a pot and try to plant it. Are you going in there to get it?"

And he said, "Hell, no, I'm going in there to get it."

And I said, "Well, it's a part of me. That came from me."

He said, "I don't give a shit." And he just starts taking tons of Comet and dumps it in there, swishes it around with a coathanger, and then plunges and flushes it.

The Tuna Can Man is a former New York EMS turned Mountain Home Idaho redneck with the ugliest dog in town. His lifelong dream is to be a grocer in Alaska.