Cheech & Chong In Santa Rosa

Although I saw the “Cheech & Chong” movies when my family got cable TV in the early 1980’s, I didn’t quite remember their comedy routines and wasn’t really a fan. After attending WonderCon in San Francisco, my friend and I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to see their revival show at the Wells Fargo Center for The Arts in Santa Rosa.

Chong’s re-interpretation of the Bible with God being the ultimate stoner was hysterical. The scripture says God is Lord of the MOST HIGH, who created a GREEN earth to get stone on the seventh day, spoke to Moses from a burning MARIJUANA bush, and led His people with a column of fire and pot smoke in the desert. The ancient Israelis kept asking Moses if he was high enough while wandering the desert for 40 years, and Moses wanted to find the land of milk and honey because everyone had the MUNCHIES.

Chong pointed out that Mexicans and pot are everywhere except for one place. Cheech comes out as a janitor who takes a joyride on a rocket to the moon with the theme music of “2001: A Space Odyssey” movie playing in the background. The video screen at the back of the stage showed Cheech in a spacesuit getting into a lunar rover on the moon to jack the front end up-and-down on hydraulics like a 1970’s low rider.

I have a very indirect relationship with the pot culture.

My older brother was a 1970’s hippie/stoner who grew pot in the backyard. When he told our mother that the pot plants were tomato plants, she believed him until the plants got really tall without any red fruit appearing. After a pair of FBI agents came by looking for him one day, my parents cut down all the weeds behind the house. For the next ten years, I was forbidden by my mother from growing tomatoes plants from seed since she was afraid that the FBI agents would come back.

On the other end of the legal spectrum, I took care of a roommate dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease for four years in the late 1990’s. He had a prescription for medical marijuana, which I didn’t know about until I told him that his “special” brownies looked like horse manure and made the connection. After paramedics failed to revive him from a cardiac arrest, I was busy dumping his stash down the toilet while a sheriff deputy waited for the medical examiner to pick up his body. Depending on where you are in the medical marijuana debate, my roommates were either heroes or criminals for helping to ease the pain of a dying roommate.

A thousand joints lit up at once when the show ended, as a huge cloud of pot smoke appeared above the audience. We got out of there as quickly as possible. Secondhand smoke from pot always gave me a pounding sinus headache. That kept me awake on the two-hour drive back home.