March 31st, 2017

Why I Love Cheech and Chong

Huntington Post’s Mensa Invitational invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are some of my favorites:

Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

I used to take myself very, very seriously. I was a spiritual person, after all. That meant I had to close any doors to fun in order to focus completely on the mission at hand: fixing myself.

Whatever the hell fixing myself meant.

Many of the people in my spiritual community had a different mission, which I never totally got but I realized it was super serious as well: to get enlightened.

Whatever the hell enlightenment meant.

I was dedicated. I was a warrior. I didn’t have time for fun or sexuality or enjoying life.

You can imagine how well that went.

I remember clearly the day my teacher broke my serious spiritual world wide open. On that day I was pissed. Totally pissed. And I also knew he was completely, utterly correct.

It was in New Mexico at a truly glorious place called the Garden of the Goddess. A small group of us were up at the pinnacle of the land, in a medicine wheel surrounded by ridges of soft rain and wind-sculpted rust hued sandstone rocks.

don Miguel had ceremoniously (in a somber, serious fashion, of course) gathered us in the center of circle. “I want you all to put your attention to Trey,” he said, pointing to his six-foot plus blue-eyed step-son.

I dutifully swiveled my body towards Trey and leaned in for the beginning of what was surely to be a powerful shamanic ceremony.

Trey smiled, took a deep breath, and started reciting Cheech and Chong. (in case you are unfamiliar with the fine work of these two please take a moment to get your chakras realigned here:

As Trey warmed up and merged with the characters, passionately acting out the dialogue between them in different voices, don Miguel started pounding on a rock with a metal cane.

I could see him looking at me out of the corner of his eye. Damn, I thought. What is he doing?

Because I knew that everything don Miguel did was calculated and for a purpose.

As Trey kept going and don Miguel kept banging I watched my mind freak out. We were in ritual space, how dare Trey desecrate this holy sanctuary of nature! Why didn’t don Miguel stop him? Why wasn’t he asking me to create a beautiful, sacred ritual here (as he had done many times before.) Why was Trey so enraptured by this base act of acting out the interaction between two stoners?

I wanted to run, to shake them both, to beg forgiveness of the gods who were watching.

And I kept breathing and paying attention. Breathing and paying attention. Breathing.


Through the immense discomfort and confusion I stayed present, watching my judgmental mind, witnessing my desire to flee. Breathing. Breathing.

And suddenly I popped out the other side.

It was all holy.

The cane hitting the rock. Holy. The sound of laugher. Holy. Trey’s embodying the slur and energy of two highly stoned men. Holy.

There was nothing that could be outside of this holy circle of life. All was included.

I glanced a don Miguel, wide-eyed with understanding. He smiled, nodded at me, and gave the rock one more good whack. The show was over.

After this day the false facade of my Spiritual Seriousness was crisscrossed with hairline cracks and crumbling fast. Trey’s words and don Miguel’s rhythmic pounding pierced an old armor of needing to do things “right.”

I still sometimes trip and fall into the hole of SS. I’ve learned to laugh when I hit bottom, dust myself off, apply glitter liberally, and spread the wings of laughter to get back on my path.

Because being serious is no fun. And I believe the Mother loves a good joke.

May your rosary be filled with shiny bits, the giggles of children, the guffaw of your favorite uncle, and be utterly bozone free.

Decafalon (n): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.