Come on 2018: Times have changed
Hey b’ys, remember Robert Mitchum?
Dear old Aunt Tilly remembers him as a major Hollywood hunk in the years immediately following WWII.
I was gnawing hardtack with baby teeth in 1948 when Robert Mitchum was arrested for — get this — smoking weed.
Reportedly, Bob wept and prob’ly gnashed his teeth because his career was ruined. Puffing pot in those halcyon days was scandalous behaviour even for a Hollywood hunk, especially if The Lawman caught him.
Bob got off easy — kinda. The Judge hove him in the clink for only a couple of months. Bob lucked out. His clink was actually a prison farm at which inmates spent their days among the crops chopping … well, chopping weeds, p’raps, eh b’ys?
Bob served his time, returned to Hollywood and, none the worse for time at the county farm, continued his career. Sure, soon after his stint as a farmhand, in the movie The
River of No Return, Bob peeled off his shirt and flexed his pecs at no less a star than Marilyn Monroe, a Hollywood kitten with admirable pectoral endowments of her own . . . . . .
Did Robert Mitchum smoke dope again?
How do I know? “Harry, my own Hollywood hunk,” said Dearest Duck — or words to that effect. “You told me your mother wouldn’t let you see that movie. She figured it was naughty because Marilyn Monroe was in it.”
“Different times, my Duck,” said I.
“Besides, don’t you intend to wish folks happy New Year?”
“My Duck,” said I. “Trust me. I shall reach that point.”
Jump forward 29 years from the time of Bob’s scandalous deed.
In 1977, Keith Richards, a much younger Rolling Stone than today’s kipper-faced old rocker, was arrested in Toronto for — get this — possession of marijuana.
Arrested in Toronto, mind you!
“Harry? Happy New Year?” “Patience, my Duck.” Back up a step.
A dozen years after Robert Mitchum swung a hoe on the prison farm, the smoky 1960s —
The Sixties, for frig sake! — rolled ‘round.
A young folk-singer, now an aged Noble Prize winner, Bobby Dylan bawled out an anthem of the era — The times they are achangin.’
A generation of hippies, and hirsute others of that ilk, forked their fingers and drawled, “Hey man, we’ll toke to that.”
Farther down the road, so to speak, Bobby Dylan sang a variation on the sixties’ theme.
Things have changed, was his new refrain.
“The sixties, Harry? Talk about dead horses,” said the flower of my life, a blossom who’s never been to San Francisco. But is an enduring bloom nonetheless, eh b’ys?
“Hold your horses, my Duck,” said I. “I hope to pull all these thoughts together like closing the mouth of a cast-net during capelin scull.”
“Good luck with that.” Placing a peck like a dropped petal on my cheek, Dearest Duck left me with my thoughts, my tangled strings. Quick update.
Robert Mitchum has long since gone to the big sound stage in the sky.
Keith Richards, tough as boot leather, is still rolling stoned.
Bobby Dylan is singing Sinatra and qualifies for a seniors’ pension.
The Tooth Fairy has lost my baby teeth and my present long-tooth chompers dare not attempt hardtack.
The whipper-snapper King of Canada has decreed that marijuana be legalized in the Land of the Cannucks, even here in our far-eastern, afterthought fiefdom.
Times and things have changed. Happy New Year! “Harry!”
Dearest Duck — God love ‘er stems and attendant bouquet of floral delights — returned with a steaming mug of Tension Tamer, my herb of choice.
“Going to be a landmark year, my Duck. Kinda like the end of Prohibition, eh?”
“Hope you’re not planning on smoking that ol’ dope come summer,” said Dearest Duck looking askance. “You never have.”
“Well,” said I, striving to look as innocent as a head of state, “I didn’t inhale. Wait, p’raps I did … unintentionally … because I once admired a goldfish swimming backwards in its tank.”
The rosy blush on Dearest Duck’s face became a scowling blossom suffering from fall’s first frost.
“You won’t be stinking up this house with smelly weed,” she said.
“There’s always the basement, my Duck,” said I, saucy as a pup, foolishly forgetting that the smell of smoldering plant life might smother forever the aroma of fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies.
“Huummph,” said Dearest Duck, snatching my still steaming Tension Tamer and storming off.
The King has decreed. The wheels are in spin.
And I already know what I want for Father’s Day.
A pot pipe. Happy New Year! B’ys oh b’ys, is it ever! Thank you for reading.