Be the Bush
Chris X tests the Bushman Suit
Autumn in the rural Northeast is truly a thing of splendour. The tourists come from far and wide to admire the foliage, the horror of frigid winters past are still a distant memory, and there’s plenty of cash waiting to be earned in the local multi-zillion-dollar pot growing industry. And while I’ve neither the guts or tenacity to try and harvest my own giant field of doob, I have been known to bury the odd clone out in the bush somewhere and, come October, return to the scene of “the crime” hoping for the best. Modest pot cultivation is a time-honoured tradition around here. So much so that a determined trek through neighbourhood woods will, almost as often as not, find you, ahem, “stumbling” upon somebody else’s plants. Doob truly is that ubiquitous in these parts.
Now I do not pretend to be a particularly honourable man. I once sold my cat Puff’s faeces to a Grade 8 kid in my school for top dollar, slapping a little black shoe polish on one of her turds and promoting it as an ultra rare variety of Persian hash called Puffapoo. I have done many things I should be ashamed of, but I can proudly state that whenever I’ve come across someone else’s reefer out in the bush I have always followed the righteous path and left it alone. Foolish perhaps, but I see it as a karmic thing: I won’t steal anyone else’s plants and with luck no one will steal mine.
But I’m also an idiot. Last year I planted six clones in various locations and come harvest only one of them had survived without being stolen. And the problem seems to be getting worse. In fact, my friend Dougie, a 300-pound ex-con currently on parole whose entire family lives the year-round on income earned from his impressive marijuana plantation, tells me that he lost more than half his plants last year to thieves. He thinks the crooks—most probably criminal bikers—are coming here from the city for the express purpose of ripping him off. Which may or may not be true. Dougie, albeit a nice enough guy, is arguably not the most brilliant of fellows and tends to be a little paranoid—no doubt the cumulative effect of 30-odd years of uninterrupted reefer consumption.
This year, Dougie says he’s taking no chances with his crop, consequently giving arise to a new employment opportunity in the neighbourhood—one that’s mine if I’m willing to take it. “All you’ve got to do,” Dougie tells me, “is for three weeks before harvest, just spend your nights out in the bush keeping an eye on my plants. It pays $600 a night.”
This, in my book, is pretty good money—a considerably more lucrative opportunity than spending all October in his basement cleaning buds with his pubescent children for $20 an hour. “No worries,” says Dougie, “I’ll supply you with some night vision goggles and a machine gun and if anybody comes around, you just shoot them. You’ll need to have a machine gun, of course, because if there’s more than one of ‘em, well, come on, a simple 33 calibre rifle just isn’t gonna do the job.” Which I suppose makes sense, assuming you’re prepared to kill people over reefer, that is.
Now as much as I like easy, untraceable money, I admit I have some reservations about taking on the gig. For starters, um… it seems a little dangerous. Like, what if the dope thieves have their own night vision goggles and machine guns? Will they shoot me in the back as I scamper as fast as I can through the woods in retreat? Might Dougie choose to garnish my wages should all his reefer get stolen on my watch? Or might he, upon learning of my cowardice, burst into a rage and kill me himself? Dougie being a man, unfortunately, with at least a little bit of murdering experience and unquestionably a character who makes for a much better friend than enemy.
But $600 a day, seven days a week, for three full weeks! That’s pretty damn tempting, and even with all the reefer robbing that’s been going down here lately, you’ve got to wonder what the chances are that I might actually be confronted with a “situation”—as Dougie likes to refer to criminal shoot-outs. I still don’t know what I’m going to do.
But the decision is starting to get easier. You see, I’ve very recently acquired this unbelievably brilliant camouflage suit called The Bushman. It’s intended for mercenaries and snipers, which I guess, if I take Dougie up on his offer, is pretty close to what my official job description will be. This unspeakably ridiculous looking suit is nevertheless incredibly functional. Seriously, you could sit yourself in the potted plants of the busiest Manhattan office building lobby and nobody would notice you, it’s that inconspicuous. I’m thinking that if I take on the job, should the criminal bikers decide one night to come steal Dougie’s plants, rather than shoot ‘em or run away I could just cower in the dirt. There ain’t no way in hell they would spot The Bushman.
And I know exactly how effective The Bushman is too. Last weekend I went to a nature park wearing the fucker just to see if I could creep up on people without being spotted. In the bright light of afternoon I crouched beside a busy walking path and waited. Maybe 12 or 13 people walked directly past me, almost right over me, oblivious to my presence. It was only when I finally stood up—not realizing there was anyone else around—and heard the horrified shriek of a middle-aged woman that I was alerted to the fact that I, The Bushman, had probably been spotted.
Which, of course, is another positive attribute about The Bushman. You can scare the shit out of people with it. Man, even the most hardened, heavily armed dope thief is going to drop doodoo should he come across this big furry Sasquatch-esque monster thing prancing around in the bush.
I promised Dougie that I’d give him an answer about the job by the end of next week. I’m thinking I’ll make my final decision based on how likely I feel any “situations” might arise while in the line of duty. But this much is damn sure: should I ultimately opt to risk life, limb, and liberty for the highly noble purpose of guarding Dougie’s marijuana, you best believe I’ll be doing it as The Bushman. Safety first, children, safety first.
In 2004, the year Heads Magazine published its 31st issue that included this humour column by Chris Barry, recreational cannabis was illegal in all 50 states and the black market produced and supplied the marijuana consumed in the United States. Before mammoth commercial cultivations took over legal markets, illegal clandestine grows operated under their own rules—rules often enforced with violence. Heads Lifestyle does not condone violence and supports the ongoing efforts to legalize cannabis on a federal level.