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The Adventures of Tar-man
      by John Rose

[Tar-man Index]

Episode Two

Tar-man sat, slumped in thought. He pondered a skinny guy with no ass and a bad complexion who lived, as he had since high school, in the basement of his parents' suburban home in Lakewood, Colorado. In spite of the Motley Crue posters on the walls and the trippy but uninspiring to any but the stoned feel of the décor in this tomb, he had been able to keep his parents in the dark for lo these fifteen years about his drug-related activities. It was clear that they did not want to know. Too bad, really, because he was therefore unable to share with those who brought him into the world the substance of who he thought he was, the very fabric of his current life. He made his living working as the manager of a Domino's Pizza franchise, an excellent opportunity for an enterprising young stoner who had no desire to join the Army but was frequently afflicted with the munchies. His true passion, though, lay buried deep within the bowels of his parents' house in Lakewood, hidden away in a black trunk with a heavy padlock against intruders and industrial spies.

For it had come to pass that from the very beginning of his pot-smoking life he had realized that he had a special relationship with paraphernalia. His aptitude lay in the invention of more convenient ways, more easily concealed ways, more ways which had no virtue except to rival in sheer beauty of concept the most fantastic imaginary machines of Leonardo da Vinci, to set fire to and transport the smoke from his beloved cannabis to the eagerly waiting lungs of the inhaler. He had created water pipes that couldn't spill, smokeless pipes, bongs piped into sink plumbing that automatically changed their own water, roach clips decorated with every conceivable American Indian artifact, a joint case with all of the known alternative uses for hemp carved in miniature low relief in bands across it like the stations of the cross, a built-in overhead car lighter which flared when the sun visor was lowered or one of the air-bags inflated (figuring that after a bad accident he would definitely need to smoke and might have limited space to move around), a chillum that converted into a pocket-watch, rolling papers embossed with Indian tapestry motifs, a music-bong that played "Smoke on the Water" when it was lifted off the carpet (a feature that doubled as a spill alarm), ashtrays with 26 letter-identified slots for parties, and so on.

The first time Tar-man entered the suburban lair of this inventor/artist he had just created a roach clip welded to a car antenna so that the host could pass a joint all the way around the room without moving or letting go of it.

"Very impressive," said Tar-man, not wanting to get off on the wrong foot.

"Yeah, thanks."

This skinny no-ass personage was called Jim. Only Tar-man knew that he was, in fact, the Supreme Ruler of the Universe.


Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.