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Bob Wakeham: A triple-header, of sorts

Brain tokes are a fond memory, Bob Wakeham writes. —
Brain tokes are a fond memory, Bob Wakeham writes. — 123RF Stock Photo

Brain tokes, Brett Kavanaugh and Danny Williams.


Think I can’t link the three?

Segues, just in case you haven’t noticed, are the best and most convenient friends of many a columnist.

Including me.

First, the brain toke.

It was always my favourite way of getting stoned on marijuana, and, for those of you either too old or too young to have embraced the joys of grass, the brain toke involved one person putting the lit end of a joint in his (or her) mouth (making sure not to give the lips first-degree burns) and then blowing the smoke out the other end, directly into the awaiting gob of another doper, just inches away.

I was much better at receiving than giving, and would always derail any notion of reciprocation, but, I’ll tell ya, the pleasure was immediate and immense, and there was occasionally a bonus: a certain sensuality surrounded the encounter, an advantage if there happened to be a mutual attraction with the party-goer at the other end of the joint.

It is those sinful recollections that seem to be floating around in my skull with more regularity as the day approaches (only a couple of weeks from now) when Newfoundlanders can give one another brain tokes, or indulge in marijuana in whichever way that pleases them, without getting hauled off to the lockup.

About time, I say.

And memories of those days of debauchery came creeping back, as well, while I sat for hours in front of the boob tube, masochistically observing Brett Kavanaugh’s bizarre appearance before a Senate committee adjudicating his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Because until I watched Kavanaugh practically salivate (in between ugly snorts) every time he mentioned the word beer, I thought no one could possibly have had the kind of love affair I once had with the brew.

“Nectar of the gods,” was how I was fond of describing beer back in the day, and I do believe the embattled nominee could embrace such a characterization, the “gods” part, the singular version at the very least, given his so-called Christian leanings, part of that movement that believes its followers are on the very highest of moral grounds, unlike those satanic gays or those hideous souls who believe in a woman’s right to an abortion or those ignoramuses who won’t accept the fact that “God” made the Earth in six days (and then rested, as well the overworked bugger should have, on the seventh).

Who’d ever have thought I’d have something in common with Brett the Brewer?

And he also loved to fart, according to his high school yearbook, part of the evidence in a hearing that would have made Monty Python proud, and I have to admit that there were times when I loved to drop an SBD — a “silent but deadly” bomb — in a crowded and well-heated car in the middle of February.

So, ya. Me and Brett. We could have travelled in the same dormitory: Animal House.

It reminded me of the father or mother who continually deny their child is a societal mess, a juvenile delinquent, even when all the evidence points in a different direction.

Except I don’t tell fibs, gigantic fibs, about my sinful youth. I drank a lot, loved the stuff until it eventually turned on me, and forced me many years ago to call her quits.

But Brett the Barfer — The New York Times published a letter the other day that Kavanaugh wrote years ago describing he and his friends as “loud obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us.” — was rarely out of control.

Everything was always above board for this honourable gentleman trying to become a member of the most powerful group of individuals in the U.S., nominated by a moron who, in what has become a daily trip to the absurd, let it be known this past week that it is men, not women, who have to be on guard these days, not the millions of women who are sexually assaulted, but the men, those misunderstood, all-American boys, who are having their reputations destroyed by liars.

And just to reconfirm that the Trump gene pool hasn’t been altered over the years, Donald Jr. told a reporter that he is more worried about his son, not his daughter, in this era of the #MeToo movement.

Kavanaugh may have loved beer, and may have even consumed a few too many on occasion, but he maintains he never “blacked out” — a condition in which a drunk cannot recall hours or even days. Or, possibly in his case, that he didn’t recall a violent sexual assault on Christine Blasey Ford.

The Kavanaugh zoo wasn’t the only public hearing that had my attention last week (as I segue into the last part of this trilogy of connection): Danny Williams didn’t have an international audience of millions watching his performance at the Muskrat Falls inquiry. But there were plenty who wanted to hear from the architect of that immensely troubled project, one that could have immense financial repercussions for generations of Newfoundlanders.
Alas, his self-serving spin was predictable.

After all, as the progenitor of the offspring baptized as Muskrat, Williams would be expected to lavish praise on his creation.

It reminded me of the father or mother who continually deny their child is a societal mess, a juvenile delinquent, even when all the evidence points in a different direction.

“He’s just misunderstood.”

Bob Wakeham has spent more than 40 years as a journalist in Newfoundland and Labrador. He can be reached by email at

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