Years ago, Jaime, Paco and I had a certain female friend who gradually turned from the fun person we knew into a spaced-out, earth-worshipping hippie in the years following high school. We suspected that marijuana played a central role in her transformation, due mainly to a series of very nice but equally strange letters I received from her sporadically over the years. Not being pot smokers ourselves, we were a bit pissed that the annoying neo-hippie craze of the mid-1990s had taken her captive and didn’t want to give her back.

Anyway, her unpredictable behavior led us to jokingly speculate that she spent much of her time driving around the country in the bus bong, a modified VW bus that doubled as a giant portable bong. We made up crazy stories of how she’d pack hay bale-sized loads of weed into the back and drive all over the land, perpetually enveloped in a huge cloud of pot smoke. You kind of had to be there, but it was funny at the time.

I’d mostly forgotten about the bus bong until a few weeks ago, when I had to walk through San Francisco’s urine-saturated Mission district to run an errand. On the way back to my car, I noticed a dented-up minivan parked nearby that had several hundred pounds of some green vegetation in it. There was more of the stuff piled on the hood and behind it as well. My first thought was “I have found the elusive bus bong”.

It wasn’t marijuana, of course, but the ultra-sketchy location made it seem like this must be some kind of illicit substance.


Author’s note:
Sadly, the friend I mentioned has since passed away. This is just a dumb story, and not intended to be disrespectful to her. She is missed.