Chris Johnson: Why our new neighbors think we're Cheech & Chong

June 29, 2014 

There was a time in America when new neighbors moved in and folks would drop by and welcome them, often bearing housewarming gifts or some kind of food dish such as pecan pie or possum casserole.

Today, though, we usually just peek at new neighbors through blinds and make fun of their furniture. If we do go welcome them, it's something along the lines of, "Hi! Welcome to Snaky Acres, and if that yapping little mutt poops on my lawn I'm gonna have to shoot you. Have a nice day!"

Well, not everyone is like that. There are folks like my Uncle Dusty who was busy fortifying his fence against critters (and whatever imperialist trampling of his rights he'd heard about on the radio that day) when his new neighbors dropped by to introduce themselves. "I'm sorry," he said, "we don't visit."

I kind of share his sentiments -- well, except for all the anti-government paranoia stuff. But last weekend my wife and I were outside when a young couple moving in behind us waved. Because my wife is not as anti-social as I am, she had the audacity to wave and initiate a conversation. She's thinking, "Yea, what a nice, young couple." I'm thinking, "Great! More humans!"

This was a Saturday at sunset, a day after my something-somethingth birthday and kayaking in the scorching sun, so needless to say we had margaritas in hand and were chilllaxing as those hip youngsters say. The new neighbors took a glance at our patio and porch all decked out Parrothead-style with tiki torches, solar lights, Buddha statue, honeysuckle, lighted palm tree and stereo (softly) playing Jimmy Buffett tunes and asked, "Do y'all know how much a privacy fence costs?"

That's what I like to hear! Otherwise I was going to hire some hitchhiker off the interstate to come sit in an old recliner in the back yard and give him free beer while encouraging him to strike up as many conversations with the new neighbors as possible.

We let them go back to prepping their new home and fence planning. My wife went into the kitchen to check on dinner and yelled something incoherent but along the lines of, "The fordhook lima beans on the stove have boiled over and are now practically on fire."

Until that night, I had no idea that burned lima beans smell just like marijuana. But I do now. And so does anyone who lives within 100 yards of our house. The smell was everywhere. I kept waiting for one of those drug squads to come rushing through the door and throw flash-bang grenades -- likely scaring to death our cat, who already runs in terror when the doorbell rings. They'd never believe our lima bean story. I'd hate to be sitting in a jail cell next to some real criminal like a murderer or hedge fund manager and have to tell them I was in there because of beans.

But I wonder: If burned lima beans smell like pot, do they have the same effect? Would we be more relaxed? Would we need a side of Doritos with dinner? Would we find Cheech & Chong funny?

As soon as I can find a pipe that holds lima beans, I'll explore the issue further. If it turns out you can smoke lima beans for the same effect, I may ask my dad to plant a few more acres of them on his farm. And then I can sell them on the street.

"Psst. Hey, buddy. Have you had your veggies today? Got some grade A fordhooks here. Just $20 an ounce."

Fortunately, our new neighbors seem very clean-cut -- and perhaps a wee bit uptight -- so I doubt they're going to want to spend a lot of time hanging out with us pot … er, beanheads.

Just as well. We don't visit.

-- Connect with Chris Johnson at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting or on Twitter @kudzukid88.practically on fire."

Until that night, I had no idea that burned lima beans smell just like marijuana. But I do now. And so does anyone who lives within 100 yards of our house. The smell was everywhere. I kept waiting for one of those drug squads to come rushing through the door and throw flash-bang grenades -- likely scaring to death our cat, who already runs in terror when the doorbell rings. They'd never believe our lima bean story. I'd hate to be sitting in a jail cell next to some real criminal like a murderer or hedge fund manager and have to tell them I was in there because of beans.

But I wonder: If burned lima beans smell like pot, do they have the same effect? Would we be more relaxed? Would we need a side of Doritos with dinner? Would we find Cheech & Chong funny?

As soon as I can find a pipe that holds lima beans, I'll explore the issue further. If it turns out you can smoke lima beans for the same effect, I may ask my dad to plant a few more acres of them on his farm. And then I can sell them on the street.

"Psst. Hey, buddy. Have you had your veggies today? Got some grade A fordhooks here. Just $20 an ounce."

Fortunately, our new neighbors seem very clean-cut -- and perhaps a wee bit uptight -- so I doubt they're going to want to spend a lot of time hanging out with us pot … er, beanheads.

Just as well. We don't visit.

-- Connect with Chris Johnson at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting or on Twitter @kudzukid88.practically on fire."

Until that night, I had no idea that burned lima beans smell just like marijuana. But I do now. And so does anyone who lives within 100 yards of our house. The smell was everywhere. I kept waiting for one of those drug squads to come rushing through the door and throw flash-bang grenades -- likely scaring to death our cat, who already runs in terror when the doorbell rings. They'd never believe our lima bean story. I'd hate to be sitting in a jail cell next to some real criminal like a murderer or hedge fund manager and have to tell them I was in there because of beans.

But I wonder: If burned lima beans smell like pot, do they have the same effect? Would we be more relaxed? Would we need a side of Doritos with dinner? Would we find Cheech & Chong funny?

As soon as I can find a pipe that holds lima beans, I'll explore the issue further. If it turns out you can smoke lima beans for the same effect, I may ask my dad to plant a few more acres of them on his farm. And then I can sell them on the street.

"Psst. Hey, buddy. Have you had your veggies today? Got some grade A fordhooks here. Just $20 an ounce."

Fortunately, our new neighbors seem very clean-cut -- and perhaps a wee bit uptight -- so I doubt they're going to want to spend a lot of time hanging out with us pot … er, beanheads.

Just as well. We don't visit.

-- Connect with Chris Johnson at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting or on Twitter @kudzukid88.

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