by Chris Haire
For the past three days, I've been singing "One Toke Over the Line," the mellow gold, one-hit wonder from Brewer & Shipley. I simply can't get the chorus out of my head: "One toke over the line, sweet Jesus, one toke over the line/Sitting downtown in a railway station, one toke over the line."
And it's got me thinking about the hazy days of yesterday — the day-long smoke-fests on Sloan Street, the all-night trip outs in Johnstone E 605, the tailgate parties that began on Thursday night and ended at the end of the semester.
See, I've lived the better half of my life one toke over the line, so it was with a fair amount of surprise — and hell, even a little bit of respect — that I read the GQ post on Rand Paul's alleged proclivity for pot smoking. GQ reports:
The strangest episode of Paul's time at Baylor occurred one afternoon in 1983 (although memories about all of these events are understandably a bit hazy, so the date might be slightly off), when he and a NoZe brother paid a visit to a female student who was one of Paul's teammates on the Baylor swim team. According to this woman, who requested anonymity because of her current job as a clinical psychologist, "He and Randy came to my house, they knocked on my door, and then they blindfolded me, tied me up, and put me in their car. They took me to their apartment and tried to force me to take bong hits. They'd been smoking pot." After the woman refused to smoke with them, Paul and his friend put her back in their car and drove to the countryside outside of Waco, where they stopped near a creek. "They told me their god was 'Aqua Buddha' and that I needed to bow down and worship him," the woman recalls. "They blindfolded me and made me bow down to 'Aqua Buddha' in the creek. I had to say, 'I worship you Aqua Buddha, I worship you.' At Baylor, there were people actively going around trying to save you and we had to go to chapel, so worshiping idols was a big no-no."
Now, some folks — and I'm pointing at you Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post — are crying foul over Rand's alleged reefer-fueled prank. And quite frankly, I'm disappointed in my liberal brothers and sister and their new-found puritanical ways. I mean, since when did the Democratic Party become the Democratic Temperance Society?
I think the close of the Huffington Post piece says it all:
The story is almost too bizarre to digest in full — from the blindfolded, pot-infused kidnapping to the weird worship of the Aqua Buddha deity. And, in that respect, it's important to note that it was delivered via anonymous attribution.
Paul's campaign has not yet responded to requests for comment, telling GQ merely that "During his time at Baylor, Dr. Paul competed on the swim team and was an active member of Young Conservatives of Texas."
But there is an important thread to be drawn between the candidate's Baylor years and his current run for office. Both then and now, Paul showed something akin to an abject disdain for the establishment. His involvement in a secretive society that was targeted by school authorities; his instigation of various pranks around campus (digging up a time capsule, for one) seem echoed — to a certain extent — in the anti-government libertarian philosophy that has defined his Senate campaign.
Let me get this right, Arianna, or should I say, Dean Wormer. It's no longer cool to be anti-establishment and to engage in senseless pranks? My God, man. Lighten up. And ask yourself this: What would Otter do?
Well, for one, he wouldn't criticize Paul for getting stoned and, um, kidnapping a pal. He would give him a medal, and by that, I mean six pack of piss-warm beer. And then he'd do bong hits for breakfast.
So here's to you, Rand Paul. It may be six in the morning, but cheers, brother. Cheers.