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A Flatland Flight of Fancy for 420 Day

Creative Writing Inspired By A Very Unofficial Holiday

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Above image credit: Cannabis growing facilities at Ever-Bloom Farm in Carpinteria, California, on September 14, 2019. (Rod Rolle/Sipa USA | AP Images)

(Editor’s note: Some folks – not us, of course – may be celebrating an unofficial holiday right about now. So Flatland has decided to take some fictionalized creative liberties to mark 420 Day, celebrated by followers of cannabis culture. After all, we could all use a break from round-the-clock COVID-19 coverage all in our own special way.)

It happens every year — the All Holidays Convention.

Holidays from all over the calendar flock to some host city and wander from convention center room to convention center room, snacking on bland catered food. 

As an “unofficial holiday” it also doesn’t even really matter that 420 Day is there. These types of things are meant for legit holidays and observances like Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, Hanukkah or Halloween — you know, the real holidays. 

Of course, I still go, mainly to get a few days away from the office — to grab some decent meals on the company card. Plus, I get to see St. Patty’s and New Year’s. They’re always a good time.

I get along with the other holidays, sure. But it’s just a little weird going to these things when you have nothing to do with religion or the foundation of a democracy. 

That’s probably why they just stick me on the end of a group with Super Bowl Sunday, Groundhog’s Day and Arbor Day when we do those painful breakout sessions. Cyber Monday was in our group last year.

The All Holidays Convention is always a fine time. But day one of this year’s convention just happens to land on my day. And not just any April 20. 

4/20/2020, 4:19:04 P.M. 

(Four-twenty ducks out of National Library Workers’ Day’s book spine repair seminar. It wasn’t THAT boring. It’s just, well, look at the time. Down the hall and out on the loading dock should be cool. But just as the old film canister tumbles from inside the steel water bottle, there’s Memorial Dayalways rolling up out of nowhere.) 

I know what you are thinking. Something along the lines of, “You probably could have just stayed home this year.” Do you have any idea how “like me” it would be if I skipped the All Holidays Convention because it happened to start today? 

But times are changing. Celebrating my holiday is now fully legal in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Most of the rest of the country, including Missouri, has approved medicinal use of marijuana. 

In fact, more and more holidays have been hitting me up lately.

You know, depending on the state, I could theoretically be a keynote speaker at one of these things. That sounds pretty sweet, you know? Board members back at the office still talk about the All Holidays Conventions back in the 1970s.

And did you know those rumors aren’t true? I have nothing to do with Hitler or the police code for “marijuana smoking in progress”. The only reason I’m here is because a couple of California kids would meet up after school around 4:20 p.m. for a few “far out” minutes beneath the bleachers.

And, no offense to Flag Day or any of them, but it feels like a lot of people actually celebrate me.

I know that’s not what it’s all about. But somewhere right.. about… now…

Four college roommates giggle like school children, crowding their apartment mirror, wondering why eyebrows exist.

There’s that familiar smell, coming from under a teenager’s bedroom door. Dad won’t touch the stuff. But he won’t bust the boy, either. The sound of him catching up with a friend on Facetime is too sweet. Plus, it’s legal in Illinois now.

Someone’s mom just confiscated their kid’s pipe, only to stash it next to her own from college. “The Glass Slipper” still works fine, by the way.

A grandpa unwraps his grandson’s package from Colorado Springs. Now, time to watch the birds a bit more closely. 

Speaking of grandpas, Willie Nelson is high enough to hunt ducks with a rake right now and he’s livestreaming a celebration on the internet.

A janitor takes a puff behind the dumpster, just like the day before and the day before. Passing the time, buffing the floors.

She’s been counting down the hours. The baby is upstairs for the night with mom. The first night off since their daughter was born calls for the high-end stuff she’s been saving from that fancy dispensary in San Francisco. 

Taco Bells are doing extraordinary business, but the service is understandably slow.

There’s an intimidated Iowan in the dispensary for the first time. Indica or Sativa? It feels like a weed CVS in there. He usually gets it from that guy behind the Casey’s.

There’s a batch of brownies coming out of the oven. Two of them will be delivered room No. 310 at the hospital’s cancer center. 

The rest of the treats are going to a college town. Dad is keeping his end of the promise. His twin daughters threw out their sketchy vape pens.

“Just a teensy bit” has the Monday night book club loose as ever. Not to mention they are actually talking about the book. 

It’s been a long, long time, but a Facebook friend took their status to recount that night in Boston Music Hall when Jerry Garcia trickled into “Crazy Fingers”.

A few hours late and alone in a new city, someone winds down on an East Coast balcony. The first day of the new job is over. They watch their cat watch the pigeons.

And look, here we are Memorial Day, having a heck of a time like a few years ago at the lake and it’s not even close to September — or are you in May?

Sorry, this stuff is strong.

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