The Wolf of Wall Street has me thinking about old-time druggy behavior, but not so much quaalude-driven as inspired by cannabis sativa. I’m thinking of an episode that happened while riding shotgun in a friend’s car with two others in back, and everyone thoroughly ripped. We were roaming around the wilds of Wilton, Connecticut, which is all shady (or dark) country roads and forest and shaded colonials and mock-farmhouses on two and three-acre lots. It was around 11 pm, and I can recall this like it happened last night. While engaged in a fairly mesmerizing conversation (are there any other kind when you’re fried?) the driver gradually forgot to keep his foot on the gas. The car went slower and slower until it came to a dead stop. And nobody noticed for a good five or ten minutes, of course, until some guy pulled up behind and flashed his lights and honked. If it had been a Wilton patrolman he would have have searched the car and our pockets, and somebody would have been popped for possession.

Two or three years earlier the same driver was motoring across a bridge in Kansas City with four or five friends. Somebody had a recently-bought ounce-sized bag of something potent. They were all passing a pipe around and thoroughly wasted when someone noticed a cop right behind them. Instant paranoia. “Be cool, just be cool” was the mantra. Then the cop flashed his lights and gave a short blast with the siren, and the person with the bag decided the only thing to do was dump the contents out the window. He poured it out the driver’s side window and, sure enough, the finely-ground pot blew right back into the car, covering everyone and everything. Easy score for the Kansas City fuzz.

Anyone who was getting high in the ’70s or ’80s has at least a couple of stories like this. Has anyone ever experienced a gas pedal space-out? These were less likely, I realize, if you lived in a more urbanized area. You had to be in some kind of exurban area.