Smoke That Cabbage

Smoke That Cabbage

A Story by OscarRat
"

A very special type of veggie.

"
If you were to walk along a narrow path between cabbage fields, deep in the backwoods of Kentucky in the month of March in the year 2015, you might have found a modern one-story brick building. Inside, in a "clean room," would be a man in a white coat and respirator.

The equipment in that room would have confused a nuclear scientist. Half of Doctor Jackson R. Jones Phd. Dxp. Xyz, and a longer string of degrees, workshop had been both designed and built by him, and for him alone.

One of the most brilliant, as well as secretive, brains in the world, he was currently working on a pet project -- one suggested by a relative nicknamed Blastoff Jones. Blastoff was so named for his ability to mentally shoot from Earth to outer space, figuratively speaking. Blastoff normally had enough residual marijuana or other drugs in him to hit ten-thousand feet at will.

Dr. Jones had himself been one of the original hippies in the seventies and sympathized with his nephew. He attributed his own success to constant use of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), which he had made for himself since the sixth grade. His skill, including its sales, had paid for an education, meaning no huge student loans to pay back. Was it any wonder that Doctor Jones was in favor of illegal drugs?

At that time, to help his nephew, the good doctor was experimenting with isolating select sections of Deoxyribonucleic Acid from Cannabis Sativa plants and splicing them to those of a member of the Brassica Oleracea Capitata group of the Brassicasceae family. More specifically, the strings that developed Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol.

That is the way a brilliant scientist thought. To the rest of us, it means taking the active ingredients from marijuana and splicing their DNA into common cabbage seeds. The idea was that cabbages could be found everywhere and were easy to grow. Blastoff himself owned a cabbage patch and, although not too bright, knew how to grow those veggies.

"Now Jasper -- Blastoff's given name -- I'd suggest you plant each of these batches of seeds in different widely-separated areas. That way we can study their various effects without cross-pollination. Using the results, I can further refine the process. Understood?"

"Yep, Unc. I's done got ya."

Of course Blastoff forgot and planted them at random, not paying any attention to the labels on the sacks. Remembering later, and embarrassed, he also posted the labels at random over the freshly planted field while waiting for the crop to mature.

***

"Damn," Blastoff muttered to himself, looking over his cabbage patch, "look'it that. Will ya look'it that?"

Almost overnight, the patch had become covered by cabbages of every color, shape, and size. Red, purple, and bright orange. Many were as large as basketballs or as small as oranges, some shaped like footballs. A few of them even pulsed with blue lights like a police car, though most looked like ordinary green cabbage plants.

Well, he thought, at least I know which came from each sack. Now I gotta figure just which sack.

Happily, he picked a few of each sort and took them into his ramshackle house at the edge of the field. There, he spent many happy hours in testing them.

Blastoff tried eating raw cabbage and dried some in the oven of a wood-fueled cooking stove, also rolling other leaves into cigar shapes to smoke. Being sick of eating cooked cabbage, he tried everything except that method. Although he tried to keep records, it was hard. Hard because he was high 98% of the time.

The ordinary-looking plants were the only ones that didn't give him at least some immediate rush, so he sold them to local markets which had been buying cabbage from him or his family for many years. 

Of course, Doctor Jones had gone on to more important experiments, such as a type of disposable diaper that automatically ejected itself into another dimension when full. His problem was in making them leave the baby behind.

*** 

The "Happy Days Market" had been at its present location for over fifty years, earning enough money to feed several generations of Hippledums. Allen Hippledum, the current owner, believed in service to his community, one part of which was in helping local farmers by selling their produce. Only those that he could buy from at a cheap rate, naturally.

"Nice cabbages," he mentioned to Mabel, his wife and co-clerk. "I don't care for his lifestyle, but he knows his cabbage business."

They were finishing stacking the vegetables in a bin, next to tomatoes on one side and lettuce on the other, both home-grown.

"Hippies. I hate them hippies," Mabel said, sneering. "If it was me, I wouldn't deal with that freak. All he's going to do is buy drugs with the money. Why encourage him?"

"It's the right thing to do, honey. He'll grow older and straighten up eventually. They all do."

"Bull. You gonna wait on Mrs. Simpson or should I?"

Among other items, Mrs. Simpson, a lonely widow of eighty years, bought a head of cabbage.

*** 

"Now, Twiddles," Alma Simpson instructed her cat, "we'll both eat supper then watch that cat show on television, the one you like. Garfield. I'll just give you this 'Goody-Good' kitty food while I wait for the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes to boil."

A half-hour later, Alma sat down to eat, the cat rubbing her leg. Alma loved boiled cabbage served with homemade meatloaf. This cabbage, however, had a rather strange odor and aftertaste -- not really like spoiled, and not very noticeable; but it was there. However, its taste and texture were okay which was what was important.

Finished, she felt a little funny as she stood up to take the dirty dishes to the sink, sort of lightheaded.

"Let me help you, Alma," a voice came from beside her. 

Looking over, Alma saw her Twiddles, somehow standing a full six-feet tall. He was smiling at her, slanted green eyes seeming to twinkle. The huge feline strode over to begin washing dirty dishes.

"Alright, Twiddles," she replied, "it's about time you did your share. I ... I'll just go in and sit down a moment."

Strange, and stranger, she somehow knew something was wrong, but not what. In an unusually good mood, Alma went into the living room to relax. A little later, a clock on the wall talked to her, reminding Alma to call Twiddles in for his television show.

She was surprised in the morning when she saw dirty dishes in the sink.

*** 

"Aw, Ma, you know I don't like that veggie s**t," Jimmy complained. "Well, ceptin' for fried taters."

"Shut your mouth and eat that cabbage." His mother glared at him. "If you don't, you'll get it for breakfast, in your school lunch, and dinner tomorrow -- until it's all eaten."

Grumbling, Jimmy did as he was told. He knew his mother was capable of making him a soggy cabbage sandwich for school. She'd already done it with broccoli and peas. He could well remember how the peas rolled out from between slices of bread, dribbling on his shirt and the lunch table at school, embarrassing him in front of the other children.

After eating, he went up to his room. Not that he was tired, but because he wanted to use his Captain Marvel telescope to watch that pretty girl, Penny, next door. At the age when he was beginning to be curious about the opposite sex, Jimmy would spend hours watching her through her bedroom window, dreaming of a flash of skin.

Unknown to Jimmy, Penny had noticed the reflection on his lens and, using her Daddy's binoculars from another window, knew what he was doing. She enjoyed playing with the younger boy, sometimes rushing back and forth across the window while in her undies, or lying in bed with one bare leg waving, enjoying the thought of him playing with himself.

Penny was much older than his eleven, like fifteen or something. The other night he'd watched her change her jeans. All he saw were flashes of white panties and legs, but the sight did encourage his spying.

Tonight though �" after supper -- he felt more than a little lightheaded, with a funny feeling in his tummy. Ignoring it, he aimed the telescope at her house. To fool his parents, he normally kept it pointed at the sky. He zeroed in on her bedroom window.

Strange, Jimmy thought, that this time he found he could move around inside her room, seeing objects out of range of the telescope lens. It seemed strange but not all that strange, like it was something he'd always known he could do but hadn't thought about until that exact moment.

He tiptoed carefully, as silently as possible, across her bedroom, smelling what must have been her perfume -- or was it the "scent of a woman" as in that movie he'd watched once. Anyway, he smelled something nice, very nice. 

Heart beating wildly, Jimmy used a sweaty hand to open a door across her room a crack to peer out. He could see a flight of stairs, illuminated at the bottom. A moment later, he heard Penny talking. Good, Jimmy thought.

Closing the door, he walked around, studying the room and going through her closet.

"What are you doing in my room, Jimmy Brown?"

Oh, my God, Jimmy thought, spinning around. Penny stood in front of him, hands on both hips.

"I ... I ... uh, I ... would you believe .... Uh, I ... dunno."

"I didn't think so," Penny smiled.

Jimmy, feeling a very strong urge to pee, couldn't believe it. Her being larger than him, he'd expected at least to be hit with something.

"Come here, boy." She stepped closer, putting her arms around him and pulling him close. Then ... Then, she kissed him, passionately ... actually kissed him, and on the lips.

Penny pulled him down onto the bed, where they rolled around like a couple of kittens, her hands all over him. Even.... Even inside his pants and playing with his thing. When he tried to do the same with her, she rolled away and laughed.

Jimmy woke up in his own bed, both hands on a hardened appendage. He had a funny feeling in his head. Then the memory came back. He couldn't believe it ... he just couldn't, or remember how it had ended. Was it like in the movies? How did it feel to do IT? Did he do IT good? Should he tell his mother? He did notice that his underwear was damp.

*** 

Hey, Spike," Blastoff spoke on the phone with a friend. He simply couldn't keep this to himself, "I got somethin' here fer ya. Yeah, bring yer girlfriend if'n ya want. I done got plenty a the stuff, good stuff like ya never got afore, too." It was his fourth call that morning.

Before long a couple of dozen druggies were having a grand time. The oven was filled with leaves drying and filling his home with the smell of cabbage. Two girls sat at a table, chewing on blue leaves, light flashing from their mouths as they rolled cabbage into cigar shapes.

"Wheeeee," Junkyard Jenkins cried, swooping around the room, thinking he was flying through the milky way galaxy, alone in the vastness of outer space. 

The other druggies made room for Junkyard, gently guiding him away from furniture as he stumbled slowly around the room. All except for Edna, who rode on Junkyard's shoulders, imagining she was on a purple camel passing through the Gobi desert.

*** 

"What the hell's going on out there?" Mayor Thompson asked Police Chief Jackson, both of them in his office at the Municipal Building, "Half the town's gone crazy?" He looked out his window to see staid oldster Norma Peters running wildly down the street, beating at her own butt with a stick, looking as though she thought she was riding a horse. Several stray dogs were barking at her heels. Actually, she was thinking she was a ten-year-old again, riding Old Paint.

"Someone stop that woman," the Mayor yelled out his door, where the town clerk was standing, "before she kills herself."

The clerk hurried outside to comply.

"I don't know, Sam," the chief replied, scratching his head. "It started yesterday afternoon, and we still have no idea what's causing it. Come on, we have to eat. They have corned-beef and cabbage in the cafeteria. Maybe my people will find out by the time we're through?"

"I can't eat, Joe. Not while this is going on."

"We have to eat. Don't worry, someone is bound to find out and tell us."

An hour later, both the mayor and police chief were boarded up in the basement of the Town Hall, shooting at citizens in the street while thinking they were under attack by terrorists.


According to how much and what type of cabbage was eaten by each individual, it took from two to twelve hours for the effects to wear off, leaving them limp with exhaustion. Well, all except for Mr. Milquetoast, who imagined he was asleep and woke up refreshed.

Meanwhile, as the cabbage was bought, cooked, and eaten, more people succumbed to its effects.

"So ... let me get this clear, Mr. Smith." Patrolwoman Julie James questioned the man. "It happened right after a dinner of roast chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, cole slaw and apple pie?" At his answer, the policewoman wrote all the items down on her scratch pad.

Later, after a dozen interviews, most being easy since the people were already in police cells, she compared notes. The only thing that was consistent happened to be cabbage. But how could cabbage do anything like that? she thought.

Another officer happened to have asked another important question. Namely, where the victims had acquired all those food items. That was how they isolated the Happy Days Market and Allen Hippledum. A matter of routine police work.

*** 

"And where did you get that cabbage?" Julie James asked, familiar notebook in hand. The other three town policemen, along with State Police, were in the process of protecting the citizens from their own police chief and rounding up other, still active, victims.

"A guy named Blastoff, out at the edge of town," Allen replied, confused. He and his family hadn't tried the cabbage. Tired from working past midnight the night before, they'd grabbed salami sandwiches, gone home, and slept until getting up at six to go back to work. "He grows the stuff."

"Well, don't sell any more of it. It drives people nuts."

"Cabbage? Cabbage drives people nuts?"

"Yes, that cabbage does."

"I told you so, dear," Mrs. Hippledum reminded her husband while covering the cabbage display with a piece of tarp. "You can never trust a hippie."

Julie hurried out, on her way to the Jones cabbage farm. She would have loved to have backup, but none was available. She did call in to the Municipal Building to tell the clerks. 

*** 

Patrolwoman Julie could hear yelling and banging around when still a block from the Jones Farm. It was a mixture of hard-rock, screaming, laughing, and what sounded like pigs squealing.
 
The first thing she noticed were three almost-naked women dancing around a tree on the front lawn, along with two men sleeping or passed out, one even draped over a limb of the tree.

Julie parked her patrol car at the far end of the driveway. Making a wide circle around the dancers, she stopped to check the pulse of the man on the ground, finding he was alive. Shaking her head, she continued on to a rotten wooden front porch.

Steeling herself while fighting a strong urge to draw her revolver, she knocked on the door.

After five minutes of pounding, the door swung open. A bug-eyed and bearded young man stood in front of her, holding on to the door-jamb and shoving his face to within two inches of hers.

"Wad'da ya want?" he demanded, glassy-eyed. Looking down, he saw her uniform and stepped back, or tried to retreat from the implied authority. Instead he flopped backwards, his head landing on the floor with a dull "thump."

"The fuzz," he screamed in a loud shaky voice, "the fuzzies is here."

Looking past him, Julie saw six pairs of eyes staring at her, then the backs of six heads as they ran for any available doorway or window, disappearing into nooks and crannies like roaches.  

There were four more, apparently asleep while stacked on one couch; two men sitting cross-legged on the floor talking to a pig, who was steadily eating a head of cabbage; and one man she could see in the kitchen rolling some sort of cigars.

Even as she watched, the two on the floor saw her, jumped up, and ran past the man in the kitchen. The pig glanced over, rolled its eyes, gave a loud squeal, and ran headlong into a wall.

Well, the police officer thought, at least I have one of them. She went into the kitchen to talk to the lone occupant, the only one she could see. She didn't know there were eight more asleep upstairs.

Blastoff, feeling mellow, looked up, saw her coming and went back to rolling cabbage leaves.

"Help yur'self," he told her.

"What the devil's going on here?" she called over the loud music. Seeing a CD player on the stove, its base melted onto a burner, she reached over to turn it off. The sudden quiet was welcome.

"Wa' ya doin at fer?"

"I asked what was going on here? And where the hell is Jasper Jones? You seen him?"

"At's me. You cun' call me Blastoff. Ever'one else do."

"Is that the stuff you've been selling? The cabbage that makes people crazy?" She looked closer, seeing blue leaves pulsating with light. "What the hell is that stuff?"

"Cabbage. At's all, cabbage. Where ever'body gone?"

"I'll ask the questions here. You're under arrest."

"Wa' fer?"

"Selling drugs, and using illegal substances."

"Ain't no'thin illegal ‘bout sellin' cabbage. At ain't agin' a law."

"Stand up. Hands behind your head. Now."

"Awww, come on, lady. I ain't done nothin'."

***

"... and just tell me what you're charging my client with. Partying at his own isolated farm?" lawyer Jeb Stuart asked. "It's not against the law to sell ... or even smoke ... cabbage leaves, is it?"

"That cabbage drives people nuts," the police chief said, the mayor nodding in affirmation.

"Then don't eat it. And my client had no way to know that. He sold the cabbage on good faith."

"They were smoking it, getting high."

"When smoking cabbage is illegal, let me know. Also, that wasn't even the same cabbage he sold, the ones they were smoking were bright blue, from what I hear. An entirely different product. Neither of them illegal."

"We filed a court order to impound all the cabbage, of every color or type in his patch."

"Fine. You do that," Stuart said. "That makes it a civil matter if my client wants to take it to court."

"And there is the matter of criminal damage."

"Then you'll have to prove intent, misrepresentation, or that he used improper procedure in selling his product. Since he has been selling the same product for years, holds a sales license and it passed State inspection for sale, that will be hard to prove. The store will be equally liable." Stuart smiled. "If the product mutated beyond his control, we consider that an act of God."

Meanwhile, Blastoff sat with a silly smirk on his face, a cup of coffee held in both shaking hands.

Officer Julie James sat across the room, simmering.

In the end, Blastoff had to be let go, pending any charges they could think up later.

He went home to an empty cabbage patch and house, his guests long gone with nothing else to smoke or chew on.

***

A few days later, Blastoff received a call from his uncle.

"Yeah?"

"I heard of your trouble, son. I told you to let me know how the cabbage was going, and you didn't listen. See what happens?"

"Yeah, Unc. You done told me."

"What happened? You still got your patch?"

"Na. The settlement, it say I gotta give the city at patch. They's gonna put a parkin' lot on there. An I can't grow nothin' no more at all. Not even no flowrs'. Nothin'."

There was silence for a few moments.

"Listen, son. I been thinking. I'd hate to be stuck with nothing to get high on, myself." Another long pause while he considered the risk. "I got this pill I make, out of baking soda and a few common household chemicals. I use it myself -- something like an antacid tablet. You put one in water and it fizzes. The stuff will give you a nice mellow glow. I can send you a supply. Don't overdo it, though. Too much of it can make you a dribbling idiot."

"Cool, Unc, Cool. Hey, can I, like, make them things myself, like?"

"I suppose so, but only for yourself, mind you. We don't want you to get in that sort of trouble again. Just a minute, let me get the formula." Another pause and shuffling of papers. "Here. Take this down. You have a pencil?"

"Yeah, I gots one."

He copied down a simple formula, one including a half-cup of baking soda.

"Thanks, Unc. I'll get rite on't."

"Remember. It's very important NOT to use too much baking soda. The formula has to be exact."

After he hung up, Blastoff hurried to his pickup truck, ignoring the sound of concrete trucks working on his former cabbage patch next door.

Among his purchases were two 100 lb drums of baking soda.

The End.  Oscar Rat

© 2019 OscarRat


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An excellent story. Well written and it's put me off eating cabbage! I found it extremely funny and I look forward to your next story.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago



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Added on November 12, 2019
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OscarRat
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As far as I know, I'm the only Honest To God Real virtual writing rat on the Internet. more..

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A Story by OscarRat