Thursday, June 28th, 2007...10:18 pm

100% True Hookah Story

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There is a book¬† I read in 1968 that is written in the first person , a man telling his story as it is happening “now”.

He is captured by aliens and taken to their planet where he is put in a large guilded cage . He finds there a woman, and the aliens want them to procreate the human species for them.

The story is told, but¬† the teller goes on tangents from time to time .Literally .Here he¬†lives ¬†in 1966 on the foreign ¬†planet, and all of a sudden he is a¬† combat pilot¬† of the American Air Force in ¬†World War 2.¬† He calls this “going back and forth in time”.

At age 17 when I read the book, the concept of a person going back AND forth in time over and over again was a strange phenomenon.

Today at age 54, I do that time traveling very often myself with no actual desire or effort on my part.

I could be here in the room writing, and all of a sudden a scene from 45,  and easily 50 years ago will flash up for a split second,but tell a whole story.  Actually yesterday I flashed back to age 4 when my older cousin from South Bend ,Indiana came to visit and  we were watching the large boxed tiny screen t.v. which was available then.

Thats one big reason why¬† children do NOT want to hear your stories about “what Daddy did in the war” since the past is a strange concept to them.Their past might be only 10-15 years.

For my self born  only 8  years after the end of WW2 I realize that it was of my own time, and of the people around me, but growing up I thought it was 5o years away.

Now I can tell this story which often comes back to me, and has come back quite often of my first

 H O O K A H experience and resulted in deadly concequences.

In 1970 I went to the souk (shuk) which is Arabic for “market place”.

I went as a 17 year old to smoke something OTHER  than  shisha which was quite lawful then to smoke.

¬†Take “shisha” and put an “H” in front, you’ll¬† know¬† what it was. and quite cheap then. Maybe the big influx of tourists which came a few years after raised the prices from¬† half a dollar for a finger sized nice brown Lebanese made to¬† $10¬† soon after.

It later became illegal when the western countries preasured the Middle Eastern big cities¬† in order to keep their own ¬†citizens from buying and sending it home, or in their luggage. There were no dogs at New York’s airport then to sniff out hashish, maybe herion .

I went to a small side street of the market into a residential area, up the steps not far at all where there was a nice Tea House. I came in, sat down on one of the 3 benches on each side of the walls facing the large entrence opening and was served  a clear glass cup of very heavily sugured tea.

Across from me sat a tall boy¬† around my age.There was also an elder who wore a kaffiyeh (not seen as much today)¬† and an American tourist¬† with longish hair. Within about 5 minutes¬† the same one who gave us the tea brought in a very tall narghileh¬† with a steel stem and¬† clear glass water bowl. In the tobacco bowl he placed about 4¬† broken pieces of hashish¬† each around¬† 10 grams or so since we were only¬† 4 people. On top of¬† that he placed burning natural coals. My eyes popped at the ammount. “There goes my throat” I thought to myself, since I had been smoking since age 15, but in small pipes which made the smoke¬† terribly harsh.The coals were placed on the top, no foil.

The elder¬† with the kaffiyeh headress¬† was passed the long hose and he smoked. I can’t remember after that who came next, but when I took a strong pull on the hose I barely tasted the¬† smoke flavour. As I let the smoke out it kept¬† comming out¬† more, and more and still no stop to it. I knew¬† that the effect could not be immediate, there was my first time smoking a hookah. That was the water effect of the hookah.

We kept passing the hose around. The older man left first walking well on his legs. Soon the man who¬† served us came in , looked around and asked the American tourist to go. He could barely move! About a short time after that the tourist rushed in again yelling “Where is my Frisbee? Where is my frisbee?”

That was “East meets West”! 2 cultures colliding. The man dragged him out again. Only in America!

We we then left the tall guy and myself,  in no rush to leave and no one was going to toss us out, we even recieved more tea.

As we got to talking he asked me how old I was. I said “Soon 18”.

“So we’re both up for the army draft, huh?” he asked. Yes I told him.He¬† and I left, both going our own way (and neither of us bothered to check under the bench for any left frisbee).

After 8 months of basic training we were going to advanced training ¬†.I met him again. Our ¬†unit was¬† like the American Marines as compared to the regular American army¬† infantry and he was going from¬† there to a very “special” unit¬† .¬† I had seen¬† before when we first met that ¬†the guy was something different top notch.

To shorten the story, that was 1971 .It has been  many years  and he was killed  making an attack  on a fort along with 14 other soldiers  on a very high hill in  1973 by snipers. I  was with a larger unit on the other side of that hill and later finished  my time in 1974.

By the way, the only thing I smoke in the hookah is tobacco.

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