THE GREAT SMOKE OFF
Shel Silverstein - 1972
Now in the laid back California,
town of sunny San Rafael.
Lived a girl named Pearly Sweetcake,
you probably knew her well.
She was stoned fifteen,
of her eighteen years.
And her story was widely told,
That she could smoke em faster,
than anyone could roll.
Well her legend finally reached New York,
that grove street walk up flat.
Where dwelt the Calistoga Kid,
a beatnik from the past.
He'd been rolling dope since time began,
Now took a cultured poke ,
and said Jim I can roll em faster,
than any chick can smoke.
So a note gets sent to San Rafael,
for the championship of the world.
The kid demands a smoke off,
Well bring him on says Pearl.
I'll grind his fingers of his hands,
He'll roll until he drops.
Says Calistoga I'll smoke that chick,
till blows up and pops.
So they rent out Yankee Stadium,
and the word is quickly spread.
Come one come all who walk or crawl,
Tickets just two lids a head.
And from every town and hamlet,
Over land and sea they speed.
The worlds greatest dopers,
with the worlds greatest weed.
Hasishes from Marocco, hemp smokers from Peru,
And the Schasnicks from Bagon,
Who smoke the deadly pugaru.
And those who call it light of life,
And those that call it boo.
See the dealers and their ladies,
Wearing turquoise lace and leather.
See the narcos and the closet smokers,
puffin all together.
From the teenies who smoke legal,
to the ones who've done some time.
To the old man who smoked reefer,
back before it was a crime.
And the grand old house that Ruff built,
is filled with the smokes and cries,
of fifty screaming heads,
all stoned out of their minds.
And they play the national anthem,
and the crowd lets out a roar,
as the spotlight hits the Kid and pearl,
ready for their smoking war.
At a table piled high with grass,
as high as a mountain peak.
just top and buds of the rarest flowers,
not one stem branch or seed.
I mean a mowie a wowie a Panama red,
Acapulco gold, keef from east Afghanistan,
and that rare Alaska cold.
and there's sticks from Thiland,games from the island.
and Bangkok's blooming best and some of that wet imported shit
that capsized of Key west.
There's wahokin pops and Kenya burn, and Reverie flors
and that rare Manhattan silver ,
that grows down the New York sewers.
And there's bubbling ice cold lemonade,
and sweet grapes by the bunches.
and there's Hershey bars and Orios,
in case anybody gets the munches.
And the calastoga kid he smiles,
and Pearly she just grins.
And the drums roll low ,and the
crowd yells go go go
and the worlds first smoke off begins.
Well the kid he flicks his fingers once,
sot that first joint's rolled.
Pearl takes one poke with her famous lungs,
and whoosh that roach is cold.
Then the kid he rolls his super bomb,
that would paralyze a moose.
and Pearl takes one mighty hip, that bombs defused.
And then he rolls three in just ten seconds,
and she smokes them up in nine.
And everybody sits back and says hey
this just might take some time.
See the blur of fling fingers,
see the red coal burning bright.
As the night turns into morning,
and the morning fades to night.
And the autumn turns to summer
and a whole damn year is gone
and the two still sit on that roach filled stage
smoking and Rollin.
with trembling hands he rolls his jays,
with fingers blue and stiff.
she coughs, and stares with blood shot gaze
and puffs through blistered lips.
And as she reaches out her hand
for another stick of gold
The Kid he gasps, "Goddamn it, bitch,
there's nothing' left to roll"
"Nothin' left to roll?" screams Pearl,
"Is this some twisted joke?"
"I didn't come here to fuck around, man,
"I come here to SMOKE!"
And she reaches 'cross the table
and she grabs his bony sleeves
And she crumbles his body between her hands
like dried and brittle leaves
Flicking' out his teeth and bones
like useless stems and seeds
Then she rolls him in a Zig Zag
and lights him like a roach
And the fastest man with the fastest hands
goes up in a puff of smoke.
In the laid-back California town
of sunny San Rafael
Lives a girl named Pearley Sweetcake,
you probably know her well
She's been stoned twenty-one
of her twenty-four years,
and the story's widely told
How she still can smoke them faster
than anyone can roll
While off in New York City,
on a street that has no name
There's the hands of The Calistoga Kid
in the Viper Hall of Fame
And underneath his fingers
there's a little golden scroll
"Beware of Bein' the Roller
When There's Nothin' Left to Roll."
(Contributed by John Sanders - August 2002)