Building a Better Bloke

To deal or not to deal? Part 2

Posted in drugs, Entrepreneurship by Sam de Brito on October 16, 2009

By The Brute

The soil around the city beaches of Sydney is very sandy and perfect for growing a plant that originated in the Middle East and Central Asia.

The dozen tiny plants took to our garden like a Maori to scaffolding, and with plenty of water and helpings of my mother’s dynamic lifter they were a couple of feet high after just one month.

My mother wasn’t stupid and she recognised the shape of the leaves very early but funnily enough she didn’t give me up to Ray or tear them out.

Although she was very anti-drug and had never drank another beer since getting drunk at her 18th birthday in 1958, I think she was enjoying watching them grow.

Our neighbours on both sides were very old and wouldn’t have known what these healthy big shrubs were even when they had reached the top of the fence by New Years.

I remember mum saying to me with a hint of worry, “How big do those marijuana plants of yours get and when are they ready?” …

I had shrugged, I wasn’t sure but my How to grow Marijuana book printed in 1971 said that some could reach the height of a tall man.

All I knew about them being ready was when the heads had formed on the female plants and that was governed by the light.

As winter approached the days grew shorter and they began to ‘head’ but the problem was that autumn was still months away and the things were already huge.

By February the bloody plants were six feet tall and as round as my arm span; I was starting to get nervous as was mum when Ray asked about them for the first time.

If he had taken the effort to examine the leaves he would have instantly known but that would have meant he had to put down the newspaper and walk outside; too much effort, especially with his ‘bad back’.

Finally, there was some sign that the plants were maturing when little clusters began forming on the nodes of the five tallest plants.

My guide book told me that these were the male plants and were almost useless to a pot smoker as they produced flowers and the pollen that fertilized the female heads that produced the seeds.

I remember watching a Cheech and Chong movie once and they sang a little song as they harvested their pot: “Stems and seeds is what you don’t needs”.

My book told me to chop them out of the ground and get rid of them before they ruined the prized female crop, which I did, leaving me with seven beautiful lady cannabis sativa.

By early April we were starting to panic: the ‘girls’ had started to ‘head’ but they were almost eight feet high and huge.

They were dotted all about the backyard but whenever a helicopter flew overhead my stomach did somersaults. Ray still didn’t have a clue but the strain was starting to tell on mum and me.

Now I’m not much on horticulture but these things were fine looking plants, especially when they were ‘heading’.

Maybe it was because each branch was like a wad of rolled up fifty dollar notes hanging off them but, either way, I had grown to love those big hemp plants.

One day I came home from the beach and the marijuana plants had miraculously grown scores of beautiful red roses.

I looked at mum and smiled, she was a sly thing; she took me aside and told me how she had bought four dozens of the plastic flowers from the discount shop and tied them throughout the plants with wire.

The following day I was out the back playing with my Great Dane, Kruger, when the old lady next door popped her head over the fence, her face just inches from a huge bud.

I almost fell over; this was a part of her backyard that she was never seen.

I remember stammering back, “Oh, hi Elsie, how’s things?”

“Hi dear, I just wanted to ask you what those lovely big rose bushes are? The flowers have come up almost overnight, they are beautiful. What are they called?”

I tried to stall for a moment as I let my giant dog jump up onto me then finally answered, “Sorry Elsie but I’m just the lawn mower man, the flowers are mum’s business. I think they’re African or something; I’ll ask her for you.”

“Please do dear, I’d like to put a few near the back doors, they would look lovely from the lounge room.”

She then spent the next ten minutes punishing me about taking a cutting from one of the plants and could I find out off my mum; it was not fun.


The Brute is the author of the upcoming anonymous memoir Suburban Warrior: Confessions of a Footballer, available 2010.

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