I always wanted to be a functional pothead. But I had to stop trying 3 kids later. I gave it my best shot. Don’t think I’m quitter.
7 years ago, my wife barges into our 1 bedroom apartment bathroom on a Friday night in a whirlwind of presumptive disgust because I was enjoying myself a tad too much as our 3 year old splashed in the bubble. And sang with me as we crooned with soul stirring, shimmering glee to Bob Marley’s evil spirit conquering Duppy Conqueror. Understand, I puffed a one hitter in the bathroom with the window open before I got my daughter situated in there which got me feeling extra loose. Now, my wife barges through the bathroom door unannounced. Shoots off a final judgement hate stare in my direction and says with frothy, damnation dispiritedness. “You’re such a stoner.” Before slamming the bathroom door coming off the hinges. Next my 4 year old daughter, Matilda, Singing Rose Kornbluth says. “Daddy, you’re not a stoner. You’re a rock star.” I say. “You’re right, Matilda. Because stoners aren’t doers and daddy is a doer. Granted, I haven’t done mommy since her birthday last year but that’s besides the point.”
So do I still smoke some weed? Squeeze in a puff of Florida Crippy’s for old times sake to celebrate writing the 1st draft of a new TV pilot like I did for my past creations including Don’t Laugh I Live Newark, Mr. Right and Mike Mates? I’m strong at banging out headline hookers I know. But no, I haven’t smoked the scrumptious, crystal specked green supreme goodness in 4 months now I think. Could be longer. So much for my short-term memory bouncing back with palpable, reverberating vengeance since my past podcast goodbye to my pothead plagued past in Episode 43 My Weed Exit Interview, on my Do It All Dad Year Podcast. I had my daughter do the intro for it. “Funnier, dad, happier baby, and I’m living proof of it. Can I get a Challah for some Challah?”
Ok, so back to the million dollar question, what drove me to take a permanent vacation from what I perceived as my best bud till my daughter Matilda was born? For starters, 3 kids later, I could no longer afford to feel like a bigger moron than I already feel around my comedic genius daughter. She’s a math nerd also which is a tad annoying. It got to the point, where I was disgusted at my belabored, ad lib replies to her super deep, out of nowhere questions about God. My daughter asks. “So Daddy, if God created the Universe, then who created God?” I say. “God, went back in time in a Time Machine made by Elon Musk.” Daughter says. “Real convincing Dada. Thanks for making me an Atheist at 4.” The joke doesn’t work as good if she says 6.
When you stop smoking weed after you’ve been a Stoner for 2 decades in a row, you start remembering your dreams because they’re so vivid crazy homes. You think you’ve been blackout drunk your entire waking life prior. What I’ve noticed in these dreams is old buds resurface. Who I’d either get stoned with or drunk with. But any semblance of a sturdier, brotherly bond past getting fucked up together, disintegrates under the unflinching, murky, glare of my dream undertow. Where old buds appear emotionless within the shadowy corners of my subconscious, REM catching up mind man.
I also compared my joke retweet stats on Twitter when I took an extended break on weed prior to my podcast Weed Exit Interview episode and was disgusted at the sobering statistical illumination revelation. I banged out almost ten times as many jokes off the weed than on it. Plus, my jokes on weed in comparison sounded like the dull minded, dim witted, dead brained drippings of a mentally strained douche-bag.
Trump has produced around 38,000 tweets compared to my 40,000 plus from my past. Proving native New Yorker’s hailing from Queens don’t have a hard time expressing themselves or ever run out of colorful things to say. At the same time, this doesn’t mean I’ve had burnout induced moments in my 20’s and 30’s when I was an awful communicative stoner, which haunt me till this day.
Once, I was cold calling a VP of Engineering as an IT Recruiter, doing new business development in Manhattan for a staffing company in One Penn Plaza right above MSG. And I could barely state my own full name clearly and at this point I only had 36 years of practice. “Hi, my name is Michael Kornbababluth, from Adam Jacobs & Associates. “Struggling with your own name I see” the VP of Engineering said with relished glee.
My own father stopped smoking weed after he met my mom in college. It was a deal breaker for her. Once, I recall watching the Knicks my Senior Year in High School when I started smoking plenty of weed after school from the Bronx, the cheap, sprayed kind that tastes like Windex. So I’m watching the game with my dad and out of nowhere my dad says with all knowing, dour disdain, “You’re not speaking well.” Translation, you’re smoking too much weed and you’re a learning disabled kid who didn’t crack a 1000 on his SAT’s. You’re not Bob Dylan, moron.
I always wanted to be a functional pothead. Getting my TV writing gig at VH1 Classic for Americas Hard 100, which was 12 years in the making felt great. Especially after I rose to the occasion and proved to myself I could get a high stakes writing job done well with all eyez on me pressure. I got stoned solo to celebrate in Manhattan off my prized one hitter and took a soulful, money, money, cocksure stroll from Times Square to my favorite craft brew bar in Manhattan on 10th Avenue to extend my feel good party in my honor. But then, I’m at the bar, being non-predatory flirty, feeling like a married slut in a straight jacket. Acting nervous around woman at the bar because I feel guilty about being free of my 3 year old girl for once and that was before my other 2 kids were born.
I continued to get high off the extra good green after becoming a dad because it still brought me pleasure and it helped my brain chill at night when I’d squeeze in a hit away from kids after dinner around 7. I’d love listening to the Grateful Dead, Europe 72 on it or Hair Metal ballads by Warrant, especially while reading new jokes of mine which come alive off the page a bit more on it. Plus, my evening reading performances for my kids in bed were more spontaneous fun for both the kids and me. Reality is though, weed is a poor man’s substitute for the American Hustler search and destroy, kill um all mentality I needed to embody to become a major comedy success in this universe and continued weed use burns out my full throttle flame of creativity before I can take it even higher. I justified my weed use for long because I’d use the weed as a reward for getting a new script or blog done, but that’s a limited way of thinking, especially knowing, how I’m scheduling myself to be less productive the day after I get blazed.
My wife’s worse nightmare was me being stoned at night once she was in labor with our 3 child Samuel Teddy. The birth of Samuel pushed me past my obsession with fulfilling all my self-serving needs. 14 months later I became determined to love myself better and be the healthier, wiser, friskier, funnier Dad provider my family of 5 needed me to be. Now, I’m pushing myself to maximize my time on this earth to make it as a writer on the rise after all. One my 3 kids can be proud of past their adoration of dad because they’re not teenagers in love with anyone else but me yet.
My book Stay At Home Comedian is a love letter about how my 3 kids finally got my act together. It’s a self-improvement story about how my 3 kids inspired me to replace bad habits with good habits. It’s a humor book about parenting, modern fatherhood and controlling my kids through comedy as a stay at home comedian podcast host blogger who works from home It’s a memoir about my unusual artist family and how my kids have made me a better friend, husband, patriot, writer, leader and comedian. Last night, my daughter asks. “Are you getting close to finishing your humor book on fatherhood, Stay At Home Comedian yet daddy? When you start selling copies of it through Amazon Kindle and at Barnes and Noble, I can call you a real artist because real art sells, right Dada?” I say. “I liked it better when you called me a rock star instead. Richard Belzer called all comedians frustrated rock stars at heart.”