Doobie-ous Choices

As a thriller writer, I make my living by writing scary scenarios and then finding ways to make them worse.  But, wow, with all the scary stuff going on in the world right now, what have I got left to work with? I hate to say it, but it might be time to cue the zombie invasion.

I’ve done what I can to mitigate my risks of catching or spreading the flu, so that leaves me a couple of ways to deal with my residual anxiety:  1) Cower in my home and obsess over every sniffle; or 2) occupy my mind with childish humour.

Guess which one I chose?

It wasn’t actually a conscious choice — after I finished the draft of Book 15 this week (hooray!), my brain started scrambling signals just for fun.

For instance, I was surprised and not a little disturbed to discover an email in my inbox titled “What to expect from federal prison”.  It’s not reassuring to receive that sort of advice from one’s online brokerage.  Much to my relief, the title turned out to be “What to expect from federal pension”, so I guess I don’t need to look for escape routes just yet.

Only a few days later, flu symptoms must have been on my mind when I read “It’s a spectacular series of snots” on a photography website.  That would be “shots”, not “snots”.  But at least my inner child got a giggle.

And while I was writing the last couple of chapters of Book 15, that same naughty inner child decided that the root word of “dubious” is “doobie”.  Now I’ll never be able to hear, speak, write, or read the word ‘dubious’ without smirking.

With my inner child thus occupied, my outer middle-aged adult began to contemplate how retirement might look if I ever get to the point where it’s something I want and can afford (neither of which seems likely).

“Well-dressed charity board member” would be a laughably bad fit; mostly because my idea of “well-dressed” is a T-shirt without holes in it, and my lifetime allocation of patience for meetings was used up at least a decade ago.

“Pillar of the arts” might work if I had enough money to actually be a pillar; but right now my budget is more “toothpick”.  And I’d probably have to dress up, too; so that’s out.

After considering and discarding a few other possibilities, I’ve finally decided to become the reprehensible old hippie who spends all day in her garden, sits on her front porch smoking the recreational herbs she grows, shouts insults at passersby, and occasionally moons people just for fun.  (Her fun; not theirs.)

Like all good retirement plans, this will require some advance planning:  I’ll have to learn to smoke, acquire some marijuana plants, move to a place where there actually are passersby, and practice my mooning.  I’ve done it by accident a few times, but I suspect the intentional act is trickier than it looks; particularly if one’s balance is impaired by recreational herbs.

So, having settled on these doobie-ous choices for my future, I think I’m ready to relax a bit.  Anybody want to join me on the front porch?  (At a safe six-foot distance, of course.)

Book 15 update:  The draft is DONE!  It’s already been vetted by the first beta reader, and now I’m into my first round of revisions.  Title and release date coming soon!   🙂

56 thoughts on “Doobie-ous Choices

  1. So I’ve already started welding random spikes and stuff to my car. Thinking of having my husband shave my head and looking for my 80’s clothes so I can fit in with the other post-apocalyptic soccer moms. I don’t want to embarrass my kids any more than is unavoidable just by having the ill-grace to actually age.


    • That’s awesome! You’ll be the coolest Mad Max Mom out there. And hey, who’s going to make any cracks about aging to a woman with spikes on her car and shoulder pads big enough to protect an NFL player? Well played… 😉


  2. Congratulations on finishing the draft of book 15 and, wow, you have a fast beta reader! Unless he/she followed along chapter by chapter! You are way too productive! Yep, you’ll never retire. I don’t think you have the patience. But, I liked your train of thought just in case you were to retire! Happy to join you on the porch. I’m getting tired of being uncomfortable! For some reason, I first read your post title as “Delicious Cookies”. 🙂


    • “Delicious Cookies” is perfect! That’s the kind of misread I can wholeheartedly support. (And now I have to go and bake some cookies.) 😉

      I do have a wonderfully fast first beta reader: Hubby. He doesn’t get to see it until it’s completely done, but he doesn’t waste any time once he gets going on it. I’ve been grinding through lots of changes as a result of his suggestions, and I hope to have it out to my next beta within the next few days.

      I can only imagine how you’re faring in your van these days — I hope you’re finding safe and comfortable places to camp, and staying healthy!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a delight to come for a visit and have a good laugh. We need more of that these days so you keep it going girlfriend. If you need some dubious assistance well just do what ever it takes.


    • I’m glad you got a laugh! I wrote this one chemical-free — they seem to turn out better that way. I’ve written a few things while under the influence in the past, and it makes for a LOT of editing when I sober up the next morning. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So… a word you’ll never read/hear the same again. Years ago, while at a family get-together at a small-town local restaurant, old friends were stopping by our table to chat with those family members not often seen in town.

    A friend & her 8 year old daughter stopped to chat. Our sister-in-law asked the girl if she knew her nephew, about the same age. The girl, quite an avid reader, and quite precocious said “Yes, vaguely.” Only having READ the word, but sure of the meaning… she pronounced it vaJ-u-all-y. Dead silence for several seconds. Then strangled, laughter and snickering around our table.

    We left her mom to explain later. I’ve never read or heard the word ‘Vaguely’ without snickering since. And the “girl ” is now 30.

    Oh, being Canadian I was somewhat amused at an item of Covid related news yesterday…that warnings of liquor store and Pot store closings were causing line-ups and crowds of people stocking up for quarantine. Meanwhile the US news mentioned people lined up for guns & ammo. As things get worse Perhaps we in Canada will at least stay moderately anaesthetized and calm. Any tomato wine left Diane?
    Hope you (and everyone) stay well.


    • Thanks, Maggie — I hope you and yours stay well, too.

      Maybe all the guns and ammo are just to protect everyone’s emergency stockpile of toilet paper. I prefer the idea of riding out quarantine in a happy chemically-induced haze. But I seem to recall overhearing that the pot stores were actually considered “essential services”. I wonder if that’s true, or just somebody’s hopeful fantasy? 😉

      And OMG!!! I’ll never read the word ‘vaguely’ with a straight face again. I’m still laughing! 😀


      • The news today says that home delivery of Pot will be shut down because Canada Post will not be delivering packages that require signatures on delivery…Bummer!
        But the stores are still open here in Alberta. You started me thinking about what services should be absolutely essential. My mind is pinging around like a super-ball being chased by a cat.

        I’m going to bundle up against the – 13 C and go sit in the sun on the back patio for a while.
        Alone. Quiet. Snow piled around. There are birds at the feeder. They’re social distancing. I’ll take a home-brewed coffee. Not quite as lovely as Florida or even Vancouver Island, but it’s what I’ve got!


        • It sounds lovely, if a little nippy! I used to like sitting outside in the winter when I lived in Calgary, too — the fresh air felt good when I was bundled up and had a hot beverage in hand. Enjoy! 🙂


  5. Happily retired in Florida! You go to your porch and I’ll go to mine, we can be ‘together’ with our hippie dresses. I love to read the malaprops and puns! I’m also getting a real education from you all. I originally thought hippie meant ‘wide in the hip’ so I think I may have always been one. Can’t wait to read #15! Title?


    • Oh, you’ve got a lovely place to ride out the virus storm! And it’s funny you should mention the alternate definition, because ‘wide in the hip’ is what ‘hippy’ used to mean to me, too. I’ve since googled it, and apparently both spellings (‘hippy’ and ‘hippie’) are considered acceptable use to describe flower children. So it’s theoretically possible to be a hippy hippie… 😉

      No title for Book 15 yet, but I hope to have one sometime in the next week or two!


  6. Me! I want to join you on your front porch! Six feet is fine with me. All is well here, except for the scrapping rodents of course. Sick of Manitoba winter which is where your porch cones in! Take care and stay well you guys!!


    • Thanks — you, too! I was talking to my niece in Medicine Hat today, and I keep forgetting that it’s still winter out there. We’re enjoying beautiful flowers in bloom already, so the front porch is a wonderful place to be. I’ll save you a (virtual) spot. 🙂

      I hope you can keep those scrappy rodents under control!


  7. You misread in just the best way.
    Your location should make it simple to keep away from the outside world for now. Likely when you retire, the population will have expanded to the point you will have passers-by. Or you will have survived the apocalypse, one or the other. Stay safe.


    • Thanks! We’re lying low out here mdash; this has to be the beautiful place in the world to self-isolate. My only concern is that if the virus hits hard here, our area has a similar demographic to Italy. There are a lot of elderly people at risk, so I’m hoping they’re taking the whole thing seriously.

      And my misreads usually give me a chuckle, but that ‘federal prison’ thing was a bit scary! 😉


  8. I have always thought worthy women (ones I like – you qualify) would be part of the”When I am an old woman I shall wear purpleWith a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.” set.Your latest doobie-ous post has re-inforced this idea. Welcome to the club.CatSent from Samsung Mobile on O2


  9. Here’s how innocent I am: it wasn’t until reading the comments that I realized what you meant by “doobie”. I thought you were referring to the old “do be a doobie; don’t be a don’tbe” meaning “be good”. I have no idea what that’s from, if it’s the cub scouts or a children’s TV program or what . . . learned it from my husband decades ago and haven’t had occasion to refresh my mind on that point since 🙂

    ANYWAY. I’ll come join you on the porch, too. Wouldn’t miss it for the world!

    Stay well, you and hubby, eh?


    • Gee, now I feel kinda bad for corrupting an innocent. I still remember the shock I felt back in the 80s when I realized The Doobie Brothers were named after marijuana cigarettes. Up until then, I’d been listening to much earlier music where “doobie-doobie-do” was just a nonsense lyric.

      It sounds like we’ll have a happy crowd on our front porch! I must start making some snacks and chilling some beverages. And laying out masks and hand sanitizer… 😉 I hope you and yours stay well, too!


  10. You might need to get a porch extension.
    Count me in. Several times.
    I currently (still) have a cough and a residual level of snottiness. Travelling into town last week (an unavoidable trip) I coughed on the bus. And immediately got the whole seat to myself. Definitely a silver lining.
    As a confirmed introvert the keeping your distance suits me just fine. I will garden. I will read. I will think about cleaning. And I will go back to the first two parts of my plan. Neither of which require socialising OR dressing up. Or meetings. Shudder.


    • Introverts of the world, unite! (Virtually. From the comfort and privacy of our own internet connections. And only when we feel like it.)

      I have to admit I’ve heaved a sigh of blissful relief at being able to cancel everything. No appointments, and no more guilt over how I should be returning the social invitations I’ve received. I do enjoy the company of others; but it can get stressful trying to find time for them when I don’t even have time for myself. And now… I do. Ahhhh!


  11. In my experience Canadians are so nice they probably DO tell their criminals what to expect in prison with other tips like, “bring an extra toothbrush and a pair of comfy slippers.” It’s all in the brochure.
    And well-dressed member. My mind went completely south on that one thinking about a particular appendage sometimes referred to as a “member”. Well-dressed? Sometimes it has a cute little raincoat on.
    Now see what you’ve done to my mind?


    • LOL! You and I are completely attuned. The instant I read the word “member”, my mind went… there. Raincoat and all. 😀

      And I have to admit that just for the hell of it, I googled “What to expect from federal prison”. There are a plethora of resources out there, including a company called “Prison Professors”, who offer a series of courses and resources on how to navigate prison. I read the whole thing in rapt horror. I’ve been law-abiding all my life, and that just sealed the deal — I’m NEVER going to do anything that might make me have to even be in the vicinity of prison. Brrrr!


  12. Important safety tip: One does not need to “smoke” when there are edibles. 😉 I’m surprised someone hasn’t named their edible gummies as “Doobie Bears.” There is also a way to make cannabutter–basically, cannabis-infused butter. And there are plenty of other creative ways to make use of the buds. Rather than sitting on your porch under a haze of smoke, a plate of cannabutter-infused brownies might do the trick. (The pot cookies were a running joke in that CBC series I told you about a few months back–“Crawford.” Were you ever able to find that anywhere?)

    Having said all that, I still haven’t gotten up the nerve to actually set foot in one of those stores! The only real interest I have at the moment is not edibles…but “pot stocks” for my retirement funds. (Many of them are Canadian companies, and some of the smaller companies seem to have a good upside.) And the occasional Doobie Brothers album. We are legal here in the Mitten State, but that is only a recent development. I thought about buying some “party favors” on my last trip through Colorado, but with their neighboring states being a bit hostile towards recreationals, with my luck I would get caught smuggling them home.

    Your reading slip-ups still are a source of amusement. Federal prison. 🤣 Surprisingly or not, my reading comprehension has taken a similar turn for the worse over the past couple of years. I’m blaming it on my eyeglass prescription. Yeah, that’s it.

    Honest question though: Do you find you make similar or odd mistakes while typing? I don’t know if it’s my concentration, onset of dyslexia, or sloppy typing, but I’ve found myself making a lot of errors that I’ve never made in the past. Spelling errors are still rare, but I’ve caught myself typing any variation of to/two/too, for instance, or putting a completely wrong (but similarly spelled) word in its place. I just want to think it’s the passage of time catching up to me, vs. having anything seriously wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m going with “passage of time”, because I do the same thing. My theory is that our brains keep filling up with knowledge over our lifetimes and eventually something’s gotta give. As long as I still recognize my ‘oops’es, I’m going to hope it’s all normal. And on the upside, sometimes I get a good laugh out of my typos when they’re close enough to be in context but not at all what I’d intended!

      I’ve never tried cannabis, either, so this would be new ground for me. I like the idea of “edibles”, but apparently they stay in your system quite a bit longer than the inhaled version. A nice buzz sounds good, but if it’s still in my system 12 hours later, that could get inconvenient. Or not. After all, I’d be retired… hmmm.

      I’ve eyed those pot stocks a few times myself, but I missed the big upswing just before it was legalized and now they seem pretty volatile. Appropriately enough, I guess, for a product that tends to go up in smoke. 😉


      • Agreed, those canna-stocks are volatile. The bigger players (Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis, etc.) have been more volatile than some of the smaller companies, largely because the bigger companies were doing a lot of acquisitions, or being invested in by others (like Canopy Growth and Constellation Brands). The only one I’ve had so far is Organigram. (It has been rocked by the volatility as well, but not as much as the others.)

        I haven’t been subject to the recreational buzz myself, although it was a big deal in high school. And at that point, it was the “smoking” aspect that kept me away from it. Where I really see it of value is for medical treatment. I keep thinking back to how much my mother suffered from her bouts with cancer, and the treatments that followed. If anything could have eased the suffering, she would have taken it. I figure the Native Americans have used it for centuries (or longer) for similar purposes, and it is a natural product. Why deny this to those who can reduce their pain and suffering by using it in some shape or form?

        As for it staying in the system for a long time, via an edible…yes, that might be inconvenient, yet my cheapskate side says that is providing excellent value for the dollar. 😁 Sometimes, I wonder if just a nibble of an edible might be enough to calm the nerves. I was even thinking of trying some when I got so sick in Colorado back in 2018. Yet it would have been awkward to explain to my kiddo why her dad is walking around with red eyes and devouring any bag of salty snacks in sight!

        I normally don’t get published for anything I write, but I am thankful in that the next piece being published online had an excellent editor clean up a few minor errors for me, with my approval of course. So if any of my grammatical slip-ups make it past my keyboard, at least I have my safety net to catch them for me! On my own, though? Reader beware…


        • LOL! Yes, my beta readers and proofreaders are a VERY important part of my team.

          That’s right, I’d forgotten about the “munchies” aspect. This could be a problem. I have the munchies more or less constantly anyway, so pot could create a monster! As far as the medicinal effects go, I’m absolutely in agreement with you — my mother went through gruelling and ultimately unsuccessful chemotherapy treatments in the 80s, and anything that could have eased her suffering would have been a blessing.

          OGI is the one that I’ve almost bought a few times, but chickened out in the end. Maybe someday… when my inhibitions are down due to some herbal treatments. 😉


  13. Glad to hear you’re surviving.

    I made it out if Spain in one bit, my family and friends are safe and well. Just wish I could get my parents home but for now they are stuck in Spain.

    Sorry to moan on on your blog but I’m just happy to be safe xx


      • Pleased to see others are also plaqued by situational dyslexia but you get funnier results than my eyes offer me.
        The current covid-19 as viewed through senior eyes has yielded me two pleasures-one writer referred to the pandemic as “boomer remover” – perhaps what the overlooked generation x-ers etc have been praying for years!
        The second was a handy hint for weathering social distancing-just whip yourself up a “Quarantini” – a martini in generous proportions drank from a mason jar.
        Have drank from several mason jars in my life-generally at weddings in eastern and northern Sk. Though the contents were far from being as genteel as a martini.
        Maybe some of our experiences of life in the 60’s just make us immune to common hazards-a doobious conclusion I am certain.



        • That’s a cheerful thought — if you made it through the haze of the 60s, you can survive anything. It does explain a few things about some of the bands from ‘back then’ that are still touring with original members.

          And a Quarantini sounds like a fine idea! I’ve heard people are beginning to hoard booze; but at least that makes more sense to me than hoarding toilet paper! 😉


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