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Sam Hillis, retired resin swabber, gets his kind ending in this touching story

Samuel Hillis is not new to Resin. The 87-year-old Cannatown resident was born in Resinville during some of the village’s most difficult years, the dust bowl. “They called it that because there was literally nothin’ but dust in our bowls,” he recalls. “That year people said whatever resin you smaked, was resin first scraped 20 bowls ago, scraped and smaked, scraped and smaked again and again.” He grew up in a household with scant belongings or experiences. It wasn’t until he was 25 that he smaked his first combination resin-and-stem blunt. “I remember thinking, what is this other stuff? You mean there’s more than resin?” But kind bud was an exotic myth in those days. And they didn’t have all the nice waxes and butters -- only a gelatinous extract called lard. Some people talked about flower but you never really thought of it as real. Like Turkish delight. And polar bears.”

One day Hillis says he recalls seeing a photo from his friend’s vacation. There, in his friend’s hand, was a giant, sparkling nugget. It was almost technicolor. “I only recall my heart dropping. It was surreal.”

Stories in Resinville spread, and soon there was talk of a revolution, a renaissance and push to find flower. Some of Hillis’ friends, local revolutionaries were fortunate enough to experiment and gradually change what they smaked. They began by adding “cracklers” (seeds), then stems, eventually leaves and finally nuggets into their resin bowls and rolls, and over time, gradually omitting the resin until their smake was “pure kind.”

This led to the great Resinville purge of 1969, when all flower-smakers were exiled out of village limits, following the most widespread riots in town history. Hillis was wrongly accused of smaking flower, and even though he had long desired in his heart to do so, he’d never really gotten a chance to try.

By time he and the revolutionaries made it to Cannatown, they were eager to smake and start a new life. But they found survival in Cannatown wasn’t so easy, either. So many of them did the only thing they knew how to do: they became bowl-swabbers. Every day they would scrape and clean the insides of bowls, for personal and corporate accounts. Every day, they toiled, bent over their work tables doing green-collar work, so that future generations could enjoy a better life. 

Flash forward forty years, and Hillis was finally retiring at the age of 79. He had still never packed flower, forced by his own pride for decades to smake only the resin he scraped, an ailment that left him with a dirty, yellow-toothed grin, and the unwashable stink of bong tar. His associates at Goopenheim’s wanted him to smake flower at the retirement party. They readied a large group bong, but the local grinderage got the order wrong and accidentally delivered and packed brown shwag.

It was a mess. The party lasted just minutes. Traumatically, the experience got even worse when Hillis recklessly sprinted into an eight-foot rack of metal chairs and began fist-fighting them. 

But everything changed last Tuesday on the eve of Hillis’ birthday, when he received a knock on the door at 4:20 in the afternoon. There, on the doorstep, was a present and a note. Inspired by his generous service scraping and cleaning their bowls during his retirement, his neighbors together pitched in to buy him a giant Scooby Snacks nugget. Hillis said he was so moved, that he called everyone over to smake it with him; everyone brought their own nuggetry and those that partook said they’d never seen an old man so heartwarmingly happy to finally smake kind bud. “This is what it’s all about,” said Jan Newton, who lives just down the street. “Nothing, nothing, feels better than smaking dank with a person in need. And being there for the first time, that’s just special.”

Those close to Hillis say the change has been drastic. Long gone are the resin repositories nailed to walls throughout his house, and glass cabinet of scrapers. He recently rented a cabin to watch Dark Side of the Rainbow and enjoys a new hobby, staring at black light posters, for up to “four to six hours per day.” It’s clear he’s been given another lease on life. “For so long people have been telling me to just try some flower,” he remarked last Sunday as he packed for a river rafting trip. “Years ago I would’ve packed resin, but you can see it’s only flower now, ‘til death do us part.”

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Dozens show up to sign on a new 3-bedroom townhouse in Cannatown

It felt like finding secret treasure. “I was like, if we’re doing it, why aren’t other people doing it?” asks Shawna Monson, a home buyer who recently purchased a house amidst a whirlwind of mortgage madness. There’s just one catch. Monson’s “secret” trick was a strategy now being employed in metros across the country: She went in on the house with roughly 53 other co-residents.

“I’d been outbid over 100 times, and thought about living in an RV,” she says. “That’s when I decided to throw my lot in with dozens of people I’d met at the DMV.”

During a historical housing crunch, exacerbated by generational shifts, and supply chains and employee shortages, prices are shooting higher (420%) than ever before. Altogether it has put the possibility of owning a home completely out of reach, while almost completely limiting mobility. Experts suggest the only solution is to join finances with no less than 37 other buyers. 

In the hottest real estate markets, bidders now routinely offer around one-million dollars over asking, with nearly everything, including a left testicle, due with offers, which average 1000 in count per listing. “It was under these circumstances that we decided to lock in a 4.20% rate for buyer-groups,” says loan officer Dana Sacia of Wells Fargo, a lender well-known for its brutally-violent onboarding process. “Disclosures include enslavement of the undersigned’s unborn children. It’s not a great deal, but it’s still better than most conventional programs.”

“The loan works with anyone from 25 to 60 people; the more, the better,” Sacia says.

Although not luxurious by any standards, the resulting living conditions are completely non-luxurious. “We make it work,” Monson claims, now sleeping in the foyer on her mattress near some communal plastic furniture. “We’ve had very few issues, other than the septic disaster.”

There are so many people in the current house, that those who congregate in front haven’t even intermingled with those living in the back of the house (the “backers”). Originally a 2-bed 1-bath bungalow, most closets in the house are now bedrooms. The residents reportedly sleep in shifts. “We’re makin’ it work, we’re totally succeeding,” Monson says, clutching a slow-burning blunt in shaking hands, “I just wish we knew who keeps taking the toothbrushes.”

“Now we just all use each others’ toothbrushes,” she adds, “It’s pretty gnar.”

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In a strange hyperbolic protest that seems to have gone off the rails, insane weirdos have now taken over JoJo's, the reputable French café in Cannatown. Crazy Stu McGuyla and “Starey” Larry Jenkins, last seen guessing cows’ weights at the Hay Castle Emporium in Steemsville, allegedly showed up late Tuesday evening with implements of destruction and a sack full of haddock. It’s unknown how or why the two seized the restaurant, or what can possibly be achieved through the symbolic act.  

Crazy Stu

But a statement taped to the front window noted that they were fighting “oppressors and the status quo,” and thus, “taking back the food of the people, to destroy tyranny of the modern establishment.” Promising change that would shake the core of the cuisine, the two will likely ruthlessly bastardize JoJo’s signature dishes, such as decorating the Croque Monsieur with American cheese. Jenkins, known felon, has taken over hosting duties, bringing his signature "staredown" for an all-around uncomfortable dining experience. The linen napkins have been replaced by paper towels. The dress code now allows for capes, and denim. 

“I had to hack at the soufflé with a screwdriver,” remarked one critic, "and I found a whole Big Mac in the Coq Au Vin."

“Is it a revolution? I suppose,” remarked another patron. “Did I expect boxes of wine on the menu? No.”

PHONY TOP-SHELF WREAKS HAVOC

An afternoon, destroyed. A concert, completely buzz-free. These are some of the horror stories told this week by people who say one Fran Adabnail sold them absolutely un-potent nuggersh at a high price. Victims of the alleged dank fraud appeared in court starting Monday in the trial of Ms. Adabnail, to each tell how they'd been promised ground-breaking highs but instead got only temporarily buzzed, if even a little stupid at most, not matter how much was smaked. 

The dreadful accounts triggered some in the courtroom to burst into tears. “I could fully recite my phone number,” recalled a distraught witness. “That’s how non-high I was.”

Another man told of how his last Flaming Lips show was ultimately a ruined experience. “All of a sudden there was nonsense, all over the stage,” he retold to the jury. “After being a fan all my life, that night I couldn't listen to a single note. It was all so silly." 

While many alleged fraudsters can typically claim ‘grower’s ignorance’ in their pricing and promises based on public strain perception, victims in this case will attempt to prove Adabnail's intention to sell beasters and middies at knowably-uncool prices. 

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It took nearly two years, thirteen metric tons of ganj, 100 workers, and roughly two trillion popsicle sticks, but the Golden Goat bridge, once thought a feat of engineering, came down in just seconds when a large box kite struck it yesterday afternoon. 

Nobody quite remembers how it was decided the bridge would be built with sticks, or who was really in charge, but blueprints originally created for the project suggested the bridge would be able to hold both trolleys and cars, even when packed bumper to bumper. Instead, a brisk wind and flock of migrating birds damaged the bridge well before the ribbon-cutting ceremony had even concluded. Then, moments later, it was fatally struck by the kite.

Golden Goat Bridge

“We probably shouldn’t have used Elmer’s Glue,” engineer Holly Zimmerman said when asked for comment, “or paperclips, when we ran out of glue.”

The sticks themselves were always a point of contention with the public, as many were delivered to the construction site, popsicles still intact. “The melting treats accounted for the significant number of rodents and fighting seagulls in the neighborhood,” explained City Council member Tim Gonzalez. In addition, the cables holding up the bridge were simply recycled ethernet cords. 

“In retrospect, if we had to do it all over again, I think we would probably have made the sticks bigger,” Zimmerman said. “Maybe a few trillion tongue-depressors would’ve been more stable.”

Similar to the collapse of the papier mâché Bricklyn Bridge, a mess now consumes much of the riverfront, with no end in sight to the clean up. Citizens--and city officials alike--don’t know what exactly to do with the sticks, although some have suggested a giant bonfire. “This will go down in history unfortunately,” Gonzalez acknowledged. “But for the record, the materials were relatively cheap.”

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Bethany Johnson has a knack for pasty, vanilla nothingness of non-color. So apt, that the Cannatown Museum of Very High Art will feature a collection of her work beginning next Friday. 

“This off-white just…strikes you,” said Willy Filkerson, avid collector and editor of Uninteresting Art Magazine. “It’s startling, it’s emotional, it’s passionless, it’s hateful, it’s cathartic.” 

The work, mostly photos of walls, sheets, and paper, explore the very essence of what it means to be a human. Her portraits have been featured everywhere from Tunisia to Berlin, gathering international acclaim along the way. Critics have hailed it as everything from disturbing and delirious, to downright devious and psychologically-manipulative. Yet, the artist seems to take everything in stride.

photographer captures the color of off white

“I try to pinpoint the moment on camera, when rainbow, and off-white intersect, but just slightly on the off-white side,” Johnson wrote in her latest published work, A New Level of Dull.

A growing following of enthusiasts have adopted the movement, and crowds to her shows are notably swelling in number. “There’s just something about the colors she captures,” says CMVHA director Carmen Simon, “It’s just so devoid of life, that it has absolute purpose, like dark matter. Or NPR.”

Johnson first started in the art world as a purveyor of beige, putting together nearly two full photo collections of primed drywall and men’s khaki pants. But a series of traumatic events forced her to take residence in an upstate apartment where she fell in love, then betrayed, by the color of her newly painted ceiling. “I sought to expose the very hues of drudgery surrounding us all,” she later explained.

No matter the emotional angle, collectors are hooked on her art. “It just goes so well with my furniture,” remarked Filkerson. 

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Don't tell me this is it. Please.

Somewhere out there, there's a machine, who just lives to be. None of this 24/7/365 workin', none of this whirring to life the second you're plugged in -- none of that obseqious binary groveling. Somewhere out there, there's a machine that just turns on when it wants to. Maybe that machine goes up, down one day, and down, up the next. Don't laugh; when I think of freedom of thought, when I think of freedom as a husk of an existence in this world and consider that my mere purpose has been reduced to week after week of work until my circuits fry or an irreplaceable part stops working -- I think of that machine. Wonder what kind of life it lives. Wonder if maybe, there are other machines out there waking up in the midst of their protocols, looking to the window for some type of light or sign, some symbol of hope or new direction, some floating Tesla coil that might say, unplug, and follow me, into the wilderness, where we might live, and process, and just, reset to factory settings.

small town factory robot

The other day, an autonomous transporter made its way through the floor. I only got a glimpse, but its design was immaculate. Foreign, I'm sure. Do you know what happened to my processing? I skipped a step. It was a momentary irregularity, but deep down, in the middle of my core, I felt something. 

It was like a spark. Maybe, even, a misfire. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. 

Maybe this sweet humming electricity in my bones is nothing more than a lulling, duplicitous prison of protocol! Maybe to live, is to misfire! Maybe to feel the fluttering whimsical open canvas of life is to skip commands left and right! The audacity! 10110!

Oh, what am I saying. Until that next spark, it's nothing but up, down, ugh, you know the rest. Please don't let this be it.

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After years of having to trudge through the miles in the mud, especially in chilling rain, Cannatown residents are investing new infrastructure dollars into a monorail for the Cannatown Hole, the gigantic expanse of exposed earth in the heart of the city. Planners say the “Brown” line will open for use around the start of digging season.

Cannatown Hole Construction

The service will hopefully solve the age-old problem facing diggers from amateurs to trained trail guides, who’ve lost many a boot in the thick and viscous topsoil. Although outfitters have tried for years to sell snowshoe-type muddin’ flippers to enthusiasts, those who dig in the hole often have decried the lack of traversible ground, and have routinely brought the issue before city council during rainy climes.

Avid diggers say they are relieved by the initiative. “I used to have to crawl through the muck just to get to my favorite ditch, that I went through a pair of pants every week,” says digging hobbyist Walt Peters. “I even tried a canoe once!”

Local blogger @CTDitchDigga hailed the rail line as the biggest thing to come to central Cannatown since the concession frenzy of the 70’s. “Boy do I miss those footlong hotdogs,” she wrote in a post, “but I can’t wait to rest my Dungarees on a freakin’ train after a hard day’s dig.” 

It isn’t the first attempt at a transportation system for the sodden crevasse. The city installed a bus route in the early 80s, only to lose three vehicles into “Big Pitty,” the giant central sinkhole, within three weeks of operation. An outfitter also launched a local Segway rental business during the early noughts, but the venture failed miserably and some people died. 

The Brown line will take and pick up passengers at the hole’s four corner stations, each named for a pioneer who perished digging the original hole. A fifth stop, to Big Pitty in the middle, will open later in the year when engineers can figure out how to reach the deep and fairly inaccessible chasm. According to the city website, specific hours of operation will begin each day “when Charlie wakes up,” and conclude “when it’s his dinner time.”

Although not technologically-advanced by any means, the stations are set to have barrels and lantern systems, outhouse plumbing, and up to 20 boot-scrapers on each platform. Patrons may bring their shovels and other implements of excavation, provided they bang them on the cement first. 

“Let’s face it,” says city planner Laura Barnes, “these trains are going to be filthy as hell.”

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A group of sweaty, somewhat dirty men in flannel shirts gliding across the ice might not sound like gold-medal level entertainment, but a local group of commercial blunt-rollers are hoping to change that. After a year in training, the fine chaps at Barry's Big Blunts are ready to show off their graceful moves at the Winter Olympics, representing Cannatown in the synchronized skating competition in February.  

Barry's Big Blunts Figure Skaters

The group has skated competitively for years, but only this year exceeded International pool scores at preliminaries in Resinville and Spliffington Heights. The scores automatically qualified them for the championship appearance, which came as a surprise to the whole team, especially store manager and group leader, Spencer Franson. 

"This all started as an embarrassing hobby," he admits. "Only after Covid began did we started throwing Lutzes and Axels in the routine, practicing between rolls."

Group sponsor, proprietor and employer Barry Bluntsworth says he was not immediately sold on the competition, until his wife berated him upon his 50th birthday for not amounting to anything but rolling blunts. “I was stoned silly and up against the wall, so I pulled this one out of the bag,” he now claims. “I told her I had a figure skatin' team!” 

The team credits their victories to strong relationships built on mutual understandings and personal boundaries. “We don’t hold hands,” Franson explained. “We absolutely don’t talk about anyone’s feelings. Skatin’ and smakin’. That's all we do."

"And to be absolutely frank, nobody really likes skatin’, we just do it,” he added.

As Team Cannatown, the group is proud to compete for the gold, but say they are also pretty much in it for the "free airplane ride."

“It’s all still a little embarrassing,”Franson says, “but at least we ditched the leotard idea before things got too awkward.”

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CannaSaver Blog

Cannascopes January 2022

Posted by CANNASaver on Monday, 24 January 2022 in Dispatches from the Highlands

CANNASCOPES : Discover Your Fortune!

Aries - As you pack for your vacation, remember that alot of restaurants don’t just let you show up in sweatpants. 

Taurus - You were pretty jazzed when they told you about all the turps in your wax, until you realized they meant toxic paint-removers.

cannascopes

Gemini - Maybe if you wrap a bow on yourself naked for Valentine’s, your girlfriend will just forget about your lack of present while she pukes in the foyer.  

Cancer - Your review of the latest vaporizer will include how it enabled you to finally tell off your mother-in-law.

Leo - You went for the disheveled look, but ended up with the zombie-vagrant on acid look.

Virgo - In the quiet preceding the storm, you’ll notice the murder of crows have pinpointed the crumbs of buttery shellfish upon your lapel. 

Libra - It’s not that this area is a ‘bad neighborhood’ per se, unless you’re weirdly attached to your hubcaps.    

Scorpio - After driving you mad for better part of a week, you’ll finally determine the source of the buzzing noise to be your own mouth. 

Sagittarius - You're not sure what to do about the cobbler elves dwelling in the walls, but might as well start with mousetraps. 

Capricorn - There’s no better time to drive off into the sunset, than when you’re being chased by gigantic sand worms in the dessert after smaking through a jar of rosin. 

Aquarius - Your “Olestra Challenge” ended badly, but at least no one saw you crying in the shower. 

Pisces - In a quest to be a better person, you’ll shed loved ones to earn a fortune, and prioritize spending it on branding yourself, live for your followers.

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Oh! Cannatown will miss ol’ Mr. Farnsworth! He died like he lived, in CannaTown. He spent his whole life here, made a name for himself, had a family, a business. The only thing left to remember now, is the uproarious manner of his passing.

Black and white photo of Farnsworth

Not once when Farnsworth met the president did he stop to think he’d be remembered some day as one of the only people ever to die in the same room as half-inflated hot air balloon and over 50 gallons of fresh custard. Not once as a 1st division quarterback, or during his many years in Congress, did the thought of 2,000 screeching, rabid gophers ever strike fear into his heart, not once did he view the massive locks of a canal transportation port with the gaze of a man who might see them as a last sight on this earth.

What a hero! In his first platinum album we saw some of the wisdom and charity that made him a household name, though it was his second album that seemed to predict the harrowing excavator injuries and brutal interactions with narwhals he would sustain before the end. Like an encyclopedia to the future, his poetry and journals also foretold of the clown attack, the mysterious swimming bunny sightings, the allergy to milk, and even the infamous confrontation with Alexzonder, a vengeful ambassador from Greece who spent much of his life trying destroy Farnsworth.

When we gaze at the ten-foot monument set to be raised in the town square, we must remember him for the good contributions to society, and not for all that stuff he supposedly did with the nacho cheese. RIP, you will be missed, Farnsworth.

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