What We Can All Learn from One Cat-Hating Midwestern Dad’s Pot Brownie Misadventure


Article published by Vice.com
Written by Harry Cheadle
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Featured photo via Flickr user jeffreyw

Breaking news from Nebraska, via the Omaha World-Herald:

“Omaha police officers were called to a house near 90th and Maple Streets about 9:45 PM Tuesday to investigate an accidental overdose. They learned that a 53-year-old man had been unloading groceries and found some brownies in the backseat of a car that his adult children had used earlier in the day.

The man ate four of the brownies.”

The rule journalists are taught to follow is to report the unusual, the important, the world-shifting. Newspapers are therefore filled with exceptional moments: earthquakes, war, elections, controversies, arguments, crises. Even the death and marriage announcements represent important life events. The stuff of minute-by-minute existence, the ho-hum moments that make up daily life, are usually left to novelists and the earliest, greatest period of The Onion.

But here the mundane is leaking into the news via what should go down as a hall-of-fame level police blotter item. There’s a bit of foreshadowing in the first sentence, but to start with this is an entirely normal event in the life of a 53-year-old man. Wait, why eat some brownies that obviously weren’t his that he found in his car? you ask. Well, I’ll tell you:

  1. Brownies, even subpar brownies, are tasty desserts.
  2. They were there.
  3. What are this man’s “adult children” going to do? Ask where the brownies went? He’ll just lie and say “What brownies?” or own up to eating them, depending on what kind of Midwestern Dad he is. He raised them! They owe him more than four brownies.
  4. If you eat food you find in your car you don’t have to tell your wife and therefore don’t have to have that cholesterol/weight conversation. Sometimes, hurriedly and secretively stuffing four brownies into your mouth in the backseat of your car is the best part of your day, and that’s OK.

“The man’s wife told police that as she and her husband were watching TV, he noted that he was getting ‘bad anxiety.’ She tried to call their children to ask them what was in the brownies but couldn’t reach them.”

Let me just say, shame on these adult children! You’re not a teenager, pick up the phone when your mom calls! Even if you’re with your friends, it’s totally fine to answer a call from your parents, and if they make fun of you for that, well, they’re not such good friends, are they? Also, if one of you doesn’t know where your pot brownies are, you’re probably pretty sure what this call is going to be about, right?

“As police were at the house, one of the couple’s sons arrived and told officers the brownies belonged to his siblings. He told them he was ‘pretty sure it was just marijuana in the brownies,’ according to a police report.”

It’s sometimes hard to string together a proper narrative from police reports, which are notoriously short on details, but here’s what I think happened:

  1. The mom, unable to contact any of the kids, called the cops, a very Midwestern Mom thing to do.
  2. The adult son who owned the brownies saw his mom’s call and, in the way that the brains of adult children sometimes perform enormous leaps of logic in times of crisis, realized exactly what had happened.
  3. He then rushed home, found the cops there—Oh shit, his brain, operating at normal speed no doubt thought, the cops—and was asked about the brownies.
  4. Playing it “cool,” in the manner of many adult children caught in a bad spot, he blamed his siblings, and, not wanting to appear too knowledgeable about the brownies, pleaded ignorance. Meanwhile, he had to watch this happen:

“Paramedics called to the scene who checked the man found his vital signs to be normal. But they noted he was displaying odd behavior—crawling around on the floor, randomly using profanities and calling the family cat ‘a bitch.'”

So, to understand this situation: Here are the cops writing their report, there are the paramedics ready to intervene, over there is the adult son and the Midwestern Mom having the kind of awkward conversation family members have when someone has done the inexplicable, and in the middle of all that, the Midwestern Dad is crawling around, cursing, and telling the cat, finally, what he really thinks of it.

Now, taking so many drugs that you are literally on the floor having full-blown arguments with the nearest animal/plant/couch cushion can be a worthwhile, invigorating experience. I’m going to guess, though, that Midwestern Dad did not have a good time because by the time you’re 53 years old you’re pretty dang comfortable with your inhibitions. It’s inconvenient, not to mention a bit shameful, to have them torn down unexpectedly and discover that what you really want to do, after a batch of drugs your shady adult children bought reduces you to your basest impulses, is call the cat a bitch.

Also I bet the cops were laughing a lot at this part. Having cops laugh at you is a literal Midwestern Dad nightmare.

“The man told paramedics he felt like ‘”he’s trippin.”‘”

I mean, yeah, no shit.

“The paramedics helped the man to his bedroom and he got into bed. The man and his wife were told to call 911 again if his situation worsened.”

Let’s end by applauding everyone involved in this. The man freaked out but apparently kept his shit together well enough to recognize that he was tripping and didn’t get violent or say anything to make his wife sad. The wife called all the appropriate authorities, who responded appropriately. The man wasn’t cuffed or arrested, everyone recognized he didn’t need further help, and the whole thing died down. The cat was probably fine.

The only villain here, obviously, is the adult child whose drugs turned their adult parents’ normal evening at home watching a DVR’d Dancing with the Stars episodes or whatever into a Withnail and I outtake. They should feel bad, and I hope they do.


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