Close Encounters with Lickz Strips

Close Encounters with Lickz Strips

by Mik Everett

“Oh, thank God, I'm stoned.” I'm so surprised that I almost say it out loud at 3:30 in the afternoon on a slow Tuesday at my bookstore. Granted, I might be especially paranoid that I almost said it out loud because I'm stoned, but still I'm glad I didn't. That would have earned me some strange looks. More or less than crying in public, I can't say for sure.

            Forty-five seconds ago, a spot near the left of my spine was in excruciating pain, like someone was twisting a knife into my back. Back in Kansas, I was constantly in physical therapy for this pain. Painkillers were out of the question because of liver damage, sedatives and muscle-relaxants left me unable to work, so I went twice a week to what was apparently a massage therapist specializing in psychoanalysis and torture. Physical therapy improved my muscles' ability to hold myself up with less pain, but it didn't eliminate my pain.

            Now I use breath strips. Or, today I did. Sometimes I use Sour Patch Kids. Or tea. Or lollipops. All infused with THC and CBDs, the compounds that reduce inflammation and autoimmune response, among other effects. I just went from crying-in-pain to can't-feel-my-cheeks in 45 seconds. That's the thing about these Lickz. A little unpredictable. I didn't eat the cinnamon-flavored breath strip 45 seconds ago; I let it dissolve on my tongue 20 minutes ago, and I had been waiting for it to kick in ever since. You never know if it's gonna take three minutes to kick in or half an hour. Most the edibles are this way. Or maybe it's my metabolism; or a combination of all factors considered, or that nature isn't an exact science.

            These Lickz are the most discreet I've found so far, though. No one thinks twice of me slipping what they think is a Listerine strip at, say, the in-laws' Thanksgiving celebration. I survived the 3-day holiday extravaganza, chaste twin beds for couples and all; plus I got the most enjoyment out of the turkey and gravy of anyone. Grandma did start to wonder why my sister-in-law kept insisting to me that her breathe was bad, though.

            The same thing applies really well at my day-to-day job as the manager and part-owner of a bookstore (“Hang on, my breath is terrible. Now, what were you saying about construction in our parking lot on Black Friday?”). I can't exactly pull out a Swisher Sweet and roll a blunt in front of Grandma or our more conservative customers (or those with children). Yeah, so edibles aren't perfect. Nothing is. But I'm grateful for discreet edibles because I can use them to keep to doing my job and no one ever suspects that the liberal-arts-degree manager of the alternative indie book store with the Woodstock-font logo is high at work alllllll the fuckin' time.