Clean living with Gram

We begin with a picture of the vivacious April O’Neil as Counselor Troi on the set of the recent “Star Trek: The Next Generation” parody. She is holding a bong and is fully licensed in the State of California to smoke whatever is inside it. Her consumption of marijuana in no way affects the horrible/wonderful things I and America would like to do with her.

Though marijuana is as much a part of the California lifestyle as drivebys and Disneyland, it is not for me.

The following is a 420-friendly reprint of a personal journey I first documented in February, 2009, the last time, I now realize, I accepted marijuana into my body after drinking. I haven’t consumed marijuana since then; not because I disapprove, but because I can’t mix marijuana and alcohol and I prefer the latter.

It is also a story of public transportation.

Finally, it is proof of communication from beyond the grave, as one of the commenters on the original story is now dead, yet his words still appear in digital form. How weird is that?

Clean Living with Gram

As you well know, I am able to consume, process, and enjoy mass quantities of alcohol. With each glass, snifter, flagon, tankard, skin, or sadder-but-wiser stripper’s navel-full I become more charming and witty. In fact, I’m drunk now.

But if Mary Carey’s appearance on “Sober House” has taught me anything, it is that only by admitting my vices but not doing anything else about them can I truly hope to profit in a basic cable world.

Still, I will never drink and use marijuana simultaneously again.

Last week I attended the XBiz Conference in Woodland Hills, which is on the far west side of Porn Valley. I live on the far east side but, as I am capable of operating a motor vehicle, getting there was no problem.

I spent a fun-filled day going to a speed-networking session, eating lunch, connecting with old and new friends, and attending seminars that were just as informative as the last adult industry seminars I attended. But by 6 p.m. I was hungry.

Preparing to go out to dinner at an upscale pool hall/restaurant (the pool hall was upscale, not the restaurant) called The Rack, I longed for an hors d’oeuvre, and a colleague from San Francisco suggested I eat half a pot brownie, which she’d made herself during a fact-finding mission to Humboldt County.

Readers, I was hungry, so I ate it.

The last time I had a pot brownie was about 10 years ago back in Bogue Chitto. It was neither tasty nor effective. But a couple of prejudices conspired to make me take this pot brownie.

  • The woman offering the pot brownie was/is a lesbian. “Lesbians are good cooks,” I said. “They’re eating the vag all day – vagitarians develop excellent culinary skills to wash it down.”
  • Pot is to pot brownies what rum is to rum-raisin ice cream.

“Just eat half,” she said. “It should hit you in an hour.”

So I took her advice, being not entirely dismissive of her warnings of the brownie’s potency. But I did think that a brownie couldn’t possibly deliver anything more than a slight buzz, else how would Amsterdam not descend into chaos?

I had been drinking since 9 that morning. People feed me drinks like drinks are fish and I’m the star dolphin at Sea World. People giggle and clap. But I rarely mix alcohol with marijuana, and the times I have I’ve never been more than a few yards from my own pillow.

Exactly one hour later, as I was sitting at the end of a dinner table talking with six adult industry professionals (including my personal dispensary), the curtain descended mid-sentence.

“It’s good to see that the content-versus-traffic debate ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh fuck,” I said.

“I’m not being rude,” I said, putting my head on my hands. “You’re all very interesting. But I need to do this now.”

And for the next hour people came and went, having conversations over my head. I made a point of telling people what had happened, lest people confuse my sullenness with still having my old job at AVN. There was no high whatsoever. There was no paranoia, giddiness, dread, camaraderie, or even drunkenness. I felt I’d sweated that last part out. There was only sickness and a feeling that I would have to throw away my suit coat because I was going to throw up on it.

I went to the bathroom when I felt I had the strength, and stood at the sink. Performer Eric Swiss appeared next to me.

“You doing all right, Gram?” he said.

“No, Eric Swiss,” I said. I feel the need to make people aware that, impaired as I might be, I still recognize them.

[Days later, Swiss said, “I got to tell you, one of the funniest moments of the Conference was when I saw you in the bathroom and you told me you’d just chowed a giant brownie and were headed to Disney World. Then half an hour later I was talking to someone and they said “What’s wrong with Gram? He looks like a zombie.” I said you were probably just tired from working so hard.”]

I returned to my table but was back in the bathroom in ten minutes, and stayed for the next two hours (and you can be damn sure I didn’t look as good as Bree Olson). I won’t horrify you with details other than to say the tremendous series of pop shots I produced would have made me a star in a different kind of pornography.

And there were, of course, the two or three morons whose parents hadn’t trained them to knock. But it would be several hours before I again reached a healthy level of shame.

One person did walk in to the two-stall bathroom and asked, through the door, if I was all right.

“Yes,” I said. “But I’m feeling not-so-fresh. Don’t let anyone steal my camera” (which I’d left by my seat).

When I emerged from the bathroom I was no longer in danger of volcanic activity, but my dinner companions, my computer, and my camera were gone.

“Serves me right,” I said. I was happier to be alive.

I eventually tracked down my stuff, which had been moved for my protection. Then I thought briefly about driving home, and had a quick discussion with myself about various friends being offended that I’d called someone else to bail me out of jail.

So I took public transportation; an articulated bus traveling through a dedicated busway across the Valley floor, a subway to Hollywood, and a bus to within a mile of my house. I walked the rest of the way, thinking that I deserved every bit of pain I was feeling. I remember little about the first couple of vehicles, aside from the fact that by the time I hit Hollywood it was cold, which was good, though I did look at the billboard and thought, “No I fucking can’t.”

By the next afternoon I’d rebounded, and made a series of amends to various people at the conference whose offers of business cards, drinks, personal reminiscences, blowjobs, and more pot brownies had been bluntly rebuffed the night before.

Finally I saw the woman who’d given me the brownie. I didn’t blame her; it was all my fault. Still:

“Are you O.K., Gram?” she said.

You,” I said.

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Yar’s Revenge—The “Star Trek: The Next Generation” porn parody; Porn stars stay connected – but at what cost?; Filling the holes with Eric Swiss; We’re all Max Hardcore when we drink

About Gram the Man 4399 Articles
Gram Ponante is America's Beloved Porn Journalist


  1. Um, that’s a really helpful comment. Yes, it’s a pipe. I hope that if I were to walk into a head shop somewhere within driving distance of the Adam & Eve campus that my nomenclature mistake would be treated more gently. You totally blew my high just now.

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