18. Know When Not to Fly, But Never Wish to Fall

The stoner had a meeting with the men in suits, so he planned not to smoke beforehand, for this is the 18th Rule of Thumb: Know when not to fly.

So he put away his pipes and his trees and he kept them out of sight, for it is not good to resist temptation, but to avoid it. And he did well, and he left his home without smoking.

However, as he was on the way to his meeting, he ran into a friend who had just survived a terrible ordeal. And the friend offered a joint to the stoner, saying, “Please smoke with me to celebrate.”

The stoner knew that he should not, but he told himself that did not want to be rude, and he could not resist, so he took a hit.

And as the stoner traveled to his event, he felt himself rising higher and higher. And the world began to reveal itself in greater splendor, and his thoughts began to ripple, and he began to worry, thinking, “Why did I smoke? Now that I am stoned, everything is ruined. I will be too high to function. I will destroy all that I have worked for.”

But then he remembered that the 18th Rule of Thumb had a second part: Know when not to fly, but do not wish to fall. For many a high was ruined by regret, and none were improved. So he told himself, “Much of your fear is mere paranoia, and you will do well, regardless.”

And he did.

Read the ninteenth rule of thumb.