When it comes to growing up, losing your virginity and smoking your first joint are two rites of passage, which most teens will experience. But, for those that smoked on a regular basis, another must-do was hotboxing. That is why Vice asked its readers to share their stories about the weird and wonderful places they’ve hotboxed.
Hotboxing is the stoner rite of passage that stands out among the haze of sessions throughout one’s life. The communal toke in a tight space is great for de-stressing during the cold winter months – plus it gets you high as fuck. And, there’s just something nostalgic – even heartwarming – about cramming three of your old high school friends into your parent’s glass-doored bathtub to blaze.
1. High and dry
Under an upside-down canoe. – Karina S., 35, Toronto
2. The mile high club
It was in the 80s. I was in my early 20s, in the army on leave. I was headed back to Germany on a commercial flight. I had a joint in the bathroom. When I opened the door [after hotboxing], there was a line-up.
I wandered back to my seat and put my headphones to watch the movie. They interrupted the movie, announcing that they had open smoking seats, but only cigars and cigarettes were allowed. The airplane bathroom makes an excellent hotbox, though. I was blown away. – Ray G., Little, Oklahoma
3. Can I use your bathroom?
I was working at [a chain toy store]. One night I asked a girl who worked there too to come over and hang out. I asked her if she had ever hotboxed. She said no. So my roommate and I and this girl all got into the bathroom. We turned the hot water on to get the room steamed up. We set up some buckets and proceeded to get super ripped.
I was having a great conversation with my new friend and everyone seemed to be having fun. That is, until there was a knock on the bathroom door. It was one my roommate’s friends telling me that there was a lady knocking on our kitchen window. I looked out the window. Who do I see? My mother and my two older sisters! They had traveled six hours to Toronto for shopping or some shit. They did not tell me in advance.
I was so stoned! I was tripping balls when I moved the curtain to see my mother’s face in the shadows. I think this event was the first time she realized that I smoke weed and that I was not her little baby anymore. I was 19. – Francis M., 33, Fernie, BC
4. A not-so-hot idea
I was in my later teens. We [two people] smoked in an unplugged freezer; one of those big old freezers that we grew up with. We sat in it, knee-to-knee. We had a thin shim so it couldn’t lock. We were waiting for guys to meet up with us for the night, and we figured it would get a good laugh when they came in. – Jason K., 34, Cochrane, Ontario
5. The green
I was at a fishing/hunting camp in northern Ontario, where my family goes every August. My father and brother were out on the lake trying their luck at some bass, leaving my friend and I alone at the cabin.
We noticed the empty hot tub on the deck. We decided to lift up the hot tub and hop underneath. It was a light, plastic-shelled hot tub. Not a large fiberglass tub, as we’re no Lou Ferrignos. After about fifteen minutes, it was so smokey we had to hop out. It ended as all good hotboxing stories end, with an afternoon nap. – Jake S., BC
6. The snake pit
I was hiking in Lynn Valley Canyon this summer. We hiked across three the trails and found an abandoned outpost: a tiny wooden one-room shack. We crawled through the mossy, slimy window opening.
After we got baked, a huge snake, which must have been four feet long, glided over my buddy’s foot and tripped us right out. We wondered if we were in some sort of snake pit and got the fuck out of there. Fast. – Lucas G., 34, Vancouver
7. In the closet
I was 17. My buddies and myself once hotboxed a tiny closet in my mom’s place. We were skipping class and mom was at work. We picked the closet because it was the smallest place that could fit the three of us. We didn’t hear her come home. My mom found us in there because she followed the extension cord to the lamp we brought in… I was wearing a bathing cap for some reason. Mom was not impressed. – Joe B., Toronto
8. The Golden Arches
I had been picking up night shifts at McDonald’s to make some extra money over the summer. I was 19 or 20. I was working with this younger guy who was doing the mopping out front and I was cleaning the fryers and stuff in the back. I told him we are going to be working together Friday night, I’ll bring the joint and we’ll smoke it and get nice and blazed.
I’d smoke before work, maybe on my break, but not really inside, and with the person I was working with. I thought, if it’s just us two, it’s Friday night at one in the morning, why not. I said, once everyone leaves, we’ll go in the freezer because it’s contained. We thought that the manager had left. I sparked up the joint, we smoked it fast, stayed in there for a bit, but it got pretty cold. I guess it technically wasn’t a hotbox, but a ‘cold box’.
All of a sudden we hear the manager run up the stairs, shout ‘oh my God.. are you stoned? What the hell?!’ He starts freaking out. He asked if we were smoking weed, I told him we smoked in the freezer. He was like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be in there ’til tomorrow. I can’t even fire you guys because you’re the only ones who will work the worst shifts. This never leaves here.’ That was pretty much it. Except we did smoke again later that night, after he left. – Bobby R., 38, London, Ontario
9. The great outdoors
Before my husband and I had our lovely camper we would take our tent camping. This particular time we were driving through Marble Canyon Provincial Park, which was right off the highway and full of people. Because of this, there was no good place to smoke besides our tent.
We hotboxed it several times, trying not to be noticed by the hordes. From inside the tent, we could hear a man and his son walking by. The son says, “Dad, what’s that smell…?” Dad replies: “It’s a special cigar.” To this day, we call our phatties “special cigars.” – Kelly, Calgary, Alberta
10. The unorthodox classic
A bathroom stall in the Cambrian Mall. And the trunk of an unlocked SUV in a used car parking lot. It was one of the cars for sale. We were in there probably about an hour, we weren’t worried since it was the middle of the night.
It was better to hotbox than the mall bathroom, but it was totally uncomfortable! I’m not sure why it was unlocked, but I’m guessing someone got in trouble the next day. – Alex F., 20, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario