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Phyllis sits on the line between giggly and paranoid


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Phyllis will do its best to help you laugh through the apocalypse. - BAYNARD WOODS
  • Baynard Woods
  • Phyllis will do its best to help you laugh through the apocalypse.

All around us the weather is noticeably fucked. Western cities like Seattle had record lows and nearby snowfall at the end of September and, within a week, Eastern cities had record high temperatures in October. Led by Greta Thunberg, schoolchildren are going on climate strike every Friday, while the rest of us just keep tottering along, too old and stupid to change our own minds.
In this, we are all like our horrendous, rat-fucking authoritarian goon of a president. We aren’t pure unadulterated id, however, so we don’t bloviate about how we don’t think the coming crisis is real. We just act like it.

And, hey, I’m like the rest of y’all. I don’t really know what the hell to do. I don’t have a car, I try to eat mammals minimally and yet, in the face of everything, that feels about as effective as fingering beads on a rosary.

It creates a tremendous sense of stress and many of us medicate ourselves against this anxiety with weed. The problem is the wrong dose or strain or time can increase the angst and send it into hyperspace. You need a lot of variety to deal with the variety of horrors we face, so I got a small cabinet and a bunch of jars and have made the 21st century equivalent of a liquor cabinet, proudly displaying the varieties of weed I’ve collected while writing these reviews.

It’s like the filing cabinet where comic Phyllis Diller cataloged more than 50,000 jokes (it is now housed in the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History). Which brings me to this week’s strain, a strong Sativa named after the comic — Phyllis. Its gorgeously formed buds are exquisite, caked in crystals and crowned with red hairs as wild as Diller’s when she sat at a bar beside Dean Martin telling mother-in-law jokes. The smell of the buds is flat and musty and really one-note. But, unlike so much weed, the flavor of Phyllis actually flowers once it is lit. It tastes great in a vaporizer, but it’s almost as good when combusted. I smoked a joint — mixed with just a touch of a mainly CBD strain to ease up just a bit on the THC rush — and instead of the standard flat flavor of burning, the flame seemed to unlock something in this strain, filling the back of my palate with the smoky richness of a mezcal.

Phyllis has an uplifting, energetic and giggly high — until you have a toke too many. It switches quickly to paranoia and unnerved-ness. Even without smoking too much, it can be like a comic who goes on a bit too long, leaving the smoker enervated and tired.

But whether you’re freaking out about the end of the world or just the fact that, regardless of the climate you are going to die one day, gallows humor is a great salve and one we all need to start getting better at, and a good giggly weed like Phyllis is a great place to start training yourself to laugh through the apocalypse.

Strength: 7
Nose: Musty moss with the slight odor of mothballs
Euphoria: 7
Existential dread: 7
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 1
Drink pairing: Mezcal
Music pairing: Beastie Boys’ “Time to Get Ill”
Rating: 8


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