A (Yawn) 4/20 Event at CU
I took the bus over to 4/20, the Smokeout that has taken place at 4:20 p.m. on April 20 at least back into the 1980s on the Quad of the University of Colorado. Waiting at the bus stop on Table Mesa, I watched groups of kids mostly, with surfboards and phones, walking toward the campus, talking and texting. At every stop, more people piled on, more than I’ve ever seen on a Dash, almost all of whom got off at Euclid south of the Quad. Four other people on the bus were writing; I was the only one with paper, which at least I found amusing.
I met Gil at the Pleasant Street stop a little after four, and we joined the throngs walking into the Quad, which was already jammed with smokers, hangers-on and the curious by the time we got there, just like the other time I attended two years ago. Airplanes dove in close, one with advertising trailing behind it, others, no doubt, filming. Police stood around looking bored, although there were, according to the paper, 11 people arrested for possession, a minor offense in Boulder.
A string band played quietly near the south steps of Old Main, where a photographer was stationed on the roof. Since cell-phone times are a bit off, there was a solid cheer and the smoke became thicker at 4:19, at 4:20 and 4:21. This one has become more of a media event than anything else. I found myself taking pictures of other people taking pictures of what was going on.
The papers said there were 10,000 people there, but the number could just as easily have been 15,000, many no doubt lured by the publicity generated by local media and a chance to get a buzz with strangers.
That was about it, and we were back in Gil’s office by 4:35.
For all the media attention given it — Playboy magazine (it still exists?) declared CU the top party school in the country mostly because of this three-minute event, TV stations hype it because they have video from last year, and the local paper, the Camera, has been hyping this for days — this is a real snoozer of a happening.