Sometimes life makes us a little gift, and by surprise, hands us something we weren’t expecting. Builders were working in the house of a Seattle doctor in September 2016 when they stumbled upon a stash of hidden treasure. Apparently, it had been left by the bachelor who had lived there before.
The doctor in question goes by the online name of drsammy and describes himself as a “father, husband, pediatric oncologist, cancer drug developer, eyeglasses aficionado, and lover of Scottish mystery novels.” He posted photos of his lucky find on the image-sharing website Imgur announcing, “Found something wild buried in the floorboards.”
“We are in the process of doing a major kitchen remodel of our Seattle house,” he went on to explain. “It was built in 1908 and had a really tiny kitchen. The previous owner was a single man in his late 60s who had owned the place for 30 years. After 4 years of living here we saved up enough to completely gut the kitchen and build it out to our liking.”
Indeed, the job involved some major tasks, including moving the sink to the other side of the room. And in order to install the pipes, the builders had to strip away the vinyl tile flooring and cut through the floor and subfloor. It was there, under the subfloor and nestled between a couple of beams, that they discovered a plastic box.
Drsammy was in New York at the time, but he soon heard about the discovery on the phone. “My wife called me to tell me that they found this [box] wrapped in a plastic trash bag,” he wrote. “It was possible that it was tucked between two beams in the basement ceiling. It certainly wasn’t ours.”
And when they opened the container up, they discovered an assortment of unusual items that would generate much excited discussion in the comments section of his post. “The film canisters and the bizarre Mickey Mouse head had us intrigued,” wrote drsammy. In fact, the box contained something quite unexpected.
The box contained vintage smoking paraphernalia, including an array of old pipes, rolling papers, filters, cleaners and other sundries. There were also a few mysterious containers, including a bottle and a jar. Whoever owned this equipment, it seemed, took smoking very seriously indeed.
So seriously, in fact, that he (or she) had accumulated no less than three corncob pipes and six “shorty” pipes. Because after all, is one pipe ever enough? Smoking kills, that’s a fact, but throughout history enlightened minds have lauded the supposed benefits of pipe smoking.
For example, the 1st Baron Lytton, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, once remarked: “A pipe is the fountain of contemplation, the source of pleasure, the companion of the wise; and the man who smokes, thinks like a philosopher and acts like a Samaritan.” Indeed, what better reason to spark up a bowl?
Of course, if you like to smoke, “rolled cigarettes” are good too, and these stylish “kutcorners” by French manufacturer Zig-Zag are surely the hipster brand of choice. In fact, kutcorners are still being produced, complete with clipped corners to make rolling a breeze. “cut corners for easier rolling.” Their distinctive logo of a thickly bearded smoker also remains to this day. Indeed, it seems this brand has stood the test of time.
Meanwhile, although the doctor claims to be “an incredibly square pediatric oncologist”, he was able to correctly identify this piece of paraphernalia as a roach clip. This handy little invention is designed to spare your fingertips when the “rolled cigarette” you’re smoking starts burning too hot and close to the filter (a.k.a. the roach).
This little bottle, however, was a true mystery. And no, “Klutch” is not an ironic brand of cologne. It is, in fact, an adhesive powder for dental plates. But before your imagination runs away with you, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for its inclusion in the stash. And it has nothing to do with false teeth.
Thankfully, a commenter called luckydubbin recognized what it was for. “Just a guess,” he wrote, “but, I think the denture powder was used to gum the rolling paper so it stuck when you were done rolling. Source: am a stoner.” And there you have it, a very useful little life hack if you don’t have access to gummed papers.
Finally, the hidden box also contained a few ephemeral items including wicks, old match books and flints. It is clear that whoever the stash belonged to, he or she apparently held the whole ritual of smoking dear to heart. But just how old, exactly, were all these items?
Well, according to drsammy, these pipe filters indicate that the stash was from the 1970s. This is because the Bonnie Brier trademark was registered in 1976. Moreover, one other item in the stash could certainly not be older than 1987.
Among the rolling papers were these wheat straw skins, manufactured by Top. “Not sure if these were made by RJ Reynolds or under their name,” wrote drsammy, referring to the name on the side of the packet. In fact, Top brand was owned by R.J. Reynolds until it was sold to Republic Tobacco in 1987.
Meanwhile, there was the matter of the intriguing film canisters. One of them was empty. One contained filters. And another one appeared to contain marijuana. Would it have degraded by now, or would it still be viable? Indeed, it might still be smokeable. Because according to drsammy, it “smelled, still, like marijuana”.
And the doctor’s good fortune did not end there. In the final canister, he discovered a baggie containing what appeared to be a small block of hashish. He now had everything he could possibly need: weed, hash, pipes, papers and Klutch. Indeed, all he was missing was a light.
Of course, as a qualified physician working in Seattle, drsammy is able to prescribe marijuana to anyone who might have a medical need for it. And so there was nothing illegal going on here. However, did the doctor actually spark up a bowl with the mystery stash? Judging by his final post, possibly not.
“Thank goodness this is Seattle, where all of this is legal.” he wrote. “Glad it wasn’t cocaine or heroin, or worse. Sad that it wasn’t a box full of money. Still, quite an interesting find!” Ah well, let’s hope he donated it all to a worthy cause. Meanwhile, we never did find out what the Mickey Mouse fork was for.