I was reminded of this story the other night when talk came to helicopters. Working with students you often hear exaggerated drug stories. And with drug stories comes mention of THE FEAR. The definite article often suggests that the item in question may be the ultimate version of said noun (or a Stephen King novel), but relationship between THE FEAR’s and actual fear is more tangential. It is weed induced paranoia which can grip you like a vice, though there is often part of your mind which is vaguely registering the paranoia and laughing at you. Paranoia where even you seem to be out to get yourself is probably a bad thing.

So to the story. Some friends of mine lived in what they liked to call a loft apartment in Hackney, and what I liked to call a scratty top floor flat. They did have access to the loft however, where the enterprising young chaps got all manner of hydroponic equipment to “grow their own”. This lead to often “smoking their own” and as their were careful horticulturalists, this meant they spent well over fifty percent of their time mashed off their nut. One darky, probably not stormy, Hackney night their smoking sessionw as interrupted by the loud thwack-thwack of a helicopter. It seemed to be hovering above their house.

THE FEAR set in. Why were they hovering over THEIR house. What had they done wrong. Oh, well there was the garden in the loft. Which is when THE FEAR induced dodgy leap of logic number one:
1: Police Helicopters have infrared cameras fine tuned to find hydroponic gear (and gear).
This caused panic amongst the chaps. None of them wanted to go down for cultivating, especially as their excessive use had meant they had barely made any money out of it. Quick as a flash they were up in the loft, turning off all the equipment and harvesting like mad. It could only be a matter of minutes before the rozzers kicked the door down. But they needed to get rid of the evidence. How? A toilet experiment proved that fresh weed floated. Which is where THE FEAR induced logic leap two comes in.
2: The best way of destroying marijuana is by burning it.

Oddly the smell of about fifty fresh marijuana bushes burning in a Hackney back garden drew all sorts of unwanted attention. Not, it has to be said, from the police who flew off with their drugs detecting helicopter to chase a flasher with their “Naked under his clothes” detector.