Stoner Shakespeare’s Writing Method

Nicole Froio

Staff Writer

Nicole Froio is a Brazilian journalist currently based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She writes about feminism, human rights, politics, mental health issues, pop culture, books and the media. She was born in São Paulo but moved a lot as a kid, which hinders her ability to root down in only one place in adulthood. Her favorite genres of book are fantasy, YA fiction, romance and any book that requires the main character to find themselves. An avid intersectional feminist, her tolerance for bigotry is extremely low. Blog: Words by Nicole Froio Twitter: @NicoleFroio

“Another day, another joint-fuelled-masterpiece,” thought Shakespeare as he rolled his inspiration stick to perfection. He hoped that this batch of Mary Jane wouldn’t make him as sombre and paranoid as when he wrote MacBeth – he just couldn’t deal with a vibe that was that intense again.

All his writing instruments were laid out before him: parchment paper, a quill, ink, several candles lighting up his desk and a glass of water (cotton mouth was a persistent side effect of weed that Shakespeare could not avoid). What was missing, like so many times before, was inspiration for a new play that would make his audience feel things, scream, laugh, and cry. Unfortunately, with inspiration came the munchies so Shakespeare had stocked up on snacks before he rolled, like any clever stoner would.

He prayed for a comedy as he thought about his stocked up food shelves and inhaled the sweet Mary Jane: Cheetos (so good for stoners that its existence transcends time and space), a whole load of mature cheddar (after all, this is England), freshly baked bread, many types of chocolate (Kit Kats were always his favorite but Reese’s Pieces had their place in his kitchen), scones and a whole jar of Earl Grey tea.

Tea is essential for Shakespeare’s process. The weed he smoked to beckon creativity also made him unbearably sleepy. The trick was to smoke one joint and drink several cups of tea so caffeine would counter the sleepiness – it had taken him a few tries to perfect this method. The first time he experimented with the drug – sans Earl Grey – he woke up naked on the floor, covered in chocolate. Sure, that night had been enjoyable but not the least bit productive.

Of course, his friends and family were worried about his habit even though he had written his best work while stoned. It was lucky that he had a way with words and managed to convince his loved ones that they were wrong about his weed usage during an intervention. He stood up dramatically, sick of being judged by the conservative society he was a prisoner of (HE WAS AN ARTIST, FOR GOD’S SAKE), and declared: “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. Legalize it.” (Later, this line would be delivered by Hamlet, minus the legalize it part.)

As he inhaled his last drag, Shakespeare picked up his quill and started writing the first words of his new play. Or so he thought, until he realized it he was actually drafting a brownie recipe because the munchies had arrived and no amount of work would keep him away from his Cheetos.

Okay, the mistake was leaving the food in the kitchen – he should have piled it up near his parchment and quill. “Back to work,” he said to no one in particular, and started writing again.

“Unrequited love, an arranged marriage, ALL FOUR STORIES INTERSECT, I AM A GENIUS…” he mused out loud. “Oh my God, I’ve been doing this for such a long time, have I finished yet?” Only three minutes had elapsed.

The story was shaping up nicely, but something was missing. Shakespeare didn’t want to succumb to the paranoia that was beckoning, a bad trip wasn’t what he had signed up for. He needed upbeat, magical characters that could drag him out of the blues: fairies. Fairyland. During a midsummer night…

“Ah, yes,” Shakespeare exclaimed. “One of my best comedies yet.” He reached for the bong.