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Dave’s still not here

Few AP items make me laugh out loud, but there was one this past week. It’s the tale from Fairfax of an alleged stoner who may have engaged in drunk (or otherwise impaired) dialing. It starts:

“A mistake worthy of a Cheech and Chong skit has left a man under arrest in Northern Virginia on drug-distribution charges.”

Guy texted the cops by mistake, offered to sell them marijuana, then got busted for possession with intent to distribute.

It does sound like a Cheech and Chong routine from the 1970s. It brought to mind their skit entitled, “Dave,” from their 1971 debut comedy album:

(Soft knocks at the door)
CHONG: Who is it?
CHEECH: It’s me, Dave. Open up, man, I got the stuff.
(More knocks)
CHONG: Who is it?
CHEECH: It’s me, Dave, man. Open up, I got the stuff.
CHEECH: It’s Dave, man. Open up, I think the cops saw me come in here.
(More knocks)
CHONG: Who is it?
CHEECH: It’s Dave, man. Will you open up, I got the stuff with me.
CHEECH: Dave, man. Open up.
CHONG: Dave?
CHEECH: Yeah, Dave. C’mon, man, open up, I think the cops saw me.
CHONG: Dave’s not here.
CHEECH: No, man, I’m Dave, man.

And it kept going until you heard sirens at the end.

“Dave” was the B-side of “Santa Claus and His Old Lady,” which you’ll still hear around the holidays.

“Dave’s not here” became a popular punchline that could be used, and was used, for any number of occasions.

Before we ran the AP item, I pop-culture tested the reference with younger members of the staff, who kind of knew who Cheech and Chong were. Note that we have stopped using references such as “Francisco Franco is still dead” as being just a little too dated.

Once their careers as stoners burned out and they broke up in 1985, Chong went on to a recurring role on “That ‘70s Show” and Cheech was Don Johnson’s partner on the TV show “Nash Bridges” and the voice of a number of characters in Disney movies.

Who says there are no opportunities for a second act?

Paul Fletcher