I’ve been working on a blog post for Friday about what I was up to twenty-nine years ago (it’s an anniversary–but more on that on Friday).

Meanwhile, I’ve encountered a nifty bit of kit that, twenty-nine years ago, I would most definitely have wanted to own. I present to you, from Magic Flight, the incredible Launch Box:

It comes in this tin Rubik’s-Cube-For-Stoners über box:

Everything slots neatly together, including rechargeable AA batteries and their case, and there are heartfelt sayings, carved on the Launch Box and painted on the tin. These sayings are, I imagine, just gnomic enough to be either deeply mysterious or highly risible, depending on your usual response to herbal alteration.

The method is ingenious: you grind your, ah, material to a fine consistency (pestle and mortar = perfect), open the box, drop the material in the centre trench, press the battery to the contact for 3-5 seconds, which heats an element sufficiently to vaporises the aromatics in the material, then you draw. No flame. No smoke. No noise. Barely any smell (except the herb itself, of course). Given the practise I’d had with smoking 29 years ago, I bet you any money I could have extracted every whiff of vapour from the draw.

So now I’m thinking ‘Magic Flight’ might mean something like, ‘Wow, you could use it on a plane.’ (I’m thinking this as a novelist, you understand, not an advocate. I’m sure Federal Aviation rules forbid it. They forbid electronic cigarettes, after all.)

Mainly I’m fascinated by the sheer ingenuity of people. I would have coveted this gear three decades ago. I loved finding new way to smoke hash (which I gave up when I was 24, just to be crystal clear): joints, of course (I made the best in town), on a pin under glass, through a carrot (and then you eat the carrot), via a supercharged fire-extinguisher (just once–dangerous, but fun), and, my favourite, hot knives. I loved hash on hot knives. But this cool gadget would have gone to the top of my wishlist.

And, ah, look, Amazon’s Universal Wishlist will accept that item. Pretty wild. The world really has changed since I was doing this stuff.

Now I’ll get back to mumbling, tugging on my floppy cardigan, and ordering those kids off my lawn…