"By the way," I was telling my son Brandon on the phone yesterday, "Philadelphia is about to decriminalize marijuana. All you do is pay a fine." 

Brandon goes to college in nearby Baltimore.

"Wow, Dad,” he said, “that's terrific!"   

"Well, yes, it's a good thing overall," I replied in measured tones.  "Years ago, I might have been very pleased, but in this day and age ..."

"You know, Dad," said Brandon, “I've been thinking of coming home for a visit soon."

"Oh, no, no, there's no need for that!  You ... uh ...  have your classes and homework to attend to."

"Sure, but I've got all that pretty much under control.  I'd like to come see you."

"I look exactly the same.  A month or two older."

"Yes, but I miss everybody in Philadelphia.  I have a lot of friends in college there I'd like to visit."

"They're all busy!  Many of them have moved.  I'm afraid, Brandon, some don't even like you anymore!"

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"Hey, Dad, what's this all about?  You think I want to come home to do drugs?"

"Of course not!   It's just that your life is in Baltimore now.  Baltimore Maryland.  Where nothing's decriminalized."

"You've told me you did more than your share of weed back in the day." 

"You don't want to turn out like me!"

"Come on, Dad, you have your flaws, but you didn't turn out all that bad."

"Are you kidding?  I have demons!  DEMONS!"  

"Well, I'll certainly come home for the Jewish holidays."

"Umm, I forgot to tell you.  I'm converting.  Love that Jesus!"

"What about Thanksgiving?"

"I'd hold off 'til Christmas. Maybe Presidents' Day."  

"May I ever come home, Dad?"


"When's that?"

"Whenever they decriminalize marijuana in Baltimore!"

Perry Block is a writer, humorist, and human resources professional who lives in Havertown PA, just outside of Philadelphia.

In his humor blog , Perry Block: Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute (www.perryblock.com), Perry chronicles the world through the eyes of one Baby Boomer warily poised on the cusp of an age he thought was exclusively reserved for people's parents. It also features parody, satire, and anything else you want.

You can also find Perry on Twitter at @PerryBlock, Facebook, Google+, and whatever other internet sites he’s able to find an “Idiot’s Guide to.”