#167 - Dave Chappelle Talks about Drugs

January 4, 2023

Listen to the legendary stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle tell a hilarious story about his first time trying psychedelic mushrooms.

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Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] What's up, my friend? This is the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and in this episode, you're going to be entertained by the legendary stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle. Now, in this clip I'm about to play, Dave tells a hilarious story about the first time he tried psychedelic mushrooms. So I'm going to play the whole thing from start to finish and then go back and explain some keywords and phrases to make sure you understand the entire story. And if you want to learn more about Dave Chappelle and his work, you can check out the links in the description of this episode. Alright? Let's get started.

Dave Chappelle: [00:00:35] Can't do everything! Maybe weed! If you're gonna do something, do a little weed, smoke some...weed... Weed is not as bad as everything else. Weed is a background substance. I mean, you can smoke some herb and still function. You ain't crisp...but you'll function! Nothing higher than weed, though. I made that mistake one time. I...I was at a party.

Dave Chappelle: [00:01:04] Some guy gave me some shit. He's like, "Here, man, take this. It's fucking mushrooms." I took it. I forgot all about it, you know? Then a couple of days later, I found that shit in my pocket. I'm thinking, "Why not?" Cos I'm thinking it's like weed, some background shit. I planned my whole day out like it was weed. I'll chew this shit up. Then I'll go to the barber shop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie.

Dave Chappelle: [00:01:33] I chewed it up. So far, so good. Then I was in the barbershop, like, an hour later. And it's funny cos I was just thinking to myself, I was like, "Oh, *smack* *smack*, this stuff sucks!" Tastes like athlete's foot. I feel sick, but I'm not really high. Then I looked in the mirror. I saw the barber's reflection, man. It looked like...it looked like a big penis was cutting my hair.

[00:02:14] I freaked out! I started talking to myself, "Dave, calm down. You're on drugs. This is what drugs do. Okay, you know that there was no way...that a penis can cut hair." Boy, I started freaking out, man! I just couldn't take it anymore. I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money. It was weird - the balls opened up.

Dave Chappelle: [00:02:51] Anyway, I...I ran home, man. I ran home as fast as I could. I was trippin! Trippin! I looked at the clock. It was 02:42. I was like, "Damn, 02:42! I gotta sober up. I've never been this high this early!" I took a shower. I was still high. I said, "Maybe music will do the trick!" I listened to every CD I had. I was still high. "Exercise! That's what I'll do." I ran around the block four times, still high. Took a nap, woke up, fucked up. I looked at the clock. It was 02:43! I said, "Goddamn!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:44] Alright, my friend, like I always say, do not feel bad if you didn't get the whole idea or you didn't understand every single word, cos now we're going to go back and listen to the story little by little while I explain some keywords and phrases to make sure you understand everything. So let's do it.

Dave Chappelle: [00:04:02] Can't do everything! Maybe weed! If we gotta do something, do a little weed, smoke some...weed... Weed is not as bad as everything else. Weed is a background substance. I mean, you can smoke some herb and still function. You ain't crisp...but you'll function! Nothing higher than weed, though.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:28] Alright. I wanna stop here and explain the term "background substance". Background substance isn't a term we actually use in daily speech. When Dave uses the term "background substance", he's being funny and playing with the original terms, which are "background music" and "background noise". And these terms just describe the music or noise that can be heard while doing some other activity.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:48] For example, you might like having some background noise while you work because it helps you focus. Or you might be eating at a restaurant while they play some background music that's loud enough to be heard but not loud enough to interrupt your conversation. You see what I'm saying? It's just playing in the background to create a nice atmosphere. Now, you probably got this by using the context of the situation, but just in case you didn't, the word "herb", h-e-r-b, in this case, is slang for weed or marijuana. So you can smoke some weed and still function.

Dave Chappelle: [00:05:19] I mean, you can smoke some herb and still function. You ain't crisp...but you'll function.

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:30] In this context, when Dave says, "You ain't crisp", he's basically saying that, "You're not sharp." And in this case, the word "sharp" means having or showing speed of perception, comprehension, or response. In other words, Dave is saying, when you smoke weed, your brain is not operating at peak capacity; you're not sharp; you can't respond quickly; you might not always know what's going on, but at least you can function. But with psychedelic mushrooms, it's not like that.

Dave Chappelle: [00:05:57] And you ain't crisp...but you'll function. Nothing higher than weed, though. I made that mistake one time. I was at a party. Some guy gave me some shit. He's like, "Here, man, take this. It's fucking mushrooms." I took it. I forgot all about it, you know? Then a couple of days later, I found that shit in my pocket. I'm thinking, "Why not?" Cos I'm thinking it's like weed, some background shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:26] The English word "shit" has multiple meanings, but in this case, it's being used to say "thing" or "stuff". So when he says, "This guy gave me some shit," he's basically saying, "This guy gave me something," right? And when he says, "A couple of days later, I found that shit in my pocket," he's saying, "A couple of days later, I found that thing in my pocket." It's the same thing.

Dave Chappelle: [00:06:47] Cos I'm thinking it's like weed, some background shit. I planned my whole day out like it was weed. I'll chew this shit up, then I go to the barber shop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:06] The phrasal verb "to plan something out" basically means to plan what you're going to do in the future, but carefully and in detail. And you might be wondering, what's the difference between "plan" and "plan out"? Well, in this case, there's really no difference. "Plan out" is a more colloquial way of saying the same thing. In some cases, using the phrasal verb "to plan out" can imply that you plan things in great detail. Right? More time and preparation were needed to make your plan. But in this case, plan and plan out are the same thing.

Dave Chappelle: [00:07:35] I planned my whole day out like it was weed. I'll chew this shit up, then I'll go to the barber shop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:49] If you look in the dictionary, it'll tell you that the phrasal verb "chew up" means to destroy. For example, "The dog chewed up the furniture", meaning he destroyed the furniture by chewing on it constantly. But in this case, "chew up", it just means to chew thoroughly and swallow. So Dave could have said, "I'll eat this shit, go to the barber shop, and then I'll see a movie," and it would have been the same exact thing. It would have had the same exact meaning, you see?

[00:08:14] And just like the phrasal verb "plan out", the phrasal verb "chew up" is being used colloquially. And you might hear someone say, "Eat up," which is just another way of encouraging someone to eat and enjoy all of their food. Or you might hear someone say, "Drink up," which is just another way of encouraging someone to drink their entire beverage. You see what I'm saying?

Dave Chappelle: [00:08:36] I'll chew this shit up, then I'll go to the barbershop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie. I chewed it up. So far, so good. Then I was in the barbershop, like an hour later.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:55] "So far, so good." This phrase is used to say that progress has been satisfactory up to now. In other words, we haven't had any problems yet; everything seems to be okay.

Dave Chappelle: [00:09:07] Then I was in the barbershop, like, an hour later. And it's funny cos I was just thinking to myself, I was like, "Oh, *smack* *smack*, this stuff sucks!" Tastes like athlete's foot. I feel sick, but I'm not really high.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:26] If something sucks, it means that it's very bad in terms of quality and or performance. So if the drugs suck, that means that the quality is low so the effects are not very strong.

Dave Chappelle: [00:09:37] "Oh, *smack* *smack* this stuff sucks!" Tastes like athlete's foot. I feel sick, but I'm not really high.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:50] Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that usually starts between your toes. So you can Google the term "athlete's foot", see a picture of it, and then imagine what it would taste like if you licked that foot. Dave is basically saying that's what psychedelic mushrooms taste like.

Dave Chappelle: [00:10:07] "...tastes like athlete's foot." I feel sick, but I'm not really high.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:16] The word "high" in this case is probably the most common way to say that someone is under the influence of drugs. So when we drink alcohol, we get drunk. But when we consume any other drug like things that we smoke or eat or inject, then we get high.

Dave Chappelle: [00:10:33] I feel sick, but I'm not really high. Then I looked in the mirror. I saw the barber's reflection, man. It looked like...it looked like a big penis was cutting my hair. I freaked out!

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:55] "I freaked out!" If someone "freaks out" or if something "freaks them out", they suddenly feel extremely surprised or upset or angry or confused or even scared. So you can imagine your reaction if you saw your barber turn into a penis. Right? You'd probably freak out. You'd go crazy. You'd be extremely scared or maybe surprised or something like that.

Dave Chappelle: [00:11:17] It looked like a big penis was cutting my hair. I freaked out! I started talking to myself, "Dave, calm down. You're on drugs. This is what drugs do. Okay, you know that there was no way...that a penis can cut hair." And I started freaking out, man! I just couldn't take it anymore.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:49] "I just couldn't take it anymore." When someone says, "I can't take it", it means that they're unable to endure or tolerate some unpleasant, critical, harsh or abusive treatment, whether it's physical or emotional; they just can't stand it anymore or they can't take it anymore; they cannot tolerate it anymore. So Dave was just overwhelmed by all of the crazy shit he was seeing after eating the mushrooms.

Dave Chappelle: [00:12:15] And I started freaking out, man! I just couldn't take it anymore. I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money.

Tony Kaizen: [00:12:28] "I jumped out of the chair." The dictionary says "jump out" means "to propel oneself upward over a distance in a single quick motion or series of such motions". So all you need to imagine here is someone quickly rising from a chair almost in a jumping motion because they were freaked out or scared by something they saw.

Dave Chappelle: [00:12:49] I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money.

Tony Kaizen: [00:12:58] In this context, a "handful" of something simply refers to a quantity that fills the hand. So you might have a handful of money. You might have a handful of candy. You might have a handful of peanuts. It could be anything. And it just means whatever you're holding is enough to fill your hand completely.

Dave Chappelle: [00:13:15] I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money. It was weird - the balls opened up. Anyway, I...I ran home, man. I ran home as fast as I could.

Tony Kaizen: [00:13:33] The phrasal verb "open up" has multiple meanings, but in this case, it means to open by separating. So this might be weird to think about, but you can picture two balls side by side, and when they open up, they separate and a hand comes out of the space in the middle to receive the money. That's basically what Dave was describing.

[00:13:52] And the word, "anyway", in this context is being used to resume a subject after an interruption. Right? Because Dave was telling the story, then he got distracted by the part about the balls, and then he said "anyway", and returned to the original topic. You see what I'm saying?

Dave Chappelle: [00:14:07] It was weird - the balls opened up. Anyway, I...I ran home, man. I ran home as fast as I could. I was trippin! Trippin! I looked at the clock. It was 02:42. I was like, "Damn, 02:42! I gotta sober up. I've never been this high this early!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:14:30] To "sober up" means to become sober or to become less drunk or less high, which is practically the same thing.

Dave Chappelle: [00:14:38] "...I gotta sober up. I've never been this high this early!" I took a shower. I was still high. I said, "Maybe music will do the trick!" I listened to every CD I had. I was still high. "Exercise! That's what I'll do." I ran around the block four times, still high. Took a nap, woke up, fucked up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:15:09] "Took a nap, woke up, fucked up." The phrasal verb "to wake up" means to stop sleeping, and to be "fucked up" in this context means to be intoxicated from drugs or alcohol. So someone might say, "Man, I was so fucked up last night." And that means that they were extremely intoxicated last night. So in an attempt to sober up, Dave tried to take a nap, but he woke up and he was still high. That's the idea you can understand.

Dave Chappelle: [00:15:37] I ran around the block four times, still high. Took a nap, woke up, fucked up. I looked at the clock. It was 02:43! I said, "Goddamn!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:15:52] "Goddamn!" The phrase "goddamn" is used to express anger or annoyance with someone or something. So after taking a shower, listening to music, running around the block and taking a nap, Dave was still fucked up. He was still high, he was still intoxicated. So naturally he was annoyed and he said, "Goddamn!" Right? Like, "Shit man, I'm still high? I gotta find a way to sober up." You know what I'm saying? That's the idea.

Dave Chappelle: [00:16:19] Took a nap, woke up, fucked up. I looked at the clock. It was 02:43! I said, "Goddamn!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:16:30] Alright, my friend. As I always say, don't feel bad if you still have trouble understanding every single word and phrase in clips like this one. Comedy is almost a hundred percent based on culture, and comedians use lots of slang and expressions when they speak. So naturally, you'd have to be extremely familiar with the language and culture to understand everything one hundred percent of the time.

Tony Kaizen: [00:16:50] The most important thing for you to do is review lessons like this one and start putting new words and phrases into practice so you can really internalize their various meanings and the different ways we use them in casual speech. But that's it for now, my friend. Thank you so much for your time and attention. I really hope you enjoyed this episode. This is the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and I'll talk to you in the next one. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

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Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] What's up, my friend? This is the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and in this episode, you're going to be entertained by the legendary stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle. Now, in this clip I'm about to play, Dave tells a hilarious story about the first time he tried psychedelic mushrooms. So I'm going to play the whole thing from start to finish and then go back and explain some keywords and phrases to make sure you understand the entire story. And if you want to learn more about Dave Chappelle and his work, you can check out the links in the description of this episode. Alright? Let's get started.

Dave Chappelle: [00:00:35] Can't do everything! Maybe weed! If you're gonna do something, do a little weed, smoke some...weed... Weed is not as bad as everything else. Weed is a background substance. I mean, you can smoke some herb and still function. You ain't crisp...but you'll function! Nothing higher than weed, though. I made that mistake one time. I...I was at a party.

Dave Chappelle: [00:01:04] Some guy gave me some shit. He's like, "Here, man, take this. It's fucking mushrooms." I took it. I forgot all about it, you know? Then a couple of days later, I found that shit in my pocket. I'm thinking, "Why not?" Cos I'm thinking it's like weed, some background shit. I planned my whole day out like it was weed. I'll chew this shit up. Then I'll go to the barber shop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie.

Dave Chappelle: [00:01:33] I chewed it up. So far, so good. Then I was in the barbershop, like, an hour later. And it's funny cos I was just thinking to myself, I was like, "Oh, *smack* *smack*, this stuff sucks!" Tastes like athlete's foot. I feel sick, but I'm not really high. Then I looked in the mirror. I saw the barber's reflection, man. It looked like...it looked like a big penis was cutting my hair.

[00:02:14] I freaked out! I started talking to myself, "Dave, calm down. You're on drugs. This is what drugs do. Okay, you know that there was no way...that a penis can cut hair." Boy, I started freaking out, man! I just couldn't take it anymore. I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money. It was weird - the balls opened up.

Dave Chappelle: [00:02:51] Anyway, I...I ran home, man. I ran home as fast as I could. I was trippin! Trippin! I looked at the clock. It was 02:42. I was like, "Damn, 02:42! I gotta sober up. I've never been this high this early!" I took a shower. I was still high. I said, "Maybe music will do the trick!" I listened to every CD I had. I was still high. "Exercise! That's what I'll do." I ran around the block four times, still high. Took a nap, woke up, fucked up. I looked at the clock. It was 02:43! I said, "Goddamn!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:44] Alright, my friend, like I always say, do not feel bad if you didn't get the whole idea or you didn't understand every single word, cos now we're going to go back and listen to the story little by little while I explain some keywords and phrases to make sure you understand everything. So let's do it.

Dave Chappelle: [00:04:02] Can't do everything! Maybe weed! If we gotta do something, do a little weed, smoke some...weed... Weed is not as bad as everything else. Weed is a background substance. I mean, you can smoke some herb and still function. You ain't crisp...but you'll function! Nothing higher than weed, though.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:28] Alright. I wanna stop here and explain the term "background substance". Background substance isn't a term we actually use in daily speech. When Dave uses the term "background substance", he's being funny and playing with the original terms, which are "background music" and "background noise". And these terms just describe the music or noise that can be heard while doing some other activity.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:48] For example, you might like having some background noise while you work because it helps you focus. Or you might be eating at a restaurant while they play some background music that's loud enough to be heard but not loud enough to interrupt your conversation. You see what I'm saying? It's just playing in the background to create a nice atmosphere. Now, you probably got this by using the context of the situation, but just in case you didn't, the word "herb", h-e-r-b, in this case, is slang for weed or marijuana. So you can smoke some weed and still function.

Dave Chappelle: [00:05:19] I mean, you can smoke some herb and still function. You ain't crisp...but you'll function.

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:30] In this context, when Dave says, "You ain't crisp", he's basically saying that, "You're not sharp." And in this case, the word "sharp" means having or showing speed of perception, comprehension, or response. In other words, Dave is saying, when you smoke weed, your brain is not operating at peak capacity; you're not sharp; you can't respond quickly; you might not always know what's going on, but at least you can function. But with psychedelic mushrooms, it's not like that.

Dave Chappelle: [00:05:57] And you ain't crisp...but you'll function. Nothing higher than weed, though. I made that mistake one time. I was at a party. Some guy gave me some shit. He's like, "Here, man, take this. It's fucking mushrooms." I took it. I forgot all about it, you know? Then a couple of days later, I found that shit in my pocket. I'm thinking, "Why not?" Cos I'm thinking it's like weed, some background shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:26] The English word "shit" has multiple meanings, but in this case, it's being used to say "thing" or "stuff". So when he says, "This guy gave me some shit," he's basically saying, "This guy gave me something," right? And when he says, "A couple of days later, I found that shit in my pocket," he's saying, "A couple of days later, I found that thing in my pocket." It's the same thing.

Dave Chappelle: [00:06:47] Cos I'm thinking it's like weed, some background shit. I planned my whole day out like it was weed. I'll chew this shit up, then I go to the barber shop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:06] The phrasal verb "to plan something out" basically means to plan what you're going to do in the future, but carefully and in detail. And you might be wondering, what's the difference between "plan" and "plan out"? Well, in this case, there's really no difference. "Plan out" is a more colloquial way of saying the same thing. In some cases, using the phrasal verb "to plan out" can imply that you plan things in great detail. Right? More time and preparation were needed to make your plan. But in this case, plan and plan out are the same thing.

Dave Chappelle: [00:07:35] I planned my whole day out like it was weed. I'll chew this shit up, then I'll go to the barber shop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:49] If you look in the dictionary, it'll tell you that the phrasal verb "chew up" means to destroy. For example, "The dog chewed up the furniture", meaning he destroyed the furniture by chewing on it constantly. But in this case, "chew up", it just means to chew thoroughly and swallow. So Dave could have said, "I'll eat this shit, go to the barber shop, and then I'll see a movie," and it would have been the same exact thing. It would have had the same exact meaning, you see?

[00:08:14] And just like the phrasal verb "plan out", the phrasal verb "chew up" is being used colloquially. And you might hear someone say, "Eat up," which is just another way of encouraging someone to eat and enjoy all of their food. Or you might hear someone say, "Drink up," which is just another way of encouraging someone to drink their entire beverage. You see what I'm saying?

Dave Chappelle: [00:08:36] I'll chew this shit up, then I'll go to the barbershop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie. I chewed it up. So far, so good. Then I was in the barbershop, like an hour later.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:55] "So far, so good." This phrase is used to say that progress has been satisfactory up to now. In other words, we haven't had any problems yet; everything seems to be okay.

Dave Chappelle: [00:09:07] Then I was in the barbershop, like, an hour later. And it's funny cos I was just thinking to myself, I was like, "Oh, *smack* *smack*, this stuff sucks!" Tastes like athlete's foot. I feel sick, but I'm not really high.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:26] If something sucks, it means that it's very bad in terms of quality and or performance. So if the drugs suck, that means that the quality is low so the effects are not very strong.

Dave Chappelle: [00:09:37] "Oh, *smack* *smack* this stuff sucks!" Tastes like athlete's foot. I feel sick, but I'm not really high.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:50] Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that usually starts between your toes. So you can Google the term "athlete's foot", see a picture of it, and then imagine what it would taste like if you licked that foot. Dave is basically saying that's what psychedelic mushrooms taste like.

Dave Chappelle: [00:10:07] "...tastes like athlete's foot." I feel sick, but I'm not really high.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:16] The word "high" in this case is probably the most common way to say that someone is under the influence of drugs. So when we drink alcohol, we get drunk. But when we consume any other drug like things that we smoke or eat or inject, then we get high.

Dave Chappelle: [00:10:33] I feel sick, but I'm not really high. Then I looked in the mirror. I saw the barber's reflection, man. It looked like...it looked like a big penis was cutting my hair. I freaked out!

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:55] "I freaked out!" If someone "freaks out" or if something "freaks them out", they suddenly feel extremely surprised or upset or angry or confused or even scared. So you can imagine your reaction if you saw your barber turn into a penis. Right? You'd probably freak out. You'd go crazy. You'd be extremely scared or maybe surprised or something like that.

Dave Chappelle: [00:11:17] It looked like a big penis was cutting my hair. I freaked out! I started talking to myself, "Dave, calm down. You're on drugs. This is what drugs do. Okay, you know that there was no way...that a penis can cut hair." And I started freaking out, man! I just couldn't take it anymore.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:49] "I just couldn't take it anymore." When someone says, "I can't take it", it means that they're unable to endure or tolerate some unpleasant, critical, harsh or abusive treatment, whether it's physical or emotional; they just can't stand it anymore or they can't take it anymore; they cannot tolerate it anymore. So Dave was just overwhelmed by all of the crazy shit he was seeing after eating the mushrooms.

Dave Chappelle: [00:12:15] And I started freaking out, man! I just couldn't take it anymore. I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money.

Tony Kaizen: [00:12:28] "I jumped out of the chair." The dictionary says "jump out" means "to propel oneself upward over a distance in a single quick motion or series of such motions". So all you need to imagine here is someone quickly rising from a chair almost in a jumping motion because they were freaked out or scared by something they saw.

Dave Chappelle: [00:12:49] I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money.

Tony Kaizen: [00:12:58] In this context, a "handful" of something simply refers to a quantity that fills the hand. So you might have a handful of money. You might have a handful of candy. You might have a handful of peanuts. It could be anything. And it just means whatever you're holding is enough to fill your hand completely.

Dave Chappelle: [00:13:15] I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money. It was weird - the balls opened up. Anyway, I...I ran home, man. I ran home as fast as I could.

Tony Kaizen: [00:13:33] The phrasal verb "open up" has multiple meanings, but in this case, it means to open by separating. So this might be weird to think about, but you can picture two balls side by side, and when they open up, they separate and a hand comes out of the space in the middle to receive the money. That's basically what Dave was describing.

[00:13:52] And the word, "anyway", in this context is being used to resume a subject after an interruption. Right? Because Dave was telling the story, then he got distracted by the part about the balls, and then he said "anyway", and returned to the original topic. You see what I'm saying?

Dave Chappelle: [00:14:07] It was weird - the balls opened up. Anyway, I...I ran home, man. I ran home as fast as I could. I was trippin! Trippin! I looked at the clock. It was 02:42. I was like, "Damn, 02:42! I gotta sober up. I've never been this high this early!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:14:30] To "sober up" means to become sober or to become less drunk or less high, which is practically the same thing.

Dave Chappelle: [00:14:38] "...I gotta sober up. I've never been this high this early!" I took a shower. I was still high. I said, "Maybe music will do the trick!" I listened to every CD I had. I was still high. "Exercise! That's what I'll do." I ran around the block four times, still high. Took a nap, woke up, fucked up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:15:09] "Took a nap, woke up, fucked up." The phrasal verb "to wake up" means to stop sleeping, and to be "fucked up" in this context means to be intoxicated from drugs or alcohol. So someone might say, "Man, I was so fucked up last night." And that means that they were extremely intoxicated last night. So in an attempt to sober up, Dave tried to take a nap, but he woke up and he was still high. That's the idea you can understand.

Dave Chappelle: [00:15:37] I ran around the block four times, still high. Took a nap, woke up, fucked up. I looked at the clock. It was 02:43! I said, "Goddamn!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:15:52] "Goddamn!" The phrase "goddamn" is used to express anger or annoyance with someone or something. So after taking a shower, listening to music, running around the block and taking a nap, Dave was still fucked up. He was still high, he was still intoxicated. So naturally he was annoyed and he said, "Goddamn!" Right? Like, "Shit man, I'm still high? I gotta find a way to sober up." You know what I'm saying? That's the idea.

Dave Chappelle: [00:16:19] Took a nap, woke up, fucked up. I looked at the clock. It was 02:43! I said, "Goddamn!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:16:30] Alright, my friend. As I always say, don't feel bad if you still have trouble understanding every single word and phrase in clips like this one. Comedy is almost a hundred percent based on culture, and comedians use lots of slang and expressions when they speak. So naturally, you'd have to be extremely familiar with the language and culture to understand everything one hundred percent of the time.

Tony Kaizen: [00:16:50] The most important thing for you to do is review lessons like this one and start putting new words and phrases into practice so you can really internalize their various meanings and the different ways we use them in casual speech. But that's it for now, my friend. Thank you so much for your time and attention. I really hope you enjoyed this episode. This is the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and I'll talk to you in the next one. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

Writing prompts

  • What are your thoughts on recreational drugs?
  • Should drugs be legal? Why or why not?
  • Write about a time you were drunk/high - or the reason you've never been drunk/high.
Key Vocabulary & Grammar Guide
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Key Vocabulary Guide

Transcript

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] What's up, my friend? This is the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and in this episode, you're going to be entertained by the legendary stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle. Now, in this clip I'm about to play, Dave tells a hilarious story about the first time he tried psychedelic mushrooms. So I'm going to play the whole thing from start to finish and then go back and explain some keywords and phrases to make sure you understand the entire story. And if you want to learn more about Dave Chappelle and his work, you can check out the links in the description of this episode. Alright? Let's get started.

Dave Chappelle: [00:00:35] Can't do everything! Maybe weed! If you're gonna do something, do a little weed, smoke some...weed... Weed is not as bad as everything else. Weed is a background substance. I mean, you can smoke some herb and still function. You ain't crisp...but you'll function! Nothing higher than weed, though. I made that mistake one time. I...I was at a party.

Dave Chappelle: [00:01:04] Some guy gave me some shit. He's like, "Here, man, take this. It's fucking mushrooms." I took it. I forgot all about it, you know? Then a couple of days later, I found that shit in my pocket. I'm thinking, "Why not?" Cos I'm thinking it's like weed, some background shit. I planned my whole day out like it was weed. I'll chew this shit up. Then I'll go to the barber shop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie.

Dave Chappelle: [00:01:33] I chewed it up. So far, so good. Then I was in the barbershop, like, an hour later. And it's funny cos I was just thinking to myself, I was like, "Oh, *smack* *smack*, this stuff sucks!" Tastes like athlete's foot. I feel sick, but I'm not really high. Then I looked in the mirror. I saw the barber's reflection, man. It looked like...it looked like a big penis was cutting my hair.

[00:02:14] I freaked out! I started talking to myself, "Dave, calm down. You're on drugs. This is what drugs do. Okay, you know that there was no way...that a penis can cut hair." Boy, I started freaking out, man! I just couldn't take it anymore. I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money. It was weird - the balls opened up.

Dave Chappelle: [00:02:51] Anyway, I...I ran home, man. I ran home as fast as I could. I was trippin! Trippin! I looked at the clock. It was 02:42. I was like, "Damn, 02:42! I gotta sober up. I've never been this high this early!" I took a shower. I was still high. I said, "Maybe music will do the trick!" I listened to every CD I had. I was still high. "Exercise! That's what I'll do." I ran around the block four times, still high. Took a nap, woke up, fucked up. I looked at the clock. It was 02:43! I said, "Goddamn!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:44] Alright, my friend, like I always say, do not feel bad if you didn't get the whole idea or you didn't understand every single word, cos now we're going to go back and listen to the story little by little while I explain some keywords and phrases to make sure you understand everything. So let's do it.

Dave Chappelle: [00:04:02] Can't do everything! Maybe weed! If we gotta do something, do a little weed, smoke some...weed... Weed is not as bad as everything else. Weed is a background substance. I mean, you can smoke some herb and still function. You ain't crisp...but you'll function! Nothing higher than weed, though.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:28] Alright. I wanna stop here and explain the term "background substance". Background substance isn't a term we actually use in daily speech. When Dave uses the term "background substance", he's being funny and playing with the original terms, which are "background music" and "background noise". And these terms just describe the music or noise that can be heard while doing some other activity.

Tony Kaizen: [00:04:48] For example, you might like having some background noise while you work because it helps you focus. Or you might be eating at a restaurant while they play some background music that's loud enough to be heard but not loud enough to interrupt your conversation. You see what I'm saying? It's just playing in the background to create a nice atmosphere. Now, you probably got this by using the context of the situation, but just in case you didn't, the word "herb", h-e-r-b, in this case, is slang for weed or marijuana. So you can smoke some weed and still function.

Dave Chappelle: [00:05:19] I mean, you can smoke some herb and still function. You ain't crisp...but you'll function.

Tony Kaizen: [00:05:30] In this context, when Dave says, "You ain't crisp", he's basically saying that, "You're not sharp." And in this case, the word "sharp" means having or showing speed of perception, comprehension, or response. In other words, Dave is saying, when you smoke weed, your brain is not operating at peak capacity; you're not sharp; you can't respond quickly; you might not always know what's going on, but at least you can function. But with psychedelic mushrooms, it's not like that.

Dave Chappelle: [00:05:57] And you ain't crisp...but you'll function. Nothing higher than weed, though. I made that mistake one time. I was at a party. Some guy gave me some shit. He's like, "Here, man, take this. It's fucking mushrooms." I took it. I forgot all about it, you know? Then a couple of days later, I found that shit in my pocket. I'm thinking, "Why not?" Cos I'm thinking it's like weed, some background shit.

Tony Kaizen: [00:06:26] The English word "shit" has multiple meanings, but in this case, it's being used to say "thing" or "stuff". So when he says, "This guy gave me some shit," he's basically saying, "This guy gave me something," right? And when he says, "A couple of days later, I found that shit in my pocket," he's saying, "A couple of days later, I found that thing in my pocket." It's the same thing.

Dave Chappelle: [00:06:47] Cos I'm thinking it's like weed, some background shit. I planned my whole day out like it was weed. I'll chew this shit up, then I go to the barber shop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:06] The phrasal verb "to plan something out" basically means to plan what you're going to do in the future, but carefully and in detail. And you might be wondering, what's the difference between "plan" and "plan out"? Well, in this case, there's really no difference. "Plan out" is a more colloquial way of saying the same thing. In some cases, using the phrasal verb "to plan out" can imply that you plan things in great detail. Right? More time and preparation were needed to make your plan. But in this case, plan and plan out are the same thing.

Dave Chappelle: [00:07:35] I planned my whole day out like it was weed. I'll chew this shit up, then I'll go to the barber shop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie.

Tony Kaizen: [00:07:49] If you look in the dictionary, it'll tell you that the phrasal verb "chew up" means to destroy. For example, "The dog chewed up the furniture", meaning he destroyed the furniture by chewing on it constantly. But in this case, "chew up", it just means to chew thoroughly and swallow. So Dave could have said, "I'll eat this shit, go to the barber shop, and then I'll see a movie," and it would have been the same exact thing. It would have had the same exact meaning, you see?

[00:08:14] And just like the phrasal verb "plan out", the phrasal verb "chew up" is being used colloquially. And you might hear someone say, "Eat up," which is just another way of encouraging someone to eat and enjoy all of their food. Or you might hear someone say, "Drink up," which is just another way of encouraging someone to drink their entire beverage. You see what I'm saying?

Dave Chappelle: [00:08:36] I'll chew this shit up, then I'll go to the barbershop, get my hair cut, and then I'll see a movie. I chewed it up. So far, so good. Then I was in the barbershop, like an hour later.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:55] "So far, so good." This phrase is used to say that progress has been satisfactory up to now. In other words, we haven't had any problems yet; everything seems to be okay.

Dave Chappelle: [00:09:07] Then I was in the barbershop, like, an hour later. And it's funny cos I was just thinking to myself, I was like, "Oh, *smack* *smack*, this stuff sucks!" Tastes like athlete's foot. I feel sick, but I'm not really high.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:26] If something sucks, it means that it's very bad in terms of quality and or performance. So if the drugs suck, that means that the quality is low so the effects are not very strong.

Dave Chappelle: [00:09:37] "Oh, *smack* *smack* this stuff sucks!" Tastes like athlete's foot. I feel sick, but I'm not really high.

Tony Kaizen: [00:09:50] Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that usually starts between your toes. So you can Google the term "athlete's foot", see a picture of it, and then imagine what it would taste like if you licked that foot. Dave is basically saying that's what psychedelic mushrooms taste like.

Dave Chappelle: [00:10:07] "...tastes like athlete's foot." I feel sick, but I'm not really high.

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:16] The word "high" in this case is probably the most common way to say that someone is under the influence of drugs. So when we drink alcohol, we get drunk. But when we consume any other drug like things that we smoke or eat or inject, then we get high.

Dave Chappelle: [00:10:33] I feel sick, but I'm not really high. Then I looked in the mirror. I saw the barber's reflection, man. It looked like...it looked like a big penis was cutting my hair. I freaked out!

Tony Kaizen: [00:10:55] "I freaked out!" If someone "freaks out" or if something "freaks them out", they suddenly feel extremely surprised or upset or angry or confused or even scared. So you can imagine your reaction if you saw your barber turn into a penis. Right? You'd probably freak out. You'd go crazy. You'd be extremely scared or maybe surprised or something like that.

Dave Chappelle: [00:11:17] It looked like a big penis was cutting my hair. I freaked out! I started talking to myself, "Dave, calm down. You're on drugs. This is what drugs do. Okay, you know that there was no way...that a penis can cut hair." And I started freaking out, man! I just couldn't take it anymore.

Tony Kaizen: [00:11:49] "I just couldn't take it anymore." When someone says, "I can't take it", it means that they're unable to endure or tolerate some unpleasant, critical, harsh or abusive treatment, whether it's physical or emotional; they just can't stand it anymore or they can't take it anymore; they cannot tolerate it anymore. So Dave was just overwhelmed by all of the crazy shit he was seeing after eating the mushrooms.

Dave Chappelle: [00:12:15] And I started freaking out, man! I just couldn't take it anymore. I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money.

Tony Kaizen: [00:12:28] "I jumped out of the chair." The dictionary says "jump out" means "to propel oneself upward over a distance in a single quick motion or series of such motions". So all you need to imagine here is someone quickly rising from a chair almost in a jumping motion because they were freaked out or scared by something they saw.

Dave Chappelle: [00:12:49] I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money.

Tony Kaizen: [00:12:58] In this context, a "handful" of something simply refers to a quantity that fills the hand. So you might have a handful of money. You might have a handful of candy. You might have a handful of peanuts. It could be anything. And it just means whatever you're holding is enough to fill your hand completely.

Dave Chappelle: [00:13:15] I jumped out of the chair. Half my hair was cut, I didn't (even) care! I didn't. I just gave a barber a handful of money. It was weird - the balls opened up. Anyway, I...I ran home, man. I ran home as fast as I could.

Tony Kaizen: [00:13:33] The phrasal verb "open up" has multiple meanings, but in this case, it means to open by separating. So this might be weird to think about, but you can picture two balls side by side, and when they open up, they separate and a hand comes out of the space in the middle to receive the money. That's basically what Dave was describing.

[00:13:52] And the word, "anyway", in this context is being used to resume a subject after an interruption. Right? Because Dave was telling the story, then he got distracted by the part about the balls, and then he said "anyway", and returned to the original topic. You see what I'm saying?

Dave Chappelle: [00:14:07] It was weird - the balls opened up. Anyway, I...I ran home, man. I ran home as fast as I could. I was trippin! Trippin! I looked at the clock. It was 02:42. I was like, "Damn, 02:42! I gotta sober up. I've never been this high this early!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:14:30] To "sober up" means to become sober or to become less drunk or less high, which is practically the same thing.

Dave Chappelle: [00:14:38] "...I gotta sober up. I've never been this high this early!" I took a shower. I was still high. I said, "Maybe music will do the trick!" I listened to every CD I had. I was still high. "Exercise! That's what I'll do." I ran around the block four times, still high. Took a nap, woke up, fucked up.

Tony Kaizen: [00:15:09] "Took a nap, woke up, fucked up." The phrasal verb "to wake up" means to stop sleeping, and to be "fucked up" in this context means to be intoxicated from drugs or alcohol. So someone might say, "Man, I was so fucked up last night." And that means that they were extremely intoxicated last night. So in an attempt to sober up, Dave tried to take a nap, but he woke up and he was still high. That's the idea you can understand.

Dave Chappelle: [00:15:37] I ran around the block four times, still high. Took a nap, woke up, fucked up. I looked at the clock. It was 02:43! I said, "Goddamn!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:15:52] "Goddamn!" The phrase "goddamn" is used to express anger or annoyance with someone or something. So after taking a shower, listening to music, running around the block and taking a nap, Dave was still fucked up. He was still high, he was still intoxicated. So naturally he was annoyed and he said, "Goddamn!" Right? Like, "Shit man, I'm still high? I gotta find a way to sober up." You know what I'm saying? That's the idea.

Dave Chappelle: [00:16:19] Took a nap, woke up, fucked up. I looked at the clock. It was 02:43! I said, "Goddamn!"

Tony Kaizen: [00:16:30] Alright, my friend. As I always say, don't feel bad if you still have trouble understanding every single word and phrase in clips like this one. Comedy is almost a hundred percent based on culture, and comedians use lots of slang and expressions when they speak. So naturally, you'd have to be extremely familiar with the language and culture to understand everything one hundred percent of the time.

Tony Kaizen: [00:16:50] The most important thing for you to do is review lessons like this one and start putting new words and phrases into practice so you can really internalize their various meanings and the different ways we use them in casual speech. But that's it for now, my friend. Thank you so much for your time and attention. I really hope you enjoyed this episode. This is the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen, and I'll talk to you in the next one. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

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