So this is kinda strange. I never do this, but I decided to get stoned. Well, that may be a bit of an overstatement: I took all of two hits. Not exactly stoned, more like what comes after a body high. However, nowadays that's all I need. Hell, this is the first time hitting a pipe in, say, five or six years for me.
With that being said, I don't exactly own paraphernalia anymore. So, I thought: what could I use? Well, the first thing that came to mind was a soda can, after drinking a Hansen's. To make that contraption, you just crush the can in its center, prick the flattened area with a pin a couple of times (this creates the wind tunnel), and this serves as a bowl. Then, I thought of using an all-aluminum foil pipe, the one that requires some origami skills. Then I remembered, any vegetable or fruit can serve as a pipe. So, a carrot it was.
The carrot pipe is easy to do, and if you have a couple of kitchen tools you can make a pretty nice one. I just so happened to have a melon-baller for the bowl, and then used a chopstick to hollow out a stem. I wish I could take a picture of it.
This process of making a pipe triggered all sorts of memories. You see, back in the day I was what you would call "a fucking pothead." So, inevitably, pipe-making was of particular interest for me. I wonder if I can generate a list of different pipes I made, hmmm.....
Fimo clay was an easy way to make a pipe back in the day. You would let your creative skills mingle with your mechanical skills and then have something beautiful to show for it (or at least your hippie brain would convince you of this). Bake it for a couple of hours till rock hard, then put a screen in it. Unfortunately -- come to find out -- it's really toxic to burn that Fimo shit, and inhaling it is even worse.
A quick trip to the hardware store could produce enough little connector pieces and/or plumbing angles to create a metal pipe that would start to scald your hand if you held it for any longer than a minute. However, a trip to a Garden/Feed store could provide one with the parts to make a water-pipe (more on why I called it a water-pipe in a bit). All you needed was about a foot of large clear plastic tubing, a rubber stopper to put in the end of the tube, and the metal bits and pieces to make a stem and bowl -- usually the same style metal parts in the hardware store. Just cut two holes: one for the stem, and one for the carb. There you go: Feed-store bong.
I've discussed the flattened soda can pipe, but one can also make a pipe out of a plastic litre bottle. However, it is used for making a Gravity Bong. You just cut the last quarter of the bottom off the bottle and install a stem/bowl in the top. Fill up a sink full of water. Then, slowly submerge the majority of the bottle in the water, fill the bowl, light it and slowly raise the bottle. You will see smoke collecting in the cylinder as you lift it. Before the bottle comes all of the way out of the water, take the stem out, put your mouth around the spout, then push down and inhale. Instantly, you fill your lungs with more than they can handle. So you cough, and cough, and then remain paralyzed for a few good hours.
Unfortunately, I can't remember any more pipe recipes off-the-top-of-my-head. And here I thought I could be a worthy addition to a brand new edition of The Anarchist Cookbook. Does such a thing exist? Last I checked, the original author became a born-again Christian who wrote some long screed on Amazon.com about how wrong and stupid he has been all his life up until now. Now he has a wife and kids, and, presumably, doesn't have the spare time to tinker with lead pipe bombs and instructions on how to kill people with your bare hands. His life story via customer review came off as a bit condescending and, paradoxically, just as extreme as his preface to the Cookbook. If I hadn't already thought that he was an idiot, his long-winded diatribe confirmed it.
So, back to why I called a bong a "water-pipe." When I was seventeen, I worked in a head shop: I'm gonna assume people know what that is. I basically safeguarded all sorts of pipes, some cigars, rolling papers and machines, and UA (urine analysis) cleaners. They were all encased in glass as if they were precious jewels, and I needed a key to open each case.
I also had to police customers on their proper shop etiquette. It alludes to its use as an illegal activity if you call a bong a bong, rather than calling it a water-pipe. So, it was safe to assume that the only head shop in a small conservative town would be scrutinized, and probably by undercover cops. Therefore, I had to be strict and introduce the word waterpipe into the vocabulary of the hescher/piece of shit customers that frequented the place. There was also a sign that read: "Waterpipes Are For Tobacco Use Only." And that brought a lot of problems with it.
Typically, it would be some bright bulb who would make some sarcastic remark about the phrase "For Tobacco Use Only." It was amusing at first, to see what little it took for someone to feel clever, but it quickly got annoying. It was on a daily basis that I would get some ingenious comment on the silliness of that slogan, and one day I decided to break customer service character to tell a young kid how fucking ridiculous he was being. I pointed out that this was the only head shop in town, and that there might not be one in the future unless he started acting his age and respecting the establishment by calling them fucking WATERPIPES! And oh, by the way,... we fucking get it, alright?
Near the end of my tenure at The Smoke Shop, I was having these sorts of arguments all of the time. If it wasn't someone yelling at me for believing that the digital scale he purchased was faulty (which turned out not to be the case, he just didn't know how to turn the damn thing on), it was someone blaming me for their failure of a work-related drug test because of the pre-urine analysis cleansing smoothie we sold. We carried three smoothie flavors: "victory chocolate", "no sweat, berry!", and "We'll be back to work in no time banana mango." Of course we didn't.
Another UA alternative was this stuff called Klear. Klear came in two vials, and instead of drinking it, one would empty the contents into their UA cup after filling it. This destroyed, I presume, any THC molecules floating around in your piss. Unfortunately, if you used too much, it would completely transform your urine into something more akin to all-purpose cleaner. So that didn't work for too long, and I believe it was those sort of products that started the whole UA officer standing in front of you while you piss.
What was kinda strange about working at the head shop was the fact that I had already quit smoking weed at that point. Got tired of it. Got tired of the people associated with it. And then here I was, immersed in the paraphernalia trade and reaping none of the benefits. That's alright though. I don't miss it, and even now it is just ok; not great, or wonderful, or anything like how I remembered it from my middle-school and high-school days. Well, now I'm getting too tired to think. Till next time.