Different intoxicants are consumed in different ways, and I don’t just mean the methods that you use to put them into your body. I’m talking about the customs that arise around intoxicants. These have been a part of humanity since the dawn of mankind, when a monkey, living naked and blissful in a lush valley first ate a mushroom that was growing out of a pile of dinosaur shit and saw and felt things he’d never felt before.
He gathered the rest of the mushrooms and ran back to his monkey troop. They watched him bound toward them, wide eyed and grinning with two armloads of stegosauraus shit-covered mushrooms in his arms. Within minutes, the entire neighborhood was balls deep. An absolutely insane evening ensued. When the monkeys woke up the next day jonesing for another go around with the magical shit fruit, they searched only to find that they had consumed all the mushrooms available to them.
The monkeys knew that eventually they would find more hallucinogenic mushrooms, thus propelling their gradual evolution into modern humans. But they learned the lesson of moderation that day, and they decided that the next time they tripped, they would value it, and treat it as a spiritual ceremony. It would be the first ever of its kind, which evolved into everything from spirit quests and ayahuasca rituals to Irish people getting shitfaced and smashing each other’s faces with beer mugs. In every culture, for every intoxicant, there is a ceremony, from pouring a little out for your homies past to the courtesy wake up at your friendly neighborhood opium den. And with ceremony comes etiquette. I believe in rules. I believe in tradition. And most of all, I believe in etiquette.
That’s why I can’t fucking stand it when people burn the entire green part of the bowl on the first hit. Weed tradition doesn’t ask much of you. It doesn’t ask you to paint your body or climb a mountain or prepare in any way, really. It just wants you to take an opportunity to be mellow and share and enjoy the good vibes between you and whoever is near. Why would you do something to ruin this wonderful moment? Not on my bong.
Yeah, I’m almost thirty and I own a bong. I bought it on my 28th birthday as a gift to myself. I fell right back into the old college groove with the thing, but what I found funny was that so many people my age, who had probably used a bong plenty of times when they were in college, could not handle the bong. They’d forgotten how to smoke out of one, how to manage being so stoned all of a sudden, and most importantly how to properly and politely burn the top of the bowl when they’re hitting it. You know who you are, you clumsy dickheads. This is what you hand me.
No. No. If we were sharing a piece of birthday cake, would you just scoop all of the icing off of the top and leave me with the dry, spongy yellow cake part? Don’t answer, I’ve already deduced that you would because you’ve done much worse. Cake is shit to me. I want a nice fresh-tasting bong hit.
The courteous thing to do is hold the lighter at the edge of the bowl piece, pull on the shaft, cup the balls, cough like little bitch, etc. I don’t care what you do afterward, but when we’re both showing each other this courtesy, this is how it should look.
Ah, tradition. Feels good, don’t it? You and I have kept something alive today, we’ve shown each other courtesy. We’ve shared in custom, and I feel great. I feel particularly great because I actually just smoked that whole bong load myself and took pictures of each stage, and then wrote this article (yeah, this is technically news). Anyhow, until next time, I’m going to trail off.
GIF by @DanStuckey
La Longue Nuit de Mégantic
VICE Special: VICE Eats with John Besh
All the Books I Read in 2013
Live Streaming the Ukrainian Revolt
The Brown Mountain State
Crony Capitalism and Crushed Dissent in Angola
A Bunny Was Decapitated in an Ongoing Blood Feud Between Figure Skaters
'I Will Die Soon; I Know That': Meeting the Real Christiane F
I Went to a Japanese Wine Spa
I Spent a Month Living in a Romanian Sexcam Studio