Long days, warm nights, and more activities than you can shake a stick at. By now you are settling into your role as a bong lord or lady, enjoying your new piece of equipment to the fullest your lungs will expand. You’re calibrating the perfect amount of bud to fill that chamber to its milkiest smoke density (hint: inhale very, very slowly, fill the tube, pause, and then inhale while pulling the slide), and maybe availing yourself of a bunch of ice cubes to cool the smoke on those days you are feeling overheated. You know, doing all the basic stuff that befits canna-royalty.
If you do it right, the tutorial on how to clean that puppy without needing to invest in a bunch of expensive concoctions (which do work, but at about a 700 percent markup over what you really need to shell out) that will be coming in a few weeks should be about the time you look at your fancy new water pipe and ask yourself when you became such a filthy animal.
As for this week, the longest days and shortest nights of “The Summer of Bong,” let us investigate an old school high-human trick (apologies to any copyrights David Letterman may have procured). It may turn your next gathering into either the biggest giggle fest since middle school sex ed, or a fiasco of broken potato chips, melted ice cream, and untimely public napping.
Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you… (fanfare… much anticipatory shortness of breath… wild cheering)… the gravity bong! This love child of stoners – the kind who do not mind drooling on themselves a little bit, and the stoners who attend college to study engineering BEYOND the tinkering with household items like fruit baskets or honey bear bottles to turn them into smoking devices – the gravity bong was the 10-gram dab before BHO was a thing.
I remember the Wednesday (early dismissal day) someone set one of these puppies up in my boy Goz’s bathroom. Long story short, I cannot for the life of me remember who was responsible for the gravity bong’s construction, nor do I remember much in the way of details from that late ’80s afternoon, but I do recall the walk home taking approximately three times as long, and a dinner (meatloaf, rice, broccoli, and so much gravy) that was extra delicious, even by the standards of my mom’s wonderful cooking.
The basics of gravity bong-building includes two chambers – the larger filled with water, and the smaller, a receptacle that will hold the smoke until you forcefully push it into your lungs – fitted into one another to create a vacuum filled with a dense, sizable cloud of smoke. The larger can be anything from a 2 or 3-liter bottle with the top cut off approximately 3/4 of the way up, or a bucket, sink, or even a bath tub (done it). The smaller is usually a smaller plastic bottle with the bottom cut off. The bottom is filled with water, and the top (called the “interior” henceforth) is fitted with a screen or a “bowl” made from foil with holes punched through it that is lowered into the water.
From there, you touch a flame to the bowl and raise the interior bottle very slowly. As you raise it, the pressure will cause the interior bottle to fill with smoke. The climax to this situation involves the removal of the bowl piece, the placement of your mouth over the bottle’s opening, and a quick submergence of the bottle that will rapidly push the smoke straight into your lungs. Cough, get off, and enjoy your new status as lord or lady of the bong.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good. Contact him at [email protected].