A few weeks back, we asked our fine Mile Highs and Lows readers to submit pictures of the most ghettofied smoking devices they own. The winner (or loser, depending on how you look at it), gets a shiny, new Silver Surfer Vaporizer. We didn't just want the typical apple pipes, aluminum can pipes and two-liter bong setups, and you all came through.
The response was great, and as you can see below, some people have put more effort into fixing their pipe than into coming up with the $20 or so that it would take to replace it. Below, check out our countdown to the winner. All you runners-up are just going to have to smoke joints in the meantime, so we're sending you all out a few DoobToobs as consolation prizes so you can keep your paper planes safe in a hangar.
9. Microphone Pipe This one took home the most creative pipe award by far -- but style alone wasn't going to win the contest. I imagine this pipe was made out of necessity on the road but has remained in use due to its stealthiness in states where medicating before rocking the fuck out is frowned upon. Or maybe it was the lead singer of a stoner band who got tired of waiting until he was backstage during a set break to smoke a bowl. Whoever made this, feel free to bring it to the next Westword music showcase and meet me backstage.
8. Coconut Chalice This was sent in by an occasional Westword commenter and story subject, Greenfaith Ministry's Reverend Brandon Baker. Though it may be made of a coconut, plastic tubing and a clay bowl, this is also one of the most revered ways to smoke for our Rasta bredren and sistren, be they in Jamaicaor a dorm room at CU-Boulder. A chalice, as they say. Basically, it's a hollowed out coconut nut turned into a heavy-duty, organic bubbler. I want one of these for my own office.
7. Tour de Bonge Who says there is no doping in cycling? I'll let the entrant explain: "This water pipe has literally been to the mountain and back. My buddies and I like to mountain bike and we like to smoke while we are doing it sometimes. Especially on long rides. There is nothing like a bong hit at 12,000 feet before a long run of downhill." This pipe, above all others, took home the prize for most functional. Not only that, but look at those classic aluminum bowl parts! That's straight out of the mid-'90s Graffix Bong catalog. It's got mileage, and it's clearly loved. This isn't janky: It's both a keepsake and a testament to your stonerdom, my friend.
6. Crack pipe meets Gandalf It's like the glass blower got sick of blowing the pipe and just gave up after finishing the worked bowl and bending the rest of the tubing around. I called it a crack pipe because of the resemblance of the dirty stem to the countless "Wild Roses" containers I would find in my alleys living downtown. Thing is, I kind of like this piece. Not that I would search it out or be commissioning any of Colorado's awesome blowers to make me anything like it. But it has a certain charm to it. Now, if it were broken and duct-taped together with a Coke can....
5. Coca-Cola-Glass-Bowla-Duct-tape-rolla ...I might have been more inclined to consider it for the win. To this young man, the Coke can pipe wasn't enough. Oh, no. He needed to take things one step further and make sure that this Coke can pipe was going to last longer than one night. I'm not even sure how it works, but look at the passion. Look at the ingenuity. Look at the KRAFT Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Crème and wonder just how long after this picture was taken that the bowl was lit and someone did a very stoned, four-fingered scoop out of it. While I feel the pain of the lost bong that aided in the creation of this piece of functional pop art, I have a feeling this dude will pool together some Christmas money with his homeys and have a replacement by the new year.
4. Toilet paper tube and foil steamroller While I do feel for this person, I think smoking devices like it are a rite of passage more than a sign of janky pipeness. My only advice is to give up on the tinfoil bowl. Just roll up a joint or a blunt and pop it in the hole instead. Oh, and use a paper towel roll instead of a TP roll (think about what the last person to touch that tube before you was doing with their hands). For real, though: Go pick up a glass spoon pipe on the cheap.
3. Arnold PalmBong Good puffers know that a good lemonade/ice tea mix is great for cotton mouth -- and for making a smoking device out of. This entrant said he broke his glass bong weeks ago but managed to salvage the downstem and bowl from the wreckage and attach it to its new home via strategically placed (for angle) zip-ties. The bowl slide must not work anymore, though, because the entrant noted that he added an old-school thumb carb on it as well. The thing has clearly seen some heavy use, as indicated by the piss-yellow bongwater and heavy resin stains. We're not quite sure about the Sriracha, to the left in the photo above, but we have a pretty good idea of what that bottle is destined to become once that hot sauce is gone.
2. Palm Shredder Notice how this applicant color-matched the blue electrical tape to the color pattern on his barely functional broken glass bubbler AND the blue flowered bed sheet (or possibly a muumuu) it is laying on. I can also totally see whoever smokes this still pulling his finger off of that completely useless carb hole on the pipe every time he takes a hit -- and since the tubing is from an old fish tank, you know it tastes kinda second-day sushi-ish. But best of all is the broken mouthpiece of the former pipe, which now acts as a razor-sharp handle of sorts. It adds an air of danger to smoking, like: "Fuck yeah, we're going to smoke some weed, man. But you gotta have the balls to grab the Palm Shredder!" And the winner is....
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1. Hello Kitty Candy Lipstick Okay, bear with me here, because I know a lot of you are already saying: "WTF, mate? That super awesome microphone pipe or the kid smoking old fish-tank mildew needs this thing!" Granted, the ingenuity is nothing special. Dude just drilled a hole in an empty Hello Kitty chapstick tube and put an old metal screw-top bowl in it. Any asshole could have done that and sent it in. But here's the deal: It's clearly been smoked out of, as you can tell from the charred/resin-covered hole where the bowl has been (likely) melted into place. So while his high-larious choice of lip balm and the overall stealthiness of the pipe is noteworthy, the bottom line is: THIS DUDE COULD DIE FROM SMOKING OUT OF THIS PLASTIC THING! So, my friend, you can stop scarring your lungs with chemical burns and take a step up in the world of smoking accessories with your new Silver Surfer Vaporizer. It'll be coming your way soon. Congrats.