My best friend in the world turned 21 on Saturday.
I know what you're thinking. Does this really warrant its own blog post? The answer is yes. Yes it does. Why?
This is the best friend that convinced me to try cannabis. Before summer of 2012, I was a firm believer in all things D.A.R.E. Then I found out that my best friend, someone I admire and respect, used the plant.
Of course, I was skeptical and judgmental at first. (I'm not proud of the lecture(s) I gave my best bud.) If anyone knows pre-college Kristen Williams, they know she did not participate in illegal activities...ever. As many times as I would be told I would be offered drugs in my teen years, it never did happen - even though my high school was known for its drugs. I think people inherently knew better than to offer me anything.
It took me a while to try smoking, but I did my research, and decided to try it. Turns out, it was great. I've always been naturally anxious and apprehensive but had no idea to what degree; this was one of the first times in my life my brain calmed down long enough for me to genuinely enjoy the moment I was in. It was a new and wonderful experience.
So, I started using cannabis recreationally on the weekends with my friends. I had tried doing the "party drinker" thing the first week of college, but was pretty done with that scene after the first few days of Freshman week. I've never been much of a crowd person, especially while recreating; I much prefer being social in small groups with close friends of mine who I feel comfortable with. This was a way to relax with those loved ones, laugh ourselves silly, and not spend the night throwing up.
The next year, I turned 21, and my best bud surprised me with a Zong.
I had only smoked out of a bong (and a small one at that) maybe twice; pipes were my main method of consumption (surprisingly, never joints or blunts, either). And now I had a magnificent Zong.
Honestly, I was slightly terrified of being in possession of such a wonderful piece of glass. I'm still, and always will be, overly protective of it (not only because it's monetary value, but because I'm sentimental as shit). I vividly remember carefully watching my best bud as he showed me how all the pieces fit together as he gave detailed instructions on how to hit the Zong (instructions I relayed to any person who dared touch the Zong). We loaded it up and I took my first ever hit in his slightly dark bedroom, black lights glowing, and blowing the smoke into a fish-tank tube whose other end was shoved through a hole in the window screen. That first rip probably got me higher than I've ever been. I only took one.
A year later, I was a pro, and widely known amongst my smoking community for being the owner of the Zong. It never failed to make an appearance at birthday celebrations, and my hand-designed and sewn roll-up toolkit never failed to impress (although I was horribly embarrassed of my sewing job). Without knowing or expecting it, I became the girl with the cool smoke shit. All thanks to my best bud.
Since that birthday, I have been plotting and scheming what I would get for my best bud when his day finally came.
I knew it had to be epic.
As the day approached, I began looking into the latest and greatest smoking technology. I came across the Hitman Torch Tube (an oil rig with a built-in butane torch) and fell in love - until I saw the price. So... I wandered around sites like grasscity.com, aqualabtechnologies.com, and thickassglass.com - but it's hard to fall in love online, so I headed to a couple of head shops in town to talk to the experts. I was really looking for a bong over a rig, since my best bud had recently bought a new rig within the past year and hadn't had a new bong since he first began smoking. I was told there aren't many new innovations in bongs since rigs are all the rage right now, but I was pointed towards some of the coolest percolators available, including the turbine disks which were very tempting - but looked too similar to his original bong. Other things on my list to check: durability, ease of cleaning, and size (not too big - it had to be easy to store).
At the second shop, I found this beauty.
This bong, made by Blown Glass Goods, was the perfect candidate for my best bud's 21st birthday gift. The (incredible) thickness of the glass will allow for fun attachments in the future like a freezing Illadelph coil, and it's small enough that could be converted to a rig if so desired. It stands maybe 1.5 ft tall with the mouthpiece and has two separate percolators (inline and showerhead) and a mouth guard. With all the filtration, I decided cleaning wouldn't be too bad. Also, the design on the mouthpiece suit my best bud's taste perfectly.
Then came the presentation.
I'm all about the presentation when it comes to these kinds of things. I like my gifts to be a personal, hand crafted experience from the heart. In that spirit, I made my own "Happy Fuckin' Birthday" wrapping paper (explicit gift = explicit wrapping paper) and photographed + printed images of the piece to wrap up as well; my best bud's just as sentimental as I am. I designed and created a thick, black, closing envelope for the photos to stay in and to prevent bending.
I was way too excited to give him his present on Saturday.
It was, indeed, a success. I would share photos of the unveiling, but this best bud isn't quite ready for that exposure, yet. (Don't worry, it's coming - he's the other half of that future cannabusiness I'm planning.)
The bong itself was also magical. The percolators do wonders for filtration; you can do a huge rip and not worry about the smoke getting to you before you're ready. But I'll stop with this post for now and save that full review for another day. :)
Has anyone else been gifted a badass piece of smoke equipment? I'd love to hear about it and see pictures!
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