Consider the Pothead: I Smoked Weed out of 'Infinite Jest'
After constructing pipes and bongs out of various household items—including David Foster Wallace's postmodern masterpiece, turning 20 this week—I realized that I, too, am a creative genius.
Photos courtesy of the author
If you, like me, were a stoner teen in the days before there were online tutorials about how to smoke weed out of literally anything, you are likely familiar with the process of desperately fashioning pipes and bongs out of anything you possibly could: apples your parents packed you for lunch, milk crates from the cafeteria, old plastic vodka bottles, the list goes on. I remember once rolling a joint using a page from my biology text book on one particularly dispairing day. My friends called me Marijuana MacGyver.
Though I was stoned pretty much everyday of my high school experience (how could I have survived otherwise?), I never purchased a real weed smoking device until I graduated. I became such a pro at making pipes and bongs out of every day objects, and enjoyed the process so much, that I actually thought it would be a waste of money to buy one.
Over the years, I have accumulated plenty of pricey weed smoking devices, but I still sometimes make my own pipes and bongs for the nostalgia value. Here are a few of my favorites.
The Carrot Pipe
The carrot pipe is a classic, in my book. This was my go-to makeshift pipe from ages 14 to 17 due to the fact that my stepdad packed a whole carrot wrapped in tinfoil in my lunch every single day. I don't know why he did this, really. I guess he thought I liked eating the carrots because I never told him otherwise, but the tinfoil I still can't explain. As far as I was concerned, he might as well have included a note that said, "Please turn this tinfoil and carrot into a weed smoking device." While other kids in my high school were piercing plastic water bottles with pocket knives to quickly MacGyver a bong between classes, I was busy painstakingly shoving a long metal straw through the shaft of an organic carrot.
Unless you like the feeling of ash in your mouth, I would not recommend smoking out of carrot. But this pipe has some serious nostalgia value for me, so overall I would rate it a 5/10.
The Coconut Ice Cream Pint Pipe
Let me begin by saying that I don't normally consume coconut milk ice cream. I am an ice cream purist. I do not generally feel morally okay with supporting companies that disrespect real ice cream the way this company does. As far as I'm concerned, coconut ice cream is not only complete bullshit, but a disgrace to mankind.
That said, I was recently stoned enough that I ate this entire pint in one sitting without realizing it was coconut ice cream, not real ice cream. So I took my shame from eating this horrible sham that they dare to call "ice cream" and channeled it into the beautiful piece of art you see before you.
Just like the ice cream that once resided in it, the pipe was shitty. An important aspect of homemade pipes is to choose a container that is completely sealed aside from the weed hole and the mouth hole. The top on this fraudulent pint of ice cream didn't fit tightly enough and smoke escaped from the container, making it very difficult to get stoned. This pipe would likely be better if there was still "ice cream" in the container, which you could hollow out and you with a straw the way I did with the carrot.
I give this pipe a 2/10.
The Cake Pipe
I've been baking a lot recently. Baking is an easy way for me to ignore my everyday responsibilities and deadlines in favor of doing an activity that results in me putting calories in my face. Now, I know what you're going to say about this pipe: "Mira, why didn't you just add weed to the cake batter so you could eat it and get stoned, instead of making this insane and disgusting contraption?" Well, to answer your question, I have bad judgement and I never think ahead. I don't even know what I am going to be doing ten minutes from now. All I know is that I made a pink and blue cake, and then a few days later I decided I wanted that cake to make me stoned. Is that so terrible?
While this pipe was more effective than the coconut ice cream pipe, I still would not call it "good" in terms of the amount of weed smoke you get from it. Due to the porous nature of cakes, most of the weed smoke escaped into the air pockets of the cake itself instead of down into my eager throat. However, this is by far the most stylish pipe of all. There's a big "wow" factor here, and you can do this with any cake. This would be a great thing to do with your wedding cake, for example. Also, if you decorate the top with sprinkles like I did, your mouth will be covered, stylishly, in rainbow food dye after you take a hit.
I give this pipe 6/10.
The Xanax Prescription Bong
The most important thing to remember when making a Xanax prescription bong is to REMOVE THE XANAX FIRST. I forgot to do this and now all my Xanax is wet and covered with weed ash. That said, this is probably the most effective weed smoking device I made. If you have a long stemmed bowl like I do, and you angle it downward, you can actually add a little water to the bottom of the bottle to create a sort of mini-bong.
Admittedly, I might be biased toward this pipe. I added a bit too much water the first time I smoked out of it—and my Xanax was still in there—so I ended up inhaling a good amount of Xanax water. It did not taste great, but I enjoyed the effect immensely and I think it changed my experience with this pipe for the better.
I give this pipe 8/10.
The 'Infinite Jest' Pipe
Let me begin by saying that the Infinite Jest pipe is a huge personal achievement for me. I hope the Infinite Jest pipe is written about in my obituary and becomes the main focus of my Wikipedia page. I might even name my first child "Infinite Jest Pipe."
Creating a pipe like this is not easy. It takes care, precision, and time, but most of all, dedication to your craft. To make this pipe, you will need a power drill, a straw, some tape, and a copy of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
This was the first time in my 23 years of existence that I have ever used a power drill, and likely my last too. I am simply not to be trusted with power tools. In my first draft of this article, I actually encouraged readers to get stoned and use power tools because, damn, it is so much fucking fun. (It's especially rewarding if you are drilling a hole in a book that you absolutely could not finish and that has been haunting your bookshelf, taunting you, and making you feel guilty about your millennial attention span for, like, six years.) But now that I am rethinking the situation sober, I do not—I repeat, DO NOT—recommend using power tools while stoned, no matter how fun it is. (It's very fun.) I refuse to feel responsible for some stoner with poor judgement sawing someone's arm off while using a chainsaw to make a pipe out of an oak tree.
Anyway, to make an extremely long process short, what I essentially did here was drill a hole through the top of the book with a power drill. I then put a straw through the side of the book and taped the pages closed around the edges. The straw makes it easier to inhale all the smoke and the tape creates an airtight seal.
I give the Infinite Jest bowl a 9.5/10. I would've given it a 10/10 if it was a book I actually read and enjoyed, and an 11/10 if the book wasn't written by a white dude.
Editor's note: An initial version of this story referred to the Infinite Jest bowl as a "bong." We are truly humbled and regret the oversight.