By Chuck Strouse
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Okay, so has she rolled a James Franco cross joint full of pineapple express?
"No, but as a teen I was working at Dairy Queen and discovered that if you roll their thin paper to-go bags in honey, it can make a tasty blunt."
Kevin, a husky, drunk, and loudmouthed freckle-faced redhead sitting nearby, chimes in that he doesn't smoke anything illegal. But his friend Wes, back in college, sold plenty of black-market goods. "He was the biggest dealer on campus," says Kevin, proudly grabbing a hose and taking a long draw of some apple-smelling goodness. "He even sold to celebrities when they came into town. Once, when Lil' Jon came to his place, he saw all these bongs everywhere and thought they were crack pipes. He didn't know what they were."
So skeet-skeet-pimp-cupful-of-Hennessy Lil' Jon had no idea what a bong was?
"Seriously," Kevin says as our waiter, a gregarious, good-looking guy with a penchant for taking hits from customers' hookahs, comes by to ask if we need anything else. And, well, to smoke.
As waiter man takes a long draw, I notice the liquid in the base of the bong looks a little off-color.
"Is there alcohol in there?" I ask.
"No," he says, flashing a smile, "but I've heard of people filling the base with vodka or cognac and then drinking it."
Gross. But not as gross as Kevin: "My freshmen year, I was going to a football game but was too young to buy beer. So I poured a whole bottle of Seagram's into a bunch of Ziploc bags and hid them between my fat rolls. Once I got inside the stadium, I couldn't figure out how to discreetly drink it, so I got a Sprite from a vendor and went to the bathroom, poured most of the soda out, and poured in the gin. When I came out, I had this weird brownish off-color drink in my hand, and a security officer noticed it. When he asked what it was, I freaked and said, 'Sprite, no, watered-down Coke,' dropped the cup, and ran, while all the bags of Seagram's fell to the floor. I got kicked out of the game, but luckily I didn't get kicked out of school."
Next I ask the waiter the question everyone wants to know about these hookah joints: Has anyone tried to smoke weed from one of these things?
"A DJ from Mynt once tried. I couldn't believe it. As soon as I smelled it, I ran over and asked him to put it away. He wouldn't. So I had to ask him to leave."
I voluntarily make the decision. A few minutes later, I run into Big Fern.
"Yo-o-o-o, I did it!" he says, marching toward me with a desecrated apple in hand. "I made it into a pipe!"
"How MacGyver of you," I say before grabbing the apple and taking a bite. All of this talk about bongs has given me a serious case of the munchies.