MINNEAPOLIS—Area stoner Mike Cudahy, his eyes a deep red from five years of near-continuous recreational marijuana use, regaled friends and neighbors Tuesday with half-remembered tales of this one amazing bong he saw in Iowa City once.
The bong, described in reverent, half-whispered tones by Cudahy as "awesome," "fuckin' incredible" and "seriously mind-blowing," was allegedly seen during a weekend stay at his friend's cousin's place in Iowa City this one time, probably sometime between 1993 and 1995.
According to Cudahy, the "super-bong," composed of an intricate network of plastic tubing, a motor from a lawn mower, several five-gallon buckets of ice water and a fully functional antique pool table, was "so unbelievable, I couldn't hardly believe what I was fuckin' lookin' at."
"I was like, shit," Cudahy said.
According to Cudahy, whose account has not been verified as of press time, the Iowa City bong is "the most amazingly killer bong in the whole world" and may, in fact, be "the greatest bong of all time."
Cudahy's tale was recounted before an estimated living-room audience of six during a late-night discussion of the topic, "What was the most amazing bong you ever saw?" The mythic retelling, which interrupted the viewing of a videotaped Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode that "nobody was really paying all that much attention to" because "they'd already seen it, like, 50 times," was described by those present as "awe-inspiring."
"You call that a bong?" Cudahy said to his roommate, pizza-delivery driver Greg Reuthven, moments after Reuthven had finished his "Most Amazing Bong I've Ever Seen" story. "That's a perfectly good bong, don't get me wrong, but if you want to hear about a bong, I'll tell you about a bong."
Added Cudahy, "I'll tell you about a bong, man."
Witnesses said Cudahy then launched into his tale of the super-bong sighting. The emotionally charged account lasted approximately 45 minutes, interrupted only once by a 20-minute break during which the assembled stoners unsuccessfully attempted to get enough cash together for some Chinese take-out before realizing that Hunan Palace had been closed for several hours.
Embellishing his tale with dramatic hand gestures, wide-eyed expressions of childlike wonderment, and occasional stretches of silence when he lost track of what he was talking about, Cudahy recounted how he and this one guy had traveled to Iowa City to help this other guy move. He and the first guy, Cudahy explained, had encountered "major hassles" when their van broke down halfway through hauling the second guy's shit. Hoping to borrow another van from these dudes the one guy knew from work or something, they went over to this one apartment "above a liquor store."
It was there, Cudahy said, that he encountered the incomprehensible bong.
"I've seen some amazing shit in my day, but that one took the freakin' cake, that's for sure," Cudahy said. "I guess, supposedly, it originally belonged to this one engineering student or something, but whoever invented that shit, man, he's probably working for, like, NASA right now, because that guy is some kind of motherfuckin' scientific genius."
Continued Cudahy, "They cranked up this motor that sort of sucked in air through a bunch of—what do you call—pneumatic chambers or something, and filtered the smoke into, like, all these ice buckets. It totally had built-in heating coils pumping steam into the chamber for the smoothest, most concentrated, high-THC hits possible. And there were like eight or nine hookah tubes coming out the top, so a whole roomful of dudes could get high off that shit at the same time."
"Plus, as if that weren't enough," Cudahy added, "you could shoot pool on it."
"Whoa," several present in the room reportedly responded.
Cudahy said he wound up staying at the apartment for, like, eight or nine hours or something, and after that, he can't even freakin' remember.
Cudahy's epic account is considered the most spectacular bong story in recent memory, eclipsing such legendary stoner anecdotes as the "10-Gallon Gravity Bong" tale of Miami's Juan Hermosa, and the story of the time Austin, TX, stoner Greg Klesko saw this one bamboo 15-footer some dude supposedly brought back from Vietnam like 30 years ago. The tale is even regarded as surpassing Hermosa Beach, CA, stoner Randy Porter's celebrated story of the time he was 16 and visited his older brother at USC and saw this one bong made out of this clear globe, an aquarium air pump and, like, 10 yards of PVC pipe or something.
"Cudahy's tale will have a major impact on the doper-oral-storytelling tradition in our culture," Brown University social historian Dr. Ian Schloss said. "He may have recently lost his prep-cook job at that Denny's where his brother-in-law is assistant manager, but his contributions to stoner lore now far overshadow this."
"Cudahy is a legend now," Schloss said. "His story of the Iowa City pool-table super-hookah will live on in our hearts and minds forever."
Though efforts have been made to corroborate Cudahy's account, authorities have been unable to determine the location of the liquor store or apartment, or the current whereabouts of the bong.