AUSTIN, TX—In a formal ceremony cut short due to restlessness, the Fraternal Order of Stoners gathered Monday to award the 1996 Fraternal Order of Stoners Medal of Honor—the organization's most prestigious award—to the popular Fritos-brand corn chip.

Members of the Fraternal Order of Stoners gather to honor Fritos for distinguished achievement in "serving the needs of the, like, marijuana aficionado community, and shit."

"We are here today on this momentous occasion to pay tribute to a product that has distinguished itself in serving the needs of the, like, marijuana aficionado community, and shit," said Kurt "Burn One" Dernbaum, Fraternal Order of Stoners' Supremo El Primo Guy. "Fritos are totally the shit, soaring above the standards set by other, less worthy snack-chip items, with their unbeatable combo of availability, taste and..."

Trailing off, Dernbaum then shuffled several 3x5 index cards awkwardly before adding, "Christ, how long does this fuckin' speech go on?"

Formed sometime between 1968 and 1977, the Fraternal Order of Stoners may or may not be the nation's largest stoner-affiliate organization. Past Medal of Honor recipients have included Whippets; That One Chick From That Band; Nintendo; and, for reasons that remain unclear, Gold Bond Medicated Powder.

"I don't know what we were thinking that year," Dernbaum said. "I guess we were stoned."

As the five-minute ceremony wore on, the assembled audience became increasingly restless. "Fritos rule, man, but we're totally missing Trek," said stoner Miles "Miles High" Sherman, interrupting a hastily assembled "Salute To Fritos" video collage, an audio-visual tribute consisting of grainy, videotaped footage of various retail Fritos displays accompanied by music from the soundtrack to Carl Sagan's Cosmos. "Let's get this shit over with."

Officials at Frito-Lay, the company that manufactures the corn chip, declined comment on the singling out of Fritos for the award, other than to officially disavow any association with drug use and to urge all teens to "stay in school."

Monday's ceremony, which originally was to be held in the posh Plaza Hotel Ballroom in Manhattan and feature a gala celebrity guest list including elder stoner statesman Grandpa Bud Bluejeans, Ozzy Osbourne and Woody Harrelson, as well as live music by 311, was instead held in the vice-treasurer's living room with a minimum of fanfare. Guests included a guy who works in the convenience store down the street, while music was provided by a couple of old Stooges albums.

"Do you have any idea how much of a hassle it is to throw one of these formal shindigs, man? I mean, talk about harsh," said Mike Cudahy, Fraternal Order of Stoners Senior Member Guy. "I mean, just tryin' to like rent a tux was like, whoah."

Cudahy then twirled his hands in front of his face to indicate the degree to which the experience had been like whoah. "We bailed on the whole tux thing in, like, no time," he said.

The annually awarded Medal of Honor is considered by several to be the highest award in all of stonerdom. "Maybe we shouldn't actually call it a Medal of Honor, really," Cudahy said. "'Cause, see, we don't actually have a medal, or anything. We do have this cool pedestal thing, though, that we got from some guy's lawn."

Despite the prestigious nature of the awards ceremony, attendance and press coverage of the event was severely limited, as the phone number provided for press arrangements had been temporarily disconnected for the three weeks leading up to the celebration due to "a short-term budget crunch."

"Bo-ring... bo-ring..." several members shouted during the closing moments of the affair, eventually chanting, "Get off the stage! Get off the stage!" while giggling and stamping their feet in approximate unison.

Formally concluding the ceremonies, Dernbaum said: "We at the Fraternal Order, blah blah blah, feel that the most honorary recognition, blah blah blah, awarded to Fritos... C'mon, guys, clap... Fritos is the most awesomest chip, clap you fuckers, etc. Christ almighty, what a load of... Fuck that, dudes! Frito time!"