Most Likely to Cough: Bongs Reimagined as High School Yearbook Photos
School is about to start, and photographer Liz Herring reimagined some next-level glass as characters in a high school yearbook. Which bong will be “Most Likely to Succeed” this semester?
Published on August 28, 2019

Let’s step into the fantastical world of bongs. The following photo essay aims to bring the personalities of hand-picked glass to life through some ornate scenery that matches the vibe of each piece. Imagine these classic smoking instruments as anthropomorphic high school students, and this is the result. 

Some call them water pipes and claim their use is for tobacco only, but deep down we all know these iconic items by their real name: bong. The origin of the term is believed to be the Thai word baung, which describes an object of similar shape used for smoking. Others, however, say “bong” is onomatopoeia, of sorts, for the immediate feeling of being hit with a large mallet that one experiences after taking a rip. 

No matter the etymology, bongs are no laughing matter. They are works of art, sometimes costing upwards of $10,000. Do you even smoke out of something that expensive? And with the number of innovative, micro-sized smoking tools in today’s booming cannabis market, is it really worth it to drop a chunk of money on a big glass bong? The answer is obviously yes. 

In the present-day world of weed, where the legal status of the plant is being rapidly reevaluated, the death of many old stoner stereotypes is upon us, including the use of the word “stoner.” But bongs tie us to the cannabis culture of yesteryear. No matter the individual tastes of their owners, they’re timeless objects with personalities of their own. From their product names, to their stylized accoutrements (pink percolators, anyone?), each THC tool draws in a particular consumer, often based on some sort of aesthetic symbiosis. After all, if you’re going to drop paper on a delicate object, wouldn’t you want it to complement your own identity and personal flair? 

The photos below spotlight some bongs with serious attitude. If every bong in the world attended the same high school, these pieces would all get the best superlatives in the year book. There isn’t a “Class Clown,” but we have “Most Likely to Succeed”; “The Class Tripper”; and “Most Likely to Move to Tokyo," among other gems. Behold their unique glory, and don’t forget to change the water. Cheers to you, Bong Class of 2019 — may your future be as bright as the flame on a Bic. 


The Prettiest

Because “Mean Girls” is better with weed.

HVY Glass Pink Bong, cell phone calculator, small plastic statue of the Eiffel Tower, bedazzled 420, chandelier glass, feather boa, silk daisies, bamboo umbrellas, cashmere blanket.


The Saltiest

There’s always that kid who sells weed and keeps his stash hidden behind a salt water fish tank... 

Beta Glass Labs Beta Glass Labs Omega in amber/purple, seashells.


The Most Likely to Succeed

The kid who continues to get straight A’s, despite toking up before class. We only hate you because we’re jealous. 

POUNDS Battleship, fidget spinner, ruler, glasses, "Democracy in America," The Random House College Dictionary, 2B pencils, awards.


The Most Nostalgic: 

This piece is called “The Pink Panther” for its leopard print logo. It should inspire you to take a rip and watch an old cartoon. Seriously, they’re super trippy and perfect for a YouTube distraction k-hole. 

ROOR Pink Panther, J. Crew pink jacket, lamp, silk daisies, Max Mara leopard print jacket, blanket.


The Most Likely to Move to Tokyo

Ladies and gentlemen, there’s nothing like smoking weed and getting lost in your favorite manga or anime. Neon Genesis Evangelion is remastered and on Netflix, haven’t you heard? 

Zob 18” Inline Straight Diffused Tube, Sailor Moon 1 - 7, Tsubasa 10 - 15, Othello 1 - 7, plastic cherry blossoms, jean jacket. 


The Most Magical: 

Because fairies are real and we all have fairy godmothers if you get high enough. 

Goo Roo Mushroom Bong, bark, plastic fairies, music box, “A House to Dream In,” candles, silk Wisteria flowers, light up Birch tree. 


The Most Likely to Yeehaw

Would I be beating a dead horse with an “Old Town Road” joke? (Yes.) 

Chameleon UV Reactive Pipe, horseshoe, Breyer horses, cowboy boot, printed fabric. 


The Class Tripper

We would give up weed for a month to see someone put a small Boa Constrictor into this bong. 

Goo Roo Couch Potato, mirror, holographic board.


The Greenest Thumb

It’s a perfect Sunday for repotting those Azaleas and hitting the foot and a half tall Roor Straight Tube. 

ROOR Yellow Daisies, silk daisies, plastic rocks, "Advanced Simulation" butterflies, brick, hand crocheted table adornment.


The Most Cali: 

*Plays “California Dreamin’ in their Tesla.*

Mobius Custom 14’er Circle x Rook Collab 2019 , Matilija poppies, California poppies, various guides to Californian wildlife, Santa Barbara County mountain bike map, straw hat, model of El Camino Real bell.


The Most Likely to Punch Someone in the Face

Dedicated to all creatures who menstruate. This is for those who need to hit a bong right now or they'll lose it on the next person who crosses them wrong. 

Zob OG Beaker, towels, tampons, real & fake candles, matches, big glass of red wine, Aveeno oatmeal bath, toilet paper, bubbles, and a copy of 'People Magazine.' 


The Most Likely to Start a Wind Chime Collection:

It would be incorrect to paint all new age enthusiasts as cannabis lovers, but it would also be weird not to. 

Special K Growler Bong, Special K Spiral Neck Bong, Special K Soft Glass Bong, 'Test Your ESP,' 'Full Moons: Fact and Fiction,' 'Chakra Therapy,' 'Krishnamurti,' 'The Firebrand,' 'Linda Goodman’s Love Signs,' rose, matches, sage, candles, crystals, assorted fabric, 1978 calendar plate. 


The Most Likely to Meet Belle Delphine:

Photographic representation of where bathwater customers and Goldfish customers overlap in the Venn diagram. 

Manifest Glassworks, Gameboy Advance, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, silk rose, oversized Pokemon card, tattoo sleeve, Cup Noodles, Goldfish, Bubble Tape, plastic muffins, shot-sized Solo Cups, Entemann’s powdered doughnuts, grape soda, gummy bears. 

For more on Elizabeth Herring, visit her website here

Elizabeth Herring
Elizabeth Herring is a visual artist working between Berlin and California. Her photography has been published in Esquire, Vice, Electronic Beats, Crack Magazine, and The Editorial Magazine among others.
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