Most museums are home to rare art collections, dinosaur bones, and even a model airplane or two. While it might be a little unorthodox, Australia’s Powerhouse Museum in Sydney is currently displaying a common plastic bong, referred to as an “Orchy bong,” made from a sturdy bottle and some garden hose. So, why is the museum showcasing such an obscure artifact? To explain the impact homemade bongs have had on Australian culture, of course.
The Powerhouse Museum is home to many historical items. The museum also hosts an array of events geared towards enticing Australia’s youth, hoping to attract a younger crowd. In an attempt to do just that, a common, used, plastic bong is sitting on display for all to see, complete with an explanation of its relevance.
Found in a gutter in 1996, this homemade contraption is nothing out of the ordinary. Every self-taught smoker has created some kind of homemade piece at one point or another, so this particular one might not seem too exciting to most of us. However, the pipe isn’t meant to shock or awe, it’s meant to be a representation of the impact these bongs have had on Australia’s culture.
Coincidentally, residents in suburban Australia have been reporting a rise in petty crimes, especially garden hoses being snipped at the end. While this might have no correlation, there’s a good chance the hoses were clipped by youngsters who were trying to manufacture their own homemade bongs, and were too afraid to cut their parents’ hose.
Orchy Fruit Juice is a very popular beverage company Down Under. Their bottles are the perfect shape and size for creating a homemade bong, making the drinks especially popular with younger crowds who plan to reuse the container. Because of their popularity, homemade bongs have now become known as “Orchy Bongs,” or simply, “Orchys” among much of Australia’s youth.
Homemade bongs made from plastic bottles are great for so many reasons. They’re inexpensive and simple to make. They can be thrown away or taken apart quickly, maintaining a discrete demeanor. Also, unlike most bongs, homemade pieces won’t shatter into a million, expensive pieces if dropped.
Many underage cannabis users don’t have access to glass shops or aren’t permitted to purchase pipes or bongs. In many places, these products are marketed as “For Tobacco Use Only,” meaning purchasers must 18 or older. Their only solution is to create homemade bongs, adding to their growing popularity.
The Powerhouse Museum believes their bong, in particular, represents the quick nature in which things are enjoyed and then discarded, a lack of commitment especially experienced in the 1990’s when this bong was discovered. For whatever reason, generations have been constructing homemade pieces from a variety of materials, all intending to achieve the same goal: a relaxing, herbal buzz.
Have you ever created a homemade bong that you think should be in a museum? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.