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HENDERSON, Nev. — When entrepreneur Zen Fredrich came up with his latest invention while high and watching “Shark Tank,” he had visions of being face-to-face with Mark Cuban in no time, betting hard on his future and pondering his potentially sky-high net worth.
But he had no idea his Bong Hat, a cannabis-centered response to the classic Beer Guzzler Helmet, would nearly lead to his personal and professional demise.
“It’s still hard to talk about, but the early days were great. Everyone in my book club had their own hats, and we had so many different types — trucker, fedora, fez… but my personal favorite was the bowler,” said Fredrich, cradling the Bong Hat prototype built out of a refurbished baseball cap while shielding the scarred remainder of his head with a very light bandana. “Anyone can smoke a bowl, but I never dreamed I could smoke a bowler.”
As Fredrich’s idea for the ultimate wearable smoking accessory began to take off and new prototypes came into play, a well-healed future for the entrepreneur seemed a near certainty. But sadly, not all ideas can be great, and sometimes a little too much tinkering can lead to a long, long setback.
“In retrospect, it’s obvious the ten gallon hat was going too far,” said neighbor and fellow book club member Frank Gurler. “There was just too much weed in that thing, and not enough room to breathe. It was a fire hazard. But the idea of everyone getting high off one hat was so alluring.”
“But when Zen’s scalp caught fire…” added Gurler, holding back tears. “I’ll never forget that smell. I thought the smell of weed was strong, but take it from me: it’s nothing like the smell of burning scalp.”
Fellow book club member and prototype tester, 53-year-old Louise Thomason, calls her experience that day “life changing.” “I honestly wasn’t much of a smoker, but the first time I went there, the secondhand smoke made my sciatica feel better, so I kept coming back,” she said. “I’m glad I did… not just for myself, but because I had a fire extinguisher in my kitchen and have some basic EMT training. If I wasn’t there… well, I don’t want to think about it.”
“Louise saved my life,” said Fredrich. “We don’t agree much on books, but this experience was a bonding one, that’s for sure.”
Indeed, Thomason and Fredrich are now shopping a book about the experience. “Just because I have no scalp left doesn’t mean I can’t still dream big,” said Fredrich. “I have ideas all the time. Like, for the next round of ‘Shark Tank’ submissions, I’m going to pitch my Weed Watch: it warns you when you get too high, gives you lists of popular munchies and nearest fast food joints, and it even includes Phish’s entire catalog.”
“What about a smoke detector?” asked Thomason.
“You know what?” said Fredrich. “That’s not a bad idea.”
Johnny Sparkles is a Hawaii-born and based journalist, and stand up comedian whose debut album “Homeless Romantic” is available all over the internet. Twitter: @sparklesknows
Disclaimer: This Article Is a Joke
Speaking of absurdity, did you know there are still over 40,000 people locked up on nonviolent cannabis-related charges around the US? It’s time to let them out.