The greatest news yarn of the week goes to ABC News, who have found an artist making a giant wooden bong to celebrate the NSW town of… Woodenbong. Wonderful stuff.
Meet Paul Pearson, an Australian artist who designs bongs for a living. He moved to the town of Woodenbong and was inspired to start working with wood for his designs. Now, he wants to make a giant bong to honour the town he’s living in.
“I’ve always had an interest in bong-making and art, I’ve been doing it all of my life, I’ve made them out of dolls, plastic lobsters, vases, exhaust pipes, everything,” he told ABC News.
He says the giant bong would help tourism.
“I envisioned a giant wooden bong, taller than the Big Merino [in Goulburn]. Tourism is our only option for survival of this dying village.”
His petition isn’t being received so well in the community, though. For example, Githabul elder and Woodenbong local Gloria Williams understandably finds it a bit weird given the name Woodenbong is adapted from the local Indigenous word Ngandgung-bunj.
“The name Woodenbong has nothing to do with a bong,” she said. “We’ve got enough natural beauty here, we’ve got beautiful landscapes and mountains. We don’t need anything else man-made.”
There’s also, of course, some dissent regarding “family values”. Kyogle Shire councillor Lindsay Passfield made this statement to ABC.
“It’s an innovative idea, but I think it’s totally inconsistent with the culture and values of the local community. This is a harmonious and very productive little community and we have good family values here and I don’t think this sort of publicity would be useful.”
Time will tell as to whether Pearson a) finishes the giant bong and b) gets approval to erect it in town. But Woodenbong is also famous for being the “home” of Yowies, something we covered on our true crime & mystery podcast, All Aussie Mystery Hour. Maybe he can branch out into giant wooden Yowies?