Artist Wants a 50-Foot-Tall Wooden Bong for Town of Woodenbong

(Leafly)

A small Australian town may soon boast an oversized roadside attraction to compete with the likes of tall thermometers and big nickels, if one of its locals has his way.

“Trillions of dollars (are) staring us in the face, because the marketing ideas are endless.”
Paul Pearson, artist, Woodenbong, New South Wales

Woodenbong resident Paul Pearson has launched a petition pleading for support from his neighbors to let him build a massive wooden bong for the town to serve as a tourist attraction, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

“Hundreds and thousands of people share the same dream as soon as they hear the town’s name,” Pearson said to the New York Times, a day before pitching the idea at a local tourism council meeting.

“Tourism is our only option for survival in this dying village,” he told ABC.

A Master Craftsman

Pearson says he’s been crafting bongs his entire life, well before becoming a Woodenbong resident six years ago. In an effort to work up to the proposed 50-foot water pipe, he has already constructed several wooden bongs, the largest of which stands at an impressive seven feet.

He believes that the giant landmark bong could include an information center and history museum that could draw tourists to the small town.

“Trillions of dollars (are) staring us in the face, because the marketing and products ideas are endless,” said Pearson.

Pearson plans to build the bong as high as 50 feet to compete with the ‘Big Merino,’ a 50-foot concrete merino ram located in the town of Goulburn, about 120 miles south of Sydney.

 

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Sheep’s clothing in Goulburn

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Call Us Skeptical, Mate

But not every citizen of Woodenbong’s conservative-leaning population of 381 is on board with the project.

“I haven’t spoken to one person that thinks it’s a good idea,” Chris Reid, the head of a local fundraising group, told the Times. “We don’t want to promote drug use.”

The huge bong may also be offensive to some indigenous locals, as the town’s name is a westernized version of an Aboriginal word believed to mean “duck on water,” according to Reid.

But if the town won’t sign off on the project, Pearson says he’s open to raising the money by other methods.

“It’s such a good town name—you couldn’t design a better one,” he told the Times. “We all need a good laugh.”