There were four kids in our house when I was growing up. Because our Mom tried to avoid sweets but our Dad didn’t, when it came to packages of six popsicles, there was always one unclaimed popsicle that our Mom wasn’t going to eat.
That unclaimed popsicle became a sought after treat for us kids. The first kid to get home on a shopping day would lay claim to the orphan popsicle. The usual method was to open up the extra popsicle and give it a lick. This was the accepted technique amongst the kids for marking the extra popsicle as yours. It boiled down to controlling your scarce resource by repulsion.
What made me think of this was strolling past some vendors the other day. When I moved to Mexico years ago, the handicraft vendors seemed to be hawking pipes with stems that bore a strong resemblance to a human penis. What was that about? I imagined a few theories about this.
One idea was that tourists bought enough of these pipes as a novelty item that a demand was created. Or maybe Mexican potheads just had a cultural preference for that style of pipe. Another was that maybe this style of pipe was so weird that traveling potheads felt little attachment to it and so wouldn’t be tempted to smuggle it back home.
So back to the other day. I noticed there weren’t many penis pipes for sale by the street vendors. I’m not a pothead so maybe I just never noticed the decline until now. When I mentioned it to my friends I also told them my theories for the penis pipe. Then one friend who is a pot smoker mentioned his theory.
He thinks that the popularity of the style was probably due to its innate ability to control your scarce resource, because by using a penis pipe to smoke pot, and then offering it to someone else they’re more likely to decline if that’s how they have to smoke it. So you’re effectively managing your scarce resource.
Who knows really? But if that’s true, it’s not unlike keeping your popsicle yours by grossing out other people who want your scarce resource.