Annie Barrett
February 02, 2009 AT 09:51 PM EST

I like to look at life in a “pool half full” sort of way. So when some ingrate breaks the universal stoner code of conduct and foists a photo of Michael Phelps hitting a water bong all over the Internet, I think to myself: That’s too bad. Concerned parents and/or people who were actually frightened by Reefer Madness are gonna flip out over this for a little bit. That’ll be annoying. Why didn’t he retreat into his special pot den, away from potential ingrates with cameras? I wonder if he’d let me decorate this hypothetical pot den of his that clearly doesn’t exist. What if it was made to simulate an UNDERWATER environment? Oh, s—!

Let’s look beyond the bong. Not only does this recent “news” make Phelps’ decision to endorse Frosted Flakes rather than Wheaties much more logical, it also opens the door for Michael the Merman to officially replace Chester the Cheetah as the official mascot for Cheetos. Anything would be better than last night’s Super Bowl commercial. If his other endorsements fall through, I’d also like Phelps to consider Reese’s, Tostitos brand chili con queso, and that amazing Toll House cookie dough that comes pre-cubed in a 4×5 grid. He’d also be a prime candidate for an anti-drug PSA. “Kids, don’t use this non-addictive substance that’s prescribed to people in California who get headaches, or you’ll end up like this sorry-ass 14-time Olympic gold medalist.”

Seriously, it was savvy of Phelps to apologize to the public for his “bad judgment,” but let’s not pretend the public so desperately needed a 23-year-old who must ingest 12,000 calories a day to atone for something as insignificant as this. And in terms of entertainment, people who watched him guest on SNL or Entourage aren’t likely to be that bothered by the revelation that Michael Phelps gets stoned. Do you think this “scandal” could end up endearing him to a significant portion of the entertainment audience?

Read more:
Anderson Cooper vs. Michael Phelps in the pool!
Phelps makes our list of 25 Entertainers of the Year
Mighty Phelps family to eventually endorse everything
Olympic Stud of the Day: Michael Phelps

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