HEAR IT ALL ON HOUR OF SLACK #780!!
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Germany Trip March 23rd-31st after Amsterdam
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"KLEIN VALT OOK OP"
Amsterdam Devival Report by Rev. Ivan Stang
March 25, 2001
WE DID IT! We/I smuggled a couple of POUNDS back into the U.S. from Holland! Sauntered through Customs with "nothing to declare," indeed, COMPLETELY IGNORANT that we were smuggling illicit plants, ahhhh, yes... and now we have TWO SACKS of tulip bulbs to plant in our new Garden of Unearthly Delights. Since we can't yet STAY in Amsterdam, we're doing our best to Build Our Own Amsterdam in the meantime.
My head is still ringing with bizarre phrases like "Achterburg Voorbergwal," "Constantijn Huygenstraat," "Klein Valt Ook Op," and even "All Your Web Base Are Belong to Us" (sic) (it was stickered all over town). Carbonized brain cells are sloughing out of my ear. Princess Wei has fallen into a coma that has lasted for 16 hours, since we got home from the airport.
It was another succesful SubGenius Church Field Trip to Amsterdam, albeit differently flavored than the first one, partly due to our being Jesusless, Sterno-deprived and sans-Magdalen this time, and partly due to the CONSPIRACY in HOLLAND!
I'm afraid our hemp-colored vision of Amsterdam as Heaven was tarnished somewhat, as we became, perforce, more aware of certain LITTLE DETAILS in DUTCH LAW, the saddest being that one is NOT actually allowed to "grop a groove-go" on the Tibetan herb Habafropzipulops anywhere one pleases in Holland; indeed, plain hasheeshery is allowed only in licensed coffee houses. Unlike the house dicks at our last hotel, the superior and manly Police Women of the Cok Superior Hotel rudely "HARSHED OUR MELLOW" by threatening to kick us out if we DID 'frop up. It just now occurs to me -- mayne they thought our 'Frop was marijuana!
Needless to say, we tried to sneak it anyway, junior-high-style, furtively pyroflatulating out through windows, with towels crammed against the base of the door, a truly HUMILIATING way to be forced to enjoy one's False Slack, but, god damn it, I have to admit, the whole hotel DID smell like a hash den half the time, even in the lobby. "This is a hotel for businessmen," said the manager to Dok Frop. "They come in here to eat their Thai food, but they can't even smell it over the cannabis!" IT WASN'T ACTUALLY US; every other square looking German businessman in the place was puffing like a steam engine in his room, but of course we got the blame for it.
Thus, in order to enjoy the truly ASTOUNDING new mutant plant species that Dutch botanical science has force-evolved, we had to either walk to legal 'Frop warrens, or else wander the wonderful Vondelpark, a lovely but spooky city park near the hotel.
Last year's Field Trip was organized, thanks to Jesus and Magdalen, into a schedule with daily activities -- museum trips alternating with coffee house marathons. This field trip had almost no schedule at all outside of a radio show, two parties and the devival. Instead, various old-timers teamed up with various newcomers to show them around. The hotel offered a SCRUMPTIOUS free breakfast buffet, and that's where folks tended to meet up and plan outings.
For instance, the day after everybody arrived, Wei and I escorted Philo, Rev. Blank and Rev. Mystic Homeboy from the hotel to the Red Light District via streetcars, pointing out to them the spectacular museums and shopping squares that luckily fell along our main tram line, so that in the future they'd know how to get around. (They decided to attend a Live Sex Show, which turned out to feature audience participation -- Philo and Rev. Homeboy both ended up onstage helping the lovely hostess demonstrate the use of giant dildos.)
We do not go to Amsterdam to save souls and preach about Slack. The Dutch already had a word for it, pronounced "hgh'-SELL-eck," hundreds of years ago. We go to LEARN about Slack, to practice Slack Abuse if possible. (Easier said than done.) Everybody hiked all the hell over the Centrum, the historic center of the city, for a week, and on the last night, we held what turned out to be another CLASSIC devival.
Like the previous A-dam devival, and the radio show that we did earlier on this trip, the international mixture of preachers and musicians belched forth a rich variety of accents and styles. Also, the way the acts were scheduled (BY *ME* FOR ONCE!!) worked perfectly, pacing wise. I pray to the Recording Angels that we get good audio off Dok Frop's videocam, because altogether it was one of the better devivals in our 20 year history. The highlights for me were Pope Black's blinding onstage pyroflatulation (engulfing a sign labeled "THE CONSPIRACY" in flames) and Rev. Mickey Finn's sermon/rant, delivered with impeccable BBC diction, which contrasted starkly with his actual message.
Here is how the Amsterdam 2001 Devival went, according to my notes. I have no actual memory of it, because I was manning the swag table and withstanding drunks, nor do I have a video copy yet, so this may not be entirely accurate. Certainly it imparts nothing of the sheer raging SPIRIT that coursed through the room.
Introduction and all-night MCing by Rev. Ji-tse, Lord Yeti
Rev. Ivan Stang -- "SubGenius 101" sermon
The Duke of Uke -- medley of punk and rock classics rendered on ukulele
Rev. Crawford Smith -- sermon
Rev. Vagina Jones -- very very very fucked up songs
Rev. Mickey Finn -- sermon
Little Fyodor -- solo concert
Pope Black and the EuroSubs -- pyroflatulation demonstration, barn-burning sermon, drunken confessions,
Bliss America -- guitar jamming and songs from Rev. Carter LeBlanc and Rev. Tel-Evangelista
Pope Phil Monty
We had an audience of about 100 at De Bad Cuyp, FIVE of whom became ordained ministers that very night! Swag sales were brisk in CDs and T-shirts as well. I suspect that half the audience were Americans or British, although I met several SubGenii who had driven there from Germany.
On the first night of the Field Trip, local Amsterdam Sub LORD YETI hosted 3 hours of solid sonic SubGenius on a pirate radio station. On hand to spout were Rev. Notaw from Denmark, Rev. Mickey Finn and Phil Monty from England, Dr. Philo Drummond, Princess Wei and myself from the US, and Pope Black of Germany (though Pope Black is actually from North Carolina or Georgia I believe). I may be leaving someone out -- I hadn't slept much.
Below is a transcription from handwritten notes kept by Princess Wei and me. The *-parts are by Wei.
* Dutch language! "Drugs via internet nar Klant --
Der Haag -- De internationale drugshardee lijkt via Internet een nieuiue ronte haar de klant tehebken geronder met name Nederlandse smart en coffeeshops nemen via het buiterlandaan, waarna de hasj, pillen op psychadelische paddestoelen purpost of kooeriien bezorgd worden."
Saw that movie about the woman VP on the plane -- "The Contender."
Some confusion at Schipol Airport finding Baggage Claim -- it was #17 of 25 huge baggage belts, in an endless empty haunted 6 am baggage warehouse, seemingly infinite in size.
EZ cab ride to hotel from Schipol -- Dfl 53 (about $20) -- as sun is coming up over the narrow streets, canals and Dr. Seuss houses. We get to the hotel about 6 in the morning.
* Noted a stark contrast between Cleveland's homeless-looking cab driver and ramshackle cab, and the sleek, clean, handsome, young Euro-taxi and driver.
Our reservations were hard for the desk clerk to find -- not under Stang, Frop, SubGenius, or any human names, but only "DAVID LEE BLACK"
We got room 23.
A guy in the lobby, checking out on the way back to the US, was speaking Spanish to somebody with a Texas accent -- I remarked that he sounded like a fellow Texan. Next thing we knew he was giving us the wad of frashy he had been ready to throw away.
Free 'Frop and Room 23 in the first 5 minutes! An auspicious beginning! We did NOT have to be told the room was "unavailable till 2 pm" (as we'd feared), thus forcing us to WANDER while wating for coffee shops to open)... between Wei's charmed life and my anal paranoia, we can't lose!
* Stang just looked in his wallet and looked at the last $20 bill that he'd kept unconverted... written on Andrew Jackson's forehead are the words "Lucky 20".
* Our little room is gorgeous! Designed so beautifully, it's like a teakwood spaceship. They've thought of everything -- a safe in the closet, lamps built into the night stands, big black round switches on the side of the table. EVERYTHING is beautifully designed.
Yesterday I did the corporate taxes and we looked at our new house for the first time unescorted. Now we are HERE!... after a 12 hour trip during which we haven't slept. A long day. It's midnight, Cleveland time, but 6:30 am here.
Outside are Amsterdam-style residential apartments and homes -- right across the street from our window is a girl looking out her window. Unmoving. An hour later she's still there, unchanged. Finally we realize it's a mannequin that somebody has placed there, perhaps to confound stoners in the hotel.
We turned on the TV and the first thing we saw was a Dutch cartoon featuring a blond, blue eyed chameleon princess SNAPPING UP A FROG with her own LONG FROG-TONGUE, swallowing the frog, burping, and hopping back to her castle. This was followed by a kids' cartoon song, "Bobby's Body". A real synchronicity-fest this morning.
Then a cartoon in which a tapeworm's antics with a stretchy cheese sandwich in a man's stomach cause the host human to self-dismember.
From watching the TV, you'd think this whole country was on drugs. (Contrarily, the vast majority of Dutch don't frequent the coffee houses.)
The most horrifying children's show followed: WIZZY AND WOPPY, with actors in really frightening make-up playing mice and parrots amid a gigantic, oversized playroom set. Poor Woppy shouldn't have skinned Wizzy's tail -- she got mad. Then Woppy paid the Tortoise to dress up like a ghost and scare Wizzy so Woppy could "save" her.
* HOTEL BREAKFAST!! At 7 am. At least 8 really interesting FRESH breads -- big slices, many cheeses, sliced meats, scrambled eggs, smoked hot ham, bacon, hard boiled eggs, 4 groupings of fresh fruit in big glass bowls, 3 kinds of jams, breakfast of bonobos.
We are stiff in the joints and half-dreaming, forgetful from lack of sleep. It's 4 am Cleveland time... but almost 10 am Holland time. Must... go... find... 'FROP!!!
Head for Tweedy's coffee house, across the Vondelpark -- statue of Joost van der Vondel -- got totally lost, spaced out, emerged on Vondelstraat and found Tweedy's at base of ancient church. Wonderful fantasy paintings on the walls. We perused their smoke menu, whicj included:
Bubblegum 2001 (nicknamed "BOB" by the Tweedy's folks!)
"BOB" -- it's definitely what you would call CREEPER.
Noticed posters for a juice drink called "LOOZA". Not marketable in the US under that name. "Don't just DRINK Looza -- BE Looza!"
Suddenly we remembered the SANDWICH -- we left it in the back of Wei's car back in Cleveland! WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE WHEN WE GET BACK HOME, TEN DAYS FROM NOW? Will it still be edible, refrigerated the whole time -- or will the entire interior of her car be hairy with green mold?
EVERYWHERE YOU GO in Amsterdam, the trash cans bear the pasted-on slogan, "KLEIN VALT OOK OP." What can this MEAN? "Clean (something something) up".." Clean all dog shit up perhaps? Attempting to guess-translate foreign languages, like inaudible song lyrics, leads to phrases as weird as "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US" -- stickers of which ALSO covered benches and mail boxes. ("Klein Valt Ook Op" was later explained to mean something along the lines of "The Smallest Efforts Add Up.")
Back to hotel, proceed to watch more TV -- they have MTV and Cartoon Network in this hotel, in English, with Dutch subtitles. Every half hour they run tht computer animated music video of the pipeless Dobbs-like cartoon guy who RUNS (Robbie Williams' godawful song "Let Love Be Your Enemy") Hideous song but cool rendering technique in the animation. This was followed by a documentary about the making of a Ricky Martin video that made us goggle-eyed at its dumbness -- or was it just the frash-ridden environment making us THINK it was that dumb? And did we REALLY watch comedian Tom Green suckle a cow's udder while dressed as a policeman??
Finally we collapsed and slept until 8 pm local time... stumbled out and, with some trepidation, entered the first restaurant we came to, the Beau Bourg, which turned out to be a VERY expensive French restaurant. I felt like a hobo in there until I heard the crappy top 40 music they were playing. We bought ONE main course -- sauteed salmon -- and split it -- about $20.
All prices show guilders and Euros. I suppose that the "One Worlders" are the people who actually use Euros.
Stayed up half the night watching TV... caught up on American TV, oddly enough... Dexter's Laboratory and I Am Weasel on Cartoon Network, stuff like that.
* We are still jet lagged -- came back from another lovely breakfast and plopped back into bed until 3:30 pm.
He Who Dies with the Most Slack Wins
* Dok Frop and Sister Decadence have arrived. Went to Chinese restaurant nearby -- A pale magenta orchid with 5 blossoms at our table. We were brought two little metal tables that fit across our table, with candles underneath, to keep plates warm.
We 4 go back to our room, "frop up," and are "BUSTED" -- tiny little woman hotel cop tells us it's illegal to 'frop in hotel!! (Nor do they want people smoking pot in there!) We are astounded. Speechless. Is George W. fucking the Queen of Holland??? The Con is everywhere! All is lost! It's almost as if they WANT us on booze, or bad speed if nothing worse! EVEN IN HEAVEN THERE ARE BUREAUCRATS!!
This really harshed our mellow.
So, had to go back out to the coffee house... learned that the new Afghan White Widow is indeed an improvement. Likewise Citron, Northern Lights (Cannabis Cup winner) and a "rat turd" of "Maloran Cream" that burned well all week long.
Breakfast with Sis Decadence and Dok Frop... took tram to the Leidesplein, located coffee shop The Noon, then to shoe store, Thai restaurant for lunch, then hit old Sam Square haunts -- Rokery, Choco-Lat, Grey Area, Homegrown Fantasy. Took tram back to Cok, ate magic bon-bons, SLUMBERED VERY DEEPLY.
Took tram to the Red Light District, went to Cannabis College to shoot Wei's Connietite Calendar pics. Stopped and fropped at Excalibur (bar-coffeehouse that plays biker rock rather than techno). Posted to SuBSITE from DeKoon's Internet Coffee Shop -- rip-off, bad keyboard and costs a guilder a minute!
Ate ANCHOVY PIZZA!! at a restaurant on the Nieuzidjes Voorburgwal.
Trammed to Leidesplein, 'fropped at Bulldog, tram to hotel stop (Emmastrat) and went to buy groceries -- but everything shuts down at 5 pm Saturday!!
So we entertain ourselves in the room until we pass out.
Most Subs have arrived.
* Went with a bunch of Subs to a small one-man Indian restaurant -- yummy food but took 2 hours to get.
PHILO CAME!! His room mate is Rev. Blank -- also works in Silicon Valley. Mystic Homeboy helped us download Olympus pics so we can re-use chips. Escorted them to The Grasshopper and walked through the Red Light District. Philo took mental notes for later. Found a nice head shop -- bought pipes -- split up and then joined back up, went to Excalibur -- they went to a live sex show, Stang and I to Homegrown Fantasies, bought Orange Bud. Ran into Phil Monty, he bought us an awesome lunch at an EetCafe. Pope Black saw us inside and joined us for awhile. Then to Bush Doctor, saw Crawford and Nickie leaving, got Blueberry and Jack Herner. Found a store with nice fresh French bread and rolls, cheese (Swiss with cumin seeds). Came back to hotel and I fell unconscious. Stang sweetly awakened me with a huge yummy fropstick, said Philo's here and let's go get Chinese @ the little hot metal table place. We had a riceschtaffel -- 3 course dinner with Dim Sum, 2 chicken, one happy family type -- rice AND homemade noodles. MMMmmm!
Did radio show -- walked home through scarey rainy dark Vondelpark.
(Stopped keeping written notes after everybody else arrived and started taking pictures, video)
* Huge gang of SubDeenies @ Bush Doctor & needed a cab (just as "Mr. Cab Driver" came on speakers). Dave passed out while standing at the frop-bar... dehydrated.
This country does not have water fountains everywhere. You have to buy water -- "mit gas or mit out gas." Invented a new mineral water brand:
"Bob's" GONBEE BUURPEN
Natuurlijk Mineraalvater mit gas
Invented DISCO SONG LYRICS (inspired by Ricky Martin's ruminations on his song writing) --
Everybody likes love
Everybody likes love
Don't you like love, like "Bob"
(repeat loop 10 times over techno music loop)
* Wei notes on flowers: they were all gorgeous and spectacular. In our hotel there were vases that were at least a yard high. First they held pink tulips, later green lillies. In the restaurant was an arrangement like I've never seen: big round flat glass bowl filled with floating black rubber tire tread, flowers growing in the creases.
Wednesday -- snowing heavily, very cold; Stang sick with head cold, hole up in room.
Thursday -- went to the Rijksmuseum, made careful list of items to snatch on X-Day.
*Walking through foggy Vondelpark before bed, late at night... heard a distant trumpet player jamming and noodling somewhere off in the park, until it resolved into "My Favorite Things"... too evocative and romantic to be real.
Friday: last minute gift shopping w/ Philo, Blank, Homeboy at Rembrandtplein, in freezing drizzle; rest at hotel; Devival at the Bad Cuyp!!; taxi back to hotel at 3 a.m., pack bags and crash for 5 hours.
Saturday morning -- last minute panic packing, INTENSE breakfast frop-out with whole Gang at coffee house on Albert Cuypstraat, trying to use up as much of the leftovers as possible before having to leave the rest with with Pope Black. Saw Tibetan restaurant called SHERPA -- "Food from the Land of the Yeti!" -- with a coy she-Yeti painted on the window in a provocative pose.
Got taxi with Nickie to airport -- Duke and Little Fyodor head for Germany, following Pope Black. I hope we see them again. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 4:20. Yes, 4:20. Stewardess said I look like Tommy Chong.
Ate two space bon-bons on plane, which sat on runway for 1.5 hours, drank freebie wine, went into coma. It was "late afternoon" during the entire flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Emerged from coma partially to go through Customs in Detroit. Got to Cleveland airport 10:30 pm Saturday night. Got home in time to watch end of Mad TV.
Field Trip Instructions
Some Art and Photos from the Netherlands Clenches
Preliminary Amsterdam Report From: Zosodada, 05 Jan 2001
A map showing Our Hotel, the Cok Superior AMS Hofpark, in relation to the city
A map of the area immediately around the hotel
A map of the Tram lines we'll probably use the most (hotel to Dam)
Another Tram line map and finally, a map of the main coffee houses in the Central area
EXTERIOR of the Cok Superior
Thanks to Rev. Zafod, mapmaker!
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