Back at Sensi, we met Jack Herer, pot legend and author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes (http://www.jackherer.com/) and many of his friends. I had never seen or heard him before and it made sense that a guy famous for his pot should have a voice like a gravel pit.
Joseph took us down the street to the Cannabis College, where John Sinclair and co. were using a nifty portable set-up to broadcast his Radio Free Amsterdam show, which ran for like 8 hours a day during the Cannabis cup.
Hal and I preached about "Bob" and Slack briefly on his show, and then we all took the Cannabis College EXAM, a booklet with 21 multiple-choice questions. My comrades all flunked, but I guessed 20 out of 21 right and was awarded a diploma! LAMINATED!
I graduated from the Cannabis College!
At this point, our SubGeniusly chores were basically done. We had run a table, held a devival, and ranted through two radio shows. This meant it was time to show Rocknar the Red Light District, with its live sex shows like Casa Rosso, girls displaying their wares behind glass, etc. I sought The Alley Of Giant Negresses and found it, just to prove it's really there. These wonderful assets may not be there for much longer, as Dutch laws are becoming harsher, and realtors have been buying up the colorful whorehouses to turn them into expensive shops and condos.
Dr. Hal and Rocknar had over a dozen coffee shops still to visit if they wanted to do the Cup up right, and Wei and I were only too happy to help them navigate and test samples rigorously. On the way we sampled street sweets (Verse Wafels, pronounced Worse Vaffels") and found more weird-ass toy shops, including one with displays using Barbie and My Little Pony in ways that are probably not approved by Mattel.
The Grey Area is a coffee shop run by Americans with SubGenius affiliations. I was gratified to see that their sticker-bedecked walls still sport Dobbsheads, the BEWARE! Bumper sticker and even a "FUCK 'EM IF THEY CAN'T TAKE A TOKE." Grey Area is famous for its kif, or pure powdered resin. I think the owner and I vaguely recognized each other but they were fantastically busy, and I didn't want to bother them. The line for the "bar" went out the door and down the street.
Rocknar found a store with a Susie the Floozy logo (!) and such places as psychedelic mushroom shops and "Gay Shops." We hit the aptly named Resin coffee shop, featuring "Icolator" hash. The only reason I know any of this, incidentally, is because there are photos.
The last two coffee shops we hit that night with Rocknar were the two biggest bribers of judges, and indeed both shops' wares were the big winners of the Cup. At The Greenhouse, waitresses were delivering excellent huge pastries and hors d'oeuvres literally on silver platters, along with samples above and beyond the Super Silver Haze that was their Cup entry ("18% THC!" it says on the package).
A notable and sometimes disorienting thing about this coffee shop is that a large part of its floor is THICK GLASS over a HUGE FISH TANK. And you don't notice that fact at first. You sit down and order your coffee and smoke your Cup entry samples, and only when you get up to head for the bathroom do you find yourself -- WHOA -- walking on "thin air" high over a pool of giant mutated goldfish.
Last stop was Barney's, which was bribing judges (and vendors like Wei and myself!) with not only limitless meat pies and sausages and cookies, but also FISTFULS of GRAM BAGS of hash and grass. G-13 Haze was Barney's entry, and the top Cup winner. It's easy to see why. It's quite strong. The trains, which Hal and Rocknar needed to get home cheaply, stop running at midnight and no matter how many times I reminded them of the lateness they always forgot again immediately. AND YET! -- somehow, though he was never once seen to consult a map, Rocknar possesses a kind of animal homing instinct that got them onto the last train almost by magic, every night.
Wei and I hit The Grasshopper coffee shop on our way home, for coffee, believe it or not. They didn't have an entry in the Cup this year. Can you believe that some people in Amsterdam consider The Cannabis Cup to be a dopey rip-off of dumb U.S. college students and other incompoops who want to prove they're "marijuana connoisseurs"? Even some people in The SubGenius Foundation feel that way.
"AMNESIA HAZE." "ALASKAN ICE." "Blue Cheese." "Violator Iceolater." "Triple X Hash." "ChocoLope." These are names of otherworldly pot brands. Joseph had given us the holist decorated boxes to keep our treasures in, too -- lined with alt.binaries.slack, so to speak.
At some bar or another, Espira met a Russian SubGenius! -- who had his OLD Book of the SubGenius with him to prove it! - Rev. Calob R. Tchelitchev
The Macedonian SubGenius tried to call too! I'm still hoping his number turns up in my stuff.
Very late at night we learned after much discussion between Espira and Rev. Master Kingsbury that My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult must be gay.
THURSDAY Nov. 22
At no point on this day did I remember it was Kennedy day. That much I remember. Wei quit smoking tobacco on this day in 1999, and she didn't remember that either.
We spent a quiet afternoon with Espira and Keith, watching through the window The Worst Traffic Conductor In Europe "directing" traffic around road construction on the street outside. This guy managed to get entire city busses trapped in alleys.
Rev. Master Kingsbury cooked almost every day for everybody! At his day job, he cares for oldsters with dementia, and observing me must have made his work instincts kick in. Either that or he is just a really thoughtful guy.
Princess Wei and I wandered aimlessly around the Dam area until we found ourselves back at Sensi Museum, watching Joseph demonstrate the Volcano vaporizer. I noticed that Joseph had blessed the tip jar at the counter with the Jittlov-Dobbs Wizard of Speed and Time graphic.
One exhibit in the museum, among the Furry Freak Brothers action figures and like icons of World Pot Smoking, is an utterly mysterious DOBBS-KENNEDY-HEAD HALF DOLLAR COIN. Some unknown artist took a Kennedy coin and cut away everything except JFK's profile, a PIPE coming from the President's mouth, and the name "BOB". NO ONE KNOWS WHERE THIS CAME FROM, NOR HOW IT APPEARED IN THE MUSEUM!
We inspected more of Amsterdam's goofy sex-novelty shops, but what we enjoyed more was shopping for normal groceries at a normal supermarket called Albert Heijn. It's about like any nice U.S. supermarket, but everything is SPELLED INSANELY on all the labels, and occasionally one finds foods so alien-looking that one isn't sure if they ARE foods. Our joint ability to read and pronounce Dutch is good only for laughs, but we do get lots of laughs from doing it.
That night, much to the nervous breakdown of a neighbor, there was a late party at Carl's. There we met, fetched by Pope Black after email communications, a SubGenius named Becky who had come to Amsterdam from Oklahoma to see the devival, only to end up at the wrong place because the location had been changed on us so late. She had such great OTHER adventures in Amsterdam -- falling in with Jack Herer's crowd, for instance -- that she ended up glad she'd missed us for most of the week.
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