Rev. Ivan Stang with Princess Wei 'R.' Doe
SATURDAY November 17
Rev. Joseph met us at the airport at 6 am and accompanied us on the train ride to Central Station, where we were not pickpocketed this year, and thence to the apartment of Rev. Carl X on Rosengracht -- not only the perfect location for reaching damn near anything on foot, and easy to find under almost any level of inebriation, but also a phantasmagorical library/museum of bulldada in all its forms.
Carl was staying with his girlfriend Suzanne in her house, so we thought we were going to be alone. But what should Rev. Joseph barge in on as he starts to lead us in the front door but TWO SUBGENIUSES -- MALE AND FEMALE -- HAVING SACRED YETI SEX RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LIVING ROOM FLOOR -- in fact, blocking the very door!
It turned out that we had as unexpected roommates the famous British artist Espira (http://www.espira.co.uk) and his friend Keith, later to become Rev. Master Kingsbury. And one of those two English gentlemen had met a very friendly American Connieite the night before.
Espira is an old friend but this Keith guy looked downright spooky, he was so INTENSE!
Within a few hours Wei and I had decided that having Espira and Keith as roomies was one of the very best things about the whole trip. By the end of it we were privately referring to them as our two sons. (Our other British son is Rev. Circlemaker, who unfortunately didn't make it this trip. Our British cousin is Pope Mickey Finn, whom we also missed greatly. Both missed the trip due to truly SubGeniusly fuck-ups. They should probably get awards just for the SubGeniusness of their respective fuck-ups. (One forgot to renew a passport and one forgot his flight completely.)
Rev. Joseph had stocked up Carl's kitchen with organically wonderful foodstuffs, obviously very carefully chosen. These not only sustained us the whole time we were there, but continue to spice our Clevelandian blandness.
Evening: at Sensi Museum Cafe, traditional SubGenius hangout in Amsterdam, we met with Dr. Hal and Gov. Rocknar, Joseph's wonderful Yeti mate Claudia (working her teeny ass off for Sensi), Pope Phil Monty and Rev. Penny, Plastic Mediator and the unexpected Rev. Selfs Layer. Also there from a U.S. military base in Germany were Rev. Scum and his LOVELY friends Sahrah and Trinity. Thanks to Joseph and Claudia, the other Sensi employees, such as the saucy Rev. Victoria, are also Saved SubGenii.
And we finally got to meet the great Pope Slitta of Italy and his unbelievable heartthrob of a girlfriend, Marcella. On a previous voyage, Papa Joe Mama had become fast friends with Pope Slitta and he lived up to Papa Joe's publicity. A very funny and learned SubGenius! -- plus he gave us a big stack of the COOLEST Pirate AntiBob t-shirts! Wei hesitantly informed Pope Slitta that he happens to physically resemble an old insane workplace enemy of hers, Caesar, who was also Italian. Slitta was most pleased to learn that he reminded Wei of a dangerously crazy Italian in Cleveland.
Thence we went to a Turkish restaurant for dinner. This particular place was decorated with Turkish movie star pin-ups, which fascinated me. We rejoined the SubGenii at a bar near Carl's, Soundgarden. This party is documented only in Rev. Scum's photos and not in anyone's memories:
SUNDAY November 18
After a fine repast cooked by Rev. Master Kingsbury, we left Carl's, strolled on a very familiar walk past Dam Square to meet other SubGenii at Sensi Museum Café, and eventually set off with Hal & Rocknar on the Cannabis Cup smokathon, admiring the beauty of Amsterdam's old buildings and the sleaze of its new naughty shops on our way.
Gov. Rocknar and Dr. Hal were High Times Cannabis Cup judges. Rocknar had thought this meant sitting at a long table full of celebrities and tasting bud after bud from proffered silver goblets. Or something. Much to Rocknar's feet's chagrin, he learned that, no, you WALK from coffee shop to coffee shop, and BUY a sample gram or three of each shop's contestant pot and/or hash. You don't get to proclaim your opinions over a mic, but simply write your impressions in the program book. At the end of the festival and the 23 coffee shops (!) you return to The Power Zone, the big, inconveniently-located "expo" convention center, and fill out a card rating the various strains. At the final big presentation on Thursday night you learn the winners that various High Times insiders had actually already chosen before the week even started.
First stop was the coffee shop Rusland, a nice Kremlin-themed place where the contestant was called "Kalasjnikov Haze." That must have been good. From there we stumbled upon our favorite weird toy shop, Tendez, on Singel near the flower market. They carry Surrealist Cow toys in every imaginable design, and some not imaginable, hand-painted Bosch figurines copied from The Garden of Earthly Delights triptych, and Salvador Dali character action figures and scenes from his most famous paintings... and that's just the three top shelves of the front window.
The Cannabis Cup program book pointed us next to De Dampkring coffee shop, seen in Oceans 11 or some such movie. Something happened there involving "buds" and rolling papers and little pipes.
We returned to Sensi Museum to meet Joseph, who works there, doing such tough jobs as showing newbies what a vaporizer is good for. There we discovered a box of what appeared to be "Slack Snails" -- seriously, "Escar-Go tegen Slakken" -- some kind of fertilizer??
Joseph escorted us by train to The Power Zone so we could get a gander at the vendor's table that Ceres Seeds had lent us there and see what the Cannabis Cup is like generally. John Sinclair was already there. We hung out, examined the other vendor tables full of stuff like stoner jewelry, the latest in rolling papers (transparent!), various seeds that were claimed to yield pot more powerful than anything an Earthman can imagine, etc.
We had the misfortune there of being stuck with a choice of either Thai fast food or American fast-food for meals... THRICE. What terrible irony. The Power Zone is a big convention center in a completely industrial part of town. Inside the con (which really is quite a con!) only the Thai fast food was available. It didn't kill us. But the only other eatery between the convention and the train station was a fucking McDONALDS! That wouldn't have been so bad except our friends SAW US IN THERE! AAAARGH!! Later Rocknar asked us if we wanted him to bring us lunch -- and it was a big basket of KFC! We never eat that kind of thing at home -- the sole exception being the weekly Burgars with the iDRMRSRs at Wheredies -- so it was a bit consternating to end up greasing out when there were so many weird and exotic restaurants back in the old part of town.
Incidentally, the city tap water in Amsterdam seems to be extremely pure... either that, or after drinking Cleveland tap water for 8 years, one can handle ANYTHING.
MONDAY Nov 19
Our jet lag kept us up late at night, and the comfiness of Carl's guest room kept us sleeping long past noon every day. After meeting more friends of Joseph's at Sensi we again went to the Cannabis Cup expo at The Power Zone -- hauling the two suitcases of swag, decorations, recording gear etc. -- and set up the SubGenius Booth among the other vendors. At this Dobbshead-festooned area (raised above the other vendors on a dais!) we sat and "'Fropped" freely while selling swag, showing videos, meeting & greeting.
We re-met Rev. Samuel, who knew Rev. Gobi, and has produced "Schwag," a comedic pro-marijuana feature film for which you can see trailers at http://Schwagthemovie.com
We met Rev. Jamie Grant from Glasgow, a talented artist who is helping produce a new graphic novel magazine with "Bob" occasionally worked in -- WASTED. (http://www.wastedcomic.com )
We made the acquaintance of Joseph's funny friend, The Bubble Man -- not the skinny Naked Bubble Man of Brushwood, but a larger Bubble Man. Perhaps his bubbles are larger. He uses Joy whereas our Bubble Man uses Dawn.
We saw many pot celebrities, such as the mysterious superhero named Soma, milling about, but didn't pester them.
Crazy White Sean, who would be doing his sideshow act in conjunction with our devival later in the evening, appeared with his beautiful little daughter. Despite the bright red suit and hair, he struck me, a fellow Dad of a daughter, as just another Dad, only younger. I was later to see him in non-Dad mode, performing at the club, and it probably wasn't as difficult for me as it would be for some people to reconcile the picture of Sean the Dad with the memory of Crazy White Sean the performer stapling his ballsack to his stomach or swinging bowling balls by chains from hooks in his dick.
Dr. Hal and I were interviewed at some length by High Times TV. This happened spontaneously. The very young camera guy came to our booth not knowing who "Bob" is but wondering What the Hell? -- and I think Hal and I were able to deliver just what they were looking for footage wise.
Someone tried the clear rolling papers. They're made of cellulose. What you end up with looks like a Visible Joint, rolled in Scotch tape. Despite appearances they smoke okay.
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