It snowed in Hamburg that morning. Just enough to make everything look beautiful. After some hailing from the wrong place, we managed to get a cab to the train station and left for Amsterdam. At Pope Black's suggestion we avoided our business-class seats and sat in the dining car, where we enjoyed breakfast and beer while watching storybook snow-covered landscapes fly by. But we stopped at a town called Osnabrucker to change trains, with two hours to kill by exploring.
Futurismo recycling bins - Jetsons-style trashcans for division of paper, plastic, glass etc.
Cathedral from 780 - with coolest pulpit EVER
Very Christmassy, with Coca Cola style Santas rapelling off the buildings
Very bizarre fruit, cheeses, wursts, schnitzels at huge open-air farmer's market
Crazed buskers, street musicians, singing muppet lady on keyboards, guitar angels
Found a "Bob" rip-off in a bar - actually the Mark Trail-rip-off 'Bob,' called Edgar, this time mascot for a postcard company.
Drank mulled wine, got on Net and emailed the EuroSub yahoo group re: our lateness getting to Amsterdam
Reboarded train; saw huge futuristic windmills (for electricity) amid bucolic gated thatched-hut condommunities.
Arrived at Amsterdam Centraal Station at about 8 pm, where the first two taxis turned us down. "It's nice to feel wanted," said Mickey Finn.
We finally got to the Amsterdam SubGenius art show opening at Suzanne Biederberg Gallery, Eerste Egelantiersdwarsstraat 1, and were met with the astounding sight of an actual slick, trendy, respectable art gallery festooned with alt.binaries.slack ART PRINTS!
Espira's work covered the walls already. Pope Mickey Finn had brought some IMBJR prints and an ErRoR oil painting of Dobbs (the only big seller of the show!). My new animations were plyed on a TV. This stuff all looked... unlikely... in such a nice gallery, with that classical violin music being piped in.
We met gallery owner Suzanne, Kaiser Carl-X (and his MOM from HOUSTON), the previously infamous but now very polite Rev. Jacob from Denmark, the Mystery Macedonian of Drencrom and maker of the SUBJIHAD slickzine, and Rev. Joseph, Daddy of Jesus - from Youngstown, Wei's home town!... and inkpen artist Rev. Scro - from Ft. Worth, MY home town!
Somebody thrust SEVERAL HANDFULLS of EXTREMELY POWERFUL MARIJUANA AND HASH into my hands, as well as some "cosmic cookies."
Eventually we were taken to Carl's incredible house on Rozengracht, off one of the canals, where we were to sleep. But first we had Middle Eastern food with Asa, Espira, Suzanne, Carl, Lord Yeti, and Rev. ErRoR at a nice place across the Gracht. This Turkish food ws to grow on us, and even now I wonder why there aren't quickie-Turkish places in Cleveland.
Carl gave us the keys to his house and got ready to leave with Suzanne. "I hope you're DOG PEOPLE," he said, refering to his old dog, Axel.
I cannot imagine what it would have been like for NON-Dog People.
Axel is ancient, blind, deaf and feeble, but he is AGGRESSIVE. He attempted to HERD us around in the house, barking and bullying just as if we were sheep. Luckily, I grew up with dogs, and have never been one to let a lower animal get the upper hand, so we just went on about our business while he barked and barked. We examined Carl's place, which is itself a museum - a bulldada art museum, Carl being, as Pope Black says, "the weirdo's weirdo" -- until finally Axel fell asleep at the foot of our bed, protecting us, while we attained some long-awaited lawfully wedded sexhurt.
Sunday, Nov. 21 AMSTERDAM - FROP CUP
We awoke early and explored Carl's house and neighborhood. There's a comics-toys shop on Rozengracht which displayed a full sized Doctor Doom mask in the window - but a Doctor Doom decked out in Pope-clothes! Or what we took to be papal raiment. Later we caught on that the Dutch Santa, "Sinta," still wears his Bishop Nicholaus outfit rather than the Coke Ad garments we're used to. So it was a Santa Doom we were admiring.
This store sells action figure toys of such luminaries as Betty Boop, Jimi Hendrix and (ulp!) Dennis Miller.
The whole entourage went to Suzanne's Gallery to see the new arangement of art, thence to the Sensi coffee shop, where we finally met the great Rev. Rombo Bak from Spain. This physical near-giant positively radiates Slack. Apparently he has had some heavy Luck Plane action in his day, and it spills over.
Rev. Joseph, who works at Sensi, introduced us to the Volcano vaporizer and the practice of cellophane vapor-bagging. I have not been won over to Vaping, EXCEPT via this method; but then, it was a situation wherein an apparently bottomless supply of the strongest medicinal herb in the universe was being offered to me as long as I could remember to inhale it.
The Cannabis Cup was going on simultaneously, in this and other coffee shops all over town. From what I can tell, the Cannabis Cup is a bunch of rich kids paying hundreds of dollars to wear a High Times Cannabis Cup Judge badge, while smoking themselves blind and pretending to be able to delineate the differences between one grade of hybrid pot and another.
There ARE differences, but at THAT level of enfroppedness, WHO CARES??
We called for a cab to get to the devival, at the Bad Cuyp on Albert Cuyp Straat. A "Bob's Fruitcakes" truck was parked there, outside, just as it had been at the shows in 2000 and 2001.
All at one table, everybody enjoyed a Bad Cuyp "Mass Supper" before the show. Rombo Bak and Lord Yeti inflated a giant rubber octopus sex-toy and its "offspring," a dozen or more cute little inflateable "Grey Aliens." These bedecked the stage as decorations. Pope Black had to be prevented from trying to sexually abuse them.
I have examined some of the videotape from this show, and luckily the audio is not bad. This fills me with glee, for the Amsterdam show was by far the most accent-varied.
We had plenty of time, so I stretched out "SubG 101" and let myself meander around a bit. I do not remember, but have on tape, saying something about how some of us end up "with "Bob's" face tattooed on the INSIDES of our rectums." (?)
Pope Mickey Finn did another Helle of a job. His ten
minutes is SOLID original one-liners from front to
back, impeccably delivered, and just as funny the third
and fourth times.
Pope Phil Monty spoke touchingly, and almost Scottishly, on having quit THREE jobs for "Bob," each time just before a major devival or X-Day Drill.
Rev. Joseph Daddy of Jesus had brought a load of audio live-mixing gear, and, despite some problems with it, managed to deliver some rantful and collagey goods. Unfortunately my camera batteries spent some of this time recharging, so I missed much of this as well as what I'm told was an excellent Mass Short Duration Wedding. That is, I performed the wedding, but I don't remember it. This isn't because I was on drugs. I never do that before a show. It's because when I'm doing the sermon I'm not in "record" mode, you might say, but strictly in Playback.
Rev. Rombo Bak, using his giant rubber octopus and a dopey looking rubber chameleon lizard toy as props, delivered a sermon on stupidness, a KILLER sermon on it in fact, heartfelt and moving, and funny as hell. At one point he was WHIPPING the grinning stupid rubber octopus with a riding crop, hollering, "The Conspiracy is my bitch!" He finished by reminding us vividly that "The stupider something looks, the more important it probably is." An oft-forgotten Dobbsian aphorism.
Kaiser Carl-X took the stage and gave The Church of the SubGenius Quarter-Century Report, outlining what we have done in our first 25 years, and comparing it to what was achieved in the respective first 25 years of Scientology and Mormonism. He capped it with our 25-year PROSPECTUS, that is, what we will do in the NEXT quarter-century. (It's pretty scary, actually.)
Pope Black - I mean, Altar Boy Black - launched into a rant about the lack of a Launching due to his lack of a Sacred Nine-Iron... then he demanded that I come onstage and DIVORCE HIM FROM THE CONSPIRACY. That put me on the spot for a second, because we didn't have any pre-existing ritual for that - until I remembered the SPARE SMASHING-WATCH that I kept in my briefcase!
I stopped doing the standard "Time Control" stage watch-smashing years ago, because it was Buck's idea, and it was worn out anyway, but I DID have a spare useless WATCH for emergencies. So I sleight-of-handed the watch onto and off of Pope Black, told him how it was a handcuff and a leash, and smashed it on the floor, declaring his ties to the Con shattered. I hope that made him feel better about having to hop a plane back to London to go to work the next day.
At this point I called for testimonials from the crowd, but since nobody wanted to do any, I ended up ranting improvisationally for a while. Some of this unplanned stuff actually came off pretty well, at least on the videotape. One new line that came out of my mouth was:
"You will feel "Bob" every time you go to the bathroom."
I predicted that at the NEXT International Convention of SubGenii, there would be 50 THOUSAND of us, not just 50, and we'd have become so huge that we'd someday have to join the Conspiracy to help overthrow OURSELVES! I used my notes to do the "SubGenius Kooks and Enlightenment" rant, talked about how Princess Wei and I share one brain cell, and finally got sort of worked up, expressing my honest frustration at having to deprogram our own zombies so frequently, lately. We sold these numbskulls the mental illness... and now, we have to sell the CURE back to them, the FREEDOM from "Bob" or from anybody else with easy answers. I discussed the parable of the Rich Guy who only gives $10,000 and the Poor Little Old Lady who gives her last 25 cents, and how the RICH GUY WINS! I ended up saying the phrase, "FUCK MOTHER THERESA; FUCK PRINCESS DI!" That's what my notes say, anyway.
I then, as a Holy Man, gave the audience permission to do anything they want to do, forever.
The place was closing, so we rushed clean-up, and hurried frantically into a cab to Carl's, where I started (or rather FINISHED) changing clothes, and discovered to my distinct chagrin that MY WALLET WAS MISSING. So my evening was cut out for me. I called the club, the taxi company, then canceled credit cards overseas for an hour...
I TRICKED "BOB," though. "Bob" got my ID and credit cards, sure - BUT I HAD STASHED THE MONEY ELSEWHERE! IN FACT, IT WAS REALLY IN A TATTERED OLD ENVELOPE SITTING RIGHT OUT ON THE PULPIT THE WHOLE TIME!!
My one serious regret was that my original 1979 First-Ever-Filled-Out Church Minister's card was, I thought, gone with the wallet. But when I got home, I found that I had WISELY, if PARANOIACALLY, removed it to my desk for safekeeping! AHAHA! NHGH FOILED AGAIN!
Then, like a maniac, at 3 in the morning Dutch time, I got on the SubGenius IRC chat, #subgeniuson FEFNET, until 5:30 am!
(If anybody has a copy of that...?)
Monday, Nov. 22
Up at noon. We forgot it was Kennedy Day! But remembered
that it's the day that Princess Wei quit smoking tobacco.
Poor Pope Black had to go back to LONDON, to WORK!
(He takes care of disabled people. Yes, old people
are ENTRUSTED to POPE BLACK.)
I phoned in more cancellations of debit cards, called the club and taxi company again, deleted my email spam, and absent-mindedly devoured some of the special cookies.
We walked through Dam Square, inspecting touristy things like the Fat Lady Toy Shop, the Coolest Lamp Store in Europe, giant stupid wooden shoes, and the Porno Supermarket. We gravitated naturally back to the Sensi Coffee shop, where we enjoyed Volcano Bags again. Met Joseph's girlfriend Claudia or Cloud; she showed us around the nearby Sensei Seeds shop, including the odiferous grow room for their trademark Jack Flash brand "weid".
"Princess Wei R. Doe puts the WEI in "weid."" - Pope Black
We wandered around the Red Light District, watching hookers watch us... just like on our honeymoon(s)! We examined and photographed some truly exquisite "Shockwave" brand hand-made glass pipes at The Magic Mushroom Smart Shop.
Here's some of what I mean: http://www.glasspipes.org/Gal4456_ajsglasss_Gallery.asp
We experienced The Coolest Toy Store in the World, and The Weirdest Fruitstand in the World, and spent some Euros. The toy store had EVERY kind of plush animal, including merkats, moray eels, manatees, squid, platypuses, even fruit bats and vampire bats.
Went to the Damrak main street, walked north, got lost as hell trying to find the Rennaissance hotel area from our first trip. Finally stumbled upon it, found our way to the beloved Rockery and Bulldog coffee shops... floated back to the Red Light district, had coffee and frappy at the Turkishly-run Paradise coffee shop. Visited some old hang-outs: Bob's Youth Hostel, The Grasshopper, and Homegrown Fantasies on Oudeziedjes Voorburgwall.
Drifted back to Carl's and ate peanut butter, or "Pinda Kaas" in Dutch. "Peanut Cheese."
We are Pindakaastals.
Tuesday, Nov. 23
Met everybody at the Sensi - ErRoR, Mickey Finn, Asa, Espira, Jacob, Joseph.
Looked along Kaalverstraat for the "American Book Center" where our friend Jittse, Lord Yeti, works, so we could talk about being on his radio show later that night, Radio Patapoe. We found "the English Book Centre" and the Waterstone Book Store first. Finally we found Jittse, who showed us the special "Controversial Knowledge" section of his store. They had all the books by my friends there.
We kept seeing our friend Stephen Gaskin's name on slick posters for the Cannabis Cup all over town. He was getting a lifetime award for counterculural hipness. (He ran that eternal Tennessee commune, The Farm.) We looked at touristy shops: Lemur dildos, more giant clogs, naughty lighters in the ETOS drugstore.
Went wandering along Singel, the canal of shops; Wei bought a cool watch with replaceable faces. Heard spazzy 9,000-year-old church bells everywhere. Explored The Coolest Art Toy Shop in the World, which sells HAND-PAINTED PLASTIC TOYS of characters and things from famous paintings - i.e., all of Hell from Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights, the main Dali cliches, and Klimpt couples; they also have fascist hooker angel toys, terrified-soldier toys, and a nun-whorehouse toy set. We saw all-Koziol household gizmo shops, the coolest glass art gallery on Earth, "Susie's Saloon," and smoked in a coffee shop with a ceiling made to look like the undersides of a giant mushroom forest.
Met Pope Phil Monty, Penny, Mickey Finn at Carl-X's, took cab to RADIO PATAPOE at 301 Overtoom Squat, formerly the Film School. This pirate radio station is located in the TOILETS area of the CATACOMBS of the abandoned film school.
Radio Patapoe - with Lord Yeti as host - featured Pope
Mickey Finn, Pope Phil Monty, the new Amsterdam Member
fellow (who, it turns out, printed all those "All
Your Web Base Are Belong to Us" stickers that
we'd seen all over Amsterdam during our 2000 trip),
We/I, and a krazy-kool Finnish gal.
Some of this radio jam came out JUST RIGHT, and eventually ALL of it will be scattered around Hours of Slack.
And then we learned from Pope Mickey Finn that the plane back to London was to leave at 7 PM, not 7 AM!
We got a WHOLE NOTHER DAY in AMSTERDAM!!
At that, we drank a whole lot more of Carl's absinth.
Wed., Nov. 24 - Back to London -- LEG 5
Wei made frop-'n-eggs for breakfast, and we went out on our last shopping spree for "broojies" (our word for Dutch bakery goods) at the nearby Warme Bakker.
Met the Subs at Sensi at 3, went to Suzanne's gallery at 4, said goodbyes, stopped at Grey Area for smoke and to say hello, hiked back down Singel for more replaceable-art watch-faces.
Had our last EYIYIYI at Carl's before leaving around 6:30, following Pope Mickey Finn. We took a bus to the Centraal Station, and tried to buy tickets, but Wei's credit card wouldn't work, and Finn's was mysteriously tapped out. HMMM. Somehow we scraped up the cash for tickets, and got the train to Shipol Airport.
And there, Wei discovered that HER WALLET was GONE! Pickpocketed at Centraal Station right out of her purse. Long interviews with the airport cops followed, and many phone calls to credit card companies from the Shipol cop office. Meanwhile, our PLANE was ABOUT to LEAVE...
"Lost and Found Tour," get it?
Only when the cops were done with us could we finally check our luggage... and then, even by RUNNING at TOP SPEED through the airport, we BARELY made it to the gate on time. But we did make it.
Flew back to London, Gatwick airport (an hour-long trip) - then a long train ride to Victoria Station, where we were met by Pope Black; hauled crap to a tube station, then a bus, then hauled that same crap up a steep and endless street to Pope Black's house. He tricked us. Just as I was asking "How the FUCK much farther?", we were actually about to arrive - but, instead of saying, "We're here," he said, "See the end of the street way up there? Well, it's around that corner and then way up that other hill." THEN, after Wei/I'd bitterly readjusted our bag-straps to shift the pain to the other shoulder, he suddenly darted up to his door, six feet away, and invited us in.
Rev. Contra Diccion made us the greatest chicken mole ever.
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