My much delayed Travel Report on the UK, Belgium, and Holland
I went on a business trip. For some bizzare reason I will now share my
utterly mundane experiences and impressions with you, my beloved
2/7/97 6:00 PM (EST) - I leave JFK on board a Virgin Airlines (but on a
Delta ticket, like it matters FEH!) 747 destined for Heathrow Airport in
2/8/97 3:00 AM (GMT) - I pass out while watching "Long Kiss Goodnight
(Goodbye?!?)" Geena Davis is a hottie, I almost regret washing down all
those vallium with a triple vodka.
2/8/97 7:00 AM (GMT) - I clear customs despite some barely English speaking
Pakistani customs agent making snide remarks about the condition of my
passport. He nearly swollows his tongue when I explain to him in Urdu that
the reason my passport is so sweaty is that on my last visit to Pakistan I
had the damn thing taped to my chest for a month because of the base and
theiving character of his countrymen. Just an observation, but it seems to
me that the customs officers at JFK and heathrow are in fact members of the
same oversized clan of South Asians.
2/8/97 9:00 AM Somehow we (My uncle and our business associate Joe)
sucessfully pilot the outrageously expensive and microscopic rental car to
Donnington, about an hour West of Heathrow. Our rooms are not yet ready so
we leave our bags at the reception desk and have breakfast. I immediately
remember that one of the things I hate most about the UK is the wormy
servility of service workers at upscale establishments. I get
uncomfortable around that sort of class conciousness, typically American of
2/8/97 7:00 PM We spent most of the day in the South looking at industrial
sites available for lease. I did manage to sneak in a visit to the H.M.S.
Victory Museum for a tour of Adm. Nelson's Flagship. I reccomend the tour
2/8/97 11:00 PM Having left my associates back at the Hotel I wander down
into Newbury and find a nice pub full of degenerates frothing at the mouth
over the "Prince" Nasim vs. Johnson boxing match. The British seem to
relish virulent jingoism so the patrons of the pub were quite pleased to
have an "enemy-other" present in person. I didn't pay for a pint all
2/9/97-2/10/97 Mind numbingly dull business meetings, 24 hours worth in
2/11/97 We return to Heathrow and Joe and my uncle fly back to JFK. I
take advantage of British Midlands Airways stunningly cheap flights to the
Continent and go to Brussles. Brussles sucks except for four things:
French Fries (The best in the world by FAR!), Mussles (served with French
Fries), the sculpture collection at the National Art Museum, and the
National Cinema Museum which always has about 8 showings a day of some of
the coolest movies ever. I went to a screening of "Birth of a Nation" with
a live music score provided by a chamber orchestra.
2/12/97 After a leisurely day going around to museums and eating french
fries I take the train to De Louvain. I eat more French Fries there.
2/13/97 I spend the day examining a collection of Arabic documents in the
DeLouvain University library. I find them terribly interesting, you won't.
2/14/97 I take the train to Amsterdam. I check into my favorite hotel, go
to myfavorite hash bar (De Tweede Kammer, near the University) and get
violently stoned. I crawl back to the hotel and spend the rest of the day
and evening watching the cartoon network with the night shift desk manager.
He notices my "BOB" pin and says that an interview with Stang and a 5 min.
piece on the CotSG had aired on the Dutch national evening news a couple of
weeks ago. He tells me that the Dutch clench (they still aint paid but how
can a man who gives a travelling minister free frop be totally pink?) hangs
out at a coffeshop called "Crumb's".
2/15/97 I take a quick train ride to Leiden to do some more obscure
research in Leiden University's manuscript collection. Again I find it
facinating, you won't. Getting back to Amsterdam around dinnertime I get
together with some nice old fogies (friends of the family) and go out to an
Indonesian restaurant for Rijstaffel (Rice-Table). Its a truly spectacular
dish consisting of a mountain of rice with many different bowls full of
tasty morsels embedded in the pile of rice. We had it for eight and there
wer at least 40 different kinds of goodies on the rice. After dinner I go
over to Crumb's and yes indeed they are a rogue clench. The Dutch Church
has some interesting variances from the American parent organization. As
far as they are concerned the Church is an artists co-op with a manifesto
in the French tradition and it is headed by Paul Mavrides. In their
cosmology it is BOB>>Mavrides>>Stang>>Worthless Peons. They gave me free
drugs so "BOB"forbid I should criticize their theology. They ask me about
the Sub-Site and one of them volunteers to bring his computer to the
coffeshop the next day so we can take a look at the site.
2/16/97 I do the museum thing in the morning and go to Crumb's in the
afternoon. The computer is set up and there are about 15 ready and willing
prosylites waiting for my arrival. We get in the "right" frame of mind and
I take them on a guided tour of the Sub-Site. They are VERY impressed with
the site and my explanation eventually segues into a full on Southern
Baptist sermon about how masturbation isn't a sin as long as you think
about cars or money instead of sex while you do it. They decide to have a
Devival and ask me to rant/preach. I tell them I'm leaving on the 18th.
They decide to throw the Devival on monday night (the 17th). In typically
Dutch fashion they are fastidiously organized and it turns out the
Amsterdam proto clench is basically congruent with the Amsterdam Pirate
radio, Performance art, Theater Tech crowd. Within a few hours they have
secured the upstairs of the Milkweg (a performance space known as the
"BlauBar") and begin promoting the thing on pirate radio and with flyers
made up with graphics stolen from the Sub-Site. We get more stoned and
play RISK until 4 AM. I go back to my hotel and go to sleep, a bit
concerned that I live up to expectations. I mean I've never ranted in
front of a group larger than a dozen or so and I'm expecting probably
twenty or so folks to show up. I have tought 250 person lectures, but when
you can ruin somebody's chances of getting into law school they have a
tendency to find you enthralling.
2/17/97 I spend most of the morning and afternoon helping set up for the
devival. It's in a great space, kind of like a very small school
auditorium. Somebody made 35mm slides from some of the material in the art
tunnels and we used several projectors to set up a light show. I met the
bands "SurfMusik" (a Jan & Dean cover group) and "ELVIS" (guess who they
cover) and we decided that After ELVIS played and while SurfMusik set up
some of them would stay on stage and they would provide me with backup
noise and that they would help me out by playing real loud if I sucked. By
this point I was certain that my ministrations would be a disservice to the
Church so I fropped up till I didn't really give a shit. Then people
started arriving. ALOT of people, more than 200. GOOD LOOKING WOMEN!!! I
was so stoned you could have snorted the dandruff off of my shoulders and
gotten a buzz, but damn if I wasn't completely verklempt. I met all kinds
of neat people and distibuted the HOLY PO BOX address to each and all. But
when the time came for me to rant I was speachless. So I wailed and
ululated (tip..learn to ululate..nothing gets attention like a good
ululation, except for the fingenails on blackboard trick) and then, as I
should have known all along, my slack came back. I preached about
epistomolgy and cosmology in my best Robert Tilton mode and by the time I
collapsed after shouting "YOUR SOUL IS SHAPED LIKE A FOOTBALL IN SPACE NEAR
SATURN AND I LOVE YOUR MONEY!" there actually seemed to be a few people who
were still sorta paying attention. But the Important thing was: I couldn't
have cared less, I mean these folks live in Europe who cares what the hell
they think. I had lots more fun later that evening and if it wasn't for my
pathetic Elizabethan devotion to my wife I coulda gotten in the pants of
some real cute ladies.
2/18/97 I fly home to JFK.
Summary: Holland has a very low Pinkness quotient. The Church should
probably open a field office there. Probably should move the Dallas TX
headquarters there. My guess is the Dutch government would probably
subsidize such a move as well. Holland is a wide open and receptive
market. However I do see some long term difficulties that can be adressed
through proper marketing strategy. The biggest problem is that the Dutch
do not really need to get their slack back. They have lots of slack. I
may have made a move in the right direction when I tried to convince people
that "Taken Back Slack" is far sweeter than raw and unprocessed "Natural
Whatever, this has been my travellog. Hope it brightened your day, even if
it only makes you feel superior about your writing skills.
NO! You may NOT have a kidney.