Somehow turning Forty-Two seemed oddly comfortable to me. There is a certain ill afforded deference that younger people feign to a certain extent when they meet you.
If they are at least polite, like most pot smokers, especially in Canada, tend to be, they will at least pretend to listen maybe even find they agree with some of your pontifications and ‘words to the wise’. No one under thirty will even look askance if you want to sit up front in the handicapped seats on the Number 19 instead of transverse the sea of humanity to the back of the bus where before you’d be relegated.
Maturity, for instance, especially if it means the security of not having lost your wallet, keys or underwear in several years is a comfort to the middle aged.
It also helps to have a Vocation and feel your place in the universe, a kismet relationship with the cosmos and its Karma, and an intuitive ability to network.
It was our friend JRRToken who first alerted me of the eminent arrival of Pot Peoples Pot Icon Tommy Chong’s return to preach in his own Province of British Columbia in his home city of Vancouver, where still, his wife, her sisters and family live.
In addition to attending the sad occasion of a funeral of a family member Tommy Chong was to perform in the three-man, Marijuana Monologue popular play spin off of the popular “Vagina Monologues”.
The Performance was to take place on the very day of my Birthday, February 18th, at the luxurious landmark, the, balconied, Orpheum Theater.
“Surely, this was to be the most posh cannabis event of The Season and The Prince of Pot, Patron of the Rebellious Arts, would be all over it, like pipe resin, buying up whole rows of tickets. Surely, the unwashed would line up around the block from all parts to acquire them as well” thought, I.
–Which may have been even farther from the truth than could have been imagined, had not JR, on my insistence, if not approach His Highness , at least inquired with faithful Agent 99, who is ever at His aid, to enquire of the Prince if He had made arrangements to attend .
Swiftly to action as ever?Marc gathered up the bookshop staff including the elegantly beautiful, Brazen-Bing-Cherry-Hair-bound-up-askew, Rhiannon, and her lovely counterparts plus those other V.I.P.P.s whom were invited.
Ticket Master tends to screw you coming and going to events.
Only a limited the number of tickets Emery could buy.
Unless, he had bought 20 tickets straight off, Marc was only allowed 8 for each credit card he employed.
I had already jumped the gun and given JR $62.00 for the $52.50 ticket, taking into consideration JRToken’s added credit charges. So, I was not disappointed to find that Marc had already compt’d all his tix out.
However, given that it was my Birthday, he offered to reimburse me my ticket costs and invite me, as well,
to join in the After Party if they could reach Mr.Chong at all, and arrange a party in his honor.
This turned out to be a challenge in itself, as Cannabis Culture has not really a developed contact list, of any prestigious nature, that top canna-celeb’s agents can be notified at the drop of a hat.
Neither Chris Bennett at Pot TV ,Dana, nor Marc, could devise how they might reach Tommy, except for contact through the often silent, normally reclusive, Marijuana documentary film- maker, Happy.
Whom without physically laying his ear to the pavement of Vansterdam three times a week like I do (To receive the rumblings of the latest canna-business),
still manages to arrive at every significant Cannabis Happening, from Watermelon’s festivities, to David Malmo Levine’s protests and rallies to the often exclusive outings and events Emery engineers.
I emailed Watermelon at www.melongirl.com but, all she could suggest is Happy had once driven a cab.
Calls for cabs with a ‘Happy’ driver turned up only ‘No Fares’.
A rumor circulated that Tommy Chong had missed an appearance on the largely popular www.rock101.com Brother Jake show.
Realizing how receptive Rock 101 had been of the BC Marijuana Party Campaign bus in 2001 (Spending a whole afternoon cruising in the bus with us).
I whipped off an email. Subject:
“Prince of Pot seeks to meet with Tommy Chong.”
to brother Jake pleading him to let Tommy Chong know that
Marc sought his audience:
Marc Emery, Prince of Pot, has bought a whole row of seats for Tommy Chong’s 1st appearance since prison in the Marijuana Monologues at the Orpheum February 18th. The Prince seeks to party with Chong and has made arrangements for some primo BC bud to offer Tommy to take part in an after party in honor of the Vancouver Comic.
It was through Tommy Chong that many popular comedians got their break at the Smiling Buddha under Tommy’s management.
Mr. Emery does not know for sure even if Tommy Chong is ‘still smokin’ . Last visit to Pot-tv studios Tommy only took a wussy toke off the bong.
Emery hopes Tommy still wants to party like it’s 1999 and has invited the BC Marijuana Party Bookshop girls to help fill the seats and Vansterdam’s potarazzi to be there .
Unfortunately the Pot-tv crew have not been able to contact Mr.Chong either personally or through his agent and hopes Brother Jake can pass on the invite.
John P. Gordon (Flash)
BCMP & Pot-TV
Brother Jake and his team must have not done their googling, since my email seemed their own source of info on Tommy and the “Marijuana Monologues”, their station was promoting. For, it was my very email, they read without even fact checking if Tommy been a manager at the Buddha.
When Tommy Chong went on Rock 101 they told him that Marc Emery “had bought up the whole front row and most of all wanted to know if Tommy Chong was’ still smokin’.'”
Tommy stated clearly he was “On probation” with the assumption he was not toking.
The dj’s did not follow up by asking if he was actually pissed tested. This gave me hope he was still getting his ‘Medicine’.
(They also asked him about his early days at the smiling Buddha and all those he’d helped get gigs there and he admitted only, that he had played jazz as a musician there.
It was backing up jazz musicians with his comedy routines that Chong went from musician to Comedian in the early years.
On air they joked about when Cheech’s plants were stolen off their set from the trailer and they received an insurance claim for 5000.00 for “Lost Props” which went to bulk up their supply)
The day of my Birthday came not with a whimper but a “Bang” at my front door.
Marijuana Cookie Man, Marc Boyer, the federal MJ Party candidate, free on his own resonance, having been dubbed “Sane” by the court ordered Psychiatric Review Board and, what’s more than ‘Sane’, able to well defend himself in a court of law .
-A surprising outcome given that I’ve never known ‘Anyone’ to be declared ‘Sane’ by a paid psychiatrist. Period.-
Boyer arrived on behalf of www.remarcable.ca ,to bring us our green goodies to buy with my Birthday money.
An Eighth of a bulky Skunk bud was the order of the day, which Boyer had no problem delivering via George Puils’ Trans Link system to his East Vancouver neighbour’s and former constituents.
All that was required, he argues, was that we signed an affidavit, witnessed by him, that we had, indeed a “Need for Weed”.
I had purchased a Italian design, made in China, mustard dress shirt with matching bright emerald patterned tie at Army and Navy for $10.00, for the occasion and a new Bob Marley “One Love” pin from BCMP Bookstore, plus, Atomic Atom, my trusty roommate, had purchased me a watch that screamed “Bling Bling”, all silvery, with incrusted marijuana leafs on the band and in face of watch for my Anniversaire.
My Emerald Salvation Army dress coat and the earth- toned vest, X-head, the X-tra west journalist, had given me, finished off the ensemble, protected by a green vinyl windbreaker Robin had kindly gifted moi. These comprised my ‘Birthday duds’.
When I arrived downstairs to Pot-tv studio ( slipping by the chair that appeared to have been adeptly placed at the top of the stairwell to discourage interlopers like myself.)
I found the studios transformed into a scene of Faustian proportions. Brother Chris Bennett was no where to be found and Kirk Tousaw, BCMP Campaign Manager, was displaced from his desk.
Instead he was ensconced at the vaporisor volcano, his sole responsibility to replenish it, inflating the turkey bags with vapors at all times, while a kind oh Boho-burlesque-bud- babes, professional photo shoot, progressed around his kewl touque’d self.
Indeed, Marc’s incredibly efficient top C.E.O,
the blond bombshell Michelle, was being dressed by renowned costume designer to the stars, Nancy Black of www.NancyBlack.net.
Nancy’s work with P.V.C. Corsets Michelle had so admired when purchasing at Ultra Love (1151 Davie St, 687-2337), that she had tracked down, the sought after designer, only to discover, upon their chance meeting, that she had known her before by her maiden name in High School!
The two high spirited women were indeed; Kindred Spirits.
Nancy had fulfilled Michelle’s “Blond Wonder Woman Fantasy” by designing a tightly fitting fire engine red P.V.C. corset matched by high white boots and an elaborate cape stuccoed with fresh pot leaves, that, I was pressed upon to model till she got it right.
I further assisted with the creative process by getting Nancy and my neat and polite guest Brad, high on Marc Boyer’s notorious Skunk.
The real star of the photo shoot, however, was the ladies that Michelle’s manly boy friend, Jeff, had brought for ‘Show and Tell’.
Michelle has a particular medical condition which is best treated only with high potency Indicas.
As a rule she smokes on a schedule and only of her preferred strains. It is imperative that she require a strong enough Indica to quell her pains and make her as incredibly healthy and functional as she usually appears.
I had worried when I first heard that her supply to the legendary Williams Wonder, her preferred strain,
was no longer available from its former seed company.
I believe due to the interference of Authorities.
It was then, such wonderful news, to learn from Jeff, that he had come to her physical and emotional rescue,by recovering a paltry few seeds of William’s in the bottom on a misplaced stash box and resurrected the strain and its miraculous properties for his faire Lady Love.
What’s more, his Chronic 1 and 2 had come out successfully, although, Chronic 3, less crystallite, he confessed in some disappointment.
The AK 47,an Afghani Kush, had matured to great potency and acted also to heal Michelle’s woes as equally well as the William’s Wonder, her all time Fav. .
Michelle’s make-up and hair done up like the actress Anna Nicole Smith, was the multi talented artist ‘Eugene’ who has been of assistance to Emery on other occasions, such as spoiling the guest judges at the last two of Emery’s lavishly laid out Toker’s Bowls : ( www.tokersbowl.com ).
Eugene was also preparing purple haired Kaara, whom already had changed into a tight white bikini top accented prominently with bright green marijuana leaves.
Who, on her slender back, wore a pair of green fairy wings from Renee
( www.reneeboje.com ) Kaara had personalized with glitter. Soon she would pose among the greenery the cameras flashing in what seemed an endless session.
Jodie, in a fashionable strong emerald green evening gown which brought out the bounteousness of her breasts, and a ‘looong jacket’* posed as well, among the foliage which now under the intense heat of the studio lights gave off a faint odor of green familiar to those who have ever had occasion to visit a grow room in bloom.
Jodie tried to feign a sexy sultry look but, burst out into bright sweet laughter as she scoped out the enormity of the phallus like nugg she held in her palm.
Richard Cowan, although not part of the shoot, had dropped in on the festivities. I had a chance to thank him for rejoining the Pot TV crowd and edifying us all again with his broadcasts.
It was Cowan whom had helped me to see ‘Legalization of Cannabis’ as part of a larger picture of a fight for civil liberties in the face of the true multi headed Hydra, Prohibition. It is “Frequently asked questions” on www.marijuananews.com
And, better yet, his “frequently unasked questions” that puts the Drug War into perspective.
Photographing it All, including Marc in his pin striped suit, was professional Hollywood freelance photographer Andrew Stones, whose work has appeared in the pages of popular Tabloids both in North America and overseas, like in the U.K. where Prince Harry Pothead lives royal life of Rielly.
They had shot all night as well and the collection of digital shots taken was already immense.
The previous night they had been kicked out of Joe Fortes for toking on the patio in the flash of the bulbs. The staff complaining the whiff of the potent bud was finding its way indoors. They had no trouble at the Sandbar however; there they were received well and ended the crazy night within the dwelling of the notorious Vancouver strip club, The Number 5 Orange.
Despite the temptation to stay and ogle All, I had to remember that it was my Birthday still. Popping over to the New Amsterdam Caf? for a breath of stale nicotine air, I was surprised to find assembled no less than 10 to 12 good friends and acquaintances from the Sunday club and elsewhere whom were insistent on singing to, and wishing me, a “Happy Birthday” including Fran, Synn and W/O Reason who handed over three smart ties from Yves St. Lauren to up my profile. All had joints they wished to share. Even there as well was my old partner John Hatful and his supportive wife Barb whom I had co-founded Unity Housing Society with. (www.UnityHousing.ca ).
They wished to surprise me with lunch at a Cam’s Singapore restaurant on Davie, but I had to beg off. Marc had asked me to cover the photo shoot and I did not wish to wander too far off course.
It’s hard to persuade the uninitiated that it is my duty to stand by and smoke copious amounts of cannabis; A duty to all those in prison and those without, both here and in Amerika ; to live Life both to its Fullest and Well setting the bar for those that struggle for like liberties who follow.
I stepped outside the caf? for some air and noticed a gaggle of tourists slipping away from the front premises of B.C.M.P. H.Q. One well healed blond in particular seemed a bit Pq’d about something. With them was the tall long haired canna-documentary filmmaker Happy, himself!
I edged forward to overhear their conversation and found out they were put off because the representatives of Mr. Chong’s entourage had been denied entry to Pot-TV studios to speak to Mr. Emery about arrangements for the evening ahead.
I immediately began sputtering out apologies for Marc’s absence and assured them that he was most anxious to receive them. My entreaties appeared to fall upon deaf ears as they had waited well long enough.
There was nothing for it but for me to sprint, as gracefully as possible without raising great alarm, down to the bowels of BCMP basement and tap Marc on the arm to try to peal his attention away from Michelle, who was now posing her arms in the air amongst the shrubbery like Nicole at The America Music Awards making it rather difficult to gain Marc’s ear.
As soon as I’d sputtered out “Happy, the documentary maker”? and “Tommy Chong’s entourage”, it was Marc who was sprinting faster than I could follow to greet his influential guests and escort them below. Once they say the nature of the shoot they stowed quickly any resentment at being detained.
“See!” I indicated to John and Barb,
” Now I’ve Earned lunch!” and took them both to the Happy Smile, Joy, Joy, Chinese/Canadian restaurant on Pender for my favorite breakfast special.
Hatful joshed the waitress that although they had offered to take me out to Cam’s I’d insisted on nowhere but my favorite haunt to eat on my Birthday.
The shoot was over by 6pm .Reimbursed for my ticket and back at my Ashram like communal abode, another call was made to Boyer whom arrived promptly in spite of other clients waiting on him. He knew that my window of opportunity was only three hours, having to be back downtown for Tommy Chong by 930 p.m.. What with my birthday and All, he rushed the order this time.
Now it was Northern Lights on the menu and a quarter oz was the call. This I divided among my roommates and myself taking a full 1/8th with me, some of it pre-rolled to the gala performance.