Friday, October 26, 2007

"Frat Boys..."

A funny story from IV1, from

"Frat Boys, Ronny Ray-Gun, And Other Tales Of Krakatoa"

Let me set the scene. It was 1970. I was living in Isla Vista and we had just burnt down the Bank of America a few days earlier. It came to be known as The Isla Vista Riots No.1. I was living on the corner of Sabado Tarde and Camino Pescadero, about a block away from where Aldous Huxley had written Doors of Perception. The cops (Santa Barbara and Los Angeles County Sheriffs, and California Highway Patrol) were in a very pissy mood seeing as how we had kicked their ass so bad, they had to call in the National Guard. William Kunstler the Attorney for The Chicago 7 had come ashore in a row boat with a big sign saying "The Peoples Navy" and was giving a talk at the UCSB campus. After the talk everyone was walking back home when the cops showed up, declared us an unlawful assembly and proceded to arrest the first black man they saw who had a bottle of wine in his hand. Well people were already pissed off over the firing of a popular professor, but this highly unnecessary act got everyone pissed off even more. We kind of looked around, saw the police car, flipped it over, and torched the fucker. The car unfortunately was in front of the Isla Vista Branch of The Bank of America, a very potent symbol of the establishment and corporate funding for the war, so we burned that fucker down too.

The following 4 days and nights were open warfare and running battles, between the students and the police. On the second day the Santa Barbara County Sheriff asked the L.A. County Sheriff for back up. The third day they asked for reinforcements from the Highway Patrol, and on the fourth day Governor Ronny Ray-Gun called in The National Guard. We were throwing rocks, tipping over dumpsters and setting them ablaze in the middle of intersections, and flying black kites at night. Black kites at night? WTF? Ya the kite flying thing was cool. Since Isla Vista was built on a point there was always an ocean breeze. The black kites couldn't be seen cause we had shot out all the street lights, with sling shots and ball bearings, so the man had to ground all their helicopters. Another point of confusion was the position of the point. It faced due south, so when you were sitting on the cliff looking out over the sea, you were actually looking south, not west. And seeing as how the street signs had all been spraypainted black, the out of town cops had to answer calls like "the 3rd east west running street. They, naturally were looking for the 3rd north south running street.

We were standing on a balcony watching this Roman Phalanx of Cops marching down the street resplendent in their Plexiglas Riot Shields as they goose-stepped with military precision around the corner and out of sight. We decided the show was so good, another dube was in order, and as we stepped back inside to twist one up and refill the wine glass this thunderous cacophonous roar of voices could be heard. We ran back to the balcony just in time to see these 50 or so cops no longer information, running helter skelter every man for himself mode, for their lives, being chased by at least three hundred rock throwing, Banshee screaming tie dyed,
sandal wearing, patchoolie smelling, long haired, peace loving, college students. It was a glorious sight to behold indeed. And it was only day two.

One of my roommates Steve (RIP lost at sea) had these asbestos gloves, and one of those David (as in David and Goliath) slings, and a gas mask from the surplus store in Santa Barbara. The cops would fire a tear gas canister into the crowd and Steve would run over and pick it up and sling it back into the phalanx of cops marching down the street who had fired it. Needless to say that REALLY pissed them off. They finally figured out where he lived and retaliated in kind, but that part comes later.

Times were so different then. Let me give you an example. In my bedroom, in the bottom drawer of my dresser was where I made my living. I had a large jar there with a thousand hits of acid. Nothing fancy like Owsley or anything, just some very mellow generic pink tabs. They were $3 a hit. Everyone in town knew where they were, and we never locked our doors. People would come in, when no one was home, walk back to my room, get however many they wanted, and leave the cash in the drawer. No one ever stole the acid or the money. I was usually somewhere above the San Marcos pass hiking in the mountains and tripping, or sitting around naked in the hot springs. I had sat on the cliff over looking the ocean peaking on a few hits, and read The Hobbit in one night in it's entirety. My pad and Isla Vista were a very cool warm friendly place to live. Until…

Until the cops figured out where Steve lived, opened up the front door and lobbed in a canister of CS Pepper gas. The CS was banned for use in warfare by the Geneva Convention, but apparently was OK to use on scum, long haired college students. Now tear gas. If you get it into your eyes, can be washed out with water, but not this CS shit. Water intensifies the effects. The net result is that all our clothes and furniture had to be tossed, and we were unable to go into it for about 6 days, and only for a few moments at a time for several more weeks. So I've set the scene and the circumstances that resulted in me finding myself in this mansion.

Let me explain where I was. Hope Ranch is an uber rich snob community in Santa Barbara, a few miles south of Isla Vista. Uber rich, nouveau riche, assholes, with a "property owners association" run by bored uber rich snob bored housewives with nothing to do. Remember now this is 1970 and these houses are already in the million dollar plus range. I'm in this monstrous house being occupied by the opposing army. Uber rich snob frat boys who want to rebel against mommy dearest, anyway they can. The party is hardy, the wine (a dainty little Bordeaux Blanc stolen from some rich daddies cellar no doubt), Napoleon Brandy and good Columbian and Oaxacan bud. And of course the obligatory uber rich and uber trashy sorority girls.

You know now that I think back, partying with rich kids wasn't so bad. The kitchen in this pad was huge with one of those butcher block islands floating in a sea of Carrera marble floor tiles. The bathroom was so beautiful I felt shame defiling it's porcelain God by peeing in it. Everything was white. The tile floor the tile walls the tiled shower with a white frosted door. I mean even the toilet paper was white. With this place you would expect to have your butt wiped by the servants in Tuxedos and white gloves, using hand made French Lace doilies. White of course. The White theme was carried into the masters bedroom as well. Not to mention, I swear this is true, a goose down mattress. I was already scheming on how to lure one of those frat girls up there to try it out, but alas that was not to be.

So here I am, a homeless waif and war orphan in this Animal House, meets Cheech and Chong, meets Gone With The Wind pad filled with drunk and stoned frat boys who already have gotten too many notices from Scarlet O'hara, the head of the owners association about breaking rule #668 no loud noise after 10PM or some such shit, and Scarlet's 10 illegitimate drunk stoned Sorority Sisters.

I had gone back upstairs to take a dump in The Hall of Ivory toilet room. I just couldn't resist. It made me feel so special. I was getting ready to head down stairs again to peruse those frat girls. The front door was set in a 20 foot high wall with windows running across the top of the wall above the door. That's when I saw the police car pull up. Then the second one. Then the third one. Rolling up in full stealth mode with lights off. CRAP!

I ran to the bedroom and looked out the window. More of the bastards coming through the gate by the pool house. The oak tree was too far away to make the jump from the window sill. I WAS TRAPPED LIKE A RAT SINKING IN THE SPLENDER OF THE TITANIC! What to do, what to do? My first thought of course was drugs. No pot on me. Thank god, I hate eating pot, it tastes like shit. Three hits of acid. I could flush those before the cops turned the water off, but hey, why waste good drugs? So I threw them down my throat with some of that Chateau Lafitte Rothswhatever it's called wine. They
say desperate times call for desperate measures, and desperate men do desperate things, so not wanting to disappoint those people who make up all those "They say" sayings, I ran into the bedroom, and grabbed the white bed sheet off the bed, kicked my shoes under the bed, but left my white socks on, and headed for the bathroom. I climbed into the shower and waited and listened.

Now you're probably thinking WTF? He's in a shower in his stockings with a white bed sheet, waiting for the cops! This guy really is a nut case. Well ya,…this guy is a nut case, but I'm crazy like a fox too. I heard them bust down the front and back doors simultaneously. It wasn't long before I heard the steps on the staircase, and I put my plan into action. I flattened myself against the wall like the Q key for Sam Fischer in Splinter Cell, raise the white sheet above my head, and held it in front of me. I heard someone say "check that bathroom". So, I swear to God this Deputy Dawg comes in and looks around. He can see through the frosted
glass door without having to open it, cause he can see all the way back to the white tile, or in this case the bed sheet hiding his quarry. After about 15 minutes my arms are really getting heavy.

After about a half hour or so, I'm just fucking ripped on this acid, the bud and the wine, and this shower is looking like the cargo hold on that ship in "Krakatoa East Of Java". It's this one scene where this guy is strung out on Laudinum and they are trying to detox him by locking him in the hold. And he's hallucinating like crazy. Now Krakatoa East of Java was a really bad movie, even if it was in Cinerama. I mean Krakatoa is West of Java for Christ sakes. But it's one redeeming quality was the aforementioned scene. The Special Effects guy was definitely a head. Aside from the Cinemascope projection of the octopus on the wall, the rest of the hallucinations were the closest to the real thing I've yet to see from any film. Of course I did see it on Acid so maybe a re-screening might change my mind.

Anyway back to the shower. There was nothing left in this bathroom that was white. Colors and trails and colored trails, and trails off the trails. If you've never taken acid and are wondering what the hell trails are, go to the control panel click on mouse then go to the pointer options tab and set it for long pointer trails. Then sweep your cursor across the screen. That's what everything does when you're on acid, except with colors added. Now you know what the album title "Happy Trails" by Quicksilver Messenger Service was talking about. Not Roy Roger's theme song that's for sure.

In Carl Sagan's book "The Dragons Of Eden, he speculates on the idea that Marijuana might be responsible for Human civilization. He points out that the Pygmies are ambush hunters and can stay motionless for hours after smoking their dope that they do before the hunt. He says this ability to stay motionless is enhanced by the drug, and that maybe Pot was the first drug ever cultivated, giving rise to agriculture and civilization itself. Wouldn't that be a trip if it was real. We could all tell Harry Anslinger to kiss our ass.

Anyway it's been , it seems, like two hours I've been doing the Rain Forest Pygmy imitation, when all is quiet in the house, and to my great relief I can finally lower my arms. The dirty deed is done and the perps have gone, taking everyone with them. The house is mine alone. I go and flop out on that down mattress, albeit alone, and crash hard.

I'm jolted to consciousness by the slam of the front door, and yelling. Mommy and Daddy have bailed out Junior and are surveying the wreckage that once was their home, and giving junior hell. Probably telling the poor bastard that he's cut out of the will. DAMN! And I'm still stuck upstairs. Oh well, may as well make good while the time is there to be making it. I got undressed, jumped into the shower that was once my temporary prison, wet myself down, get out, rap a towel around my waist, walk out to the edge of the staircase, and make my presence known.

"Hey! Is there any coffee brewing?" I say in my best just woke up groggy voice, acting as if I had somehow been missed by the police and slept through the entire tawdry affair. "Whoa bro. What happened to the pad?" Dad was up the staircase faster than a mama rhino who's baby had just been threatened telling me to get my clothes on and get the fuck out of his house. Not being one to argue, I got dressed and with a last "Are you sure there's no fresh coffee? I could sure use a cup!" this boy was out the door.

I hopped into my '57 Vee Dub bus affectionately named The Blue Meanie, with a wooden back bumper painted with stars and stripes that said America Change it with Love, and bidding a fond adieu to that bastion of Reagonomics that still is Hope Ranch, I headed out to Hermosa Beach where a special sweet young lady had told me a few days earlier, I could crash there for a few days. But first I had to pick up a gas mask and make one last dash into the pad for... well of course. The jar in my bottom drawer, and any monies accumulated in my absence.


Disclaimer: As there is still outstanding John Doe warrants for the perpetrators of the bank burning, let me just say that that event never happened and my participation is strictly ficticious. And, if I'm not mistaken the bottle of wine was a gallon of Gallo Hearty Burgundy, and was not chilled.

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