Gone to pot

Former major league dope smuggler Howard Marks cosies up in smokers’ corner and answers your hash-related queries.

Q) In your experience, is smoking joints the best way to use cannabis? Many swear by eating it, or even absorbing it through the mucous membranes of the colon.

A) Smoking is the quickest acting method, the least long lasting and probably the most harmful way of using cannabis. Eating is the most economical and I haven't tried absorbing it through the colon but it would work.

Q) Cannabis oil. grass or hash do you have any preference?

A) I prefer hash to grass providing the hash is strong encugh. Oil can be very strong but it has no taste.

Q) In the 605, you could buy dope from Afghanistan, Lebanon, Morocco and Mexico. Each country's dope was said to possess different properties. All you can get now is crap slate and cut grass, with no indication of country of origin. What's changed or have I got a shit dealer?

A) What's changed is that the users no longer smuggle and the business has been left to be handled by organised crime and gangsters. Nevertheless, the quality of homegrown grass today is far superior to ever before.

Q) If dope selling had always been legal what do you think you might have done instead?

A) I wanted to be a doctor when l was young and I was a a teacher for a few years.

Q) Munchies are the curse of the stoner. What's your favourite scooby snack?

A) Sugar puffs.

Q) Is dope a sensual aphrodisiac and giver of wood or a one-way trip to the land of nod?

A) Nothing beats sex when you’re completely caned.

Q) What's the worse mistake you've ever made when stoned?

A) Not having another joint.

An Evening With Howard Marks (Fringe) P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, unti31 Aug (not 71, 25) 10.30pm, f 9/f 8. 50/£8 (f 8/f 7. 50/f 7).

Blowing in the wind: Howard Marks

front of house I

Proops Picks For The Fringe

The once ubiquitous Greg Proops ain’t coming to the party this year. Since no festival would be complete without him, here’s a little love letter to remind us what we’re missing.

Hello. my tiny salamander people. It’s me Greg Proops. your only American pal. Alas, I will not be with you in E’burgh for this year’s festivities. I am very busy here in Hollywood. taking shallowness lessons and grief counselling Bruce Willis. I will truly miss the oblivion drinking, insane drug taking. late night Gilded Balloon sets and. of course. eating chips three times a day.

When I started doing the Fringe back in 1957. it was a small, family-run endeavour, done for the sake of art. We never charged money or used money nor had we heard of money. we had ideals then. Not like now. where everything is organised and produced. We would get up in the morning. twenty of us to a flat and eat a bowl of dreams. Then we would rehearse all day and pass out hand-written flyers scrawled on paper we had made out of wasps’ nests. Sure. it was tough but we loved it. You kids now have it easy with your mobile phones and your motorcars. The first fringe i did, we had to sacrifice one of the cast to the Rain God during a midnight ceremony on Arthur’s Seat. just so the show could go on. But I am not bitter. Far from it. Have I mentioned that I lost the Perrier award in I993 to Lee Evans? He is now a huge star. I could tell you not to go and see him except he is really cool and nice and you would go anyway. But I get ahead of myself.

My purpose here is to guide you in some small measure through the dazzling array of choices you have for entertain-ment. Since I myself will not be at the festival. my choices are totally objective and unbiased as well as suffused with the kind of insider information that only being in showbiz for over 30 years can bring.

First, a few general tips:

I) The only place that you can get a decent coffee drink and I don‘t mean a tap-made Nescafé. I mean an iced mochachino. remember I’m from California. is upstairs at Waterstone’s on Princes Street. Don‘t tell anyone.

2) Don’t eat. The food in E’burgh is wank. Except for Valvona and Crolla.

3) Drink a lot. It makes you forget you are hungry.

4) Go to the Pleasance Courtyard and pretend you know everyone.

5) Continue drinking. See 3).

Now that you are orientated. here are my top picks of shows you must see. I’ve kept it to comedy because I would go see dance only if everything else on Earth was closed.

I love the woman the humans call Lynn Ferguson. Frank is her new show. She rocketh. Calder’s Gilded Balloon.

No show from Uncle Proops this year, allegedly

The Dope by Andy Smart. He’s a personal friend of mine and many times have we sat around theoretically discussing the effects of marijuana, so this show should be authentic. Calder’s Gilded Balloon.

The Observer Assembly is a nice place to see a show and drink. Our good mate James Holmes is appearing in Holmes Alone. The name has got a bad case of the ‘cutes' but I worship James. Go.

Arthur Smith is a reprobate. a miscreant, a chronic imbiber and full-on funny. The Putting Green at Inverleith. You heard me.

Jeff Green wanted to kick my ass last year in Australia. He had every right. Then he apologised. He rules your world. Observer Assembly Rooms.

The Nualas are a group of Irish girls who sing. Last year they insisted on saying ‘fuck’ on Mark Findlay’s radio show. There can be no higher endorsement. Calder’s Gilded Balloon.

The F risky Piglet is a play. I vote it the best show name on the Fringe. Go and give them the love. Venue 2|.

The Very Best Of Scottish Comedy go when my homeslice Parrot is on. You’ll never stop thanking me. The Stand Comedy Club.

See you next year. Big Love,


6-13Aug 1998 rususrss