A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
c 1997, Rory Cargill

        Yes, indeed! Earlier this evening (Sunday 19th October), I decided to go to the Forum in Kentish Town to see Planet Gong. So keen was I that I stupidly went and booked my ticket by credit card (I confess to having a flexible fiend in my pocket!). On arrival I was overwhelmed by the 'security' presence on the door. After a few moments spent convincing a surly ticket booth attendantette that I really was who I claimed to be, I got my ticket. And then horror of horrors, the 'security' staff were searching everyone going in! Geez, I had an eighth in my baccy tin. Surely not. Oh yes. My tin was duly found, opened and voila!
        "I'm sorry, but you can't take this in with you." The yellow T-shirted security personette pronounced.
        "What do you mean?" I replied. "It's my personal..."
        "You can't take it in." She insisted. "But we'll give you a ticket for it and you can pick it up later when you go home."
        "What?" By now it gets surreal and I begin to feel panicky. I had visions of being greeted by the boys in blue later that evening. I mean, whoever heard of a cloakroom where you check in your dope? Definitely a new one on me!
        "Or you can have a refund." She continued as she held on to my tiny lump of hash. I wanted it back. They would either turn me in or smoke it themselves. Probably both. By now we were back at the ticket booth with assorted 'security' and 'management' people gathering around out of curiosity. I decided to test them and demanded a refund. Our bored and surly ticket booth attendantette looks at my ticket and decides that I can't get a refund because I had bought my ticket through a ticket agent, Ticketmaster. (watch out for that one, they only give refunds on cancellations!). The 'management' type agrees with her and begins to start tapping out a few numbers on his mobile phone, probably calling PC plod.
        By sheer quick wheedling I managed to get my dope back in the process losing my ticket back to the Forum and The Mean Fiddler Organization (they aren't kidding either! They're a right bunch of bastards) and made my way home cursing them loudly for being ripoff bastards about £15 worse off. £12.40 for the ticket and booking fee and £3.20 for my travelcard. Oddly enough the cost of an eighth, too.
        So much for the Pothead Pixies, eh? Floating Anarchy and all that. I'm not so sure about any of that at the Forum. It probably ended up as another beerfest with floating beercans. Am I alone or does anyone else get pissed off with these stupid squares forcing their alcohol, tobacco, bibles and consumerism lifestyle on everyone? You'd think with all this nouveau multiculturalism going about these days like a dose of flu, that these gimps who've got their hands on the levers of power would loosen up a bit and chill out? Not if you've heard Jack Straw's latest rabid foamings. And so club operators end up frisking people on the door to impress England's 'moral majority' that they're doing their bit to stamp out the 'evil drugs menace'. For what? So that the dealers hanging around inside who've bribed the club owner and the local fuzz can sell you back your own dope at an extortionate price? Hardly makes any sense. Legalize it! Free the Weed!
        Maybe I'm a bit out of touch seeing how I don't go out all that often. As a matter of fact hardly at all given the kind of prices most clubs charge and the generally crap ersatz 'money-first' music that they try to fob everyone off with. Has it become the accepted norm for everyone going into clubs and gigs to be frisked as if we're some sort of criminals? Or are we victims of yet another scam being spun by the so-called 'security' industry? If that's what a night out is like nowadays, I'd rather stay at home and invite a few friends around. Much more civilized. At least I don't have to put up with busybody squares taking the piss out of my lifestyle.
        Planet Gong at the Forum turned out to be more of a trap compared to Gong at Meigan Fayre or the Here & Now Band at Bristol Gardens playing 'Soviet Commercial Radio'. But that's another story altogether.

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