I do not take any responsibility for the following reported events. I am only reporting what happened.

The Scene:

Amsterdam IBC show. Intergraph Party

Inside the Intergraph party was wild, loud smoky and bloody hot. While standing outside for for a break from the heat inside, I began talking with a couple of friends from the show. We were right beside a small canal and dock and enjoying a cool evening breeze.

A friend (who will remain unnamed) from a well known film and animation company was with me along with a recent acquaintance of his. He mentioned that he was just given some tickets for a boat trip on the canal. He didn't know why. His bored looking acquaintance had a ticket also.

Well the boat arrived at the dock and was tied to the dock by the skipper who was dressed in a very smart tuxedo. He was accompanied by two other ladies also dressed in the finest evening attire. The only unusual feature in this scene was the fact that one of the women was wearing a diving mask and snorkel. Oh well I'll just put that down to a little weirdness.

I noticed some smiling faces and rapid talking and laughing as the previous passengers disembarked.

The bored looking acquaintance took a look at the boat and told me to take his ticket. He wasn't interested.

We lined up to board. The traditional small canal boat was about 30 ft long with an open stern which would seat maybe 6 people at a stretch and contained a small table with some champagne and glasses. It was also the "oyster eating area" of the boat. The cabin contained two bench seats which went the length of the interior, either side of the boat. There were viewing windows down both sides also. A long table with more champagne between them! Well this looked pleasant. I had not had a chance to view the canals from a boat with champagne. Excellent!

12 of us had lined up to board. 8 blokes and 4 ladies. We went on single file. I was 11th in line. As my English friend boarded he was stopped and the women in the diving mask sternly requested that he remove his shirt. Well his shirt was a bright gold/orange Australian rugby jersey so I didn't think the request was too strange. He complied with a slightly confused look. (befuddled by the drink or something I imagine)

I went aboard relieved there was no similar request of me. My friend from the film and animation company followed me. This time the request was a little stranger. "Remove ya trasers or sta on shore" in a thick Dutch accent was the command. He also complied if somewhat too willingly, but the night was getting weirder. Just how much weirder it was to become, I had no idea.

We slowly motored away from the dock as champagne glasses were handed to about half the people on the boat. Each glass was only partially filled. Requests for more glasses or champagne were politely ignored.

As we motored down the canal crammed into the cabin, wondering if more champagne would come, we were directed to the port side of the boat. A Dutch couple in traditional national costumes complete with clogs and winged headgear were doing their washing in the canal. (I wouldn't put a foot in the canals let alone wash clothes in them.) Well that was strange. Why were they doing washing 11.30 p.m.?

Next we were offered oysters. I am not a big oyster fan so I luckily declined. They were served au-natural (oysters and partially the server) Well you have heard that part of the story already. However the pearls mentioned in the original story were not worn in the traditional manner and in fact were only visible after the server wearing mask and snorkel up-ended herself in evening dress revealing nothing underneath except a silver skin paint and a string of pearls appearing from her own version of the oyster. No more needs to be said.

After that cigars were offered.

Now we were ready for just about anything, well almost.

The waiter/skipper removed his trousers to reveal a lack of undergarments also. This must be a Dutch thing. Two cigars were offered to all, including the ladies present, on a plate at the waiters waist height complete with his penis neatly arranged beside them. Not a pretty site to another bloke, and had the cigars been a little bigger, downright bloody dangerous in that dimly lit cabin. The cigars were taken and smoked all the same by a couple of the blokes.

No misdirected fumbles were noted.

This was followed by a direction to look again at our traditional couple fornicating on the banks of the canal. They looked like the couple we had seen before doing their washing. We must have come full circle?

More oysters were served after this.

The skipper had not bothered to put his trousers back on yet. I guess he was enjoying the cool Amsterdam night. Anyway. " Now 'tis time for shockolarts" was the exclamation from the second women. Without warning the skipper dived from the stern of the boat onto the table between us all, throwing ashtrays and other items on the table to the floor at the bow of the boat, and lay prostrate there. My seat and view at the end of he table closest to the stern was less than fortunate. The women in the mask then appeared with two large "shockolarts" on a plate. She lifted the skippers shirt tails to make sure we had a completely clear view of everything and placed the plate squarely between his buttocks. There was something about the two large "shockolarts" sitting on the bare ass of the skipper that took the appeal out of what were undoubtably the finest Dutch "shockolarts"

After desert we proceeded back to the dock where the next unsuspecting group were waiting.

Oh yes the skipper got his trousers on just in time for dock duties.

See you at IBC 2000. What could be weirder.

An annonymous Kiwi . . .

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