Today’s excerpt from The Longest Cocktail Party concerns the fate of the barrel that had been procured for the Mary Hopkin launch party back on February 13, and later been the topic of a discussion between The House Hippie and the Debonair Drug Aficionado.

Yes, we are wading deep into the minutiae here. These long, lazy, hazy summer days are conducive to focusing idly on matters of little importance.1

The barrel’s destiny is linked with that of Stocky, the Apple office’s mascot — an acid casualty who had turned up one day and taken up a post atop the filing cabinets, where he was more or less left to his own devices because, you know, 1969. This passage gives a flavor of the times, methinks.

He never said much but it was obvious that Stocky was an intelligence going to waste. His artistic talent was in evidence in the reams of poetry and the pen and ink drawings that were left scattered over the Press Office floors, stuck to the walls and crammed into desk drawers.

Stocky woke one morning and realized that if his soul were going to flourish and take flight it would have to be from a vantage point other than on top of the filing cabinets of the Pineapple Archives. As the existentialist fly on the wall he had become an unquestioned part of the office furniture. The news that he was going home to Massachusetts was met with a mixture of delight for his own salvation and ultimate regret at the loss of this amicable and gentle soul.

Before he left Stocky had discovered that the enormous barrel in the Black Room, that souvenir of Mary Hopkin’s press reception, was a vehicle of pleasure in disguise. All you had to do was jump in the barrel, ignite one Benson and Hashish B-52 Bomber, squat down, swing an improvised lid over the top and blast off! Having finished the spliff in the tranquil belly of the barrel one would emerge thoroughly saturated and totally zonked.

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