When you’ve been to as many Cannabis Cups as I have (this November made 14), they tend to all run together. Consuming that much coffee, cannabis, hash and Heineken makes it all too easy to lose track of exactly what happened when. But once in a while, a Cup comes along that is truly unforgettable. The Seventh Cup, back in ’94, my first time on an airplane; the 10th Cup, my first time as a celebrity judge; and the 19th Cup, when I met the love of my life, Vegas Price. This was one of those Cups.
This year, instead of working the event for High Times, I opted to take some vacation days and made a deal with CS Travel. In exchange for my flight, I got to work alongside my honey as one of their travel reps—registering judges, working their expo booth, and hosting two events: a party on Saturday night (Amsterdam ThunderFunk) and a munchie-museum tour on Tuesday morning (Spacecake a Go-Gogh).
There were many memorable moments during this wild, weed-filled week: Our friends Derry and Sissi became grandparents, and I saw a tattoo of my face on a fan’s arm. At the Melkweg, we blazed backstage with Slightly Stoopid, and Vegas made her runway debut at the TH Seeds fashion show. At the Expo, I watched a smoke rocket blast off, hit an eight-foot vapor bag, and experienced a total meltdown after a hit of hash oil from the Vapor Swing.
But smoke wasn’t the only thing in the air this year. In case you didn’t know, there’s another kind of “stone” that Amsterdam is famous for: For around 420 years now, it’s also been known as the City of Diamonds—a nickname it lived up to at this year’s Cup. You see, on Tuesday, Pyrx lead singer Blaze1 proposed to his longtime girlfriend (and former Miss HT April 2008), Aiesha. Then, at 4:20 on Wednesday, a lovestruck young stoner named Carl commandeered the mic from MC Jet Baker and popped the question to his girl Vicki right there in the middle of the PowerZone.
Over the last few months, it seemed like everyone Vegas and I knew was getting engaged. Now, with these two cannabis couples taking the plunge right in front of us, it was more evident than ever that she was feeling left out.
“By the time we get engaged,” she pouted wistfully, “people will be able to get married on the moon!”
Thursday was Thanksgiving, the Cup’s grand finale and, most importantly, our three-year anniversary. Backstage after the awards show—not far from where we had our first kiss—I gave her my gift.
“Happy anniversary, baby,” I said, handing her a card. Inside were two tickets to a lovers’ candlelight canal cruise.
After a long 4:20 victory party at the Greenhouse the next evening, we headed out for the dock. It was so cold and rainy that she was reluctant to even go — complaining she wouldn’t be allowed to smoke on the boat. We snuck a few hits of Headband Kush on the dock before boarding, then poured some wine and got comfortable. Unfortunately, with its fake electric candles, crappy cheese and absence of music, the cruise wasn’t quite as romantic as I’d envisioned. I guess I’d have to provide the romance myself. I waited anxiously until almost an hour into the cruise — and then for a pause in the tour guide’s spiel — to make my move.
“Crazy, those two couples getting engaged at the Cup, huh? You’re not disappointed by your anniversary gift, are you? I hope you weren’t expecting more …. ”
“No, I’m not disappointed,” she lied.
“Well, you know what they say,” I said, fishing the tiny black box from my pocket: “Good things come in threes.” With that, I dropped to my knee, and with a tear in my eye and a quiver in my voice, asked her to be my wife.
She gazed at me in loving disbelief, and as her welling tears picked up the flicker of the candle reflecting off the diamonds, they filled her eyes with fluid fireworks.
“I would be honored!” she sobbed.
With trembling hands, I pulled the ring from its velvet enclosure and slipped it onto her finger. Just as I did, as if on cue, the tour guide came back on the microphone and said: “We are now passing under the famous Skinny Bridge. The legend says that anyone who kisses underneath the Skinny Bridge will be together forever.”
And with that kiss, our fates were sealed.
After the cruise, my new fiancée and I headed back to Barney’s Uptown, where our High Times family was waiting to celebrate our engagement with lots of bubbly, bubble hash and bitterballen. We partied long into the night, but no matter how wasted we got, I knew that this was one night—one Cannabis Cup—we would never forget.