Aussie and Irish have lots of stubbie holders, those neoprene cups that slide over a can of beer to keep the beer cold and your hands from the chill of the fridge. This afternoon Aussie handed Spencer a cold can in a stubbie holder with a picture depicting some policemen standing around a heap of marijuana. "Come to Denmark where the grass is greener."
It is a limited edition stubbie holder that one. I think there may have been a hundred or so printed and Aussie reckons she bought it from the Denmark police station which makes the story behind it all the more beautiful.
About twenty years ago the Denmark police came across someone's crop of bush weed, ripped it out of the ground, booked the growers and took the evidence to the local tip to dispose of it. They piled up all of the plants into a mountain of green, poured kerosene and diesel over the top, flicked in a match and left.
At that stage Denmark was a little hamlet peopled with hippies, whole earthers and the remnants of mill town and farming families living in the deep south of Western Australia. Within about, oh, fifteen minutes of the cops leaving, some kind soul alerted his mate to the pile of dope at the tip that had failed to burn.
His mate told someone else and on it went.
The word filtered through to where I lived about fifty kilometres away. I reckon it took an hour in an age without mobile phones. Suddenly everyone I knew with a car was heading to the Denmark rubbish dump. It turned into a massive free-for-all-supermarket-of-dope. There was so much dope that a new economy formed. It wasn't reciprocal or redistributive, it wasn't even a market economy. It was something new. The police state had created an amazing resource with their moment of lunch break super slackness; this prohibited substance in the days of prohibition was going free thanks to a pyro-technical glitch.
We smoked so much hash oil that year. Folk handed it around in caps with a kind a reverence. "This is the shit from the Denmark tip, man."
But the oil wasn't that great. We always knew where it came from when we tasted the kerosene and diesel. It was all leaf anyway, apparently. The free munch and a sense of occasion made it attractive. I never got how historic that stack of unburnt pot was, until much later, until today when Aussie showed the stubbie holder to me.