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The night of the Invisible Circus, the officials and ministers of Glide Church began to get rather nervous, wondering what they had gotten themselves into. They had accepted all the lies and halftruths liaisoned to them by Quaker Fish, but it was difficult to be deceived about what they saw with their own eyes. There was an elevator that ran from the street level entrance of the church to a large hall in the basement below, and Emmett had filled that hall with literally tons of shredded plastic he had spent days trucking over from a plastics factory. When people descended to the hall in the elevator, they stepped out into three feet of plastic strips and it was quite a struggle for them to move around, falling all over themselves as their feet got tied up in the strewn cord. Once they made it through the plastic jungle, they were confronted with a crush of people feeling each other up inside a low-ceilinged, cramped rec room that was sweltering hot because of its proximity to the boiler, and blustering with outrageous noise from a rock band whose amplified sound was so loud in that tiny space that it brought many to tears. The barren Formica church cafeteria took up the rest of the basement, and it had been turned into an R and R center, with a huge punch bowl on one of the tables filled with Tang spiked with salutary doses of acid. Upstairs, a row of a dozen separate offices had been redecorated as "love-making salons" with candles, incense, floor-mattresses covered with colorful spreads made in India, bottles of oils, perfumes and lubricants, doors with locks on their insides and all the light bulbs removed. Down the corridor from "love alley," Richard Brautigan, working with Claude and Chester, had set up "The John Dillinger Computer Service." Using the machinery from the Communication Company, they printed Flash! bulletins and news items, notifying everyone about what was going on where and how to get there and also telling them the news right after it happened. This was done by dispatching reporters all over the church to cover various events and report back to "Dillinger" headquarters to type their stories on stencils. With these stencils several hundred releases were immediately mimeographed and rapidly distributed to the crowd. One reporter even went across the street to a "Tenderloin" bar, bought a beer, and eavesdropped on a heated argument between the bartender and some of his patrons, while also jotting notes. Then he went back to the church, typed it all up, had it run off on the Gestetner, and returned to the bar with copies of the word-for-word report of the argument, which correctly [end page 283]


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