MAJ and the Spude Blaster
Droppin' Science


I woke up at 8 AM sharp on fire. The sun was back and it was prodding me with pungi sticks.

“AIIIIIEEEEE!” I screamed, and lunged outside the tent, waking Evan in the process. “What the hell’s your problem?” he asked, and then did a double-take and joined me in screaming. We both scrambled out to our meadow and groped around in a stupor for the nearest jug of water or beer, whichever was closer. Outside was about 60 degrees cooler than the tent, which was one of those really expensive deals designed to hold heat in — on freezing sub-arctic mountain slopes.

Ed was up, finally. He lambasted me for my loud snoring, which could be heard all the way to Central Camp, supposedly, then demanded bacon and eggs on a silver platter. I remembered then that I had pretty much forgotten to eat the day before, and I was starting to feel hungry. Evan had borrowed a Coleman stove from his mom, but it turned out we had bought the wrong kind of fuel for it in Fairfield. We had no way of cooking the 12 pounds of meat we had with us, nor the delicious pasta dinner Evan had planned. “We’ll drive into town later,” he suggested.

“Where’s Splicer?” I asked Ed. “He isn’t naked yet, is he?” Ed pointed toward the kiddie’s tent, where grizzly bear sounds could be heard coming through the flap. I contented myself with cheese sandwiches from the 50-pound-block of cheese we had in the cooler, and we rearranged the shade tent thing in a more intelligent manner near the biggest of the tents. When we were finished, it almost looked like we had planned it that way. We could have put a sign up and had a little show at that point, but that stuff came later.

Zach came crawling out of his tent soon enough, complaining about the troubles with his sinuses and the mysterious wound on his neck. He and Ed got together and started commiserating about something and then wandered off. Splicer, meanwhile, woke up and promptly stripped off his nightgown, hopped on his bike and tore off into the desert. Evan and I hopped into the Mighty 4Runner of Doom and drove down to Empire for some cooking fuel and batteries, a thoroughly uneventful trip, except for the drunk guy in Empire who tried to get into a fight with anyone around who looked like they might be from Burning Man. Eventually he slipped and fell in a pile of his own vomit and died. The end.

When we got back we noticed that one of the women from the Green Tortoise camp next door had painted her entire body silver and was dancing on top of one of the buses. It was a neat effect, but I have to wonder about possible complications if you were standing too close to her. I mean, would you have to wear a double layer of sunblock? She was silver everywhere — I bet she’ll be finding silver parts of her body for months.

Scorched Pork

Part One: Gerlach or bust
Part Two: Naked yoga
Part Three: Piss Clear
Part Four: Ishtar
Part Five: Pizza in the desert
Part Six: The Man Burns
Part Seven: Hangover Camp

Zach, hunting snipe
Zach's Mysterious Wound

Zach and Ed hopped in the Garmobile and roared off the way we had just come to fetch some decongestants, and Splicer was off being Splicer, so we decided to look for Binky. “Where is this Lightning Camp?” I asked, and Evan suggested it would have big sparks coming out of it. We had actually run into MAJ the day before when we driving around like fools desperately looking for a place to camp, and she had pointed out where they were staying, but we hadn’t seen the Flowingly Butt Haired one so far. But as we approached the main drag, we saw a bushel of yellow hair and a dopey beard, which could only mean one thing...


He pretended not to notice us, so we stormed his little PVC and camo net paradise. “Hey guys!” MAJ was there and demanded beer from us. We sat around with the Binky crew and talked about Binky’s potato cannon, which he proudly brought out from storage while he discussed the finer points of its construction. “Let’s go fire it,” we suggested. “We have the perfect spot... there’s no one anywhere around us you could possibly hit.” MAJ agreed to come if we would give her some beer, so we all trekked back over to Pigdog Camp (including Binky’s friends, whose names escape me).


Hey, what’s Splicer doin’? Click on the mud pit to find out more...

The second spud theory

Artist’s rendition

We arrived to find that the rest of the gang had returned. And they brought pizza. Unfortunately for me, they stuck my least favorite vegetables all over it — Zach apologized profusely about this for the next several hours. Splicer, naked, sat and ate pizza while proudly telling anyone who was willing to get close to him that “there is pizza in the desert!”

Binky set up his bag of spuds to do the spud thing. Over in the Green Tortoise camp, some guy had his own rival potato cannon, and he nervously watched us as Binky fired massive potato volley after volley out into the empty field beside the road. Splicer was too busy eating pizza to take pictures, except for the one of MAJ, so I had to recreate the moment using my considerable skills as a courtroom artist. We all took a shot at firing the cannon and marveled at Binky’s engineering skills, while the Guy With the Rival Cannon rushed to get his set up and working, then came up with some lame excuse about “wet flints” and skulked away. After we ran out of potatoes, Binky invited us over for dinner later before The Burn and left with his merry band, and a good portion of our remaining beer.

As evening approached, we gathered our remaining strength and headed out onto the playa to watch the Fashion Show, which was a fun event, circling helicopters notwithstanding. Basically it was just all the interesting-looking people who were wandering all over the place the whole rest of the time, except someone had rounded them all up in the same place and had them do a little turn on the runway. The MC was an annoying Groucho Marx impersonator who wouldn’t shut up. The Space Cowgirls arrived on the moving living room, and someone got a little too excited and fell off one of the couches while things were moving, and an ambulance had to come and take them away. Zach was miserable again, so we went back to camp to get ready for the Burn which would take place in a few hours.

I came up with the retarded idea that we could all wear ties, but I tore mine off five minutes later. I felt itchy all over and my ankles hurt and I was pissed off that I had packed up a few boring pieces of clothes with me when I left San Francisco, and since I had no intentions of going around naked, I got to be boring  instead, which really bummed me out for some reason. I was also losing energy fast... I never took the nap in the afternoon that I had planned, and I felt like someone had pulled my tongue out of my mouth and beat me about the head, neck and shoulders with it. Zach kept trying to get me to drink beer, but I wanted to smash the bottle instead. Maybe I should consider Twelve Steps? Nah... I drank half a bottle of champagne later on and my attitude was severely lifted.

But right at this moment, getting to see the Man burn was looking more and more like a

Pigdog Death Trek.

Splicer's tie
Ed's tie
Snatcher's tie
Tjames' tie

Splicer handles the reporting duties for the big burn in the wake of the Ogre Juggernaut’s sudden and unexpected collapse.