Snatcher investigates the local media

Setting up camp a second time, it turned out, was easier than actually sitting around in it once we finally had everything standing, guyed and fastened. It was too hot to do much but flop around in the dung-laden meadow, for one thing, and the “cabana” structure Evan had borrowed from his folks turned out to be way more trouble than it was worth — it need to be secured rather tightly to the ground to avoid having it flop around in the huge dry gusts that had started coming up after the deceptively calm morning, and it provided roughly three square feet of shade once erected, so we had to get up and rotate it every few minutes as the sun crept up on somebody’s shoulder while we huddled tightly together arguing about how to open the beer, because no one remembered to bring a bottle opener.

But this was not about camping. “This is not about camping,” Splicer suddenly whined. And the next thing we knew he was naked. Before we could stop him or anything else, he had folded all his cloths in a neat pile in the Mighty 4Runner of Doom, and then he hopped on his green bike and that’s the last we ever saw of Splicer.

Actually, that’s not true. We kept coming back to camp and there he was, naked and whiny. Have you ever had a naked guy whine at you that because you were gone, he couldn’t get his sunblock out of the truck? I have. Eventually he turned up painted with squiggly green stripes all over his body, and that’s when we all pretty much figured we’d lost the services of Splicer for the rest of the weekend.

Evan wandered off with Dude (“he’s a chick magnet”),  Snatcher and Special Ed took naps in between gulping beer and water and adjusting the shade, and I decided to wander around Black Rock City and see what was up, the first and longest of about a thousand trips that day.

The first stop was the Blue Light District, a more or less co-op “village” that had evolved from the Burning Man mailing list. I had read a little about it here and there and wanted to see if the people there would be remarkably computer-nerdy looking, or if they would just be your typical naked-with-feather-boa types like everybody else here. In other words, “normals”.

Must have been the latter, because I couldn’t find the place for the longest time. I wandered around and around Central Camp, fighting the urge to find out what “Nub Chai” was at the Cafe (which had a big sign on top of it that everyone stared at: “No Spectators”) and glaring at the “journalists” of the Black Rock Gazette. I don’t know why. Old habit, started in college with the rival newspaper.

Eventually I asked a blue naked guy where the BLD was (it seemed appropriate) and he told me to “look for the mushrooms”. And much to my surprise, two minutes later I found them, dozens of papier mache mushrooms marking the boundaries of the BLD. I asked a girl on a lawn chair if this was the Blue Light District, and she distractedly said yes. Head-nodding ensued, and I stalked off somewhere else. (The place was pretty quiet, to be honest, but it was mid-day.) I was pretty much toasted at this point from the enormity of my trek, and my water bottle was getting near empty, so I decided to skip the game of Alien Chess I’d wanted to try and walked back home, where Ed and Zach were making plans to pack up and check into a hotel in Gerlach or something.

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

CD Sail

More art... (107k JPG)

Hey ladies, Part Duh

I decided to brave the 1,000-degree temps inside the big blue and yellow canvas tent and take a nap. I wasn’t having the best Burning Man experience possible, and I figured maybe getting some sleep would help improve my mood. I had put my head down on my arm while I attempted to sprawl out in such a position that no part of my body would touch anything else on the planet, when just then Evan and Splicer returned to camp at about the same time. Evan had been off with Dude when Splicer got naked. The conversation went something like:

Splicer: I need to get into your truck.

Evan: Okay. Hey Splicer, you’re naked, man.

Splicer: Yep.

After that, the images in my head were too disturbing to foster sleep, so I crawled out of my hole and Evan and I sat down to discuss plans.

Me: What should we do?

Evan: I dunno. Let’s ogle.

Me: Okay.

(they ogle)

Me: Now what?

We decided, I think, to just skulk around the camp until it got dark. Ed and Zach were nowhere to be seen, although big snoring sounds could be heard coming from Ed’s little pup tent. Plans were made to go look for Binky (meaning MAJ, of course), but dismissed as utter folly. Rumors flew like gnats: “I heard Ronald Reagan died”; “I went by Lightning Camp and no one had ever even heard of Binky or Chris Mills!”; “My ankles are swollen”.

I found out the true meaning of “Piss Clear” soon enough. The port-a-potties were located about 50 yards away from us, but they were real gross. I decided not to use them, and at the same time exact my revenge on the evil forces that had made us set up camp in this lonely corner of hell. Across the road from our campsite was a big field. A really big field. Not usable for camping (though only slightly less so than our own site, which was okay for some reason), there was really nothing it was good for except shooting spuds from Binky’s potato cannon (which happened later) and urinating.

There, I said it. I urinated in the field, and I’m glad I did. I’m sure I’ll get some flak from some Burning Man Brownshirts now: “What you did was wrong, man; there were port-a-potties available and now you have destroyed the desert!” But I don’t care.  Native Americans pissed there. Animals piss there. Now I pissed there, too. A whole lot. Right in front ot cars. In front of dogs. In front of naked women. Smiling, waving, laughing, I didn’t care; I was a piss machine. Unstoppable!

Eventually, we heard the whoops and shoots. Like something out of a Mad Max movie, the sun was starting to go down, and the feral natives of Black Rock City turned their faces to the sky and hooted at its departure. Something weird was about to happen. Stay tuned...

True tales from the Donner Party!
Here he comes...

Splicer coming... (68k JPG)

There he goes...

Splicer going... (70k JPG)

Go on to Part Four, starring Ishtar, not the bad movie, but a bad opera!