May 31, 2007
We need an Otto when the shit hits the fan. He’s been in nine wars, he says. He’s seen more bad things than anyone you know. Done more, too.
As Michelle Burke told me the other night while peeling rutabagas — who eats rutabagas? — we are the Land of Broken Toys.
And Otto is one of the most broken. And he will tell you that himself.
Otto von Danger is a chain-smoking Viking warrior. A beat-to-shit, impossible-to-kill Marine with a thick veneer of caveman letchiness and excessive talkativity covering a missile-quick mind and an enormous bloody beating heart. He would literally snap someone’s throat if they ever dared hurt one of his friends.
Maybe that’s why we don’t want Otto to die. Our own interest in self-preservation.
Otto is fond of saying that if he hadn’t met all of us, all the BRC-DPW and the larger community of Burning Vacation-going art freaks in the Bay Area, he would have killed himself a long time ago. He likes to speak in hyperbole, but on this one, we believe him.
Over cars? There are varying reports. We still can’t figure out if Otto will be the one on fire, or if the ramp will be on fire, or if there be a wall of fire through which Otto jumps the Harley. Or if they’ll pour gasoline on the ramp and all over Otto and start playing Black Sabbath and hand him a strike-anywhere match and see what happens.
All we know is we have to be there.
It’s probably just another one of Chicken’s bait-and-switch things, right? Some gag like the Bike Rodeo does in our “five cars on fire” skit? How we build a tiny ramp and douse it in lighter fluid and put five little Matchbox cars on a flaming paper plate in front of it? …
Like how Chicken would get everybody in the tent at Cirkus Redickuless and talk up the “Man-Eating Chicken” and then Jarico would come out eating a bucket of chicken … right?
It’s Otto’s birthday today. The party tonight at American Steel might be his last.
But we really hope not. We need an Otto.
P.S. Wheelgunner’s on active duty in Iraq right now, we think, so who’s bringing the flamethrowers?
P.S.S. We don’t even want to talk about the possibility that the drunkyard might be closing. Cyclecide has our headquarters there. Really — today, we just can’t think about it. Like Scarlett O’Hara, we’ll think about it tomorrow.
Follow Summer Burkes on Twitter.