August 24, 2007
Black Rock City, NV
Delirious, delirious, delirious. We hung Arwen’s masks all day on the giant trees at the base of the Man, before we went to work at Gate all night.
DELIRIOUS we tell you.
List of weapons:
Rusty sword stashed in the car
2 flip knives
We’re going to have to put them away by tonight when the floodgates open for the event proper. Don’t want any of the expected 40,000-odd participants getting the wrong idea; don’t want any douchebags using them for evil instead of fake menace.
Shift leader-guys like to roll around in Matty’s car with this writer dressed in a stripper-cop uniform hotpants onesie with a Mag lite and Sexy Bat and HIGHLY DANGEROUS MOTHERFUCKER baseball hat, telling people in D-lot what to do, and catching people who are trying to sneak in.
When the shift lead yells at them for being leeches, they look to us for sympathy and we just sit there like concrete, engine revving slightly, stone-faced as Cool Hand Luke’s chain-gang manager with expressionless mirrored sunglasses on. We get into it. We’re role-playing dorks just like everybody else.
Sendo’s birthday was combined with Viking Night for maximum party effect. Mostly-naked hot girls in theme costumes writhed around to the metal we played from behind the blurry plexiglass DJ booth Jub Jub camp was inspired to install last year after some F’d up raver chick spilled a margarita all over their equipment.
So we were mostly isolated, trying to rock the party where the challenge for Sendo’s birthday was to kill 48 bottles of Jameson’s — a pallet full of whiskey, people — so it’s probably good we ended up stuck back there away from the libations. We hear the pink punch was also spiked with who knows what. Yikes.
Certain members of Gate one-upped the Ladies’ Night tradition to Ladies’ Night II: Shirtcocking Viking-aloo — they de-pantsed and overtook the yawn-ho-hum topless girls with a round of thong-shaking on the walkway stage with the stripper poles.
We leaned out the back of the DJ booth occasionally, holding up the Sexy Bat in furry legwarmers — not that kind but close, Viking-style, and in the ironic-back-to-serious way we all are, like Low Rent the Clown’s mullet or Thirteen’s hot asymmetrical skater haircut with skunk stripe, or the fact that some of the Gate staff insist on shirtcocking even though most of us are vocally against pantslessness in all forms.
We get so delirious from the heat and the sun and the dryness and the climbing around in the back of Ryder trucks we get our words in the wrong order. We’re doing everything right, hydrating so much we have to pee every 20 minutes and eating the most hippie-est food ever.
The only “drugs” Arwen and this writer have done are electrolytes and kombucha and coconut juice and niacin and vitamin E lotion and shea butter … and we’re still just as crazy as if we had done stuff which is much more illegal. Out here, you absorb the energy of the group and become more … “one” than in the default world. (We know, we know, but it’s true.)
Arwen keeps getting back flashes up her spine; ours keeps electrocuting us and making our muscles seize up and ribs pull back out again from the wreck and making us shake and twitch when someone has to massage our spasms to make them lessen.
It freaks people out because we’re in an ‘I Don’t Care Bear’ outfit at the gate and tears are running down our face and we’re slouching and stretching and twitching occasionally and the bunny ears on our warm fleece thrift-store why-are-they-bunny-ears-if-it’s-a-Care-Bear-costume hat are thwapping out like whips each time electricity in the spine acts like frayed wires on a power line. Arwen sits beside us, twitching too, smiling like a Cheshire cat on not-hallucinogens-but-hallucinogens-once-removed.
The other night at a Big Rig Jig barbecue, the ladies of the camp had posted a menu for different types of mustaches they were distributing to their guests with Sharpies. You could even try one on before they drew it on you. There was the Fu Manchu, the Don Johnson, the Prison Pussy, the Casanova … a dozen mustaches, at least.
We chose the Hitler / Charlie Chaplin mustache to go with the I Don’t Care Bear suit. Should we do it again this week? The mustache, we mean? Not sure. Staff understands the deep irony and non-hateful nature of it all, but some of the ticketholders might get all butt-hurt and complain to a ranger that someone dared draw a Hitler / Charlie Chaplin mustache on themselves here in the new millennium. Satire is protected under the Constitution, you know.
At least we’re not as bad as certain members of a certain Burning Man staff going to Ladies’ Night in we won’t even say what. Who’s offensive? Yes, but we are skinny white girls, frail one might even say, laughing as we introduce ourselves with weapons in hand. Laughing DELIRIOUSLY.
We guess it unnerves some, but what we’re doing is inviting them to join in the game of playing crazy. We have snapped, but we won’t snap ON anyone now, we’ll just keep laughing. Sometimes they lose and think we actually ARE crazy. But we’re not; we’re just testing them to see if they pass. If they take themselves seriously at all, they lose. It’s a secret audition to backstage at Burning Man.
Douchebags speeding in giant RVs along Gate Road and kicking up dust clouds are the exact cause of the dust storm, beginning to happen tonight as we write this. We just made a whiteout contingency plan in camp: sewing projects and sketchbooks stowed in the car just in case it’s a long one.
It’s definitely time to go to bed. Part of us feels like putting all our clothes on to go stash all our tent-belongings in the car right now; the other part feels like going to sleep to relive the delirium in order to be able to have the energy to shake the dust off everything and clean out our tent in the morning, in case Gate and the Rangers can’t catch all the speeding vehicles full of people cranky and road-tired and overeager to get to the best week of their life all year.
Tonight at midnight, we open the Gate.
Must remember to put the axes away.
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