Burning Man ’07: Shoes, parachutes, fires, food fights

In this one time at burning man by summerburkes0 Comments

September 6, 2007
Reno to Black Rock City

It’s been a red sun at night for about four days now. Apparently there’s a fire in Susanville, and everything’s all purple mountain’s majesty from late afternoon til dark. The brush-fire could’ve been started by an irresponsible Burning Man ticketholder throwing a cigarette out the window; it could’ve just as easily been lightning, or a hunter or cowboy failing to properly extinguish his campfire.

We’ve all gone a little loopy again, with Thirteen dumpstering a half-burned parachute from the DPW Depot to make a hot toga-ish dress for the Last Supper (the final night of commissary on-playa) — and riding back to the Black Hole in the truckbed with the parachute all splayed out behind her like Priscilla Queen of the Desert, singing nonsense to herself that sounded like a trumpet mixed with a chicken clucking.

Today was a half workday for the DPW, and we’ve all got to move to the trailer parks in town now. It feels like an ending, and we’re celebrating. Cleanup is going beautifully.

Last night a nice lady returning for her broken-down car stopped at the Gate and gave us a new pair of really swank tennis shoes. Our Chucks had started to “turn,” so we were asking the universe for some — and they came to me, all expensive. But white, so we spray-painted them black. And now our feet are happy.

C-Load got a girls’-clothes outfit too — flowy tassely scarf, white pillowed jacket, off-white lace stretch tank top, white beanie hat — and during one of our brand new inexplicable blackouts, we woke up to him catching us falling off the truck bed, and we panicked and started to fight because we thought he was a date-rapist raver.

He got rid of the hat. Now the outfit is perfect.

... and just like that -- POOF -- we get our techno-free desert back

For the Last Supper, they set up one long table for everyone still left in the Black Rock Desert to eat as a family. We got there late, and wanted to sit together, and there wasn’t enough room so we set up another table off to the side. And everyone gave us shit for being exclusionary Gatestapo kids’-table haters.

And of course, Gate crew started a food fight. Everyone knew it was going to happen. It’s a tradition. Both senior staff and commissary crew eyed us suspiciously from the moment we walked in holding multiple bottles of red wine. Nobody in Gate really tried to hide the fact that we were the Bad Kids — smirking, eating nervously, going back in line to get ammo (we mean “seconds”), and involuntarily casing the place like hooligans about to plant a mailbox bomb.

Alas, the food fight came to a quick end at the start for this writer, when a co-worker turned around too quickly and fell on top of us and pinned us between himself and a chair that collapsed onto the floor underneath us. Everyone had a good laugh, though, and our awesome commissary manager simply walked over to the main perpetrators of the fight (smeared with watermelon and mashed potatoes) and handed them a broom.

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