Day Nine was hot. And sexy. Also temperature-wise. Just all-around bad ass. Warning: Sort of NSFW down lower in the post.
Today might be Resto’s only day left, Phoenix told her crew. There could be weather. Special Forces yesterday killed cones from 10 to 3:15 and Esplanade through C. Day Nine’s assignment was to complete 3:15 to 1:45 and then start killing drags in open playa and trash fence rave zones. Then take on to C thru H, after front streets and drags. Hundreds of cones. Kill all cones.
Coincidentally, the all-hands-on-deck day, at the end of a long push, landed on Lingerie Day. (Sometimes someone will call a dress code — Onesday, Tourist Tuesday, Chicken Pants Day, Ladies’ Night — and the willing comply.)
Auto Shop, Ranch Crew, Office staff, some of Housing, and also Cowboy Carl came out to offer a boost to Special Forces and Line Sweeps. Did the troops forge an alliance with Resto for the final battle because weather was coming just ahead of the BLM Site Inspection, or because the rumors of skin had reached their ears? … They’re not telling. Whatever the true cause, Resto collected a dozen more people than we’re used to and it made a big dent.
But first, since it was cold in the morning, we wore our onesies.
Starting line-sweep for the mob led toward the wood chip place first. It’s funny how we refer to streets and buildings as if they’re still here, but it’s just a smattering of cones and T-stakes and otherwise a blank slate. We’re on the end of a two-month run, some of us longer, and we get pretty good at orienting ourselves with the mountain ranges: Calicos, Granites, Jacksons, Razorbacks.
Wood chips are always Resto’s Enemy Number One — and this year, there was a Wood Chip-Pocalypse. We found it on Day Eight, and that’s what needed attacking a second time — which made a huge difference, to go back and sweep it again after the wind shifted. Folks, this was the worst outbreak of wood chips ever, anywhere, ever seen by Resto, except for the famous ‘Dried Forest of Tiny Broken Sticks’ MOOP Incident of 2005.Nail gun plastic casings, staples, cutting wood … no embers, only wood shop detritus. This crew had to have built with their entire workshop untarped, and everything falling onto the bare playa. We’d like to think they tried to clean it up, but it doesn’t look like it. We split the task into two days while doing other sweeps, but all in all it took Resto almost a whole day’s work to get this site up off the desert floor. It was … intense. This is what happens when one protective ground tarp is forgotten.
By the end of Day Nine, Special Forces had killed all cones in the city — 500 or 600 cones. That’s smoking fast, and they could blaze, since they had ten trucks and teams today, where usually they roll with three or four. Cone destruction and cone mayhem.
We overheard Special Forces managers discussing their secret-weapon “machine” people who kill cones with a fierceness and seem to survive on work and adrenaline. They get really grumpy if they don’t have anything to do. In past lives, they were berserkers, maybe.
We’re all getting a little weird, and maybe too tired and brain-fried to be overly witty on the radio —
Starchild: “D.A., D.A., come back for Richard Dreyfus.”
D.A.: “Richard Dreyfus, I loved you in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It was some of your best work. Please take your team to 1:45 and Esplanade.”
Tok: “Break, break. I personally liked Mr. Holland’s Opus the best.”
Starchild: “Copy that, thank you both very much; Richard Dreyfus and crew to 1:45 and Esplanade.”
It used to be crazy weird BAD, but for a long time now, the DPW has learned to maintain collective sanity in this harshest of environments. We also have the appropriate resources so we don’t break down. It’s pretty rare out here people actually get stabby anymore.
We find harmless ways to let off steam. For instance, here’s us in our lingerie on Lingerie Day.
There are three phases to Burning Man DPW crew — setup, event, and strike — with three distinctly different flavors. Resto is the tightest. We’re elated with our low-drama, high-love year so far … and on this day, the mood is changing to maybe 15-25% melancholia, because now we have to turn around and think about going home. Everyone else gets a week here with their weirdo family; we’ve been here with each other for a whole growing and harvest season.
The Fluffers had some sort of a contest to see how fast a gallon of pickles could get eaten. Minute 1:37 and the pickles were done. Mile High called it in to Nipps over the radio.
The pickles are gone. Must be about time to leave.
Here’s what everyone’s been clamoring for: This marks the end of the preliminary MOOP map — and it’s at a higher resolution. Click here for it. All questions about your score on the map go to: placement at burning man dot com. But again, the final map won’t be out for a couple months, while the Resto crew collates and overlays the data.
Follow Summer Burkes on Twitter.