Thursday, August 23, 2007

Confessions Of An Ex-Burner

Burning Man is upon us once again. You can always tell when it's coming, and, since I work in a store that sells camping equipment, we're swamped with folks stocking up on goggles, sleeping bags, and "Freshettes," which are little funnel-like devices that allow women to pee standing up.

I used to go every year; from 1993 - 2000, I was there dressing in drag, riding around on glowstick covered beat up bike doing tons of ecstasy, acid, shrooms, you-name-it, and checking out the cool sculptures, broadcasting our own radio station, and soaking in the smelly hot springs.

But no more. It's gotten too big and too expensive. When I went in 1993 there were maybe 3,000 people. Today it's around 35,000. I believe everybody should go once, because it is a truly unique experience, even without tons of drugs.

I don't usually read Violet Blue's column in SFGate - or any other sex advice columns; I know how to have sex and have references to prove it thank you very much. But her column on Burning Man had snippets of a hilarious email for those of us who don't make it anymore. It's called How to Have Burning Man at Home, which I found in its entirety here. Here's some of the funniest ones...

photo: Todd Gardiner from BM website

Here's how to enjoy the Burning Man Experience from the Comfort of your Own Home:

Stack all your fans in one corner of your living room. Put on your most fabulous outfit. Turn the fans on full blast. Dump a vacuum cleaner bag in front of them.

Pitch your tent next to the wall of speakers in a crowded, noisy club. Go to sleep.

Get so drunk you can't recognize your own house. Walk slowly around the block for five hours.

Buy a new set of expensive camping gear. Break it.

Pay an escort of your affectional preference to not bathe for five days, then cover themselves in glitter, dust, and sunscreen, wear a skanky neon wig, dance close naked, then say they have a lover back home. (*I particularly like this one)

Before eating any food, drop it in a sandbox and lick a battery.

Tear down your house. Put it in a truck. Drive 10 hours in any direction. Put the house back together. Invite everyone you meet to come over and party. When everyone leaves, follow them back to their homes, drink all their booze, and break things.

Only use the toilet in a house that is at least 3 blocks away. Drain all the water from the toilet. Only flush it every 4 days. Hide all the toilet paper.

Visit a restaurant and pay them to let you alternate lying in the walk-in freezer and sitting in the oven.

Don't sleep for 5 days. Take a wide variety of mind-altering substances. Pick a fight with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Cut, burn, electrocute, bruise, and sunburn various parts of your body. Forget how you did it. Don't go to a doctor.

Buy a new pair of favorite shoes. Throw one shoe away.

Set up a DJ system downwind of a three alarm fire. Play a short loop of drum'n'bass until the embers are cold.

Mail $200 to the Reno casino of your choice.

Go to a museum. Find one of Salvador Dali's more disturbing but beautiful paintings. Climb inside it.

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