Feeling the burn

In the words of that great metropolitan [Black Rock City] newspaper Piss Clear, “And by the way, your cell phone won’t work out here, asshole.”

Hey, who knows? Maybe cell phones will work this year on the playa. Nah! But then again, if you bring your laptop, and you’re a Vonage customer, there ARE an awful lot of wireless networks out there. Hell, last year, it was beyond cool when I sat in my playa-trapped trailer on Labor Day, wrote a column, hopped onboard somebody’s wireless beam, and successfully transmitted to the home office. What a planet! Anyway, other miscellanies to remember for this year’s Dusting:

•You are no longer a negative bummer person if you lock your bike. In fact, you might be somewhat intelligent. Last year, my bike got swiped on Friday night. OK, fine. That wasn’t all that shocking, honestly. What DID shock me was that the thief didn’t bring it back. I went to the same bike rack at Center Camp the next day and the next night. Nada. That was when my feelings were hurt. I honestly figured that, it being Black Rock City, my bike had been borrowed, not stolen. Humph. Wake up call!

•When I see someone with a squinched-up, gnarly-lookin’ face exhibiting vertical mandibular motion, I know exactly what’s going on—a person struggling to scarf his/her mouthload of crazy fungus. Folks, I’m here to tell you that your mushroom face is at least as weird as your orgasm face. So please, use that blender you hauled out here for Penis Colada Camp, and treat yourself to a far less squinch-inducing “mushroom cloud” cocktail. (Note from editor in CYA dept.—don’t take mushrooms. Ever. Especially in some wacko, loony-tune town like Black Rock City. These dangerous, primitive plants can often lead to extreme episodes of delirium, joy, and artificially-induced ecstasy, experiences which have been deemed completely unacceptable by balding Calvinists who just can’t wait for the Rapture to arrive so that (a) they can hang out with Jesus and (b) mushroom-eating infidels like you will be consumed by 22-foot killer locusts. In fact, I’m guessing that in the recent update to the PATRIOT Act, there’s some small print in there that officially designates mushroom consumption as a terrorist act.)

•And what about the traffic of departure, euphemistically known as The Exodus. Even with all the brainiacs out there who might be thinking up ways to improve the amazingly inescapable vehicular constipation of Sunday and Monday, they’re ultimately stymied by the simple fact of infrastructure. There is, however, one foolproof strategy that I guarantee will allow you to completely miss out on playa gridlock—leave on TUESDAY. Seriously. Burning Man doesn’t care if you stay that extra day.