Camp Elsewhere, The Emergency Arts Collective, and Blackrock99 welcome you to.....
On the eve of the 3rd of July, a small tensegrity
stage played host to No! Man! (The Musical) In the middle of nowhere!
ONCE upon a time there was an empty world. It was so empty that neither bird nor bee nor flower nor tree grew there. There was nothing but cracked dry earth for miles around.
Then one day a truck rolled into the middle of the nothing. In the truck were three friends, Trego, Bordello, and Fly.
Trego jumped out first, pulled off a shirt and yelled "WAHOOO, BURNING MAN! I'm gonna take drugs and party all night long!"
Bordello jumped out second and yelled "HOTDAMN BURNING MAN! I'm gonna paint my body and get laid!"
Both of them soon realized that something was seriously amiss. They were totally and completely..alone!
"Where are all the cars?" Said Trego. "And where are all the people?" Said Bordello. "And where is the Man!?" Both of them said together.
"Man? There IS NO MAN!" Said Fly, as he leapt out of the truck, "Burning Man is held during Labor Day, not the Fourth of July! I've fooled you both into taking me here, because I needed the truck. But now there's no crowds, no admission, no noise, no crap, and no man at all!" He then ceremoniously handed them both a jar of pickles.
"PICKLES!?" Said Trego and Bordello, "Why on earth did you drag us out here? Fuck this!" And with that they jumped in the truck and left him there, in hopes of finding a Rave Camp somewhere off in the horizon.
For hours and hours Trego and Bordello drove toward the mountains in hopes of finding a Rave Camp. But as they drove, the color of the playa got darker and wetter. Before they knew it, the truck stopped moving. They couldn't drive backward, and they couldn't drive forward. They were stuck, helpless, in the mud.
Trego and Bordello got out of their car and angrily looked for a rock or a log or something to help them out of their predicament. Luckily, Bordello found a large 2X4 that was half-buried in the desert. With that, they managed to free the truck and steer it toward the mountains, which were aglow with the setting sun.
Before long they came upon a hot spring at the foot of the mountains, and after timidly putting their toes in the water, proceeded to wade into the sulfurous warm bath. Bats flitted about their heads and warm mud coated their bodies.
"Ahh! This is the life! Perhaps there's more to Black Rock
Desert than we thought!"
So they stayed and stayed and sat and sat.
But once the last ray of sun left the desert, everything went completely black. Covered with drying mud, Trego and Bordello attempted to drive back in the dark, trying to retrace their steps while avoiding wet muddy areas.
Many times they thought they saw a light in the distance, but as they changed direction the dim glow would vanish into the darkness. After several hours they were feeling very sorry for themselves, and very angry. They were angry at the terrible darkness, and angry at Fly for having let them go alone into this strange place, and they were angry at themselves. As they drove in circles all night long, they begain to feel badly that they had left Fly to go off on their own. "Well, we're miles from where we left Fly, and there's nothing for miles around. No point in even looking out the window anymore. "
No sooner had Trego said this than the car hit something in the dark.
"OW!" Cried whatever-it-was.
Trego looked out of the truck to see Fly, half-naked next to an odd-looking 5-gallon bucket.
"How did you get here? And where are we?" cried Trego and Bordello
"Er, Well," said Fly, "There was a slight mix-up in directions. It's 12 miles north and 2 miles east, but due to a slight blemish on the site, the entire camp decided to move here."
"So is this where we're supposed to be?"
"Er, Well, due to a GPS malfunction, we're actually 1 mile west from where we thought. But anyway, you found us. Have a pickle!"
"Er - no thanks." said Bordello, "But at last, we can relax!"
"Not a bit of it!" said Fly, "The sun is almost risen and we need to make our shade structures!"
"Er - that'll be a problem," said a woman dressed in coveralls and a cowboy hat. "Looks like we're missing a mallet, a crowbar, and the third pole. Probably left them in Reno." "Missing a pole? Perhaps this would help!" Said Bordello, and produced the 2X4 plank they had found the night before. They then used it to hammer, pry, lever, and eventually incorporated it into a final structure.
Five hours later Trego and Bordello were overheated and delirious. After hammering in rebar, pulling on ropes, and hanging onto canvas sheets in the wind, they were starting to see things in the mirages around them. Finally Bordello collapsed onto the desert floor.
"Help! Help! My friend's collapsed!" Cried Trego. Quick as winking Trego gave Bordello the jar of pickles, thinking it was water. Bordello drank the entire jar, pickles and all, and was miraculously healed. Soon Trego also consumed a jar of pickles, and they proceeded to sit under the finished shade structures for Snack Camp under the heat of the blazing Sun.
That night everybody dressed for the potluck dinner, and Trego and Bordello prepared a combination of tastybites that everyone agreed had never been combined before.
Later people toured the illuminated artworks and installations.
Small fireworks and flamethrowers light up the night. Trego, Bordello and Fly sat under a big warm blanket, and enjoyed the intense nothing outside, and the small community inside the circle of playa-potties.
And with the canvas of stars, and the lovely spiral arm, wheeling above
(Story by Horgworm and Colonel Handsome.. and Noman!)