BLACK ROCK CITY — The foofaraw surrounding the Great Burning Man Arson Escapade — the attempted torching by prankster Paul Addis of The Man, the giant wooden centerpiece of the Burning Man festival here in Nevada — has started to die down. And at last, we can get back to the subject at hand, which is, of course, Wackyland here in real life. You remember Wackyland of course — that fanciful place Porky Pig visited while hunting for the elusive dodo in the old Looney Tunes cartoons. Burning Man, that festive bastion of self-expression and artistic endeavor, simply bleeds art and creativity into the hard-packed desert floor of Black Rock City. And, yes, wackiness. Some examples follow.
Our day began in the usual Black Rock fashion. We awoke to the sound of Reverend David Apocalypse, a campmate, San Francisco ne'er-do-well, and former carnival freak, shouting "Fire in the Hole!" This, of course, right before his miniature black-powder cannon exploded somewhere near the breakfast table. Invigorated by morning air and adrenaline, we went on a reconnaissance stroll through town today to pick up the local flavor.
At Mad Scientist Camp, where the motto is "Better Living Through Reckless Science", we encountered the Chakratron, a giant clear polymer Buddha bedecked internally with madly oscillating sparkly lights. "Paul Addis just took the fall!" said Scott "Gaspo" Gasparian, creator of the Chakratron. "It was really the art piece burning a hole through the man with its Third Eye!"
We would have spoken further, but just then a nearly naked woman with an enormous set of clear-acrylic, green-tea-filled breasts and a fluffy marabou strapless G-string (yeah — we wondered how that works as well) gave a lap dance to an onlooker as he sucked antioxidant-rich deliciousness from her rubber nipples.
Yes, really. What's that? You're buying your ticket for next year already?
We would have commented on that, but our tirade was interrupted by a gout of flame erupting from a steam-powered runabout zipping across the dusty expanse of desert in front of us. The runabout had a tall, Victorian riverboat-style tower and gorgeously decorated wrought-iron wheels, and was powered by a serious-looking man in a pith helmet. Clearly a steampunk — a flavor of cyberpunk who embraces 19th-century cutting-edge tech, rather than the 21st-century variety.
It was at that point that the rear tire of our bicycle blew out, and we were forced to seek repair. Fear not, though. Our adventures in Wackyland will continue.