Tuesday, July 17, 2012

At Camp Bisco Nothing The Size Of A Quarter Fell On Our Heads But...

There’s a haze that covers the festival grounds.  This haze doesn’t settle from the sky but rises from the ground.  Stirred by the feet of 40,000 wandering, shuffling souls.  Dirt so fine a golf cart rolling at 2 mph can throw up a Pigpen cloud of dust that filters through your lungs, drifts upward and disappears like water vapor, absorbed only to return to earth piggybacking on raindrops that become mud before they even hit the ground.  Some new form of precipitation coming soon to a weatherman near you. 
“Clean me” fingerpainted on the windshield of a ’98 Subaru with a note underneath “Why bother?”. 
And heat.  Mississippi Delta heat.  The Ginzu knife couldn’t slice this air I’m trying to breathe heat.  Most days women would kill for bigger boobs.  Today is not one of those days.  The only relief comes in the form of a wimp of a breeze not big enough to be shared by more than 4 or 5 people at a time.  Teasing then moving along.  Leaving in its wake heat and sweat so thick tattoos are running like an Al Stewart watercolor.  White girls with skin perfectly-boiled Maine lobster red and perfectly-roasted Peking duck crispy.    
Like a student who although unassigned always returns to the same classroom seat, I continue to use the same port-a-potty (second on the left, third row from the gyro stand).  It’s the one with the Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer can bobbing for dear life in a sea of yuck.  As the festival-goers empty bladders the beer can makes its way to the surface only to fall each morning when the port-a potties get cleaned.  Veterans know the best time to go to the bathroom is right after the septic pumpers have been to town.  Toilet paper and clean seats last about as long as it takes a police dog to go on alert at a Phish show.
The people watching is as fascinating as ever and I overcook more than one order of French fries.  Do you want ketchup with your neon purple fur-lined boots?  Security tries valiantly to hold back swarms of desperate to get to the next show young’uns.  Bred somewhere between Barney Fife and an over-zealous campus security weekend extra they feel a need to protect people from errant golf carts making their way to the stage with very important cargo.  “You’ll cross this road when I say you’ll cross it.  Thanks for understanding.”  The septic pumpers seem to get the right of way and I’m ok with that rule.  
Best tee shirt so far?  A tie between a guy with a really big head wearing a shirt with his own face on it and “You’re grammar suck’s”.  Hey I think Jesus is buying a burrito.  Jesus or Frank Zappa.  Then I realize those 2 are dead and it’s probably a guy named Jack who works during the week at the co-op selling beans in bulk.  Magic beans that will turn your eyes inside out and turn your girlfriend into a beanstalk. 
Most of the people are very nice and it is fun to talk with folks and find out a little about anyone willing to share.  The genuine ones make our day as vendors a little more bearable.  Here are some folks I got a chance to talk with for awhile.  I told them I was going to post their picture so “Hi guys!”  

My Best Customers So Far

It’s interesting and everyone knows the odds of never seeing these people again are pretty good but it is fun to get to know people this way.  Sort of like speed-dating without any consequences.  
The music for the most part is god-awful.  We used to get the same sound when we failed to properly connect our stereo speakers.  I sincerely believe if you can play one really low bass note over and over and over and over again you can be a band.  Actually you only have to play the note once and then sit back and let your computer take over.  This can’t be what our parents heard when Elvis and Chubby sent them scurrying to their bomb shelters.  That was music. With lyrics that dripped with meaning.  Sha bittly boo wah wah wah!
For a break yesterday I got to go to the store to pick up replacement supplies.  120 bags of ice.  Can I ride in back on the way home?  We went to a store named BJ’s.  Really.  Who names their store BJ’s?  How many times have kids had to ask their father why he snickers every time he goes in the place?  And I swear I’m not making it up when I say the first thing I saw when we went in the store was a mechandising display of kneepads.  Okay I’m making that up.

So we drag home to hot showers and screened windows with fans and get ready for Gathering of the Vibes.  Where I do believe, me and the music will get along nicely thank you very much.

Love you all.  Peace.  Peter

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Stopping by a Rest Area with a Rest Area for your Dog

Falling asleep and waking to the slow realization you are lying in a field of dog poops.  It comes to you gradually because everyone of us thinks someone else is responsible for the off-odored air.  Then it occurs to us we are resting in a sacred dog poop battlefield.  Like a platoon of enlisted men trying to navigate their way out of a minefield we slowly make our way through dry and dusty almost decayed-back-to-soil past a pile of still-steaming my owner was a Great Dane the size of Denmark and ending up on pavement.  128 degrees hot but at least not smelly, pavement.
We’ve stopped because our driver is exhausted from 6 days of music festival food selling.  Six days with maybe 2 hours of sleep in any 24 hour period.  So we wait wondering if we are here forever or not.  Forever would be hard because none of us has more than one pair of clean socks left and the tan lines we are all so proud of are really 6 days of hot Lower Peninsula Michigan dirt.  Dirt so fine and dusty you could grow a 2 foot carrot in it.  Not really, I think the carrot would probably say “too dang hot, I’m staying inside this seed shell where it’s air-conditioned.”
Forever would be hard because we stink.  Not just stink.  Stink that stanks.  Stanky stink.  The dog poops would probably have left if we didn’t.     We’ve been camping with and selling food to a gazillion kids whose only purpose over the past 6 days was to get really stinky.  They got the good stinky we got the bad.  My head hurts, my feet stink and I don’t love Jesus.  Well whether or not I love Jesus will have to wait for another day but I’m here to tell you there is stink.  He who is without stink shall  inherit something righteous.  That ain’t going to be me.  I stink.
Tried on day 5 to shave and shower.  The shower had a mile long line so I settled for a shave.  Next time I’d like to try it with a sharp razor, hot water and not sharing a bathroom built for 6 if there was a 3:2 ratio of guys going No.1 to guys taking a good healthy No.2.  Wait, that would mean there was only room for 5 people.  Well I’m counting the guy at the sink shaving (which would be me) with 25 guys watching.  Shaving with a dull razor in front of 25 guys is like trying to start peeing in front of 25 guys.  (It really is an organ with a mind of its‘ own).  And it’s not like you can decide half through to say to hell with it and walk out.  This horror movie has to be completed.  Because let’s face it walking around with a half shaved face is really weird.  Lock ‘em up weird.  So I finish and make my way back to HQ dripping blood but relatively free of facial hair.
HQ is a combination of food trailer-concession stand-tent grove.  Surrounded by a fence that after 3 days suddenly has a multitude of bras hanging from its’ chain-links.  Shed as just one more layer of unneeded keep your body overheated clothing.  The first to go when the temperature gets to the point at which even bacteria aren’t feeling frisky.   
Saw my first painted boobie the evening of Day 2.  I sort of wish I hadn’t.  Things had started moving south for this woman and it wasn’t pretty.  And it makes it hard for a guy who hands out burritos for a living.  Maintaining eye contact is tough enough when there is a woman standing in front of you.  It becomes a workout when she is not wearing anything over her upper body other than a thin layer of Benjamin Moore.  A conversation between the brain and the eyes grows heated until one or the other wins out.  You don’t want to get caught copping a look.  I was good though, kept my eyes right where any decent gentleman keeps them.  On the bug crawling across the tent ceiling.
The morning of day 6 is fun.  It’s time to pack up and get the hell out.  It’s the final morning and you see 50 year old men walking across the festival grounds heads down totally dejected because they have come to the realization they just spent the last week not getting laid.  4000 women, most all of whom have enough drugs flowing through their bodies they couldn’t name the third planet from the sun and you didn’t get any.  Or the dazed look of the twenty-sumpin’s who did get lucky and now are wondering if it is okay to just drive away while what’s her name is in the Sunoco bathroom.  What is her name anyway?  Man I should have paid closer attention when that was being discussed.  Yeah, it’s time to go home.

Or at least to a rest area somewhere between Rothbury, Michigan and the Green Mountain State.  A rest area where we could walk our dog if we had one.
Love you all.  Peace.  Peter  

Where in the World is Rothbury, Michigan

This week found us at Electric Forest Music Festival.  Electric music as in it's not really music or it was at one point and I just fed it through a weird machine and this is what came out and you are on such a great combination of drugs you think it is wonderful and oh wow did you see the size of that moth and does this neon orange tutu make me look fat and all I have is a dollar can I have a burrito.

Main Stage
It's always best before the crowds get there because you get to walk around and check things out without the multitudes.  It was very dusty, so dusty we had to wear bandanas when we held up the bank.

Monica, Amanda, Dea and Sydney!

There was a lot of hanging around when we first got there.  For some reason we raced across New York and Ohio which are very big states as measured from right to left, only to arrive 2 days before we had to.  Luckily it was only 96 degrees during the day and there was no shade.

Yes sir Bob it's a glamorous life being on the road selling burritos

We finally found an oak tree to lie under but acorns the size of quarters kept falling on our heads.

Acorns the size of quarters

The folks running the show had duded everything up in pretty good fashion.  A lot of work went into making the forest electric.

Dea and Sydney.  Aren't they the cutest?  And some weird guy who wants to be friends with Dea and Sydney.  Run Dea and Sydney, run.

Oh I'm sorry was that your tent?