After DSO came The Stepkids, Leftover Salmon, Nhako and Medicine For The People, The John Butler Trio (who rocked), Digital Tape Machine, and then at 10:15 Primus came on and the full-blown freak show began and continued into STS9 who rocked till 3am.
As the evening unfolded, I was struck with the realization that I could have given birth to about 80% of the people attending. I was blown away by the changes that had taken place in the past 20 years. I also realize those statements make me sound like someone who rants about how telephones used to have cords and the 6 tv channels in existence had to be changed by actually turning a dial with your hand!
The Spinners of my generation had been replaced by the Hula Hoopers. Did you know of this phenomenon? Being an old school Spinner hippie myself, there were packs of us who would pick our spots, and start spinning as our long flowing skirts and hair spread out and cleared us a nice sized radius in which to do our thing for the remainder of the show. This was all completed by the rhythmic shaking of bells around our ankles. Apparently, those days were gone, we had been replaced by the Hula Hoopers.
The principle was the same, they used their hula hoops the same way we used our skirts to clear their dancing radius and claim their space. The difference being that they wore tight little yoga shorts or barely there bikini bottoms with or without a sarong covering their perfect 20-year-old asses. But I’ll tell you what, it was fucking awesome to watch! These hula hoops were filled with blinking, multicolored LED lights that left tracers that made you feel as if you were tripping your face off. Some of these girls were amazingly talented, this was not just hula hooping around your waist, they used their hips, arms, legs, necks. They danced with them in beautiful spellbinding routines and threw them high into the air, effortlessly catching them every time, never stopping the spinning motion.
Check this out and tell me you aren’t blown away too! (this isn’t from the show but you’ll get my point…)
As these beauties set up, I watched the girlfriends and wives in close proximity give them disgusted looks as their boyfriends and husbands gawked at them. I just laughed, they were beautiful. I pointed them out to Aaron, as if he didn’t notice. I can admire a tight 20-year-old ass, because I used to have one, and I also know that in 20 years, once they too, have popped out a few kids and nursed them until their perky tits resemble tube socks full of pennies, that their asses will look just like mine. It’s all good, that shit happens. In the meantime, good for them, they were rocking those fucking hula hoops and I was totally enjoying the show. I would have put a dollar bill in her yoga shorts but it was definitely the wrong crowd for that.
The next mindfuck was the furry animal hats. Let me remind you that it was a gazillion degrees, and we kept seeing both men and women in furry animal hats, with fucking ears. Other people just had tails pinned to the back of their skirts or shorts. I’m gearing up to say fuck a lot because I said what the fucking fuck about a fucking million times trying to figure out what the fuck was the deal with that shit! Most of these hats had long pieces hanging off the sides like scarves with mitten pouches at the end, which their hands went in to resemble creepy mitten paws.
After some recent after-the-fact research, these furries come in all types of price points and species, it seems as if dressing up like a Furry during off-hours is a thing right now. If you’re under 18, these fur hoods are passable, but if you’re of a certain age when you can’t get away with wearing a tutu out in public anymore, please just say no. I seriously don’t understand these. From the back, you look like a Rent-an-Entertainer who forgot the bottom half of your costume. From the front, you look like one of those adults with self-prescribed “Peter Pan” syndrome who wears rainbow socks and eats Pixie Stix at bars.
Regardless, I was enthralled. At one point we came across a vendor who was selling them, who I asked, “what the fuck is up with these hats?!” She laughed and explained to me that a lot of people use them to channel their “inner animal.” Whatever, that’s stupid, but it was fun as hell to laugh at.
Anyway, back to the show…
By about 1:30am we were toast and decided to head back to our tent and listen to the rest of the show from up there. We crawled into our sweat lodge and cracked open some ice-cold mineral waters that tasted like sweet unicorn bubble gum serum straight from heaven. We peeled off our clothes, cranked up our battery-powered fan, and lay blissfully naked on our raft mattress as the sounds of STS9 revved us up just enough for a little sexy times.
There is nothing like hot sweaty bouncy raft sexy times with laser light shows and music blaring, except when you realize the man/weird/always too fucked up/creep in the tent next to you is standing directly outside of your tent, on (or pretending to be on) his cell phone, with a direct view through the mesh siding. We had run into him a few times during the day, he was like Don Draper from Mad Men, minus the looks, charm, style, talent or sex life, looking like he was trying to recover from a 5 day bender of cocaine, acid and molly. Every time we saw him he asked us if we wanted to come in his tent and get high. Ah, no thanks.
After that fiasco, and on top of 2 days of 100+ degree temperatures and non stop movement, and the 47 minutes of sleep I’d had the night before, at 3 am when the music stopped, we were finally ready to crash like the dead. In a scene like this, there is always at least some sort of ambient noise, and you do adjust, but just as we were finally dozing off, came the loudest BOOM…(count 1..2..3)…BOOM…(count 1..2..3)…BOOM…(count 1..2..3)…BOOM…that lasted for about 20 min. It was LOUD, and I mean concert loud. Apparently they had decided that 3:30 am was an ideal time to sound check the drums for the next day. At some point, in spite of the noise, and the lights, and the raft/trampoline mattress, and the heat…we slept.
Our internal clocks don’t give a fuck that we could have actually slept in, they go off by 7 am at the latest, regardless of the fact that we had to get up for no reason and that we only had about 4 hours of sleep. At 7 I rolled over and realized that Aaron was MIA. I just figured he was in the glorious spot-o-pot having his morning poop. He is as regular as my yellow lab. I however had not pooped since we got there, and I knew that no matter how bad I may have had to go, there was no way in hell my body was going to allow that to happen in one of those port-o-pots overflowing with campers diarrhea. No thank you, I’d just complain about stomach pain for 4 days and look like I was in my first trimester.
As I lay there with my eyes closed, in comes Aaron, my stubbly knight in shining tie dye, holding 2 extra-large cups of steaming hot coffee. A tear of love and gratitude welled in my eye, that’s all the romance I’ll ever need. He had walked through the entire campground and across the street to the gas station to wait in line with every other coffee addict for our fix. He’s awesome like that. I threw on some clothes and we sat on our trampoline and drank our coffee. It was Saturday morning, and we had some time to kill before the music started at noon. It was quite an adjustment getting used to having nothing to do. We had made up a song the day before, and would sing it and giggle whenever we had those moments where we had nothing to do and nowhere to be and didn’t know what to do with ourselves. It went, “Sittin’ in the tent, sittin’ in the tent, sittin’ in the tent, sittin’ in the tent…” The song as monotonous and boring as the (lack of) action itself.
We were starving, and seeing how I had packed everything one could ever dream of, we decided on the trail mix we had been living on. There were 2 bags, both different kinds and half empty, we each had one and I decided it would be a great idea to mix them together and shake them up. Aaron tried to take my bag to do it, and being the stubborn asshole that I am, I took his and said, “I got it!” which went something like this:
Aaron could barely snap the picture through his laughter. It rained a lot that day, so we sang a lot of “sittin’ in the tent.” We organized and reorganized all our shit a hundred times, and I noticed Aaron inspecting the cots, ready to start tightening up the bolts just for something to do. Then he tried to make up a game, which turned out to be the worst game in the history of the world but one which had us in hysterics for a half hour.
Follow me on this. He told me he had an idea for a game to kill time, and that is all he said, so I just sat an watched it unfold. He ate an avocado then very meticulously cleaned, and by cleaned I mean polished, the pit. He put a lot of effort into it so I figured it must be a critical part of the game. Then at the end of the mattress/raft he placed an empty paper cup up on the cot. Next he laid down beside me and said, “watch!” He then attempted to throw the avocado pit into the cup, which was approximately 587 times heavier than the cup, at which point it knocked over the cup and flew out of the tent. Great game Aaron! Glad you spent 20 minutes polishing that pit! We laughed until it hurt. Stupid silly laughter.
Again, to be continued…hang in there…
Categories: Adventures & Travels