Because the Heavy Metal Strippers Will Keep the Bears Away


And that's the last of it!

The heavyset man behind the camp stove bellowed to all that would hear. He emptied the final bag of uncooked bacon onto the oversized cast-iron pan he was laboring over. Over four days, fully 92 pounds of bacon had been prepared on that stove, in that camp. Cheers went up as people briefly turned away from the firebreather (who had until then been the center of attention) to sample the latest output. Teriyaki bacon, roasted garlic bacon, and Cajun bacon were laid out for any present to consume.

92 pounds? That's about what I weigh!

I looked down to see a pixielike woman standing dressed in tiny black shorts, a scarf, and some bellydancer jewelry.

She put her arm around my midsection. "I hope you don't think this is weird, but I just love tall people. I'm so jealous... do you think you could let me ride on your shoulders?"

Naturally, I obliged. We went back down to the performance pit, where a long-haired man in a black Utilikilt was swinging a flame axe to Aenima by Tool, flanked by a shirtless muscley dude and a tall, skinny woman in a bikini, each of them working a stripper pole. We joined crowd of onlookers gathered at a safe distance wearing varying amounts of clothing who were dancing as they watched the performance.

When the song was over I knelt to let her off of my shoulders. Her feet touched the ground and we were at eye level.

Now you know what the world looks like to me

Actually, I assume this position all the time

Really... do you do partner acrobatics?

Huh? no, I just have a lot of friends who I'm closer to eye level with when I kneel

Oh, because you look like you have the build for it. Put your hands right above my knees for a second

She proceeded to teach me a number of tricks that involved lifting her over my head as she balanced in a pose, and ended by doing a handstand on my shoulders.

You really haven't done this before?

Onlookers did not act as if anything was out of the ordinary, and it wasn't. Not at the Firefly Arts Festival, and certainly not at Camp Heavy Metal Bacon Strippers. Here, 3/4-naked people being casually awesome was expected in very much the same way that, on a normal day, one might expect to drink coffee in the morning. And this in no way detracts from the individual experience of doing awesome things.

The rules of the road of any given burn (the catch-all term for events like Firefly) are designed to create that kind of atmosphere Aside from the ten principles of Burning Man, there are three main rules that govern Firefly:

(1) Leave No Trace (admittedly, one of the ten principles)
(2) Have Fun
(3) Safety Third

This would explain why someone would trust their safety to a complete stranger whose sobriety was never explicitly confermed

When she was done teaching me things, we formally introduced ourselves and parted ways. There was much more adventure to be had, and only a day and a half left to have it.

More to come...

1 comment:

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