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« Evidently A Few Of You Really Want To Come To The Yard Sale. | Main | And My How The Time Rolls By. »

Laundry Day

Washing beer and three different peoples urine out of my shorts this morning was proof enough that the party lasted one day too long. Or maybe the perfect amount of time. Either way, we now know our limits.

As the sun rose on the last of 5 mornings, Andy and I were breaking into Goads mini-van which he was towing on the back of a U-Haul. Goad is relocating to Pennsylvania from Portland and had the common sense to go via Death Valley. Andy decided that the only way he'd fit thru the open window was Alcatraz-style, shirtless and lubed with Astroglide. I didn't question the neccessity. We didn't learn much about the man by going thru his personal effects other than he doesnt hide his pot very well. I stole his dog Cookie's favorite stuffed frog which I plan on returning after he reads this and punches my nice face.


We'd tripped for four consecutive nights, each one different than the last and the last the worst. Not bad, keep in mind, but a victim of rushed judgement and poor planning. Seems that Babbit had left behind his perscription for Ritilin when he'd fled with his lady friend from Houston. You can take the man out of the comedy business but you can't take the cocktail waitress off his cock. So after eating the last of the mushroom shake we - a careful few - decided to crush up and snort the Ritilin just for scientific purposes.

The ensuing cannonball blew me into a bug-eyed and deviant flight. It took hours to get through the worst of it. I tried to shake it with a violent yank in a dark room, wearing an eye-mask while the wife poured cold water from her mouth into mine. Where these ideas come from, I couldn't tell you but it was wonderful and I thanked her. She didn't really wanna be there in a dark room and who could blame her. She hadn't soiled her trip with the Ritilin. Costa Rica Kevin is screaming from outside that he has the antidote.

The Mattoid



The band played on but for the first time this week I was not overwhelmed by the magic of it. It finally dawned on me - that which might have appeared immediately obvious to the reader - that Ritilin is a drug whose sole purpose is to take the art and creativity out of people. It's created for no other reason than to keep your head in your work. It says so on the label. Everything we'd built over four days I could no longer feel. Someone is speaking into the microphone and the words are lost on me but rather than feel cheated out of the trip I'd been expecting, I ran with the high I had and pissed on the person speaking.

One day too long, could be. You must still work with the drug.


The other trips had been magnificent. Laughter pouring out of the showerhead. Curled fetal under the Shell sign just to enjoy the orange of the light. Spilling out into the desert in a failed but valiant attempt to stop the sunrise, we are the Founding Fathers. We have perfect vision. Erickson dressed as Abe Lincoln is behind us with a band of revolutionaries and carrying an orange cooler like a dead hog. Chaille is in a carnival striped sport coat and a beautiful floral-print fuscia dress. Johnny Meatsticks and his girl Monkey are amazing scenery. Lancelot has his own mission and flanks us like border patrol. Gay Cousin Eric is having an inner Bah Mitzah and doesnt even know it. Today he is a man.



At dusk one night, a screening of an unreleased film set up drive-in style with chairs on the lawn. The big jar of pickle juice and vodka makes the rounds. Absynthe is heavy this year but I avoid it.

The stage had been on fire since we arrived. The Mattoid. Bari Koral. Henry Phillips. Tommy Rocker. Hale Sayton and Babyarm Joe. Banjo Randy. Jason and Andrew. Extreme Elvis. Auggie Smith. Dwight Slade. Father Luke. The Crusher. Renee. Music. Jokes. Readings or just a few words. All of it vital. Even Inman played an aborted Elvis Costello that only his delusional lack of confidence stopped short.

Baby-Arm Joe plays bass with his baby arm and played it til his nub was raw. The next day Prinny fashioned him with a prosthetic baby nub so he could play some more.

People are dancing. People are peeking out from behind the band through the windows. People are watching from the trees and from the blackness of the empty highway like children watching the Cubs through a knothole at Wrigley Field.

But it all was thrown over the top when someone started playing a beat and asked who wanted to "freestyle". This word is only familiar to me because it makes me feel old and out of touch. But when Shawcroft accepted the offer and began to ... freestyle ... she brought the room together like the rug in the Big Lebowski. All the pain and joy and memories came through her from the skies like she was vomiting sunshine in the single most incredible spontaneous performance I have witnessed. Ever.



Lynn laying it down.

If you were there, you understand. But I couldn't repeat a word of it if you opened my head to find it.

Following that and staying with the theme she'd set, Emery read a news story about the Pope's death where he replaced "Pope" with "Hedberg".

And any awkwardness that people may have felt disappeared when - immediately upon Emery's completion of the story - the power went out leaving all of Panamint Springs ink black and a chant of "Mitch, Mitch Mitch!" came from those scurrying about for candles and headlamps.

Perhaps this sounds corny and possibly none of this should even be written.

Coincidence comes like fries with your burger here. Strange things are no longer strange after a day. If you brought a plug but forgot a cord, then it's odds-on that someone you dont know brought the cord and forgot the plug.

I thought it would be fun to play Russian Roulette with squirt guns, 5 with Tequila and one with piss. Art happened to bring a package of 6 cheap squirt guns. We did it Deer Hunter style at a makeshift table on the stage, me against the wayward Industry Tool who had happened thru and decided to participate.


"Didi mao!"

He puts the gun in his mouth a pulls the trigger. Alcohol.

"Didi mao!" yells the crowd again and I choose red and blast Brett Ericksons piss into my mouth.

If this story seems a little piss-heavy, it's probably the energy Extreme Elvis brought to the table. And it was all in the one night too far. I lost at urine roulette so I pissed on Andy and then some girls held me down and pissed on me and there seemed to be a lot of piss right in a row there but this was not the point of the whole ordeal. It's just that piss is funny. Lets move on.


The Industry Tool - again not an invited guest, just a random peckerhead travelling thru Death Valley ( or not random at all depending on how much tripper meaning you care to read into things) saw the magic in the night and tried to tell us how we could market this and make money off of it if we'd tone down the drug use. This put us in the difficult position of deciding who would be best suited to throw him the fuck off of our lawn. Renee chose Art - as he is the nicest man you have ever met and this would tear him completely out of his element, his reason for being here to begin with. Plus - Art is as big a house and dressed as a wrestler.

Moments later, the cancer had been removed.



Three - Peaters!


These people who came to the desert - over 70 in total over 5 days - were the good people. Old and young, beautiful, fat, foriegn, domestic - gimped, crippled and clinically insane - killers and comics and professionals and queers and writers - you know, the people who get it.

Most times I'd just sit back and watch them like an Ant Farm. All interacting. No telephones or televisions or email or text messaging. Only each other, stretching their heads open to let each other in and pushing their limits even if one day too far.


I didn't join on the Darwin adventure. Father Luke did and here is his account. I don't believe there is any piss involved.

Dispatch from Darwin. . . ham-fisted drinking with Lakota Indians and the survival of the fittest. . .

I am sitting in a bus station in Hollywood, California and across from me a white haired man is looking at me. In a whisper the man is repeating a word over and over again in a German accent:


I blink.

In 1877 the town of Darwin, in Death Valley, was a mining town with a population of over 3,000 with as many gun deaths as Deadwood South Dakota had during the days of the gold rush.

Today Darwin is nearly deserted.

Darwin is town with a treasury totaling $278 and a few trailers which drugged out and sleepless drunken Lakota Indians call home.

Two years ago Andy Andrist took a detour into fear and a woman named Cindy gave him a kitten.

"Let's go see the woman who gave me the kitten," Andy said.

James Inman stood in the middle of town and vomited in front of the Dance Hall.

"Can you feel the eyes burning into the back of your neck?"

Inman screamed that he couldn't.

Eight people from two cars began walking around town to find the woman who had given Andy the kitten.

I am walking in a ghost town in Death Valley with Extreme Elvis.

"You know in monster movies where everyone splits up and then they start dying one by one until they are all dead," I said.

Elvis looked at me.

"We'd better find the others," Elvis said.

Elvis and I heard a scream and saw Andy waving like a school kid with a new dvd player and a backpack full of porn. He was standing in front of a beat up old trailer.

Inside the trailer were the rest of us.

"Welcome, " said a guy with a voice that sounded like Froggy from the little rascals. Froggy had a fresh black eye.

"We are Lakota Indians," the frog with a black eye croaked.

I was introduced to Cindy, the woman who had given Andy the kitten two years ago. "You are Sam Elliot," Cindy said to me.

Froggy grabbed a guitar and began ham handing it. The Eagle's "Hotel California" now polluted the air via Froggy's drunken croaks.

". . . but you can never leave. . ."

I looked across the trailer, and a pink-faced man with a long white beard was pouring James Inman a large water glass full of Vodka. Inman drank it straight down and asked for another. The White haired pink-faced man poured James Inman another glass. Inman drank it down and asked for another.

"Better pace yourself, guy," the pink-faced man said to Inman as he poured another full glass.

Stop and think about this. A man in the middle of nowhere, drunk off his ass and living in a trailer with three other people who seem not to have slept for a week is telling someone that their alcohol consumption is a bit accelerated.

In plain english:

A Drunk Indian is telling Inman that he drinks too much.


Inman pacing himself

I rolled Cindy a smoke, and she began lap dancing me with her bony ass. I put my baseball hat on her and she began dancing around the kitchen of the little torn-up trailer which was leaning towards the front and to the left.

Elvis asked for a request. "Can you do an Elvis song?"

A brief confusion followed as an Elvis song was agreed upon. Blue Christmas, I think it was. And, according to Elvis, "I think that guy is playing every Elvis song ever done rolled into one tune."

But. . .
Elvis sang
and . . .
Cindy danced
Froggy croaked
And Inman stole more whiskey from the Indians.

"Let me show you my. . ." Cindy said. But I didn't hear it. She had dropped her pajama bottoms and was showing me a sore which was seeping and barely covered by five band aids on her left ass cheek.

Hey? Purple thong on a tan ass? Cool. But what the hell? Did you have to spoil the lap dance with the sight of that festering gob of goo?

We were all ready to go.

By the cars, Inman began a rant about . . . who knows what. He was standing outside the car.

"Leave him," I said to Auggie.

Auggie looked at me and smiled and shifted into gear and slowly drove around the corner with Inman yelling.

The car was full of smiles, and Inman was turning puple running in circles after the car. We lost him about the time I saw Hinty driving. "Stop the car," I said to Auggie.

"Hinty. We left Inman back there as a joke. Pick him up, will you?"

Hinty waved and smiled. And we drove back to Camp.

An hour later Inman was back in camp.

Hinty had not seen Inman and he thought that maybe we had been joking. As Hinty was driving out of Darwin, he saw Inman's baseball hat moving.

Inman had nearly been left behind.

I am sitting in a bus station in Hollywood, California and across from me a white haired man is looking at me. In a German accent the man asks me the time.

I blink.

And I wonder just exactly what is real in life.

Father Luke


Inman railed and hollered for days and finally Renee put him in the tub and scrubbed him.

I've spent days trying to write more. I don't want to leave you with the impression that it was a bunch of guys in the throes of golden fetishes.

There was Father Luke with Jenn and Bari dancing at the gas station to Van Morrison at sunset. Elvis in a spangled g-string being asked to leave the restaurant because he had no shoes. Babbit leaves messages with the motel as he's driving in lost. He tells the girl that he is landing from planet Titan and he needs the coordinates. She tries to relay these messages and seems undone. Emery plays gay leather fisting porn to warm up for the movie. Renee says it's a bit much. Shawcroft is named king of the party. Inman sees a topless girl in the parking lot and begins to go berserk until he realizes its Gay Cousin Eric.And who could even begin to explain Bingaman. Not even if you were there.

One thousand more stories that will come to my head over time.

Everybody - when you look back from a distance - is smiling. There is so much tangible love here - not only in the peak of the substance but even in the ugliest shuffle to the breakfast table that tears poured down my face as we drove away and we're still not right and thats ok.

I look back at these video clips in my head to write and I only end up back there. It isn't only me. The hardest riders of June 4 - 7 still haven't come back. I talk to some in person, others on the phone or thru email. We simply haven't come back. There is nothing to say other than to go back in our heads and the more we remember the higher we get. Today was the closest to normal I have felt becuase I felt like shit and that is normal.

Every single one of you made those days the best days of a life already crowded with home run records. Like Woodstock if they hadn't invited the public. To say thank you would be so understated that you'd giggle.

Here's some random quotes and pictures.

Nub Rest



Hospitality Tent


Inman soup


Freestyle Lynnie




Imploding Costello


Sayton, BAJ & Inman




Doug & Henry


Johnny Meatsticks & Monkey





That desert look


King of the Desert


All better


Van Morrison sunset dance


Goad passin' thru


Blown up


B and E


Did you look everywhere?


Let the urine flow



"You can't throw a vagina around here without hitting three cocks." -- Renee Morrison

"I can make you a millions of dollars, but if we do this thing you need to be sober" -- Industry scum

"What kind of foocking dance is that? It looks like some kind of hobo dancing." --Mortimer to Father Luke about his "dancing"

"Makin' Makin' Makin' Makin' Lovey Lovey Lovey Lovey Makin'." -- The Mattoid

"We have determined that the bats are Mexican Bats - or Hispanic Bats, as they prefer to be called..." -- Jim Goad tripping on mushrooms in the dark


"If I hadn't abolished slavery, I could get some slave to do this for me." -- Brett Erickson dressed as Abe Lincoln

Jodi asks Chaille: "What's the poison in a peach pit?"
Brett Erickson: "Jason Priestly?"

"I give my pigeons methodone so they'll come back." -- Guy from Darwin
"The irony is that they do that anyway." -- Emery Emery, in response

"Ever notice you're always one drug away from perfect?" -- Andy Andrist to some kid

Matt on the mic: "I masturbated into the water falls."
and then someone screamed: "No! That's our water supply!"

"If things get weird, just look at the stars." -- Chaille


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