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by Sage Collins

A dangerous trend has been snowballing out here, one I've seen a little too often to keep quiet about. I call them 'Whattayagots' -- and they're everywhere!

My first run-in with them was last year. A giant art bus made up like a dragon had dozens of happy passengers, and I ran across the Esplanade hoping to be one of them. No such luck.

As soon as I came close enough, the sales pitch hit me: 'You can't get on unless you have something to give to the bar.'

Those greedy little whores! Charging a fucking fare? Had there been a porta-potty nearby, I would've shut the door and filled up an empty water bottle with a li'l something for the bar.

This year, it happened upon arrival to our fair city when a Greeter -- a Greeter, of all people -- came into the bus to reveal his Whattyagot status. He handed us one playa map and one event guide for all nine of us, and then said 'I can give you more if you've got something for me ... I'm kinda thirsty.'
I handed him a fresh water bottle and he sneered.
'Not water,' he groaned. His tariff was one, preferably imported, beer for one map. It's just revolting to see this happen out here, here where we make a point of getting away from the chain stores and mini malls. The philosophy to buy, buy, buy, has -- for some -- replaced that of burn, burn, burn.

Are we really living in a city where carrying a bag of trinkets is just as important as carrying water? I can see it now: desert freaks lining up outside a theme camp, each one having a playa gift as a cover charge, and the have-nots crowd outside, trying to convince the bouncer to let them in.

Forget about running around naked. Now kids, you'll need pockets if you want the full Burning Man experience.

2002 Piss Clear
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