He Just Wanted to Get Back to Camp! 2003
by the Vacationing Sage Collins
I once overheard that you're not truly drunk until you have to hold on to the grass to keep from falling off the earth. This being Black Rock City, we must assume that they mean clenching your fingers into the playa and hoping the dust and/or mud will hold you in place.
I haven't been to that place yet (alright, maybe once) but I know the neighborhood of crooked streets well. The same could have been said about one of my friends who, this time last year, was staggering through these same streets, trying to get home one fateful night. He'd been a hard-working volunteer by day, but once the night crowds began to emerge, he found himself caught up in this most unique environment of roving temptations.
As usual with stories that involve drinking, the details are scattered. We know that he had been accosted by a group of monkeys earlier in the evening. They convinced him to join the group and parade from party to party, drinking whatever was available and getting into who knows what kind of debauchery. I've seen some interesting things here in my time. (Not to mention, I've seen some interesting drinks. Milliway's bar, for example, once gave me a cocktail with contents I'm still not sure of, though I believe one of them might have been mouthwash.)
But such pleasures come with an aftermath, and this man, who we'll call "Neil" (even though his name was Nick) found himself slowly making his way toward his camp, but with little success. The direction was clear enough to Neil, but he could barely move and yearned for an available porta-potty. It was then that Neil passed a golf cart and noticed it was still running. There was no owner in sight, no one around from what he could tell. The seat looked particularly comfortable, and I'm guessing Neil initially just wanted a place to sit for a while, since his feet were hurting from all the walking throughout the day. Looking up, he could see the beacon of his camp beckoning him home. There a clean, minty-fresh toilet and a warm, loving tent awaiting him.
This didn't turn out for the best. Within moments of starting the cart, someone side-tackled him out and sent him back to the playa with a tremendous thud. Before Neil could say anything, the man in uniform began ranting and raving at him. Whether this man in uniform was a Ranger or not is still unclear. It could have been anyone. But our man in the uniform made all his opinions about theft in BRC known. He badgered Neil for being a thief and screamed that people like him shouldn't come here. Poor Neil was gasping for words as he staggered away. In his mind, he was telling him that he was sorry about sitting there, sorry for trying to use the cart without permission, and that above all else, he just wanted to get back to camp. The man might have believed those words, as I do, but Neil's drunken tongue couldn't amass more than the words "sorry" and "camp." Neil wishes to make his apologies known for this gross misunderstanding.