The Blissful Idiot goes to Burning Man: Volume III/Episode 2 – The Temple Conundrum


Catch up: Episode 1

BM2016 copy

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Whenever one of my buddies who’s never been here before asks me what it’s like, I always tell ‘em, ‘You wouldn’t understand, you’re just a square from the outside world.’

– Hans Yolo


Dear Diary + Mr. Fluffy pen,

Just a hunch, but I’m pretty sure that Bureau of whatever-the-golly-fuck was not a real information booth after all. Ya see, upon arriving at the “Slut Garden,” I attempted to measure 67.3 degrees northwest into the sand, destroyed the protractor, tossed it at some penis-stamping person, hopped on an exotic Mr. Peanut-looking jungle safari to the bus depot, discovered there’s no Gerlach airport, went to the post office, found out C-3PO is not an actual employee, sent a postcard to Chim-chim the British monkey anyways, found out that no one – not even Larry effing Harvey (the guy from the Dallas TV show?) – will be rotating the stupid Man this year, got super pissed, ran into yet another sand blizzard, was damn near side-swiped by a “sound car” blaring Tracy fucking Chapman of all things, tried taking a selfie next to a playa bang-out session, was asked to join, broke into a series of interpretative cartwheels and ninja moves as a diversion…

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeew! But even after allllll that hee-hawin’ around – get this – I finally found the Temple! And guess what I came to learn? Did you know there is in fact no such thing as the “Temple dog?” Yeah – me neither! Here I’m walkin’ around that pagoda village yellin’ “Slappy” left and right like a big ole stupid dummy! And to think this Slappy character knew the exact coordinates of a Ryobi fan somewhere inside this whopper of a looney bin. Like WTF Mr. Fluffy! Why is this happening?! Between you and me, I think that + not being able to crank the Man like a goddamn rotisserie chicken is grounds for a partial refund. I mean, I have no effing clue if such a thing can even be acquired, but, you know – just sayin’.

Which leads me to my current locale – as far away from the god forsaken Temple as I can possibly get! Good golly, Mr. Fluffy, do NOT go in there! Well, on second thought, you were technically nestled inside my Carmen SanDiego collector’s edition backpack when I wandered into that black hole. Ok, ok, you get the point. Do NOT go back there! At least not without me, that is. But just for the record, I am NOT going back there! Ok-ok-ok, glad we got that straightened out.

Just let me just say this though. I’m not usually one for fancypants hyperbolisms, but never-ever-ever have I come down with such a nasty case of the willies, jimmies and Stan Van Gundy hot pocket fear sandwiches as I did upon entering that altered beast. In all seriousness though, my thought process went something like this – “Ok, I’m going to meet up with Slappy the Temple dog and then he’s gonna point me straight to the nearest Black Rock City Home Depot.” Easy enough, right? So I go cruising into the Temple like it ain’t no thang. And I kept wondering, “would it be too much to ask for a DJ or some Keith Sweat up in this biznitch?” I don’t know if it was that or there being absolutely no flashy-blinky light action whatsoever, but this Temple business sure was one rather large wet blanket. I mean, have you seen the rest of this place? Correct me if I’m wrong here, but it could single-handedly be the most cockamamie, neon Disney psychedelic discotheque on steroids in perhaps the entire galaxy. True effing story.

And everyone is just so gosh darn nice around here too. Did you know I’ve hugged 485 people today alone? 485!!! Who freaking knows. Maybe everyone is on something, maybe not. Maybe there’s not enough blood in their stupid alcohol system, maybe so. Maybe it’s just a never-ending feedback loop of high-five’s and freakshow love. Heck, I dunno! All I do know is – I got free pancakes for lunch and dinner two days in-a-row. TAKE THAT YA BITCHES!!!!

Indubitably, this place had just about everything under the fruity Kalahari sun imaginable for thoroughly tickling one’s good ole fashioned taint. Don’t get me wrong, I find the whole enterprise to be pretty fucking peculiar at best, but boy, is it one madcap spectacle of uninhibited human spirit celebration station to take in. I mean, you might just need to circle this one on your calendar, folks!

But thenthennnnnnn…you have the Temple.


Ya see, ever since I started looking for the Temple dog who doesn’t exist, I’ve been trying sooooooo hard to wrap my head around what the golly heck was happening inside that mystery fun house theater. I’m not really sure where to begin with this one. Welllllll, right after knocking over an entire row of parked bikes with my crappy rental, the very first wacky I encountered was a strange fellow in a white tutu givin’ the ole stink eye to that behemoth. Here I’m thinking, “C’mon guy, Tutu Tuesday was yesterday. Get with the freakin’ program already!” But nooooooooooo, his level of laser-entranced wonder gaze was in a league of its own. Over the next half hour or so, this dude just stood there unflinchingly with zero fucks to give. Not a single fuck (like anyone’s really keeping score around here). Which got me wondering. To hug or not to hug? I mean, I really wanted to give this man a hug. Would that be so freaking weird? Let’s just say I was pretty dang determined to eclipse the 500 hug barrier by nightfall, gosh darn it! But nooooo, I would NOT be the one who cost this peckerwood a staring contest triumph with the goddamn Temple! Yeaaaah! Get ‘em tutu guy! Get ‘em!

As fascinating as that was, a hop, skip and a tiddlywink from where I stood, there were two people getting married. No, check that – there were 2 weddings happening simultaneously less than 100 filthy feet away from each other. Now that’s just bonkers. And the second one was in Spanish! Now that’s fancy! Here I’m thinking, “Alright, it’s just a big-ass wedding chapel in the middle of nowhere. Now I get it.” But right as I was startin’ to get all comfy inside this warm & fuzzy-palooza, something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on was pushing me to go further. Fuuurther toward the inner sanctum. Oh my goodness, and it really tickled too!

So there I was, mindlessly meandering my way through the colorful spree of wacky’s milling around this giant wooden tree house sculpture. And right as I turned the fruity corner, I almost stumbled right into this, this – HOLY SHITBALLS – what the hell is that thing?! WHOA – you should’ve seen it. I came upon what I could’ve sworn was a goddamn indigenous sand creature. Good golly, did it cold-cock me in the face like a bag of wet desert salami! But get this – it was doing yoga jazzercise moves right in front of everyone! Ahhhh, the plot had thickened indeed. Except there was one not-so-minor detail. That’s because this was no native sand critter. Ohhhh no – it was a real live, breathing female human! One covered head-to-toe with filthy dust. But here’s where it got really dang interesting. Not only was she topless, but gosh-darn-it-heck, she was missing her bottoms too! And to think this was a family-oriented event! Wooooooooooooooooo. It’s ok Mr. Fluffy. It’s Ok! Everything’s gonna be just peaches and cream. I think. Maybe. Probably not. Fuck, I dunno!


The sand creature’s (clothed) jazzercise pal

So after adding that hot doozey to the ever-expanding annals of “shit you only see in BRC,” I was being roped in deeper more than ever. Except, this time, there was this curious tinge of uneasiness molesting its way up through my sweet ‘n’ innocent body. Jesus, it tickled so fucking much. Without having any effing clue as to what was going down, I strolled right up to the Temple’s inner clubhouse like it was my own personal Scandinavian Jacuzzi. I mean, I don’t actually own a Scandinavian Jacuzzi or anything – it was just extra steamy in there. Before I could keep waltzing along though, the mood of the place stopped me right in my silly-ass tracks. On a side note, my poor anus might’ve puckered up again too! Don’t you dare tell anyone, Mr. Fluffy. Don’t you fucking do it!

After taking a real up-close gander around, it became clear as all get-out. This Temple business was no fun zone wedding chapel. It was no yoga palace from the Degobah either. And it most certainly was not Dick Stamp Dan’s World Famous Dick Stamps! No-no! It was a creepy makeshift shrine of some creation plastered to the gills with fancypants posty notes and massive science fair photo collages galore. And that was just the tip of the filthy iceberg!

That’s right – something was waaaaaay off in there…a presence… Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Spoooooooooky…

Maybe it was just me, but I couldn’t help but notice that everyone’s eyes sure were watery as all get-out. What could it possibly have been from though? All the gooey sand? Was there an onion stand nearby? Just what the golly heck was happening? Well hold on just a gosh darn second, I’ll tell ya. That’s because everywhere I turned, I mean ERRY-WHERES, one person after another after another after another after another AFTER ANOTHER was doing the once unthinkable. Oh Mr. Fluffy, it was so horrible! Absolutely horrible! They were, were – oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m even saying this – CRYING.

Gee willickers, I could not believe what I was seeing. I mean, here you had one of the wildest, most bat-shit crazy pool parties ever known to mankind sprawling out into every conceivable orifice of this Sahara wasteland. Then – right in the very middle of it all, someone, or something, had erected a wooden monolith, sans flashy-fucking-blinkies, where dang near everyone was having the worst effing day of their lives. Ohhhhhhhhhh – talk about a big ole Debbie Downer in the Kalahari! Buncha poppycock! I mean, the goddamn nerve all those people had! Listen everyone – I did NOT sign up for this. There’s no crying at Burning Man! No. Just – STOP IT. Pfffffffffffft. YOU WILL STOP THIS NONSENSE RIGHT NOW! Oh my goodness, those gloomy Gus sad sackers might just ruin my one-man imaginary Scandinavian Jacuzzi party!

It was too late. Before I could even attempt to pull it together, the despair within that gaping vortex was already raining down on my delicate parade like a wet blanket tsunami. Within literally only a few minutes, I went from Mr. Happy-go-lucky “Hey you guys, isn’t BRC like the swellest shit-show ever! Ahhhhhhhh touch my body!” to being on the verge of just fucking losing it. That’s right – I was the one crying now. ME. —–> THIS GUY <—– And for no apparent goddamn reason either! Now how does that happen? Huh Burning Man? Just how did my precious fun-time emotions get laser catapulted from one end of the filthy spectrum right over to the very opposite – insta-fuckin-taneously? Huh Huh? Explain that one to me. I mean, I don’t see anything written anywhere about this in the “WHAT WHERE WHY” activity fun guide. Ya know, I wonder what Larry Hagman would have to say about this? It’s like, “Hey Burning Man greeter guy, gee-thanks for the ‘heads up’ on the screwball Temple action. Like smell ya later duuuuuuuuude! Pffffffffffffffffffffffffft!”


Indeed Mr. Fluffy pen, I’d never-ever-ever experienced this kind of topsy-turvy, spontaneous meltdown before in my entire life. Never-ever. Look – can’t I just be quadruple-fisting Lime-rita’s while jumping on a freaking trampoline already!?!? Not a chance. The more I absorbed the depraved scene, the more I unraveled: Inside – a goddamn bawling convention. Outsidebutt-ass naked jazzercise hour. Inside – weirdos worshipping golden space needles. Outsiderowdy AF wedding competition marathon. Insiiiiiiiiide – poor lady wailing at the top of her lungs. OutsiiiiiiiideTutu man vs. the Temple Part 2: Electric Boogaloooooooo!!!!!!!

Damn it, I’d seen enough. I had to get out of there quick! (Besides, all this stupid crying + the thought of free Lime-rita tall boys was making me pretty darn thirsty.)

On that note, I scurried my not-so-happy-anymore-bawling-ass straight out of there as fast as I could to where I sit before you now – AS FAR AWAY FROM THE GODDAMN TEMPLE AS POSSIBLE! Because it sure as shit had a mind of its own. Along with eyes and ears too. As we speak, I’m doing everything NOT to make eye contact with the Temple. DON’T YOU DARE MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH IT, MR. FLUFFY PEN. DON’T DO IT!

But wait. Just wait a gosh dern smidge-a-roo here. As much as I wanted to leave this demeneted Temple conundrum wellllllllllll alone while getting fondled by strangers – there had to be more to it. Just had to be! I need answers. An explanation. Something. Pffffffffffffft.

That’s right, Mr. Fluffy, I’m gonna find the wizard who built this madness. I’ll do it. I’ll do it. Don’t make me fucking do it!


Lost in Sound Publishing Note: Join us next week for Part 3 of “The Blissful Idiot” project, as our test subject bravely zig-zags his way through the Burning Man chaos in search of David Best, the Temple wizard. But just how does a floppy pink sex apparatus fit into the equation?


Illustration by Roy Huerta

Special Thanks to Roy Huerta and Lovemore Creations