AntiM wrote:So, if I decided to do mid-cleaning restocks of a single bank, roughly how much paper would I need to bring? I mean, Hushville is usually across from a bank, and we are usually on the streetside by the potties. Couldn't be that hard to help out, especially if I enlist my campmates.
And I feel guilty for not doing my usual Sunday Monday potty bank clean-up, but we forgot the gloves, the big trash bags, and the grabber.
Don't worry about it. I appreciate any help you can give. And it's about 2 sacks per day that I can supply you with. It's just a matter of finding each other next year to get in on this. Thank you.
The 2007 Final Wipe-up
It was a fascinating year for shit this year Campers. You can all congratulate yourself helping make potty awareness an integral part of our culture. We still have a long way to go to cure the baby-wipe scurge, but we're making progress. I was helped and supported every day in so many ways. I had a wonderful village and camp to come home to, I had a reasonably steady stream of volunteers, the blinky lights on the open playa banks were a smash hit, and I learned some valuable life lessons.
I arrived on playa at 4:30pm thursday. It was a smooth entry due to preparations successfully implemented by my boss HazMatt. It's so nice to have a great boss. He gives me a long leash and supports me every time I ask, and with good humor and professionalism. I spent the rest of the day setting up camp and sorting through my stuff to get the signs started in the morning. I checked in with DPW Depot, and then to JotS Camp. The porta-pottie vendor is United Site Services, but the site where all the action is (trucks, the Separator, storage bladders, etc) is commonly referred to as JotS Camp, after the original name Johnny on the Spot. JotS got purchased by USS last year pre-event. They were geared up and ready to go. Friday I started puting up signs by myself, asking random participants for help when they jumped out of the Temples of Smell. This was exhausting, and on Saturday, some of my campmates arrived, so I got help from the beautiful and talented Box Burner. Nogganoodle then volunteered to help for the afternoon, and we kept going. Dirt-storm #1 hit, and we persevered for the rest of the day. On Sunday, Box Burner stepped up again, not yet throughly burned out by me apparently, and Dirt Storm #2 hit, forcing us to stop the vehicle 3 times. That afternoon, I caught up with Motskyroonmatic and we finished (or so we thought). On monday I discovered there were banks missed, so I dealt with them as they came apparent.
Monday was spent getting into the rhythm of the Playa, and it sure settled in nicely. By tuesday I was feeling a bit anxious, like I'd worked myself out of a job. I discovered a conspicuous lack of potty-PSA's on the radio, and after talking to the driver who was responsible for climbing into the separator when it jammed (2x thus far) I was going to get this shit on the air. I went to BMIR PSA box, wrote and recorded a 30 second baby-wipe PSA, and they put it in high rotation. That night I was ecstatic, and blurted it out at the Booby Bar once I got off work: They put ME on HIGH ROTATION. Now that's what I'm talking about.
I was having a terrific time just replenishing the tp and connecting with the camps that help replenish. I'd go up to the bank and say:
Thank you all for participating in the largest art installation on the playa, the porta potties. It is 3400 cubic yards, and they're not only beautiful, they're functional. And it's 100% participatory. So we need to treat it with respect and love and not put trash or baby wipes in them. Baby wipes are jacking up the separator. I'm now going to toilet paper this art installation, and all you beautiful people who are currently excreting in the Temples of Smell could you look to your left and when you pop out tell me how many rolls would be helpful. I'm seeking volunteers to help. Thank you for participating.
And people would come and we'd get it done in minutes.
Those camps that have LOS to the johns are ideal for keeping a store of tp at, and they're glad to help. The Porta-potty Pigs were just delightful again this year. They set up a cardtable with tp, wet-wipes, trash bag and lotion. It's a great chick magnet, I must say. These guys have been best friends for 45 years, since high school. Wow. The Lovely Naked Boy also jumped in to help, and together they ruled the 4:00 bank. The LNB had also volunteered to help take down the signs. Gawd, I love this town.
On tuesday afternoon, I was coming down with dehydration sickness. It was either sit the fuck down and drink a gallon of Playa Punch or get the needle, and THAT will never happen to me again. So at 2:30pm tuesday I took myself off shift to hydrate and rest in the shade at my camp. I hung out at Pee Funnel Camp across the street for a while. I love doing PSA's on megaphone for Zoe as I'm a big fan of her work. I was just coming back from there when MozyBonz presented me with his Igloo to fill. I was not going to fail this mission, no matter what. Then the Igloo tipped and spilled the remaining contents of Gaterade on my mattress and bedding in the back of my car. So I had another mission. I went to Berlin, refilled the Igloo, Box Burner carried (!) it back to camp, and I watched my mattress dry on the bike rack at Berlin. I told them, I'm sitting here until this dries and I drink this gallon of beverage. Yay.
For the rest of the day I bounced between Berlin, 3:00 Medical and the cute little mini-Sanctuary there. What a lovely place to spend one's re-hydration detail at. By the time I went to sleep that night, I had put away 2.5 gallons of beverage, and utilizing Zoe's art project, filled a gallon jug. Hah. I had great energy on Wednesday, enough to tackle the shit storm to come.
I was out on Poop Patrol with the Beautiful and Talented Red, and had just finished lunch when I was stopped by Mike the Manager. He told me that one of his guys was cleaning a unit when the tube got clogged with trash, exploded, and lacerated his neck, getting raw sewage in his open wound. He was immediately taken to Medical, and that's all we know. Red filled me in about the details of Septic Shock.
All systems came on-line.
I immediately did the Bitch Stomp to Cafe, marched up to the Stage Manager, and asked for a microphone. He asked why, I told him the story. Fucking Shit! And he points my attention to 200 people grunting and gesturing in unison. He told me that I'd be competing with the Monkey Chant, and if I could wait until 3:00, he'd get me on. I then went to BMIR radio station next door and asked the Station Manager to put me on the air. He said why. I told him the story. Fucking Shit! And he escorts me into the box and I'm interrupting Dr Howl's show. The good doctor introduces me as "Ranger RobbiDobbs". An honest mistake, as he'd been introduced to me originally thus. Dr Howl's jaw dropped when I told the story into the mic. It was so good to see him again.
After this, I went to the PSA box to get recorded. They gave me paper, pen and since there was a line, to wait until I was called. I was outside on the comfy couch, writing the story script, when the Station Manager came over and asked why I wasn't recording. There's a line. Bullshit. We go in. He tells the nice radio lady inside that I'm to be recorded right now because I'm busy. Done and done. I go back to the Cafe, and sit on the stage drinking gifted chai with Red. There's a couple guys who we chat with while waiting. The Monkey Chant finally breaks up, and I get waived at. The Stage Manager turns off all other sound equipment and turns the volume of my mic up to 11. I have 1500 burner's rapt attention.
Hello. My name is RobbiDobbs. I'm DPW, and the liason between the porta-potty vendor Johnny on the Sp-- er, United Site Services and the participants, and I replenish the toilet paper between cleanings.
(I have to stop talking from the applause)
and I have something very important to tell you. This is very serious. Someone's been hurt.
...and I tell the story.
1500 jaws dropped. I implored them to tell everyone, that we cannot afford another injury. Thank you for participating. I get off the stage.
For the rest of the day I'm dragging Red around, and she's encouraging me to drink water. I attack this town, every time I see a cluster of people, I let them have it with the megaphone or talk to them. I stop by Our Lady of Schlongs and tell them the story. I just love those guys. I blow off tp'ing and focus on replenishing my LOS camps. At 6:30pm that evening, I was out at JotS Camp picking up a couple cases of tp, when I spoke to one of the employees. I asked how the injured guy was. Oh, he's resting in the office.
What a huge relief. It was like all that stress of full overdrive melted off me. I turned to my assistant, and said: I am so off shift. Let's get drunk.
Off we go, and for the rest of the week I feel bullet-proof, even after hearing about the separator going down 10 times, and the most recent time for the whole day and it took 2 guys to dismantle it to get it unjammed. I'm good at rumor mongering, and it was hillarious to hear the stories how they filtered back. Mike told me how this chick ran up to him and asked if it was true that one of his guys died because of trash. His response: Yes, he's dead, now don't put trash in the toilets. We were ticked with the tremendous power of rumor in getting a point across.
The DPW Parade went off without a hitch, the Man burned early, DPW was the hero this year, and we had 3 dirt storms.
The new Poop Mobile did very well. The Tacoma is still missed, but what I gained from the Camry station weapon was billboard space and cruise control (yay). On Saturday I met up with Box Burner and the Glorious Colonel Killbuck (naked) and he drew pictures on my windows with glass chalk I'd brought. I later added verbage: Poop Patrol No baby-wipes No trash in the pots. No baby wipes in the pots. I don't care how stoned you are. And If you must hover, lift the * seat. The bed in the back worked great too, and successfully locked out most of the Thump.
At the end of the week, I found Mike in the office. Oh, nice. Air conditioning. He's happy about us, we survived another year, and he knows we made a serious effort. I hope he gets a Macerator next year. Then maybe I'll work myself out of a job. Nah.
One of the lessons learned this year was a better understanding of how people perceive me. It's not personal they don't want to talk to me, It's because they'd rather not have a repeat of the last time we talked. Funny, people in this culture would rather talk about anything else but shit. I intentionally go into shock-value vivid detail sometimes to inspire motivation. I'm also indefatiguable at recruiting volunteers. I have to be. Funny how every volunteer goes in with fear and trepidation, and immediately gets into it and enjoys it. It's finding that Foot in the Door. For Box Burner it was a shower, for Nogganoodle, it was salad. Everyone has a price. MGT was one recruit I got from DPW, he needed a break from the bike project. He was damn good, and later recruited others for me. It would be nice if word got around that working for me is really a good gig: you get fed, clothed, bathed, and maybe get your nipples polished (long story) if you want to. The t-shirts "Thank you for giving a shit" were a bit hit, and the scarves were tremendously useful.
I also realized that I have the strangest job in DPW. Where usually it's strickly physical, my job is almost purely psychological. Where Shade is the most physically demanding, my job is the least. It can get nuts at times though, which is why I only ask a 4 hour shift, but leave whenever you want to. This year I figured out my shift: 7am to 7:30pm. But ask anyone, I never stop working. This is my art. It can feel alienating, but the gratitude is well worth it. It's exhausting and exhilarating. I love my job. People tell me I have a shitty job, but I created it, and honestly, there isn't anything I enjoy more than to discuss the Digestive System of the Man. Ok, I do enjoy discussing sex, politics and philosophy too.
I took the signs down on Monday, interspersing this with harrassing people for DPW Cleanup Donations and monitoring burn platforms. Tuesday I left and we enjoyed intermittent dirt storms all day. It was lovely.
This year was terrific in so many ways. Thank you all for your support and help. I honestly couldn't do it without you. And if you see me getting emotional, just tell me to drink water.