So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

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So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby Ano » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:52 am

As someone who wants to get in to the swing of building art in BRC, building a mutant vehicle seems to be exactly what I want to do. I've read the MV guidelines multiple times, and I approached 2012 with an attitude of learning as much as I could about MVs.

So, how do golf carts that are hardly mutated qualify for day/night licenses? I saw a car with red cups glued on to it count as an MV. I saw a golf cart with a disco ball on it and fur count as an MV. I saw no disabled flags or staff placards on any of these. I saw many vehicles that seemingly functioned as no more than private transportation with coolers and seats for two to four. They totally looked like golf carts, with the base vehicle remaining unmodified.

I want to build a living room, with a TV to watch live Burning Man TV on, three couches, a small soundsystem, and some minor flame effects. I don't see the point in putting in this effort for an interactive piece, though, when I saw a golf cart with stuffed animals attached to it qualify for a day and night license and function as a personal party hopping system.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby ZaphodBurner » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:02 am

Our MV was a golf cart with coil suspension turned into a Fokker Triplane. DMV was extremely pleasant with us...it's much harder to get a night license but they let us have one if we promised to add more lighting next time.

I agree with you, though. It's not exactly radically-modified when somebody can say "Oh, look, it's an EZ-GO Marathon with club wheels and a rear seat...". Sure saw a lot of them but, at least unlike the rental RVs, they always seemed to yield right of way to bikes and MVs.

Consider this: you don't see the point in putting in the effort? Take pride in your art! It's not about doing the minimum to qualify...that's what you're complaining about. Great artists don't compromise just because the are so many lazy, shitty artists and like most things on the playa, the work you do pays off. We got SO much love from people over our Red Baron that saying "Thank You!" didn't seem like enough. It's a fantastic feeling and completely worth the effort to be fucking BURNING MAN and having people actually notice and appreciate your little piece of art among all the truly mind blowing stuff out there.

Driving around in a marginally-decorated gold cart makes you a spectator. Building a rolling living room with couches on it makes you a participant, and the warmth you receive from appreciative burners is what makes it worth the effort.

As for the DMV and night licensing, it has to be radically illuminated for reasons that become apparent on burn night when people are acting like idiots. If it doesn't blow people's minds, they literally walk right into it. I found at playing samples of an old Spandau machine gun and yelling ACHTUNG, HIPPIE!! was the only way to get some people to realize we were there, even in the daylight.

Best of luck!
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:32 am

Shot in the Dark: The OP may be concerned about being turned away at the gate (or not being allowed to drive) a MV for being "insufficiently mutated". That would turn a year's worth of blood, sweat and tears into a cold lump of regret.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby Kenny Z » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:30 am

Strings may be pulled somewhere to get some of the golf carts in (if not disabled). I think a goal should be (and I know DMV looks for it) to modify it radically enough that people have to ask what it was before. It doesn't necessarily have to be El Pulpo Mechanico or the likes as some of us have very limited funds and resources. My buddy and I created The Dirty Sardine Can and while more basic than some, you cannot tell what it was before and the idea is creative.

Additionally, let me tell you that owning a MV is a lot like owning a boat. Everybody gets to enjoy it but you take all the responsibility for it. And your playa experience will be completely different. You will spend less time meeting other people at camps and attending events. You will find yourself shuttling people around when you really are trying to get back. Your playa experience will (or at least should be) focused on making other burners' experiences better and easier. And lastly, you better stay completely sober! Cops can and will pull you over. I almost ran over two darktards having sex in the deep playa. Had I ran them over with any trace of drugs or booze, I would be facing some serious charges!
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby some seeing eye » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:46 am

You may have seen staff vehicles which were marginally decorated voluntarily. They are not required to be up to the standards of participant MV's. A good guide are photos of MV's taken on the playa.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby tamarakay » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:57 am

There did seem to be an overabundance of barely mutated golf carts this year. On the other hand a friend of mine has a van with the medical disability pass and she was hassled by assholes about it. If I had been in the vicinity there would have been some hurt laid down on them. Watch your mouths and know what's happening. These shits really hurt a true burner with a heart of gold.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby Ano » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:16 am

Thanks for the replies, folks. UglyDougly sort of hits it on the head for me. I've heard horror stories about dealing with the DMV, and a buddy of mine has brought an art car for the past few years and every single year he has to spend four or five days on Playa fixing a new problem the DMV has found. I'm not afraid of the work, but I'm afraid of the disappointment of having to leave my MV parked in camp after months of hard work, only to have hundreds of shitty golf carts THAT ARE NOT STAFF OR DISABILITY cruise by with dildos taped to the doors counting as radical mutation. It's a bit frustrating to see my buddy go through hours of work every year (only seen it twice, but that's because I've only been twice) while people with shitty golf carts get to hop around the playa with a cooler and comfort.

RE: Disability and staff, I know what the disability flags and staff placards look like, and I specifically looked for them on many of these vehicles that I saw. None of them had them. I even engaged some of the owners of these vehicles, and they were definitely participants. If they were staff, I wouldn't be miffed. Those folks work around the clock every year and through the burn to make sure that we can have our experience. They deserve to drive. Also, I have no problem with non-radically-mutated disability vehicles. None at all. I have a problem with the people who somehow get to drive a personal party hopping palace around at 15mph across the Playa with nobody saying a word. I had four of them parked on my street, and they were all driven by entitled douchebags who saw no point to interactivity and instead stocked their golf carts with their close friends and a cooler.

KennyZ, those are the reasons why I want to bring my MV concept. I would love to create a weird zone in which people can interact with my MV. I dream of pulling up in front of random camps deep in the suburbs, with a crew dressed as a 1950s family, turning the dial on the TV, and having an interactive "watching Burning Man TV" type thing going on. Or, finding random people in the deep playa to join us for coffee and readings of BRC newspapers. Or, just shuttling friends and new friends alike around from camp to camp, late at night, sharing stories and smiles while shooting off fire cannon lamps. I would love to drive down a street in the morning and confuse people as a perfect 1950s living room on wheels with a family drives by, sipping coffee and eating waffles. But, why put in the effort when I can just paint a gold cart pink, put a hat on it, call it the PINK HATMAN, and use it as personal transportation around BRC? If I just have to suck some DMV dick to do it, why the fuck not?
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby SnowBlind » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:47 pm

Ano wrote:RE: Disability and staff, I know what the disability flags and staff placards look like, and I specifically looked for them on many of these vehicles that I saw. None of them had them.


The Flags are purely optional, they do not have to be displayed on disabled cars. They are there, if the owner wants to, so that they don't get hasseled by other burners or LEOs (as in tamarakay's story).

They do have a sticker which is slightly different from an MV, but if you don't know what you are looking for, it can be confused for a night license.

Generally speaking, if you see a slightly decorated golf cart, it could be any of these things:
  • Disabled Car
  • Staff Car
  • DPW
  • An unlicensed cart driving around anyway
  • A bad decision by the DMV
Seems like you are assuming most are the last category. I would bet that that is the rare exception, and most of the golf carts you saw fall in one of the other categories.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby Bob » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:59 pm

Best rolling living room I've seen was simply an RC floor lamp that would follow you around.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby chefjuke » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:46 pm

A few FYIs from one of the DMV Volunteers,

Every year we do hear about vehicles that people question as to their level of mutation. More often than not, these are vehicles that, as someone noted previously in this thread, are either not licensed as Mutant Vehicles, but as Staff, Disabled Vehicles, DPW, or Art Support vehicles or just not licensed at all...and yes, there are always a few borderline vehicles that do get through the DMV...but these are usually few and far between...and usually if they do it is with a significant warning that they will need to step up their level of mutation in the future or they will not get licensed. There are also a small handful of vehicles licensed as "Historical Vehicles" which are art cars that have been coming to the event for a long time prior to the establishment of the DMV and were considered part of the original contingents of Art Cars on the playa. That being said, beyond the above mentioned vehicles, with one possible exception, I am not aware of any significantly unmutated vehicles that passed on-playa licensing this year.

The purpose of the DMV is to enable the creators of wonderful movable art to bring their creations to the playa for the delight and benefit of the citizens of Black Rock City. We often tell MV Applicants that if their primary goal is to do 'just enough' to a vehicle to be able to drive it at Burning Man that they are A) taking the wrong approach and B) their vehicle is not likely to get licensed.

Our goal is to filter out all questionable vehicles PRIOR to them showing up on the playa. This is usually done through our application process where each Mutant Vehicle application is reviewed by a group of at least 5 DMV volunteers and agreed upon by consensus before they are invited to come to the playa. This year there were only a handful of vehicles which were rejected on playa.

Now, in regards to VBB (Vehicles Behaving Badly) such as speeding or playing their music too loud....DURING the event this can be reported to rangers or DMV, after the event, you can email any info on bad behavior to the DMV. Ideally having the vehicle's license number (displayed on the DMV Sticker on the left Rear area of the vehicle) is the most helpful. The DMV does do take the MV Owners responsibility to be both safe in operating their vehicles AND being good members of the community seriously and follow up on all reports of safety or sound policy violations.

If you have any questions about licensing or need to report any issues with any Mutant Vehicles, please email dmv@burningman.com

Sincerely,

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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby ZaphodBurner » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:48 am

chefjuke wrote:The purpose of the DMV is to enable the creators of wonderful movable art to bring their creations to the playa for the delight and benefit of the citizens of Black Rock City. We often tell MV Applicants that if their primary goal is to do 'just enough' to a vehicle to be able to drive it at Burning Man that they are A) taking the wrong approach and B) their vehicle is not likely to get licensed.

-Chef Juke for the DMV Hotties


Our experience with DMV was excellent and the Hotties (yes they were!) were helpful. We only had one , eh, curiosity, when I asked a DMV person if he thought our vehicle would pass the night inspection. He said "I'm not supposed to tell you this, but..." and then helped us learn what we might need to do to get it done. Which we did. The strange thing is, why would the DMV shift supervisor or pit boss or whatever tell a DMV volunteer NOT to share information on how to get our vehicle radically illuminated? If it was just so that we don't try to get away with the minimum... well... I don't know if that's the best way to go about helping people.

During our day inspection--I think we were the first ones Monday morning--DMV was slow and super-diligent because a female Pershing County deputy was staring at us and watching everything the DMV did while they tried to find the owner of the trailer that burned. The computer system was down, everything seem jacked, and it all worked out. During our night inspection we had to make a circle on the playa so they could judge us, and then wait for about half an hour, while the DMV acted like burners (ADHD and loving it) and then came out and said "We don't want to fail you. If we give you a license, you have to promise to add more lighting next year." By the next evening I'd wired up an additional 12v system and scrounged up a bunch of extra lighting to put on it. Promise kept. Next year we'll be even better.

The DMV experience was not at ALL what people have said it was in the past, and except for the computer gremlins it was a flawless, mutually-courteous and very personable. I wouldn't discourage anybody from building a vehicle, and having driven BRC at night, I absolutely understand why "radically illuminated" is necessary, especially on burn night. It wasn't until we got the audio system hooked up (250w, nothing big.) to let people know we were coming that we could get up 9 o'clock. (The Imperial March--Metallica Version--and a Spandau machine gun sample.)
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:52 am

Bob wrote:Best rolling living room I've seen was simply an RC floor lamp that would follow you around.


I remember that one! Loved it!
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby DustyBubbles » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:59 am

ZaphodBurner wrote:Our MV was a golf cart with coil suspension turned into a Fokker Triplane. DMV was extremely pleasant with us...it's much harder to get a night license but they let us have one if we promised to add more lighting next time.


Hey ZaphodBurner - not sure you are the right person but my group came by on a Wednesday and you took our whole crew for a spin on the playa (I am 1 of the 2 girls that were sitting on the top wing) to look at the "scener" (you should know what Im talking about). We were all mostly from Portland - probably doesn't help. Anywho, I just wanted to say you all were awesome and thanks for the Absenth!!
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby Snow » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:15 am

ZaphodBurner wrote:Our MV was a golf cart with coil suspension turned into a Fokker Triplane. DMV was extremely pleasant with us...it's much harder to get a night license but they let us have one if we promised to add more lighting next time.

Saw your car in camp several times, looked awesome, great work
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby chefjuke » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:03 pm

ZaphodBurner wrote:Our experience with DMV was excellent and the Hotties (yes they were!) were helpful. We only had one , eh, curiosity, when I asked a DMV person if he thought our vehicle would pass the night inspection. He said "I'm not supposed to tell you this, but..." and then helped us learn what we might need to do to get it done. Which we did. The strange thing is, why would the DMV shift supervisor or pit boss or whatever tell a DMV volunteer NOT to share information on how to get our vehicle radically illuminated? If it was just so that we don't try to get away with the minimum... well... I don't know if that's the best way to go about helping people.


Hmm...not sure what message got communicated to that particular Hottie, but there should be no reason a hottie couldn't give some friendly advice. We do try to avoid becoming Mutant Vehicle consultants, either on-playa or off..but that shouldn't preclude someone from giving a little guidance.

We do take the Radical Illumination portion of the criteria seriously, though. People have been hurt, some seriously (and, unfortunately, some killed) in incidents involving vehicles on the playa. It can be difficult at times seeing the most radically illuminated vehicles during dust storms at night and given the tendency of there being any number of...um...altered participants out at night, having the vehicles be able to SEE and BE SEEN is important. Beyond that, it's also part of the aforementioned aim of the DMV. Beyond the safety aspect, the illumination of your vehicle should provide one of two functions: Either it is helping show off your great mutant vehicle so people can see it at night as well as they did in the daytime, or the lighting itself is what makes the vehicle pass muster for night. Vehicles such as the Battlezone tank of a few years ago, or the Death Star the last few years....these are vehicles where the LIGHTING is what makes the vehicle compelling at night.

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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby inthecolumbiagorge » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:29 pm

We were virgins this year and brought our MV to the playa. It was a pretty simple design but we had no issues at DMV and the hotties that dealt with us said it was great that we were virgins and brought a vehicle that looked like the drawing I had submitted in the permit process so that made us feel good. My daughter and I designed and built the thing with no previous experience building anything and it was a 22' wind surf board and sail. It was the best thing we could have done and while I agree that is totally changes your experience on playa, I recommend it to anyone that feels any need to help others out because we gave over 120 people rides and drove all over the open playa misting anyone that was hot which was almost everyone we came across. We illuminated it with led and rope lights and had no issues with night permit either. I have a bad hip and would not have been able to get out to 12:00 and trash fence without the MV and probably not even out to the temple if the truth were told. For my family the MV gave us a way to get around and a way to help others get around too and we are already thinking what we can do to bring something much better, that will seat more people for next year!
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby sandfly » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:25 pm

My camp got tired of seeing cars that had the doors and windows pulled, driving around, having qualified as "art cars." Seemed to be no creativity in that -- just a cheap shot.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby TomServo » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:52 pm

sandfly wrote:My camp got tired of seeing cars that had the doors and windows pulled, driving around, having qualified as "art cars." Seemed to be no creativity in that -- just a cheap shot.


Like this?

Image

It's a staff vehicle...Not a "Mutant Vehicle."
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby sandfly » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:09 pm

Like that, but with no Ranger decal, and not a truck, and people who did not look like they were doing anything but sightseeing. But, maybe they were on the way to doing something important, and the decal was covered with dust,
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby TomServo » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:32 pm

That's a DPW truck..and they do that to cars, mini vans, etc.. There is also Gate/Perimeter and even a couple DMV staff cars. Rangers tend to drive nicer looking vehicles.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:31 am

Or maybe they were handicapped vehicles.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby urvile » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:05 pm

Yeah, it can be difficult sometimes to figure out if a 'normal' looking vehicle is supposed to be out there or not. In addition to the other mentioned vehicle types, there are also art placement vehicles, which iirc have a windshield sticker, rather than a back bumper decal.

I learned the hard way not to make too many assumptions and to approach situations in a cautious and friendly way. I've nicely educated people who were doing it wrong and embarrassed myself by stopping people who were doing it right.

I've also been pulling shifts in a logo'd staff vehicle trying to keep people safe, and been loudly and abusively shouted at by altered darkwads for driving. Yeah, thanx for that :twisted:

If you do see a vehicle that you are not sure of, try not to jump to conclusions, and approach the situation in a friendly and inquisitive manner rather. And you can always report misbehavior to the Rangers or DMV. They can D Lot the asshats. :wink:
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby TomServo » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:18 pm

Disabled Vehicles can be a car or a golf cart...or a MV. We were offering flags for them to use. Not all accepted them. Later in the week, we heard reports of Disabled Vehicles without flags, being pulled over by LEOs.

Funny story: Play A Skool...one of those Plug N Play camps..attempted to get a Disabled Sticker for their FUCKING SCHOOL BUS! Didn't happen! And, I had to laugh. Guess they couldn't find a MV to "rent."
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby gyre » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:41 pm

How did they try to qualify that?

Did they have anyone to ride on it at all?
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby TomServo » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:00 am

gyre wrote:How did they try to qualify that?

Did they have anyone to ride on it at all?


They had someone with a placard. Said she had some aversion to heat or the sun or something...so I guess she needed a school bus. It's pretty cut and dry with a disabled sticker. If your pre registered, with something truck size or smaller...you get it. There were people on the bus, but none of them were disabled. It was denied...and the first time I've seen a disabled vehicle turned down.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby Lonesomebri » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:38 am

Gave a first timer a ride on my Chariot hauled behind my bicycle, he shared the seat with a topless lass I had also just picked up, strangers when they got on. He thanked me for his first ride on a Mutant Vehicle. And when I shift it into gear, it's all me baby.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby quadraspleen » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:37 am

Kenny Z wrote:I almost ran over two darktards having sex in the deep playa.


I agree, but this cuts both ways - I saw (on Burn night so I wasn't in a full mental state to report it to the BRC Rangers) a furry white thing, not a golf buggy, but a real full car-size MV with NO lights on, and speeding (at least 15mph) across a very dark bit of central playa..It was real quiet as well..Not sure how they got their DMV license, but I saw them swerve to avoid at least two groups of ppl, and at least one of them shouted obsenities at him for being a darkwad himself..Should have to make some noise at least, so's you can hear them coming!
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby nixiebunny » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:20 am

My campmate of many years worked as a Hottie and did pre-burn screening of MV applications. He could get really nasty when he saw a golf cart that didn't have a disabled license or similar.

My wife has a bum leg, so the last couple years we got a disabled permit. First in our Prius with a huge, glowing nautilus shell on top, then this year in our 1958 Chevy wagon. The Prius got some rude comments by people who didn't know it was a disabled vehicle, but the Chevy got nothing but raves from everyone (I'm guessing that the orange wheelchair flag on the aerial helped). Almost justified the extra $500 in gas to drive it to BRC from Tucson and back.

I'd like to put a big glowing thing on the Chevy next year, since it really helps being seen at night. We didn't have trouble this year, but it's just a matter of time.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby gyre » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:25 am

Thanks for bringing something like that.

Steve and Juicy brought a fifties car to match their trailer one year, and it was the most amazing apparition to see out there.
Matching light green with the trailer too.

I'd love to see a photo.
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Re: So, what the fuck qualifies as a mutant vehicle?

Postby stew » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:59 am

Funny story about non mutant vehicles -

on burn night, my girl and I walk on (I think) 5:00 towards the esplanade. Between A and B we see a surprisingly clean sedan drive by, towards esplanade. Quick visual check, no DMV bumper sticker, no Artery permit behind the windshield...maybe someone arriving late and pulling into their camp? The car turns into A and parks between two forklifts in the DPW heavy machinery - that looks wrong. We walk over, out of the car comes a middle-aged couple in clean tie dye T-Shirts. We ask them if they are looking for something, they tell us they're looking for a place to park their car to see the burn...

I have to admit, I was tempted to let them leave the car and see what would have happened next...but we told them that leaving their car here was a very bad idea and that they shouldn't be driving their car at all.
Don't listen to me - I'm just some random drunk with Internet access.
PLAYA PORN!
stew
 
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