I had a pretty lazy Labor Day weekend, full of shopping and sleep and with a distinct lack of barbecues. In spite of the lack of delicious grilled meats however, I did manage to get some quality fire time in. Every year in San Francisco, there’s an event called Balsa Man for people who aren’t partying in the desert and watching the man burn. The balsa man is 1/16th the size of the actual man and surrounded by tiny art (which you can apparently get tiny art grants for!). Maybe next year, Mr. Tusks will make a tiny appearance at Balsa Man.
Liana and my adventures that night started out when we were late because we didn’t manage to get tickets before they had sold out. So we made a quick stop at her house to grab some index cards and crayons and produce some Authentic Balsa Man Tikits to make sure we could get in. Our backup plan was to buy tickets from the scalpers for $.75. After getting lost on the way to where we suspected the tiny burn was going to occur, we got a bit lost and, upon arriving at the beach, saw a bunch of burners biking rapidly away from the place that we were heading. Bummed because we thought we had missed the tiny event, we headed back to Liana’s place, only to get a call from a friend of hers saying that Balsa Man had moved and telling us where the new location was. Turns out the cops at the previous beach were strictly enforcing the hours that the beach was open. So we showed up just in time to see the tiny burn and then wandered around for a while looking at tiny art, drinking tiny chai. I actually ended up running into the guy I had shared a taxi with at DEF CON (small world). Some other tiny art burned, but before they managed to burn all the tiny temples, a not-so-tiny firetruck showed up, which marked the end of the festivities. The night, however, was still young, and we offered some guy a ride back to the city lest he get stranded in the industrial wasteland and then planned to head to a bar. This was the weird part of the evening.
The guy who rode back to civilization with us looked fairly forgettable other than a couple burner traits that stuck out. He had a bright pink and yellow vest on, made of those craft store puff balls that you made chicks out of in elementary school for Easter and some brightly colored feathers and carried a Fischer Price mutant of some sort that played bad techno music, lit up and drove around while gobs of children ran after it giggling. He was also (a) clearly completely smashed and (b) smelled very strongly of urine. But we were good Samaritans, so I breathed through my nose while sitting in the car and was careful not to lean too close and we took Liana’s car back into the city. On our way there though, he began to inquire after our plans for the rest of the night and then, when we said we weren’t really sure what we were going to do, invited us to his sex party. Yes, that’s right, his sex party.
I’m reliably informed that sex parties aren’t really that weird. It was a friendly gesture and not a big deal. So we say no, drop him off and drive off into the distance toward booze and bed, right? No, not quite. Liana quite firmly informs him that while the invitation is appreciated, we’re not really interested in attending his sex party. He doesn’t quite get the hint though (“no” is apparently not very clear) and continues to talk about this sex party. “Oh you know, it might not be your thing, but you’re welcome to come. I have to warn you though, it’s a pretty hardcore BDSM sex party. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of that,” and so on. And this whole time, Liana is going “No, no, it’s really OK. We’re not interested.” And if this weren’t creepy enough, the crowning part of his spiel goes something along the lines “Oh, and I have clothes you can borrow.”
So yeah, creepy. In the end, we dropped him off and sped away to find ourselves a very nice bar to drown the memories of that conversation.