So crazy Flash was behind the bar on the night the Gates opened, making up something he called Rocket Fuel, which involved pouring various liquids and liquors back and forth from one glass to another, adding ingredients and tasting along the way.
The result was a lethally smooth concoction, capable of knocking you off your feet even while you thought you were drinking nothing stronger than a spritzer.
It was Opening Night, and there was also a birthday to celebrate, and Flash behind the bar pretty much guarantees things will get raucous, so the elements came together smartly for the official start of Burning Man 2009.
Around 11 pm, people started lining up rides to get out to the gates to watch the people who’d come blasting in at midnight. It’s a funny tradition. On the night the gates open to the public, a lot of the people who are already inside the city go out to greet the people who have been waiting for HOURS and HOURS to get inside.
Now when I say “greet,” that covers a lot of ground. Yes there were some cheers and shouts of welcome, but mostly there was lots of abuse. Funny stuff. People with megaphones informing the arrivals that this is a dust-free event. Telling them to slow down. Oh, and they were told that they should be giving lots of beer to the people who’ve been building the city for them, too.
None of it mattered. The people streaming in were laughing and dancing and just happy to be here. One guy got out of his car, naked, and rolled around face down in the dust. The call went up in the stands for him to be body-cavity searched.