Now these guys give serious rides. First of all, they have the coolest warning signs. This thing is called the Teeter Totter Of Death and they have a really BIG roadwork triangle style sign which says ‘Abrupt Decapitation’. It’s enough to make the freaks froth at the mouth. As they line up to take a go.
This picture was taken just off the Esplanade on The Playa. Run by two guys names Tricks & Aja, The Teeter Totter Of Death is like a giant swinging see-saw with two people balancing at each end of a huge iron girder. As they come down to land, the car wheels under their asses help cushion the blow. A little bit. To get it going, one of the intrepid men manning the machine runs in a circle pushing the girder and then swings from it as swinging see-saw takes off with speed. To see it in (slower mode than when I was there) action, check this brief video on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u9__KPgdX0
To find out something of the mentality behind this flying death trap, check the ‘Pansies Need Not Apply!!!’ link here: http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?t=27441. There is a reason why the disclaimer on the Burning Man tickets is so rigorous. I must admit I’ve never been to an event before where on the back of the ticket the following is written:
I acknowledge and fully understand that as a participant, I will be engaging in activities that involve risk of serious injury, including permanent disability and death, property loss and severe social and economic losses. These risks include, but are not limited to, those caused by: (a) the actions, inactions or negligence of Burning Man, participants, volunteers, spectators, event officials and organizers; (b) conditions of the premises or equipment used; (c) rules and regulations regarding the activities; (d) temperature; (e) weather; (f) condition of participants; and, (g) vehicular traffic. I further acknowledge and fully understand that there may also be other risks that are not known or foreseeable at this time. I KNOWINGLY AND VOLUNTARILY ASSUME ALL RISK OF PROPERTY LOSS, PERSONAL INJURY, SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH, WHICH MAY OCCUR BY ATTENDING BURNING MAN 2010 AND HEREBY FOREVER RELEASE, DISCHARGE AND HOLD BURNING MAN HARMLESS FROM ANY CLAIM ARISING FROM SUCH RISK, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF BURNING MAN, ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, CONTRACTORS, AGENTS, VOLUNTEERS OR REPRESENTATIVES, OR BY THIRD PARTIES, AND I ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY AND LIABILITY FOR MY PARTICIPATION.
(Capitals are not mine – they are on the ticket). There is a certain thrill involved in going to an event where you know you might die if you don’t keep your shit together. It’s just amazing how few people do actually die at these events. Especially given how toasted most of them get.
In honor of the survivors, today I am listening to the Chosen One Mix of Woke Up This Morning by Alabama 3 – most of you will know it as the Theme Song for The Soprano’s: