Gallstone #14

July 6, 1999

Dateline- Mojave Desert. The Phone Booth.

I came across the most overt loser in recent memory. He came to visit the booth. Showed up in an SUV with-


and his URL painted on the back window. All that was missing was the brilliant non-sequitur "woooo-hoo!!!", or maybe a glow-in-the-dark burningman logo.
In his sad little online diary, he wrote of mounting anticipation. Apparently, he expected some secret gathering of very cool people, at which he would naturally be appointed king of the cool.
What he got was what everyone got- exactly what they brought. Most folks were content to answer a few phone calls and just hang around shooting the shit. Not the blowhard. This poor troll was grasping for validation from strangers in that pathetic *abused-child* fashion.

"I'm the guy that drove all the way out here just to see if it was off the hook once... "
"lemme introduce you to the TV crew..."
"have you seen my website? I'm an online diarist. "
"It was pretty cool that we all came out here, huh? I drove out once just to see if it was off the hook! Oooh, I'm just zany!"
"Hey look! Someone else signed *my* booth!"
"I drove out here once just to see if etc."

This endless barrage of acceptance-garnering, coupled with his embarrassing drive to perform for the attendant media, was utterly laughable. Especially comic was his continued reference to himself as being the oldest person there, and having a wife and kids back home. As if somehow that could make him interesting. Sorry, Charlie.

He was accompanied my someone who seemed slightly less like a loudmouth Al Bundy, but only slightly. As he was the quiet one, I didn't get a good fix on him, and all for the better.

Also in the pack was a classic short guy, complete with macho big-tire Jeep, standoffish body language, and bad classic rock. The strong, silent type, you know, like Napoleon. I pried about two sentences out of him before he bored me out of my mind. What a complete tit. He stood next to his Jeep with his arms crossed for what seemed like hours. Then he roared off in a huff without even pretending to say goodbye. Then, like a high-school girl, he pretended to forget something and circled back. Maybe he wanted to hear us gossip! oooh pss psss pssss! That guy was just *fascinating* wasn't he?

The best thing, though, is that the main moron MISSED THE WHOLE FUCKING POINT OF A BOOTH TRIP. He was actually giddy with excitement over the possibility of taking interesting phone calls! There's no such thing, dumbass. Does it really need to be spelled out like this? He really got sucked into the notion that receiving a call at the booth would be fascinating!
'So....uhhhh... you guys are really out in the desert?'
'Cool....uhhh... somebody, uhh, answered...'
'What's the weather like out there? must be HOT...' and so on.

At some point in his younger life, someone probably had to explain to him that Dungeons&Dragons is not real, and that Orcs do not exist.

After the fact, he wrote a bitter few paragraphs in his online journal. It was a real eye-opener!

Although the visit was planned, announced, and executed by Andria, he had the stones to call her a coat-tailer. shocking.
The guy who drove across the desert in a painted station-wagon called US "ken kesey wanna-bees"! oh, the irony. Actually, he's spot-on about this analogy b/c kesey had such contempt for this exact kind of assbag, that he deliberately kept changing course to keep the vicarious thrill-seekers confused.
After listing some of his friends who called him at the booth, he railed on another person for tying up the phone so much! Apparently, he could tell it was a *personal call* because he was eavesdropping on her. What an asshole! Despite his constant referral to it as *his booth*, I don't remember him showing us a receipt for it.
He was apparently put off by our affectedness. This is the guy who parked his SUV so the cameraman would get his "BACK TO THE BOOTH" back window in the shot. This, apparently, is not affected, but politely ignoring a chest-pounding halfwit IS. Guilty as charged, your honor.

What it boils down to is this: This dork was pissed off at us because we didn't perform for him. He's exactly the kind of *entertain me* person who is destroying burningman. He wasn't the center of attention, because NOBODY was, and he couldn't handle a few hours of life without a script. No hero's welcome, no ingratiating banter, just some people fighting boredom by being bored in a new place. THAT'S what the booth is to me, and this hapless boob never even got close to a clue.

In a darkly amusing postscript, he left in such a tizzy that he misused the 4wd feature in his SUV and did some damage to the drivetrain. Cool heads prevail in the hot desert.

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