Since earlier this year, I’ve been stuck in a strange, prolonged cognitive dissonance. I love summer and it’s my favorite time of the year, but as soon as my computer flashed with a page confirming that I had just purchased tickets to Burning Man, I wanted it to end. Well now both summer and Burning Man is over and all I got was a dusty suitcase filled with dusty costumes and dusty gifts, some amazing photos that got me an above average amount of likes on Instagram, memories that I’ll cherish forever, some lasting inspiration to create something amazing, and a new perspective on life. So yea, I’ll definitely be going next year – but only for the dust and the likes.
Inspiring introspection aside, there was also a lot of weirdness that can be found on the playa. Weirdness and hilarity and hilarious weird things. Most of them will be forgotten, but a few, well they were overheard. And remembered. And written down. And now, published by us. We bring you overheard at Burning Man.
“You traveling alone?”
“Yea, radical self-reliance maaan”
“Do you have a spare dildo? I want to go fight my sister in the thunderdome but she forgot hers.”
“Rule number three, no anal on the playa”
“Are the mushrooms kicking in, or is Samuel L. Jackson DJing The Cuddle Puddle?”
“Every third hammer is a tracer.”
“Ladies, I just want to make sure you understood what she asked you.”
*In a beautiful German accent* : “Yes. We are going to paint your penis.”
BLM to Burner (about the 50th one who asked him) on what was going on, where the Trebuchet was launching the flaming piano.
BLM: “They are detonating a nuclear device”
Burner: *look of surprise*
BLM, reassuringly: “A small one.”
Burner nods in approval and stumbles off.
Off in the distance, during a whiteout, I hear: “Worst Coachella ever!”
“Everything goes so fast, but it takes forever.”
“I’m going to make dinner because my colors taste like hungry.”
“Whoa. There is a giant dude out there.”
“I’m looking for my wife I haven’t met yet. I’m going to get her so pregnant”
“Look by the trash fence”
credit: Alina Nugmanova
On burn night “Oh, I bet they’re gonna burn that big thing.”
“Get used to the bass all the time, it’s the heartbeat of the man.”
“Where are the regular bathrooms?”
“Shit…… Music with words!!!!!”
In a small art installation around 3 am: “Seriously…I love you man. And it’s not just the drugs talking.”
“Note for next year: fuck-proof the disco ball.”
“Can I borrow your vibrator for the Billion Bunny March?”
“If art doesn’t make you want to fight, fuck or philosophize then it probably isn’t very good.”
“You may be a snowflake. But this is a goddamned blizzard.” On a piece of artwork near center camp.
“Life is like a box of ‘Fuck You.'”
A guy and girl were embraced/cuddling watching the sunrise at the trash fence. The girl says “That was one of the most beautiful and most amazing moments of my life…. I better go back and find my boyfriend, I feel bad for him.”
“Just wait till right now.”
“Daft punk actually played at the trash fence.”
“Wow, this place is big. I didn’t know I needed a bike.”
“The drugs are certainly working… I had to physically confirm that my LED strip was off.”
“How are you transporting your water?”
“I don’t know… My uncle is an engineer, he’ll figure it out.”
Rando 1 right behind me on burn night: “What am I gonna do with all this whiskey?”
Rando 2 three rows away: “If only there was someone at burning man willing to drink booze.”
“Oh hey, free blowjobs. Did you want to stop?”
*pause to consider*
“Nah. I need to get to Costco to pick up a soulmate”
“I’m looking for the biggest cock on the playa! And the hairiest vagina!” Through a megaphone for about an hour at 6 am outside my camp.
During the man burn: “Meth is great if you need to peel a whole bowl of grapes.”
A friend of mine looked at a lady cycling past on her bike, they starred at each other and as she passed she threw her bike into an art piece and shouted: “Are we gonna do this or what!?”
As I’m biking with a half full box of whippits and they are jangling about I hear: “Oh, oh, oh… I hear whippits!”
The fact someone knew the sounds made me laugh.
“My friends mom walked in on me giving myself a blowjob.”
“There’s a topless chick on a trampoline up at 8:30 if you’re looking for something to do.” This was the first thing I heard on Wednesday morning when I woke up.
“Stop staring at my dick or I’ll get hard.”
“Has anyone talked to [BMorg] about this dust yet?”
A guy, serious as all fuck, walked up to us at center camp and asked for help on why he wasn’t getting wi-fi on his tablet.
“Burning Man is a place where you leave things behind….like time. And underwear.”
“My song is more repetitive than your song!”
Referring to the art cars that would park next to each other and play competing music.
“Pasties are like the [gateway] drug to complete nudity.”
“Are you seriously complaining about our customer service??” From the soup flavored blankets guys to a girl who was having a tantrum about the line in deep playa.
credit: Alina Nugmanova
Girl in furry bikini at 3 am near the 2 o’clock party sector during one of the 30 degree nights: ”I don’t understand why they have this rave somewhere so cold and dirty…”
To which her similarly clad friend replied: “I know seriously! And why do they have to put all the cool music so far from each other? It’s like they don’t want us to be able to get to all the stages.”
“I’m going to take a shower and have sex… anyone care to join me?”
“Where are our bikes?”
“Behind the blinky tree.”
“What blinky tree?”
“I think it’s hiding behind that helicopter.”
“It’s not gay if it’s at Burning Man.”
“I can’t keep the velcro on my work gloves from catching the hem of my tutu…”
“Anyone want some lube? I went looking for hotdogs and ended up in the wrong camp.”
“This food is from the Martha Stewart Prison Cookbook.”
“This is like the Saturday morning cartoons as a kid, only WE are the cartoon!”
“I’m going to fix another drink then continue exposing myself.”
“I am going to a Strap-on-a-thon in 15 minutes. Want to join me?”
“Do you ever notice when the color of the sound changes?”
“He gifted me with a hug and a penis lighter.”
“Oh my god! I’m shirtcocking! I’m sorry! Let me take of my shirt.”
“It’s beautiful to see the sunrise after a night when you thought you never would again.”
“I’ll be right back.”
“Wash your own brain, lady, we’re not a cult.”
“Next year I’m gonna do a rogue gynecology camp.”
Walking by a camp that has two people talking to each other: “We should change our camp name to Camp Free Handjobs”
“Technically, alcohol is a solution.”
“I should have pee’d myself days ago… I just cleaned every inch of my body and I feel awesome.”
Story told by a ranger friend: “They found a lost hippie way out in deep Playa, disoriented and weak from heat exhaustion. They bring him back on their cart to the city and a camp lead from one of the camps brings a gallon of water for the guy to drink. The hippie says, ‘I can’t drink from that. It’s full of BPAs.’ The camp lead answers, ‘The heat exhaustion will kill you faster than the BPAs. Drink up.’ So the dude takes the gallon, takes a small sip and pours the rest of the water over his head. As the water trickles down into the dust, he says, ‘Now it is one with the earth.’
“Acid makes Rangering better.”
“All I want is a bathtub filled with lotion out here.”
“I have a partially used burrito and keys to an art car I can’t find.”
“I lost my friends rascal, my cape, and I got driven home by the medics. I woke up out of my black out, started dancing, and jumped out of the truck and ran.”
That Camp Over There was offering up your choice of a) a spanking, b) a flogging, or c) a Pringle (as in potato chip). This offer was repeated over a bullhorn for several hours to people passing by as I was giving massages to burners in the HeeBeeGeeBee camp. At one point, the person on the bullhorn added “we’re entirely amateur” as an addendum… Something struck me as especially funny about that.
“I think I’m smarter than acid.”
Overheard from a virgin: “When do they turn the music off?”
Older dude one morning said, “Wow, l didn’t dream of shooting anybody last night! I must be getting used to the music.”
“There’s a group of people that are rolling out a red carpet in front of random porta-potties and then lining up on both side and cheering whoever comes out.”
“Is this Main Stage?”
“I’m still going with I didn’t know she had a penis”
Find this funny? Check out our first go at these types of posts, The Things You Hear at Bisco. Have any to add? Send them our way or comment below.
Note: This is a curated list, made up of things we actually heard and things that others heard – which were told to us or found online (largely from a thread started by Sara Laroux). Thanks to all that helped make this post possible!
Cover photo credit: Alina Nugmanova