Road Warrior Weekend: Recall, Report, Recap

Fan events and get togethers - Wasteland Weekend, Roadwar, etc..

Road Warrior Weekend: Recall, Report, Recap

Postby MFP 2020 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:01 am

My memory isn’t what it once was, so I’ve probably mixed up the order of events. But who cares? If I've egregiously misreported something, please let me know.

Friday

My friend Amy, a seasoned “Burner,” came to my house on Friday morning and we loaded her stuff into my truck. Hours later (my fault), we were on the road. Our first stop was for gas. Our next stop was for ice. Our last stop was for McDonald’s sweet tea (or, more properly, sweetea).

We met our friend Gene at the Cafe 247 at the intersection of the 247 and 18 highways. He’d rented a 24-foot RV. My original plan was to sleep in a truck bed tent in the back of my truck (or under my pop-up canopy), but I will be forever grateful that Gene talked me into the RV. That was money well spent—not only because of the cold, but for the cooking and showering capabilities. Hey, we’re not living the movies; we’re just pretending.

By the time we got to the turnoff to Soggy Dry Lake, it was dark and we missed the turn (I blame my GPS). We headed down the dirt road and picked up a convoy. I followed the lights to the check-in tent where impressively dressed volunteers were braving the wind and cold to get us checked in and oriented. As we drove up the road, we saw the sign for Wasteland Radio so I tuned in. The song playing: “Break Out” from the MM2 soundtrack (the tanker pulling out of the compound). It put me in the mood immediately.

In the dark it was hard to figure the layout or where they’d told us we could park the RV, so we set up near the base of the foothill where we could look down and see everything. (Next time, we’re arriving early.)

It was only about 6pm, so we moved a lot of stuff out of the truck, then set up the tires and tiki torches I’d brought. (Or maybe we did that in the morning.) They not only defined the perimeter of our “front yard” and kept people from driving through our camp, but they looked cool at night. We also gathered lava rocks and built a fire pit. In the meantime, they had finally gotten “Mad Max” started on the screen at the Liquid-O bus. (At some point that night we met Ziggy, whom we had parked near. Naturally, we absorbed him into our group for the weekend.)

I’d brought a case of Coke Zero, a giant bottle of Jack Daniel’s, and three cases of cheap light beer. (Next time I’ll stick with the Jack Zeros, because I ended up giving away two cases of beer and the third is still sitting in my garage. And we ended up watering the desert plants with most of my ice.) We had delicious bratwurst and sausage, cooked over an open fire—by a woman, which is as it should be. ;)

Later I heard a V8 roar to life and I knew immediately what it was: a yellow Interceptor. Although it’s a Camaro, it sounded exactly like Max’s Interceptor from the movie. Time to go. We changed over to our wasteland gear and wandered down to the bus to see what was going on. There was music and lights, and some guys breathing fire on top of the bus. Not bad, but it was cold. I introduced Karol to my friends and Karol introduced us to Jared (jwrites). Because Scarlett is the "Pyrate Queen" of SoCal, there was a definite pirate crossover happening. Pirates of the Wasteland.

We hung out at the Atomic Cafe a while, met some folks, then decided to hop from fire to fire back to our RV. Our first stop was at Jim’s (Dark Bushido) camp (MFP Sub-29), and although I was dressed as a marauder, the Bronze welcomed us. Met Joe, who hadn’t heard of the board, and Jim. (Next time, I’m going to put up a banner with the URL.)

On our way back to the RV, we stopped by Alan (cruzn2themax) and Kaz’s RV to say hi, and it’s a good thing Al is entertaining, because that guy can talk. :) Tony (madmax454), the owner of the yellow Interceptor, was there, too, and he told us about his Jersey-to-California run. Tony, didn’t I see you on “The Sopranos”?

Finally, cold but happy, we retreated to the RV and went to sleep. Outside, a group was building what would become the “Ferel [sic] Kid Fort” from 2x4s and plywood. Someone said the music went until 2am, but I only heard it for about 10 minutes. I slept the sleep of the Ambien user.


Saturday

On Saturday morning, something had come over me. I had been looking forward to attending the event for months, but I wasn’t prepared for the pure joy that I felt. A big smile spread across my face and I told my RV-mates that a smile that big was a rare sight indeed.

I threw on my marauder gear and rode the demon bike down to the staging area for the vehicles. Then I noticed all the MFP officers around the cars. They were about to start the MM1 photoshoot; Alan told me to run back and change: “Don’t think; do it!” They stalled long enough for me to get suited up and back before the shoot. Everybody looked good, but all modesty aside, I looked amazing. AbbyShot jacket, South Beach Leather pants, Sportsman’s Guide engineer boots, Magnolia Leatherworks shotgun holster, Motobiker (eBay) gloves, Wal*Mart T-shirt. Boom! :D

Amy was wearing some basic black leather; I had a set of football shoulder pads I’d done up in a sort of Thunderdome style, with VW turn signals mounted on the shoulders, so I gave them to her to wear. They looked pretty good. Some guy came up to us and told us that the turn signals were probably worth money because they were rare and weren’t made anymore. I told him I’d gotten them on eBay for ten bucks, and he looked hurt.

We took a bunch of photos with the cars, and Vernon Wells came over and posed with us. Later, I asked Virginia Hey and Vernon to sign the demon bike’s tank, which they graciously did. In return, I purchased an autographed photo from each of them. It was a real pleasure (and honor) to be able to discuss Vernon’s realization of the Wez character (although I was surprisingly starstruck when I first shook his hand, and forgot the “speech” I’d prepared). I told him that the first time we saw MM2, in the theater, we were blown away by his performance. He was flamboyant yet believable, without going over the top. He wasn’t a superman, but he was an undeniable badass.

As I was wandering around, I saw a young Asian lady in a flowing burgundy skirt, dramatic leather hair fall, glasses and bare midriff, standing in Zebra Camp. (She would introduce me to the term “fire spinning.” I felt so out of the loop.) I was immediately smitten and took to calling her “my goth librarian.” She started twirling poi and I hoped she would be performing that night.

Friday night seemed like a good start to the festivities, with room for improvement (rising action before the climax and denouement), yet the expected giant party didn’t materialize—probably because it was so damn cold and everyone was huddled around their own fires. After the sun went down, Amy, Gene, Ziggy and I stoked up the fire. Later, Jared and Brad came by with their “wasteland champagne.” At some point I looked toward the “stage” and saw fire poi, so, hoping my goth librarian was performing, I dragged Gene and Ziggy toward the action; Amy elected to stay by the fire.

When we got to the so-called Thunderdome, we found Medieval Times. Knights fought inside an “erector set” circle with flaming weapons while the emcee recited Dr. Dealgood’s lines. This, I believe, was The Black Company. Later, a gladiator with the unlikely name of “Stavros the Spaniard” (IIRC) fought some other armored guy. The act was entertaining in its own right, but trying to tack Mad Max onto it just wasn’t working for me. What was working for me, however, was Kimi (the Asian girl), who took center ring with some flaming implements and proceeded to mesmerize me. While the other performers had the flame part down, Kimi was the total package: she didn’t just stand there and spin fire; her body and the fire moved together in harmony. (So I’m in love. So what? Unfortunately I don’t do the flowery language all that well.) I wanted to meet her, and so did Jared; he took the lead and brought her over. I opened my mouth and a whole bunch of gibberish spilled out. (Have I mentioned I’m not the world’s greatest orator?) Cameras flashed. The universe was rent asunder.

Anyway...

There was a respectable number of spectators, but I think if the weather had been more hospitable, more people would have come down to watch. In any case, I expected a huge spectacle with lots of fire and grinding, even dancing (and, you know, grinding), but as far as I know, it didn’t happen. We wandered up the hill to Outpost 8 and shortly after we got there, our hosts disappeared. Evidently they’d gone to bed, but had left their music and lasers on. We trudged back down the hill, running into Scarlett and her crew in the dark. We hit up another DJ camp but didn’t like the music, so that was the end of that. We went back to the RV. The next morning, we heard the inhabitants of Outpost 8 had gotten back up and staged a big party. Hmm.

(I seem to have missed a bunch of stuff on Saturday afternoon, like the costume contest and the vehicle judging. I have no idea who won.)


Sunday

My memory fades...the vision dims... (In other words, a lot of stuff has slipped my mind.)

We had breakfast in the RV, then went outside and built a fire. Ziggy came over and cooked bacon. I put on my marauder gear and headed out to the lake bed for the “races,” which at first was just a bunch of vehicles chasing Tony’s Interceptor around. Good times, if you don’t mind getting generous helpings of fine dust in your face at speed. Later Karol staged some actual races between the bikes and scooters. I didn’t stand a chance against the Hooligan VFR (1985 Honda VFR1000R) Knuckles’ CB650 or Jim’s MFP Yamaha XS850, but at least I beat the scooters.

Things were winding down by midday and a lot of people had packed up and left. I was back up at the RV when I looked down toward Zebra Camp and saw boobies, unfettered and free, basking in the sun. (“And I like boobies!”) Gene and I headed down there; there was a very nice blonde lady who looked like an aging hippie or Wiccan putting her clothes back on. Then, to my surprise, Desiree (I think that was her name; she’s the hot black girl with all the piercings) took her top off and posed for some pictures. She didn’t seem to mind random dudes taking her picture, so I took some. While I was there I talked to John, who’d been wearing a Humungus-style S&M harness and leather pants for the event, as well as Kimi and Knuckles. I got a few additional pictures with Kimi, thus cementing myself in her memory as “That gibberish-spouting old guy who wouldn’t stop taking pictures with me.”

We wandered down to the Liquid-O bus and hung out, and since it was warming up, I decided to take my shirt off for the “rapist marauder” version of my costume. (That didn’t last long. And now that I think of it, I never wore my catcher’s mask.) Eventually we headed back up to the RV and started packing my truck and burning the tiki torches. (As in really burning them. They were falling apart and I hadn't planned to take them home.)

Karol and Jared brought a photographer up the hill and we took a bunch of group shots. Later, Alan and Kaz drove back up to say farewell.

Karol came back to get the Wasteland Radio gear and we all sat down for one last meal together. The Ferel Kid Fort guys drove their 4x4 into their building and knocked it flat, then turned the wreckage into a blazing bonfire. (We’d done much the same thing in Desert Storm.) Finally, as the sun went down, Amy and I drove out of the desert and back to civilization, vowing to be back next year (or whenever the next one happens).


What worked: The event overall. It was great to see so many fans together. Having a recognizable point of commonality really helped some of us less social types start conversations. Before the event I thought there would be a core group of forum members hanging out together, but we were outnumbered by “others.” I felt a little like an outsider because a lot of the people knew each other from pirate events (and also because the Liquid-O world is much different from mine), but everyone I actually spoke to was cool as hell. And where else can you just walk up to a beautiful woman at random and have your picture taken with her? (Full disclosure: a woman did exactly the same thing to me, and it was nice.) I plan to get more involved next time. Karol, you are The Man.

What didn’t work: It was too damn cold. (”Would you say it was cold, very cold, or fucking cold?”) Saturday night should have been a big-ass party, but it wasn’t. Needed a little more clarity on the RV parking situation up front, but in the end it didn’t really matter.

tl;dr We had a great time. Let’s do it again soon.
Last edited by MFP 2020 on Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:12 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Road Warrior Weekend: Recall, Report, Recap

Postby Max Replica » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:53 am

Great recap. Thanks for taking the time to write it up.

I agree with you about the fighting knights (on my video of it you can hear me say something like "this is pretty cool, but what it has to do with Mad Max I'm not sure).

It wasn't Mad Max-related, but any time a couple of guys want to hit each other with flaming swords, I will gladly watch. (Those guys were hitting each other pretty hard too).
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Re: Road Warrior Weekend: Recall, Report, Recap

Postby ziggy » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:35 pm

A weird feeling came over me on Saturday when all the MFP guys in gear lined up for pictures around the BOB.
I actually felt like a real cop there for awile! Now I have a better insight into the invisible "blue wall" that can spring up around law enforcement folks when they get together, that "us and them" feeling. The MFP guys seemed to hang together
more and eye the marauders almost like real cops would. Am I wrong? Did anyone else get that impression? On Sunday
I geared up as a marauder and felt almost liberated. I could hang with the crazy cool bad guys again!
"The Toecutter....he knows who I am"!!!
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Re: Road Warrior Weekend: Recall, Report, Recap

Postby cruzn2the max » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:20 pm

what a great insight to your trip, was realy kool reading it.

ziggy yeh i felt the same, all us max 1 guys did seem to hang around together, and then when i changed i didnt seem to fit in. I had my mrs on a collar and lead
and that wouldnt have worked in my max 1 outfit although i did lead her around a lil bit in both costumes.
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Re: Road Warrior Weekend: Recall, Report, Recap

Postby madmax454 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:32 am

what a great read of ur experience.pictures cannot do justice to a persons account of an outstanding weekend.i am honored to have been a part of a greta event with GREAT people.look forward to next one with even more planned. "so when do we take it for a ride"
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