Two ODs and a Vanilla Ice Concert
“Even if a bitch wants to look at you dirty, just shake a titty at her, she’ll laugh.”
So says Christy, a topless Juggalette who hitchhiked to Cave-in-Rock from Florida two days ago, trying to explain to me why she feels comfortable enough to go shirtless here, like she is now, even when she’s, as she says, “a total prude” back home. I feel myself aiming my chin at the middle of her forehead as I interview her, overcorrecting for my natural urge to glance down at her chest.
“Do you feel safe here?” Matt Lieb asks, perhaps projecting our own unease.
“This is the free-est and safest place on this planet,” Christy tells me, her green eyes getting big, the remnants of some mostly-washed off clown make-up marking her cheeks and forehead. “Because even if somebody wants to say ‘Hey, lemme touch your boobs,’ like, if I say no, they’re gonna respect that. They may f*ck with you a little bit, but that’s family.”
To make an obvious analogy, being at The Gathering of the Juggalos does feel like crashing someone else’s family reunion (obvious because they tend to chant “FAM-UH-LEE!” every 10 minutes). For one thing, it’s not that big. At 9,000 to 10,000 people, it’s a fraction the size of most music festivals, probably because it’s hard to travel this far out in the middle of nowhere on a lark, which is obviously the point. You end up seeing the same people over and over. They all seem like old friends, and almost to a person will tell you that this is the only place where they can truly be themselves, even if you didn’t ask. Of course, with our cameras and notebooks, we’re still outsiders and can’t relax at all, constantly feeling awkward, ignorant of the customs. But for the most part, people like Christy are happy to explain, open to the point that even self-described prudes seem blasé about being half naked on camera.
“If I say ‘hey, I’m not interested,’ or ‘hey, I’m taken,’ they’ll just point at whoever I’m dating or whatever, and be like, ‘hey, your girlfriend’s got some nice tits.’ People are more respectful here than you’d think,” she says.
I’m thinking respectfulness is easier to achieve among the Juggalos, and just as the thought crosses my mind, a golf cart with seven dudes in it pulls alongside Christy, slamming to a quick stop.
“Yo, my homeboy just wanted to see some tits, that’s why we stopped,” the driver says, by way of explanation. The racial make-up of the cart is about half white guys and half black, all with hats pointing different directions, like a street gang in an eighties movie.
“Yeah, bounce your tits,” the passenger says. Somewhere in the distance, an M-80 explodes.
“Whoop whoop!” Christy says, flashing her gummy smile, raising her arms over her head to oblige.
“BOUNCE. BOUNCE.” a guy on the back of the cart says into a bullhorn, the words coming out in a robotic monotone. Probably one out of every seven or eight guys here has a bullhorn, so almost every event, large or small, gets treated to this kind of crudely amplified peanut gallery.
The guys drive off, fulfilled, and I’m left to wonder: is it possible to seem innocent and vaguely rapey at the same time?
Christy gets to talking about fam-uh-lee, which is amazing and accepting and wonderful. She doesn’t directly reference troubles with her regular family, and in fact says it was her brother and sister who turned her into a Juggalo when she was 14. “They made way too much sense to not get along with,” she says.
But she’s been hitchhiking with her boyfriend (who’s sleeping on the grass about 10 feet away) for the past two years, a journey they started in Arkansas two days after they met each other. I ask her what she’s going back to after this, and she says “Probably I’m just gonna hitchhike around some more.”
Christy makes offhand reference to her mom ODing at one point, almost as an afterthought. We don’t press her on the details, but we get to talking about the fatal overdose that happened earlier that day, which by now everyone has heard about. Word travels fast among fam-uh-lee. Christy says “What I take from that is that, at least he was with his people, you know what I mean? I mean, it’s terrible and it’s a tragedy, but at least if you’re gonna die, you can’t hope for much better than being surrounded by your family, you know?”
Talking about it later, Matt Lieb, our resident former heroin addict and thus our heroin expert (though not an ODing expert), just shakes his head. Trying to find a silver lining to a 20-something year-old guy dying in a puddle of his own blood and puke at a rap festival in a swamp is the most naive thing he’s ever heard, as far as he’s concerned.
I feel like both he and Christy have a point.
A few hours earlier, a red ambulance had roared past as we were making our way back to Big Balla campsite from the Freakshow stage, where the wet t-shirt contest had been held. We don’t think much of it at the time, and we’re actually surprised that it’s the first ambulance we’ve seen, given that, well, we’re basically at a festival full of drugged up clowns throwing fire crackers at each other. I don’t even want to know how far the nearest hospital is from here.
Later news reports explain what happened. The dead kid is later identified as Cory Collins, a 24-year-old from Harrisburg, Illinois, who had a 6-year-old son. Collins had asked a stranger to sleep in his tent around noon, and a few hours later, the tent owner, who was himself high on mescaline, found Collins dead of a heroin overdose.
The incident took place near the seminar tent, central on the Gathering grounds. The man who died reportedly came from the direction of the “drug bridge” two to three hours before his body was found, feeling sick, and asked the owner of a large camping tent if he could have a place to sleep for a while, citing “family” (in reference to the Juggalos’ sense of community) in his plea. He was granted accommodations alongside four other individuals who were already sleeping.
When the owner of the tent, who admitted that he had taken mescaline earlier in the day, returned around 2 p.m. to check on the man, he found that the body was cold. He explained that he went to lift the man’s arm up (which reportedly displayed track marks) to check his pulse, but when he did so “the guy’s whole body came up — rigor mortis had begun to set in — and blood came out of his mouth.”
Our source explains that the man then frantically began trying to wake his sleeping friends, telling them that there was a dead man in the tent with them. “These are four dudes that had been sleeping with a corpse.” His friends initially thought he was joking or playing a prank. [RiverfrontTimes]
I’ve never tried mescaline, but that sounds like a horrible trip.
Not knowing any of this at the time, we only saw that the drug bridge had been blocked off by two semi-truck cabs on either side with a temporary guard rail erected down the center of it. The idea being that you could still walk across it, but now it was too narrow to allow both a walkway and the drug market it had hosted earlier, with people sitting on ice chests, advertising their drugs on cardboard signs. The market was eventually moved about 10 feet past the bridge, where it was marked with glow sticks on the grass spelling out “DRUGS.”
As for the drugs themselves, I never once saw 25i or N-Bomb, despite dozens of local news reports about the Gathering including the sentence “the drug of choice this year seemed to be 25I-NBOMe, aka 25i or N-Bomb,” — always in that breathless, local news “could your child be involved in Satanism??” kind of way. Mostly we saw weed, psychedelics, and pills of all kinds, everything from Oxy to obscure ADHD drugs. One guy was offering Trazadone, a 30-year-old antidepressant usually prescribed for insomnia, which sounds like the exact opposite of a party drug. You got the feeling that a lot of the Juggalos had just raided grandma’s cabinet and were sharing the spoils.
In the lull between the wet t-shirt contest and the oil wrestling – both of which are must-see events for the purposes of sociological study, obviously – we wander aimlessly through the stalls of carnival food, the pro wrestling stage. On the way, we pass the Psychopathic Radio tent, which is basically a big shed full of strippers dancing on poles, all presided over by Wolfpac, a Psychopathic Records rap-metal (I guess?) group who also make porn DVDs. Broadcasting live every afternoon (broadcasting to where I have no idea, since presumably most of their fans are here), it’s sort of like a Juggalo Howard Stern show. We pass just in time to see Skylar, the winner of the wet t-shirt contest, who’s also apparently a Wolfpac Girl (she did seem like a professional), fresh off her Faygo-drenched simulated analingus, now preparing to rip out a skinny Juggalo’s nipple ring with her teeth. The nipple guy, skinny and with dark braids, preps for the big moment by interlocking the fingers of his hands behind his back, gritting his teeth. Skylar puts her teeth around the ring on his right nipple, above which he has “JUGGALO” tattooed in old English lettering, and yanks her body straight backwards. The crowd cheers. The amateur masochist yells triumphantly. Skylar goes to wash her mouth out with Faygo, the Gathering’s answer to proper sanitation.
Skylar repeats the process on the other nipple, above which the guy has tattooed “WICKED J.” Afterwards, Matt Lieb interviews the guy about why he did it.
“I love Wolfpac, and I will never stop loving Wolfpac. Wolfpac was here when I didn’t f*ckin have nobody. What did I grow up with? Nothing. Did I have a mother? F*ck no. Did I have a father that cared about me? He cared about me, but he wasn’t there when I needed him. When I got my Psychopathic CD at 8 years old and I found out about Wolfpac, I knew they would be my family till the f*ckin’ end and they’d never do me f*ckin wrong. And the only way I could prove my sacrifice to Wolfpac is to have my nipples ripped out.”
“Alright, cool,” Matt says, stopping his recorder. Because what else is left to say? Besides “whoop whoop,” of course, which has become quite the useful catch-all.
Back at the Freakshow stage, the sky darkens overhead as the crew of SlickChix wrestling attempts to inflate their wrestling ring, initially without much success. The guy who seems to be the leader keeps calling for any SlickChix wrestling crew to get their asses to the Freakshow stage, shouting over the drone of the air compressor, struggling in vain against the flaccid heap of a ring. Apparently a significant number of his crew has gotten lost on the way to the Gathering, or possibly detained. What was billed as “the sexiest Chix in America tour with women straight from the pages of their national magazine” turns into another plea for volunteers from the crowd. It’s hard to say whether this was meant to be part of the show or a last minute scramble, but the crowd doesn’t seem to mind, even despite the gathering rain.
We realize the press lanyards that we’ve been tucking under our t-shirts allow us to watch the action from a dry position onstage, behind and above the wrestling ring, and we head back to take full advantage. Backstage, seven or eight girls are lined up in their brand new white t-shirts with “CHIX” printed on the front, and we pose for pictures with the dwarf referee (classic comedy, that). We’re playing right into the slightly exploitative, the-presence-of-a-dwarf-means-we’re-totally-partying! mindset this is encouraging, but this phenomenon has been going on since the Middle Ages, so I figure our participation probably doesn’t matter much, in the scheme of things.
“Can we take a picture with you?” I ask the ref.
“F*ck yeah, dude. I’m so faded,” he says.
We take our places on stage, me next to a heavily-tattooed dwarf with stunted Thalidomide arms where his hands come out of his shoulders. Presumably he’s part of the titular Freakshow, which is scheduled to go on at the Freakshow Stage right after the oil wrestling (they’re running about an hour behind).
SlickChix’ master of ceremonies, a forty-something guy wearing glasses and a ball cap, is apparently enmeshed in some kind of legal battle with Girls Gone Wild’s Joe Francis, and after an obtuse, esoteric cokeheadish ramble about his legal situation, he leads the crowd in a chant of “F*CK JOE FRANCIS!”
It seems a bit self-indulgent, but the crowd is happy to oblige. They just really like three-word chants.
They finally get the ring inflated and the action begins. The first match is between an extremely nubile young girl in raccoon eye make-up and a butch woman with a short haircut who dedicates her fight to her wife, standing near the stage, who just beat cancer. The crowd cheers. Every fight needs backstory. The nubile girl lies on her back smiling, while a guy in a blue baseball hat rubs oil on her bare legs and on her round breasts underneath her shirt. We see our camp neighbor, Mike, who’s apparently been deputized as a photographer, photographing the action near the stage, wearing a shirt that says “I want to f*ck your corpse.”
The wrestling starts, and predictably, the nubile girl gets trounced, though she becomes an instant fan favorite when she whips her shirt off between rounds. She has a fantastic torso. The combatants hug after the match, and despite the obvious “LET’S SEE SOME TITTIES, BITCHES!” vibe of the event, the participants seem to be genuinely enjoying the release. At least they get to be active participants in this one, instead of just standing there while guys squirt Faygo on them like in the wet t-shirt contest. There’s a bit of a Fight Club vibe to it.
All the while, scout groups of two or three Juggalos camp out just separate from the main crowd, launching things into it – water balloons, fire crackers, the ever-present two-liters of Faygo. One group even has a water balloon rocket launcher with a sling shot rigged up in the barrel. At one point earlier, a two-liter nearly caught Laremy in the head next to me as I ducked out of the way of it. We’d let it sit on the ground near us, but a Juggalo came up and said, “No, like this,” and hucked the bottle back in the direction it came. That’s Juggalo etiquette in a nutshell: You’re allowed to throw things at anyone at any time and they’re not expected to get mad at you for it (and don’t, from what we’ve witnessed). If something hits you, you’re expected to throw it back, like visiting home run balls at a Cub’s game.
There’s this complex dichotomy at work here, where you’re allowed to act like a child, because that’s what everyone in this soggy utopia of repressed goth adolescence wants to do – throw water balloons, drink soda, yell at boobs, call women bitches – but you’re also expected to react somewhat like an adult – don’t get angry about getting hit with projectiles, be open with your body, and celebrate the historically disenfranchised, like lesbian cancer patient oil wrestlers, without making a big deal about it. And because it’s an expressly homogenous group (you wouldn’t find anything like the “we’re all Juggalo family” sentiment at any other festival), the social pressures actually produce results. Amidst all the “show your tits!” talk and the fake party lesbian baiting, a real lesbian keeps her shirt on and gets polite applause. It’s like Lord of the Flies, but with a highly specific moral code.
After the match, the nubile girl grabs a water bottle and catches her breath near the stage, the blue hat guy still hanging around, holding her shirt for her. “How long have you been with your boyfriend?” a French journalist in our press row asks her.
“Him? Oh, we just met today,” she clarifies.
After the oil wrestling contest and our interview with topless Christy about her drug addict mom and hitchhiker boyfriend, we head back to the RV to share notes. On the way there, we pass the guy with zombie tattoos on his face who later cut off his nipples for $158. As we pass, he’s holding a bullhorn and a staple gun, offering to let people staple dollar bills to his blood-smeared torso, which already has five or six bucks on it. I’d like to think he could be charging fives or tens or twenties for this kind of show, putting a higher value on his artform, but all I say is “Whoop whoop!”
As we compare notes and watch footage back in the RV, we discover that Matt Lieb and our documentary crew have both interviewed the same nipple-ring-ripping Juggalo separately. In Lieb’s audio clip, which I quoted above, he talks about not having a mother, and his father not caring enough.
But in the clip shot by our documentary guys, he basically says the reverse, that he never had a father and his mother was around, but emotionally unavailable. And this time, he also throws in a confusing anecdote about a near-death experience and amnesia. Something about how he awoke in a hospital with no memories and his Juggalo family all around him, and that they were his family from then on.
Obviously, he’s a bit delusional and can’t quite keep his origin stories straight, but it makes me wonder about some of the other stories we’ve heard here. I believe most of them, but they’re all so very similar. My parents weren’t around, my home life sucked, I’ve lost friends to drugs, my life is better since I got down with the clown, the only thing I care about is my Juggalo Family, etc. etc. Their group tendency to self-mythologize is somehow earnest and theatrical at the same time, with a tendency to oversell the drama of their existences.
They all remind me a little of pro wrestlers. They talk about everyone hating them during their normal life and everything at the Gathering being perfect in such a black and white way, that’s as if they spend their lives as unwilling heels, and then at the Gathering, everyone gets to be faces. It actually makes perfect sense to think of Juggalos existing in this Venn diagram overlap between rap culture (or at least the idea of gangster rap that filtered down to white guys in the midwest) and pro wrestling culture. It’s all the boasting and violence and misogynist-ish language of nineties rap with the theatrics of pro wrestling. Not that it’s a brilliant theory. Insane Clown Posse has been involved in wrestling as long as they’ve been involved with rap, having appeared in the ECW, the WCW, the WWF, and now run their own wrestling promotion, called Juggalo Championship Wrestling.
The similarity crystallized in my mind a few days after I got back from The Gathering. I was watching an HBO Real Sports profile on aging wrestlers trying to turn their lives around. In an interview with Jake the Snake Roberts, the way he talked about trying to kill himself with booze and living each day not wanting to wake up, before a friend gave him a new reason to live and now everything was hunky-dory, sounded theatrical and exaggerated, and yet delivered with pure, clear-eyed earnestness in the exact way I saw among the Juggalos. Almost as if to confirm this parallel, Roberts showed up in a hatchetman t-shirt two scenes later. It’s like they’ve all given themselves this redemptive story arc.
After we recuperate from the day’s various naked lady contests in the RV, we head back out to the main stage to watch, of all people, Vanilla Ice. He’s basically the only artist here I have any connection to, being that I paid a friend eight dollars in exchange for a bootlegged casette of To The Extreme in third or fourth grade, in the hopes that it might make me cool. Rob Van Winkle has reinvented himself a few times over the years, and we all wonder which version we’re going to see, the party rapper from the early nineties, the Korn/Limp Bizkit rap-rock guy from the early 2000s, or some newer incarnation that’s evolved while we weren’t paying attention.
Coming out in jean shorts (whoop whoop) and a t-shirt with his area code on it, he opens with a song where he keeps referencing “the dirty South,” always the biggest trend follower in the rap game. The only line I remember is “here come the dirty South, Southern pride shit in your mouth,” or something to that effect. As cheesy and bad as the music is, Ice plays with a live drummer and spits more clearly and cleanly as anyone we’ve seen. He’s accompanied by backing tracks spun by a guy who’s apparently called “DJ Dirty Chopsticks.” And far from trying to run from his past personae, he seems to have gotten to a place where he embraces them. In the first song break, he asks the crowd “How many of y’all seen my HGTV show?”
I wonder if this is a lead in to a rap about reclaimed wood and track lighting. It isn’t, disappointingly, but he does promise to reveal the secret of the ooze before the night is over, exhorting the crowd “If you guys are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans, LET ME HEAR YA!”
He leads the crowd in a “GO NINJA GO NINJA GO! GO NINJA GO NINJA GO!” chant from his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II theme song from 1991, and when the song’s over, he says, confessionally, “I still love them turtles, man. F*ck it.”
I have to admit, I’m having a fantastic time. I’d pay to see Vanilla Ice any time. Though he has a strange stage habit of putting water bottles on the stage and stomping on them to squirt water on the crowd. He must go through 150 of them, which seems unnecessarily wasteful.
For his finale, he brings 50 or so half-topless Juggalettes out onstage to help him sing “Ice Ice Baby” (the original version). The show ends when someone throws a smoke bomb onstage. I don’t think that part was planned. But for the most part, the Juggalos seem to have a begrudging respect for Ice, if not outright fandom. He’s playing his seventh Gathering.
After the show, we had back over to the seminar tent to see Jim Norton perform. I’m curious to see how a storytelling comic like Norton would deal with the kind of hostile audience Dante Nero performed for the night before. The longer a comedian’s stories are, the more attentive the audience has to be, something that can be brutal if you miscalculate. But unlike Nero, Norton gets a big crowd, mostly all there to see him. They’ve even turned down the house lights (technically the tent lights, in this case) and it looks much more like a real comedy stage.
Norton opens with a few minutes about The Gathering – “How did they even find this place? I think two guys came out here trying to bury a body,” – and then basically goes into his regular act, which goes over well. I’m not surprised that Norton’s confessional, openly perverse comedy dovetails nicely with many of the tenets of Juggaloism, which seems to place such a high value on wearing your perversions on your sleeve. Though I am a little surprised that so many Juggalos have the cultural savvy to know who he is.
After the show, we walk out back behind the tent where there’s a temporary barrier and a mobile trailer unit being used as a green room, the same place we interviewed Dante Nero the night before. Only this time there’s a line, a handful of autograph seekers and well-wishers waiting for Norton behind the barrier. One of them is a naked girl with long, straight brown hair wearing a backpack. We spot her as she’s digging for something in the backpack. A shirt, it turns out. She pulls on the tight shirt — gotta look presentable when you meet a comedian, I suppose. The tight shirt stops just above her shaved pubic region in the front (I haven’t seen a pubic hair all weekend) and her small, smooth, round ass in the back. She’s probably the most attractive person we’ve seen here. She’s holding some kind of clipboard, either for an autograph or an interview, it’s hard to tell, and when Norton comes out, they chat for a bit and walk off somewhere. Somehow he managed to look her in the eyes while she was talking, even though she was Donald Ducking. It must’ve taken incredible will power.
They’re gone for five or ten minutes, and we argue amongst ourselves about whether this was long enough for some kind of sexual encounter. It’s long enough for sex, strictly speaking, but there’d have to be some chit chat, some verbal sparring, some foreplay to precede whatever sex act, hadn’t there? At least a discussion of logistics? I’d think there would be, but I admit, I don’t have much experience meeting eager fans not wearing pants (and what was with the clipboard?). Neither has Matt Lieb, and this seems to have sent him into a tailspin. He went through a break-up recently, and while I’m pretty sure he wasn’t looking to meet his future wife at The Gathering, I think he thought we’d at least receive some ego-boosting romantic attention – some flirting, possibly a propositioning, whatever – at a sexually-charged mass rural gathering like this.
I thought this a possibility too before we got here, if I’m being completely honest. We are at a campground full of topless runaways, after all. You imagine one might want to be regaled with stories of city living. But I was quickly disabused of this notion once I saw how plainly and completely alien we were once we got here. Not having Juggalo tattoos or piercings or an extreme hairstyle basically makes you a giant dork here, to say nothing of living in San Francisco (if people asked where we were from, I just said “California”). I can’t remember ever having felt so conspicuously out of place. I felt like a foreign guy in bad polyester clothes with too much cologne and a big medallion on my bushy chest hair, only the cologne was a college vocabulary and the medallion said “RAISED BY LOVING PARENTS.” The effect was the same. Women don’t throw themselves at the stinky foreigner.
But for Matt, I think the lack of attention in this sexualized environment, combined with the fact that both of us have been comedians for three or four years and have rarely had even the whiff of a groupie, and now the existence of willing, pantsless, attractive comedy groupies was being confirmed right in front of our faces, has taken a psychological toll. I think he’s starting to crack up.
We pass by an unofficial stage on the way back to the RV, where someone has basically set up a concert in miniature, rapping into some small speakers in the courtyard of a camp area in front of some empty folding chairs and one or two people. I see Matt has wandered off into the dance area, where he’s taken off his belt and wrapped it around his neck while dancing and hooting spastically, doing this sort of choke-dance yell sort of thing. We eventually start moving again, but as we walk along through the crowd, he keeps blurting weird non-sequitirs like “Allahu Akhbar!” We keep trying to stifle him. As we pass the now-closed drug bridge, he shouts “WHOOP WHOOP TO MY FAM-UH-LEE! R.I.P. THAT ONE OD!”
The rest of us are terrified to be seen openly mocking Juggalos while being this outnumbered and we give him a wide berth. That guy? Never seen him before.
It’s that Truman Show vibe, I think. Lieb wants desperately for a Juggalo to break character, so to speak, to find a crack in this good vibes fam-uh-lee facade. But it’s not working. They just “whoop whoop” back.
Further along, we walk past a guy wearing a backpack who’s clearly addled. He’s trying to say something to us, or to the world at large, but whatever drugs or booze he’s taken have mangled his speech to an incoherent splurtle. He gurgles something, then sort of staggers off and falls, lying on his back on top of the backpack. He splurtles some more, and then sort of tries to spit, but barely gets it out of his mouth. He looks to be going in and out of consciousness, emitting something between a sleep-mumble and a groan.
“Unnnhhhhgggnnnnnnggh,” he groans.
We worry about letting him pass out on his back in an awkward position, high and/or drunk as he is, but we also don’t really want to touch him, mumbling and drool-covered as he is. Our documentary crew guys go off to get help, from the nearby stand of tents marked “JUGGALO FIRST AID,” a moniker which may not inspire much confidence, depending on how you interpret the modifier.
Soon after, two professional-looking medical staffers walk over, a man and a woman, both heavy-set, and wearing surgical gloves and earpiece radios. The woman medic starts checking the addled guy’s vitals, while the man medic tries to get the guy’s attention and asks him some questions. “What’s up, my ninja, what kind of drugs are you on?” he asks, in a way that strikes me as compassionate to the point of being touching.
As the addled guy rouses enough to notice that he’s being attended to and questioned by authority figures, the freak adrenaline spike this brings about pulls him out of his coma almost as fast as if he’d been stabbed in the heart with a needle of it like in Pulp Fiction. Suddenly he goes from lying on his back to standing upright as if levitated by some invisible, external force. Next, he does what the reptilian part of his brain has been conditioned to always do when confronted by an authority figure – run. He bolts away from the medics, and while the adrenaline spike of his fight or flight reflex kicking in was powerful enough to pull him out of what otherwise would surely have been an unrousable slumber, it can’t quite fix the inner ear malfunctions that the drugs have brought about, and as he starts to run, he looks like a guy trying to run after playing that game in the park where you put your head on a bat and spin around it 10 times and then try to run to first base. His whole body tilts off to the side and his intended straight route turns into a crescent shape with the curve sharpening exponentially, putting him on a collision course with a nearby campsite. He valiantly hurdles a small tent but runs into the post of a bigger one, falling down, giving the medics time to catch up to him. They hold him down, and eventually strap him to a spine board and drive him off in a golf cart.
Later we read about 10 non-fatal overdoses at the Gathering, but no more fatal ones, so we can only assume the guy was okay. And so ended our second day, a day full of nudity and self mutilation and Vanilla Ice, bookended by drug overdoses. Only at the Gathering. Only in America.