Tampons stuck to walls and “violent Molly shits” are just a few things Zach witnessed out in the Nevada desert.
Zach saw some shit this past week.
The Burning Man worker, who has decided not to reveal his last name for fear of reprisal from his employer, last week headed to Black Rock City, where he was tasked with keeping the portable toilets clean for the event’s long-awaited return.
So what actually goes into such a task of keeping the playa’s dust storms from turning into a literal shitstorm? Zach took to Reddit for an honest AMA with curious Burners, offering a glimpse into his wild workweek deep in the Nevada desert.
Burning Man attracts roughly 80,000 people to the metropolis of Black Rock City for a week of radical self-expression. That’s a lot of people, which in turn, is a lot of waste to deal with.
“Deep playa in the am was an absolute nightmare,” Zach commented in the Reddit thread. “We’re defo gonna need more toilets out there next year.”
Rocking Ray-Bans and a green shemagh all week, Zach and his team cleaned nearly 300 porta-potties daily, keeping up with scores of Burners to ring in yet another year out on the playa.
Posed with such a task, Zach wasn’t short of stories to walk away with. And at an event like Burning Man, you can expect to see some interesting things. From walking in on people having sex and “violent Molly shits,” Zach saw it all.
“A few stuck out to me,” Zach wrote. “One was used tampons stuck to the walls. Hopefully subversive art, and not people being gross. But either way different than the usual. I had to clean off a woman that fell into one of the portos in deep playa bc she didn’t know how to use a toilet. Lastly, accordingly to the medics I saved a dudes life at the Porto bank at 10&h I think it was? That was pretty crazy. It was around 1 pm and the dude had been passed out and locked in there for like at least an hour fifteen by the time I pulled him out. I got him conscious, started giving him water and got medics on site and they took it from there.”
For all his hard work, Zach wasn’t short of gifts given to him by the Burning Man community, who were apparently eager to thank him for his service.
“Got little spell jar looking junt that had a laser etched fuck inside of it and was told ‘thank you, we give a fuck about what you’re doing.’ That was really nice,” Zach commented. “I also complimented a dudes new order shirt and he returned with a bottle of Tito’s and a bottle of champagne. I don’t drink but I really appreciated that. I really enjoyed just people coming up and talking to me when I wasn’t like super busy and cutting it up with them. The standard thank you goes a long way, and getting to learn who we are and learning who y’all are is really nice.”
You can read the full Reddit AMA here.