Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer Camp 08 (or how many idiots does it take to make a smoothie?) Part 1

Good morning phanners. I think that I've finally started to recover enough from Summer Camp to make a full report. This is going to be a somewhat untraditional festival report though, because I was also a food vendor at the fest. So let's see how much I can fit in before the next installment. For me, Summer Camp started on Tuesday morning, when months of planning, forgetting, remembering, and arguing about what kind of garbage bags to get finally came to fruition. We got the reefer truck from Ryder without any problems (side note: how awesome is it that reefer truck is official trucker lingo for refrigerated trucks).

Then came the three hour redneck-hillbilly-retard nightmare that is Oasis Tents & Rentals in Paris, KY. When we got to the shop the guy in charge, who looked like he ate about 100 oxycodones before coming to work, told us that they didn't have the tent at the shop and that we would have to follow his lackeys out to their warehouse a couple of miles away. When we got to the warehouse it turned out that it was less of a business-warehouse and more of someone's closet of really big crap. There was a 1960's volkswagen, a two-story elvis billboard, one of those giant signs in the shape of the state of Kentucky that you see when entering the state, and hundreds of randomly-scattered tent parts. We literally sat around this place for three hours while these two idiot 19 year olds walked around looking for all of the pieces of our tent. Three hours and two more idiot-lackeys later, they said they had all of the pieces to our tent, except for the most important part, the mast. To compensate, the head-lackey handed us a giant metal pipe and told us that we should just take this big piece of metal and saw it ourselves, because he didn't have the right kind of saw to do it for us, and that this would kind of work as a mast. Needless to say, that was not going to work. Luckily for us I guess, the owner called the lackeys around this moment and told them that he found the mast and that it was at the shop along with everything else that we had been looking for for the last three hours. After getting the tent we drove to Chicago, which was relatively uneventful except for taking a wrong turn and driving through East Chicago, Indiana, which put mildly, is not a very nice place.

Wednesday: We get the fruit from MT Foodservice and it looks awesome: 240 lbs of fresh strawberries, 150 lbs of frozen strawberries, 50 lbs each of cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon, and 180 lbs of bananas. We stopped at a Hot Dog joint between Chicago and Chillicothe where they refused to serve me a char dog as opposed to a hot dog, even though this only requires taking their boiled hot dog and putting it on their grill for two minutes, and then they served the hot dog on a bun without poppy seeds, which, to any Chicago-an, is almost as bad as putting ketchup on the dog. We met up around 4:00 with the rest of the crew at the site. After checking in we went to go the red barn to meet with the vending coordinator, Mike, who I cannot say enough nice things about. Anyway, we went to the wrong red barn, and instead of finding Mike we found moe., who was in the middle of practicing Peter Gabriel's Salsbury Hill, which they broke on Saturday night. Anyways, to make a long story short, our tent problems occupied the rest of the day. It took six of us over five hours to put this piece of shit together and it didn't help that out of the four cables we needed, the Oasis Tent fucktards only gave us three, one of them being broken. There were about four other major problems with the tent, but we eventually got it put together and got our menu boards and signs up, and it didn't look too shabby until we realized a gaping hole in our operation: we didn't have a sign. Stay tuned!