My dad does an art project for BM and guilts me into fundraising for it on my list...

From: "Chicken:" <>
Subject: My dad does an art project for BM and guilts me into fundraising for it on my list...
Date: August 12th 2011


Ya ever get to do an “I told ya so” that is so good it makes you feel evil for even saying it? Sinister, even? Well I’m having one of those right now.

He just wouldn’t listen. He never does.  (None of you do, actually.)

Here is the story: my dad tells me he and his lady have this thing they are gonna do at Burning Man this year. Art project. Meditation temple called the Otic Oasis. In the walk in camping area. Last place in Black Rock City where it's quiet.  Built by a guy who makes amazing geometric shapes out of milled interlocking plywood with no fasteners. No screws, no nails, no metal; just twist and lock together. Amazing. Great project. Huge. Super ambitious.


 Now, let me tell you something about my dad; he likes to be in control. He’s a lawyer. Smart guy. Effective. Sharp. A touch neroutic. Likes to be right. Focused. Organized. Fun.  

He’s losing his mind. This project is driving him crazy.  The trucking costs 5 times as much as he thought it was gonna be. It weighs 3 times as much as they thought. The wood costs double what they thought.  They are running low on time. The place that is milling the lumber is behind. So they don't have time to do the finish work in the warehouse, but are just grabbing the wood as it comes off the router and trucking it to Gerlach, and they're fucking planning on urethaning it ON THE PLAYA.  Can you believe that?  Totally stupid. Then the idiot event bureaucrats told him that since the piece is being built in the walk in camping area, they can’t drive the truck to the site, so they have to hand cart 20,000 pounds of lumber and tools 1/2 mile to the site.

Stop it. Your killing me. My ribs hurt from laughing so much. 

Ah… Art is such a sadistic mistress… this is what it’s like. Every time.  Making big art for the playa means just slicing one of your veins and letting it bleed.  Dear old dad needs some love. And maybe toss a quarter in his cup?


He’s already double over the original budget and they haven’t even loaded the trucks yet.    A week to go on their current Kickstarter and they are looking at $2K of a $10K win. Neener neener!!!!!

I keep telling him… “Remember the Rock the Boat show? I lost $4,500 on that show… or how about the time I tried to buy that Castle in Hunters’ Point? That was $20,000. Remember the year I rented the Verdi Club on New Years eve and not even you came? Did I ever tell you about the Tricky Triangle????”

The comedy just writes itself…

You lose your ass, your shirt and half your friends when you do the big Burning Man project. Your shit gets ruined, your tools disappear, your credit cards get maxxed out and you lose your mind.

But then the people come and someone tells you that your piece made their day. Someone else tells you that they want to film a movie using your piece as the background. A reporter wants to interview you. People are kissing on your piece. Kids are playing on it. You sleep on it. A guy asks you to be in a show he’s putting together.

And then someone else tells you that it inspired them to do a Burning Man project next year.

And the cycle repeats….


(here is my big BM piece (of shit) from 1998: the Wizard of Ass!!! You know of the wizard of ass as the Ask Dr. Hal Show, only with no ass..)

Here is some other fun, I don't think you're allowed to do this anymore after 9/11...

Ya wanna help me tell my dad “I told ya so?” Easy: Go to his Kickstarter page and give the guy $20. And you can tell him “I told ya so” too!!!


And don't forget that Budweiser is the OFFICIAL beer of Burning Man:



  • This mailing list is a public mailing list - anyone may join or leave, at any time.
  • This mailing list is announce-only.

This email list is that of Showman Chicken John Rinaldi of San Francisco. You can keep up with his shenanigans and opinions by being on this list. If you would like to be included in a list to announce shows, that would be on the site. This is for personal writing and such. He posts a few times a week at most. You sound much more important when you speak about yourself in the 3rd person. At least I do when I talk about me as 'him'.

Privacy Policy:

Your email will be used for this list and this list only. I will not subscribe you to another list or sell your email address to get money for blow. I wouldn't do it I swear.