East Jesus Survival Guide for newbs
…do us both a favor and…
~READ THE WHOLE GOD DAMNED THING!~
East Jesus is an experimental, habitable, extensible artwork in progress. Please note the precedence of the word, ‘experimental.’ This project began with a handful of dreams, some pocket lint, and chutzpah. Though it has undergone many developments and upgrades since those meager, ancient beginnings, some of the original unorthodoxy of infrastructure has survived. Experience has shown that many folks visiting for the first time are unprepared for a real ‘experimental’ desert camping experience, so we have to take a moment to spell a few things out, and discourage newbies from expecting things that simply aren’t here. So, dear reader, if you plan on visiting our humble domus, please read and memorize the points below; all will be well served by this.
-1) BEFORE YOU EVEN GET HERE there are things to consider. Why do you even want to come and bother me in the first place? Well, OK, but if you do, please don’t plan on camping out for more than a couple days, unless you’ve intent on rolling up your sleeves and helping me out with some labor, building an awesome sculpture, or catering to my personal whims. This isn’t a dumb ass hippie commune. This is me, mostly alone, living life the way I want to, and people are generally a distraction. I have work to do. Either you’re entertaining me, helping out with what needs to be done, or you’re slowing me down. Even dear friends typically get on my nerves a bit after four days. Now, if you decide to show up, MAKE A FUCKING APPOINTMENT. Don’t just waltz in and say, “HI!” You will be pissing me off. You will be interrupting my work, my train of thought, me during sex, whatever. I hate surprise visits. I am not joking. I hate them, They piss me off. Call or email ahead, 24 hours notice is greatly appreciated. IN CASE OF RAIN, travel north of Niland is *not* recommended. Even small amounts of rain can cause the washes to run deep and turn your beloved automobile into a submarine, exposed to oncoming traffic. Also, NEVER arrive after dark (see rule 2 below.)
-0.5) WITH AN EVER-INCREASING NUMBER OF VISITORS, many of whom I don’t even know, the expense of keeping shop is growing. If you ask to come camp out for a night or two, I ask for a $5/night donation per person. This helps pay for the peat moss, tips the janitor (the Mayor in smelly gloves and overalls) a little something for schlepping your and feces and helps defray the cost of all the little things you probably take for granted, like wireless internet, One Jillion Megawatts of power in the middle of fucking nowhere, and that spoon of mine you forgot to return that one time. Buying a t-shirt is so last year, but there are still a few I need to unload. $20 each. But don’t fogret to stick your five bucks a night in the donation box. I’m watching. Bringing me one warm beer or some piece of rusty iron covered with dog shit you found in the desert and thought was “cool” does not exempt you from this. However, the Mayor will credit you one night’s rent for every 50-gal contractor bag full of native trash (not yours) you take out with you for proper disposal elsewhere.
0) RULE ZERO IS: DO NOT PISS OFF THE MAYOR. Any questions? Refer to Rule Zero.
0.5) PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT / LEAVE NO TRACE. Be prepared to take everything you brought back out with you. The surrounding area, where you may be camping, is pretty trashy, but this does not magically give you permission to leave more trash. In fact, I expect you to leave your campground a tad neater and cleaner than you found it. Don’t leave plastic bottles and tampons in the fire pits, kids.
1) **UNLESS** THERE IS A SCHEDULED EVENT, if you plan to camp out here or even just visit, DO NOT ARRIVE AFTER DARK. Either show up before dark or spend the night elsewhere. No discussion, no exceptions. Also, even if you have been here before, DO NOT SHOW UP AFTER DARK WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE AND APPROVAL. No discussion, no exceptions. Accept it and deal with it and plan accordingly. Given the nature of Slab City and some of its inhabitants, unexpected visitors after dark are presumed to be trespassing with ill intent and risk staring down the barrel of my 12GA.
2) Thanks for bringing food & cold ones to share, but there is NO REFRIGERATOR SPACE, PERIOD (except if you are staying in the Transit Antenna bus.) There are coolers you can use, but don’t bring a bag of groceries and a case of beer without also bringing some ice to keep it cool, because my private fridge is TINY and old and non-user-friendly and has NO SPACE for your perishables, capiche?
3) “Facilities:” NEW!! In the spirit of recycling absolutely everything, East Jesus now composts human waste. Basically, you piss and poop in a 5-gallon bucket, cover it up liberally with peat moss (provided) and notifying the Mayor when it gets full. This is actually a very sanitary and odor-free system, and it’s *good* for the environment. Nothing in the buckets but your human ordure, peat moss, toilet paper, toilet paper rolls and baby wipes (nothing with plastic.) Athankew.
4) EAST JESUS IS NOT A FUCKING ASHTRAY. Smoking is permitted. Go ahead, they’re your lungs. IF I FIND ONE SINGLE BUTT ON THE GROUND I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU. That means you will be dead, and it will hurt like hell the whole time you’re dying. If you insist on smoking filter cigarettes, you must bring an Altoids tin or equivalent portable ashtray, and take every single god damned butt out with you, or eat it, or whatever. If you leave butts on the ground, I will know it was you and you will pay dearly. If you knew how many times I’ve bent over to pick up butts, and how much it hurts when I do this, and how much the sight of cigarette butts on the ground fills me with murderous bile, you would understand. You may dump your butts (along with paper, cardboard or any other clean-burning refuse) into one of the burn barrels.
5) Recycling: EVERYONE GETS THIS WRONG. SO WILL YOU. But I won’t kill you over it, I’ll just yell at you. ALL RECYCLING ITEMS MUST HAVE “CA CASH VALUE” OR “CA CRV” CLEARLY PRINTED ON THEM, OTHERWISE THEY ARE TRASH. I fucking HATE picking pieces of trash out of the recycling bins. Hey, hippie, don’t just hand me a bag full of beer cans, bottles full of cigarette butts, and a half-eaten apple and expect me to be happy about it.
This is the wild, wild west here, folks. This is not San Fucking Diego, San Fucking Francisco, Los Fucking Angeles or some progressive, environmentally friendly culture. People out here huff gasoline, burn tires and molest their children. Do you think aluminum foil or gay plastic salad containers get recycled here? WRONG!
6) ILLEGAL DRUGS ARE STILL ILLEGAL. If I don’t see or know about you indulging, I don’t care. But if you want to fire up a bowl or chop lines in plain sight, you’d better have papers that say you may legally do so. Few spots at East Jesus are hidden from view from prying eyes. That last fucking thing in the world I need is a drug bust or any legal shenanigans whatsoever. Matter of fact, refer to Rule Zero for a moment, and understand that IF YOU ACT LIKE AN ASSHOLE, YOU WILL BE SHOWN TO THE DOOR AT GUNPOINT. Rather you suffer a few holes in your chest than I have to waive my constitutional rights and let the fucking sheriff sniff through my underwear because he saw YOU smoking a bong in my dining room. NOTE WELL: NOTHING ILLEGAL IN IMPERIAL COUNTY, THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA OR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BECOMES MAGICALLY LEGAL HERE IN SLAB CITY. IF YOU BREAK THE LAW, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN, AND GOOD RIDDANCE.
6.5) Likewise, FIREARMS must be used in designated areas only and fireworks are illegal in this county. Don’t screw around with fire or flame in the compound, as this will really piss off the Mayor (review Rule Zero.) The Mayor *encourages* responsible firearms owners with valid CA CCW licenses to pack heat. Those without CCWs may apply for written permission from the Mayor. It is usually granted. There is a clothing-optional firing range on the premises. No shooting during musical performances, please.
7) Stay the fuck out of the music room unless you are a bona fide musician. NO DRINKS ANYWHERE NEAR THE PIANO. Period. No, that’s not a *baby* grand. It’s a fucking full-size studio grand, OK? Six feet. And it’s valuable and very sensitive to liquids and jackassery.
8.1) Electric power & internet: here we are actually far more advanced than some developing nations. Yes, we have plenty of juice for charging your laptop, cell phone, camera, deluxe bunny vibrator, etc. Just plug in. If you want to power some kind of ridiculously heavy load, we can probably do it, but ask first. There is an 802.11-N (WiFi) network protected by WPA2 encryption. Ask the Mayor for the password.
9) Petting zoo: black widows, scorpions, centipedes, vinegaroons, rattlesnakes and the occasional tarantula all live and work here. They do not want to bite or sting you, but can be deadly if provoked. If you don’t fuck with them, you’ll be fine. Never stick your hands or feet anywhere you can’t see, especially close to the ground. If you actually see one of these worthy, noble creatures, don’t fucking freak out. It’s more scared of you than you are of it and will try to get away if you let it. Horseflies are a much bigger threat. A horsefly will cut you the proverbial New One. They can eat through your motorcycle jacket to get at your blood. Then they lay eggs in your brain. Shut up, it’s true! Wearing white or bright colors makes them much less interested in biting you.
10) PARKING: it’s pretty lax, but be sure you’re not blocking either of the main gates on Sidewinder, in case of water delivery or the need for a speedy getaway. Don’t make me get my forklift. OK, OK, I don’t have a forklift. But my friend Tiny does. You wanna mess with Tiny?
11) THE SCULPTURE GARDEN. Don’t assume you have some God-given right to change stuff. Ask first. This is not some anarchists’ free-for-all.
12) DRIVING DIRECTIONS: here.