Even if you don’t do something stupid at Burning Man, bad things could, theoretically, happen to you. Like a heart attack. A pesky urinary tract infection. Your eyeballs dry up and fall out of their sockets. Someone gifts their humble self to your bike and you have to crawl what feels like a hundred miles across unforgiving Playa to the nearest Ranger station or the medic tents at the 3:00 and 9:00 plazas. You are so parched you’re in kidney failure.
Maybe it was a little too much of the illegal intoxicant GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) and, even though there’s no dust storm, you’re having your own personal whiteout.
Or maybe you were like me and flew down the PerVertical Playground slide at 90 miles per hour, right past the beanbag landing off the back of the truck and onto last year’s hard-packed Playa surface, and found yourself suddenly in need of an x-ray.
If you were really unlucky, you were in the three-story structure that collapsed last year, and in an unexpected Rite of Passage, got an ambulance ride to Humboldt General Hospital’s “Rampart” urgent care unit near Center Camp at 5:15 and Esplanade.