Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

How to recreate Burning Man 2023 in your dorm room

Illustration by Jonah Rosen-Bloom

Every Whitman student knows the feeling: hardly have a few lectures gone by than the urge grips you to pack a week’s worth of supplies and hightail it to the middle of nowhere Nevada. You console yourself with the thought that the middle of nowhere Washington is close enough, but this fails. What you need, more than any earthly necessity, certainly more than a college education, is to participate in a counter-cultural ceremony of collective pyromania. I refer, of course, to Burning Man.

Well, fear not, yearning readers, for I have developed an ironclad set of instructions for simulating Burning Man from the comfort of your own dorm room. Follow these guidelines for an experience strikingly similar to the real thing.

 First, withdraw several hundred dollars from the nearest bank, then throw the bills out your window like confetti. It’s just not Burning Man without the heavy financial burden!

Second, acquire a large amount of sand from the sand volleyball courts and spread it on the floor of your room. If anyone, particularly your roommate, should ask why you’re doing this, explain in painstaking detail your love for Burning Man. Most likely, they’ll be won over completely and request a portion of sand for their own floor. In this case, courteously oblige. In the highly improbable event that they just stare at you, pour the sand over your head (or, alternately, theirs) to show that you’re really hardcore.

Finally, glue toothpicks to a match to resemble arms and legs. If you have binoculars handy, look backwards through them so that the match appears far away. Strike it and bask in the flames.

Here is where the magic kicks in. As your DIY Man blazes, the fire is certain to catch the attention of your smoke detector, setting off the sprinklers and dousing you in stale plumbing water, just like the 2023 festival’s torrential rains! Since the sprinklers are set to drench the whole building, your room will quickly be descended upon by dozens of wet classmates, united by their burning (!) desire to enact retribution for what you’ve done. As the sand coagulates around your ankles, you’ll reflect on the incredible sense of community you’ve created and wish there was a way you could repay me for my guidance. Meanwhile, I’ll be outside your window, collecting the bills.

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