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A Burner Lexicon: Catchphrases 2

Posted in A Burner Lexicon, and Burning Man

Burners pose by a decorated porta-potty. Black Rock City, 2006. Photo by Ed Hunsinger.

If It Doesn’t Come From Your Body, Don’t Put It In The Potty, Simply put, a Burn depends on toilets. Radical Self Reliance is one thing, but a week in the desert with no porta-potties would be an unmitigated disaster. The problem is that porta-potties are surprisingly tempermental; anything other then human waste and single ply toilet paper requires hands-on intervention.

This was a recipe for trouble when combined with frat boys, tourists, and regular participants in altered states. Potty operators have been forced to remove everything from beer cans to (purportedly) at least two entire frozen chickens. When they threatened to revoke their contract, their frustration put That Thing In The Desert in real danger of being shut down. Instead, this catch phrase was born to win the hearts, minds, and digestive tracts of Burners to the cause of responsible elimination.

Welcome Home, This catchphrase is one you will hear from Greeters or friends when you first arrive on the playa. It reflects the welcoming atmosphere of Radical Inclusion which exists at Burn events, as well as the overall hippie vibe. Many Participants come to feel like the playa is their true home, more comfortable than anything they find in reality camp.

This catch phrase was actually borrowed from another group of hippies that predates Burning Man: the Rainbow Gathering.

The public relations campaign waged for proper potty use has been a fierce one at times. The first time I attended That Thing In The Desert, my theme camp was serenaded under our shade structure by a wandering three-piece mariachi band. The chorus of their second song was “If It Doesn’t Come From Your Body, Don’t Put It In the Potty.”

The Lexicographer is still looking for guest bloggers to write about the Ten Burner Principles. Use the comments or email address at the top of this page if you’re interested in contributing.

Other entries in A Burner Lexicon can be found at

Kit O’Connell’s short story,Lifting The Veilwill be published March 1 in This Is The Way The World Ends, a collection of apocalyptic erotica from Freaky Fountain Press.

“Lifting the Veil” is a story of sex, experimental drugs, and the end of the world. The anthology will be available in both print on demand and ebook formats. Click here for more information and to learn how you could win a free copy of the ebook.

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