So there I was, brain on cruise control, as I was going about my day, when I get a call from Headquarters. “DROP EVERYTHING” they said. What they said next was entirely unintelligible as I had dropped the phone. Cursing myself for taking things so literally I retrieve the phone and hear, “report on the Virgin Fest ZZCHZXSKATTZZ….” Shit! My phone’s recent brush with gravity had internally damaged my phone and this therefore was making me miss half of the conversation, not that it was really much of a conversation more of a one sided machine gun battle against an unarmed man. “Arranged “EVERYTHING,” continued the AK47 on the other end of the line, “picturesque lodgings, meals, full access to the event, AND entourage. CHZXSKITTZZZZ …TAL I REPEAT, TOTAL COVERAGE….SKZZZTSS CHK CHK…I want you to get inside their heads and find out why they szszzzkkkkszertsss…Virgin SZSZ!” <click>
I put the quasi-useless phone down, as my mind lit up with ideas about how to cover such an event righteously. How does someone like ME cover a virgin fest??? Hell, to them I a multiple offender, an outright HEATHEN and charlatan. How will I gain their trust so I can get into their heads and dissect their motives? After some thought, I devise two plans for infiltrating their ranks and gaining the trust of virgins.
The perverted heathenistic side of me told me to bring a truck load of ecstasy in colorful Jesus Pez form to distribute to the virgins as I could tell them it was “Sweet Salvation.” (MENTAL NOTE- Make sure to cover the Jesus Pez with actually crushed up candy, otherwise devise a new marketing name for the ecstasy that will appeal to religious virgins) Once distributed, I would have VIP access to the inner most secret thoughts and would be able to frolic in a Nirvana usually reserved for terrorists. OR I could try to blend in with their numbers by arming myself with the usual accoutrements of virgins: 20-sided dice, WWJD bracelets, Holly Hobby dolls, Magic: The Gathering Cards, Comic-Con tickets, and purity rings. After much consideration I made my decision and went about arming myself…TO THE TEETH….After a number of phone calls, emails, and dealings with scary and shady individuals I was finally ready.
When my driver picked me up to drive me out HEATHEN CENTRAL, USA (aka New York City) to go to my assignment, I was clad in sensible LL Bean Khaki cargo shorts, a pair of navy blue Crocs, an orange WWJD bracelet, a red purity ring, a Casio calculator watch, and a Donald Duck t-shirt that gave me a +4 charisma, or so said the rotund pimply faced sales clerk. Needless to say my driver drove right past me as she did not even recognize me in such outlandish garb. It was only after a chucked an empty beer bottle while screaming newly minted combination of expletives at the car that she recognized me, and turned around to pick me up.
“Why in the hell do you look like you fell off the fucktard truck?” asked my driver. “I am going undercover,” I replied, “ I am infiltrating a virgin festival and I need to blend in with them so I can figure out what makes them tick.” My driver looked at me blankly for a moment and chuckled softly shaking her head, “You are the biggest whack job client I have, and that’s why I am the only one in the company who will ever agree to drive you anywhere. Most people usually are put off when their car is attacked by troglodytes with sloping foreheads, or when they are asked to drive cars in the shape of a dildo in a Pride Parade, but not me, I live for such tomfoolery.” I am very relieved to hear her say this, and assume that she must have gotten over the time I replaced the space tire and her other such “trivial” personal effects in the truck with the Midget Jell-O wrestlers.
“So where is this virgin festival?” she asks. “Baltimore, I reply, “but apparently I am set up in a very picturesque bed and breakfast in Washington DC. Perhaps this virgin festival has some ties with the government, it certainly sounds like something possibly funded by the out of touch, thieving, perverted, tools of The New World Order, or worse yet, Republicans.”
We’re almost at La Maison de Joe, my picturesque place of lodging in DC, when my driver decides it is time for caffeine and to inspect the local plumbing. As I wait for her to return I meander about in the parking lot of the donut shop we stopped at aghast at the lack of local law enforcement patronage.
Across the highway I spy a building, that appears to have once been a church, with its dilapidated sign stating such, and a for rent sign in the window. It has long since been abandoned, awaiting another theological peddler to take up residence in the building. As I walk around the building I come across a very curious discovery, a Drive Thru Window. “Ye Gods what an interesting idea!” I thought, “finally, a church for today’s modern person on the go.” You can just drive up, confess your sins, and perhaps even get French fries. What a long way from a dry cracker and horrible wine? As I continued my walk around the building I noticed the less than savory characters that were hovering around the building that did not seem like they were fans of LL Bean or Crocs for that matter, so I promptly went back across the highway to rendezvous with my now caffeinated driver. Apparently this area was not as progressive as I, as this church did not flourish, but instead seemed to be a good place to score the rock form of the devil’s aspirin.
After another thirty minutes of driving we pull up to a swampy area with what appears to be a house about a half mile off the road. My driver says to me, “Ok get out we’re here.” “What do you mean this is some kind of bayou shack”, I protest. “This is not the posh picturesque place of lodging promised to me.” It was overrun with crawfish, and other crustaceans, as well as a few ornery alligators, certainly not a place for Journalistic Specialist such as me. Before I could mount any further protest my driver ejected my bags out of the trunk and into the dank muck of the bayou. “Get out”, she said your entourage is inside waiting, and am already for my appointment. “Who are you meeting,” I inquire as I retrieve my bags from the marsh. “Sergeant Slaughter,” she replied. “I didn’t know you were a pro wrestling fan?” I replied. My driver just looked at me for a moment and laughed, “Have fun there Fucktard.” and sped off.
As I approached the house, I wondered what kind of freaks headquarters had set me up with this time. Would it be a group of religious fundamentalists that would try to convert me, a Heathen to their beliefs, or perhaps merely bald dancing orangutans? I pensively knocked on the door, ready to dodge any crosses or bananas that may be hurled my way, and was perplexed by the suspender wearin’ fellow that greeted me at the door with a thick accent I could not quite identify, but it rang slightly of Cajun. “HowyallsbedoinwesbeenwaitinonyallIthoughtyouNewYorkyankeeswerealwaysinarush.” “HellIdoneshuckedawholemessofcrawdadsforgumbo,” he said. I looked at him perplexed and said, “Excus..,” but before I could finish my sentence he struck me in the head with an LL Bean wearing Voodoo doll before I could finish the sentence, and fell to the floor.
When I came to I was laying on a couch inside the Voodoo Cajun’s house staring at a fresco of Mardi Gras, replete with topless co-eds and every other type of debauchery known to man since Sodom and Gomorrah. “I think he’s finally awake,” said the voice behind me. I sat up to get a better view of the room and I notice the dried goat’s blood in the shape of a pentagram scrawled on the floor. I turn around and see the suspender wearin’ Cajun fellow who had most recently hit me in the head with a voodoo doll that looked eerily similar to how I was dressed. “Where in the hell am I?” I inquire. “Why this be none other than La Maison de Joe”, says the Cajun. What a kind of foul joke is this, I think. This is not the picturesque place of lodging promised to me. I’m staying in a damn, and by the looks of it damned, bayou. That damned chicken sucker at headquarters did this to get back at me. Hell he shouldn’t still be sore about me convincing his assistant to flush his collectible C-3PO down the toilet to save the universe.
Oh well, I guess worse things have happened to better people, I should make the best of this situation. “Where is my entourage?” I enquire. “They all be comin’ tomorra,” says the Cajun, “you best be getting’ some rest, y’all have a long day in front of yas.” I notice that since waking up I can understand the Cajun’s words, but before I can even ask why this is the Cajun answers. When I’s be hittin’ ya on that there noggin’ with de Voodoo Doll, I unblock your ju ju, and now you can be understandin’ me. Instead of even contemplating the implications of this statement, I ask where I will be sleeping. “We be givin’ yous the meilleures pièces de la maison, or what y’all Yankees would be callin’ de presidential suite”, said the Cajun, “but first let get the room ready for y’all.” “AAAAJJJJJUUUUUSSSSSSS,” screams the Cajun, “AAAAJJJJJUUUUUSSSSSSS.” I then see a very large alligator come slowly down the stairs, and goes to the Cajun. “This here be Ajus, my gator, y’all gonna be bunkin’ with him, just remember to not let your feet dangle off the bed as he likes to snap his jaw open and closed at night when he’s dreamin’,” explains the Cajun.
I awake the next morning from a terrible dream of being spooned by Edward James Olmos only to find Ajus, the alligator spooning me. I quickly bolt out of bed still in my virgin garb and head downstairs. I am then greeted by what may be even more disturbing then Ajus. I see before me a motley crew of shady individuals. The first a well dressed Latino with what appears to be a giant lemon for a head. Next to him stands an Iranian man dressed head-to-toe in Juicy Couture. I then notice a pretty young girl sitting on the couch dressed like a Fly Girl from the show In Living Color with a Star of David around her neck and a hat bearing the symbol of an Islamic radical group. “Mornin’ there Mr. Yankee reporter,” says the Cajun appearing from behind me, “I see you done met your team.” “Team?” I enquire, “This looks like Rush Limbaugh’s worse pharmaceutically induced hallucination.” “Yes your team”, says lemon headed freak in front of me, “we are Team Heathen. You may call me Aid, this is my partner Juicy, and over there on the coach is Jerri, and I know you’ve already met the Cajun. Our field operative Tyrese was lost during a top secret undercover mission for the government, so he will not be joining us.”
“Team Heathen!?!” I screech, “How in the name of Horatio Alger am I supposed to infiltrate this virgin fest and get any of the virgins to open up to me when I am surrounded by you Heathens?” “This entire assignment was some kind of a cruel joke, a lame fuck around, a horrible waste of time. Here I was in the house of a Voodoo practicing Cajun smack dab in some bayou, I had an alligator try to mate with me, and now I have this depraved albatross of an entourage to deal with.
“What is the hell are you babbling about,” asked Ade. “Getting virgins to open up to you? What in the hell kind of pervert are you? Team Heathen will not work with sickos like you, perhaps you should try NAMBLA.” “Now I finally get your ridiculous outfit”, Jerri chimed in, “you pervs always wear those kid friendly clothes. I bet you got a whole bunch of Pez to give out to those poor innocent unsuspecting kids”
“Wait, hold on a minute,” I said, “you’ve got me all wrong. I was sent here to cover some religious based gathering of virgins, and find out their reasons for choosing such an antiquated lifestyle. That’s why I dressed like this. I figured that if I dressed like a devout virgin, then perhaps they would not feel threatened and would let me interview them.” Team Heathen stares at me not saying anything for what seems like eternity, and then all start laughing. “A gathering of virgins? Is that where you think we are going?” Juicy said through his guffaws. “We are all going to The Virgin Mobile Fest; it’s an outdoor music festival, with The Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Iggy Pop, Underworld, Kayne West, and about thirty other acts, Juicy clarified. “Y’all dumber than a bowl of gumbo,” the Cajun laughed. “How in the hell did a huge outdoor music festival turn into some kind of religious virgin rally?” asked Ade.
I explain to them about my phone’s recent brush with gravity, which prevented me from hearing everything my editor said. So I assumed based upon his twisted sense of ideals, plus the fact that he goes golfing with Pat Robertson every Thursday, that I was being send on some pro-religion assignment for the upcoming “Family Values” issue mentioned in the press meeting. “So we are going to a concert” I verify. “Great let me go get changed, and then we can leave this swamp. Happy that I no longer have to dress like a buffoon, I change into a far more comfortable and festive outfit of a fine Acapulco shirt, shorts, a white bucket hat and large aviator glasses.
We arrive at the massive and historic Pimlico Field in a less than savory part of Baltimore, and I am greeted by a huge smiling crowd, two massive sound stages and a sizable tent for electronic music. After enjoying a spectacular set by Soulwax, a live electronica act complete with live keyboards, guitars, and live vocals, we head over to see the less than stellar performance by Bloc Party, even though I was less than enthused, most of Team Heathen seemed to enjoy the music.
I then leave Team Heathen for a bit to observe this massive well run machine that is The Virgin Festival. I also keep an eye out for obvious virgins, but alas there is not even one Holly Hobby shirt or purity ring, I do however spy a smattering of WWJD bracelets. As I continue wandering about I partake of a number of the well poured vodka Redbulls, and meet up again with Team Heathen, who it appears are living up to their moniker. I arrive as they are having what appear to be a Heffneresque photo shoot with trio of attractive festival goers of the fairer sex.
“There he is, exclaims Juicy. “Get your ass over here and join us” he says. I join them despite the very sub par set being layed down by Steve Lawler. As I finish my 6th drink, Juicy says here, “have some gum”, and hands me the smallest piece of gum I have ever seen in my life. I eat the gum and realize the lazy bastard didn’t even bother to take the wrapper off the gum. “Heathens indeed”, I muttered.
[Editor’s note: It was at this point that our intrepid reporter’s writings were destroyed. We tried to piece together the rest of that night by trying to transcribe his voice notes, but all we were able to garner from this was: cheering while, some performer repeated that he was, “Invisible”, The Foo Fighters Rocked, and then some gibberish about sexual acts involving sauerkraut, mustard, and other various condiments. We pick up again at day two of the Virgin Festival]
As I enter Day two of The Virgin Mobile Festival, sans Team Heathen, I am greeted by the thunderous bass of Deadmaus. I found this to be enjoyable, but after fifteen minutes I decided it was reminiscent of an average night at Pacha NYC, so I decided that I should go inspect the mongers on site, in particular the vodka mongers.
I enjoy my second drink and then settle in for a set by the incomparable Iggy Pop and The Stooges. For a man over 61 years of age this Iggy rocks harder than anyone else. Somewhere in the middle of his set I realize that Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers had been ripping off Iggy’s performance for years.
I hurry off, as soon as Iggy finishes his performance, to hear the end Richie Hawtin’s set in the dance tent. It is a textbook set by the techno virtuoso, and he brings the crowd down gently from a fever pitch to a mellow vibe, to set up the DJ, Moby.
I am very apprehensive to what Moby might play, and so I decide to go exploring. I overhear a conversation between other festival attendees to, “Try the crab, you’re in Baltimore.” So I decide to partake in the local cuisine. I order a crab cake, and next thing I know I order 3 more. Have I found something to replace my vodka obsession with, I wonder, but quickly realize nothing will replace that.
I return to the dance tent to check out Moby, and I am so amazed at the man’s skill that I drop my crab cake. This is not your father’s Moby. No sir. Moby is playing a very eclectic mix of electronic music, that you would never think would mix well, but Moby does it, and he does it well. The tent is packed with dancers, heathens and even some virgins. I’ve found it. This is the where it all comes together. Everyone from every walk of life dancing and convorting to a common beat. Well done Moby.
When Moby finished to a massive ovation he left the stage for Armin Van Buurin. Apparently Mr. Van Buurin has a severe case of trance in the pants, and I beat a hasty retreat as, in case you were not aware, trance in the pants is not only contagious, but often times can be terminal. Luckily for me Nine Inch Nails are just about to go on, so I head to the North Stage.
Trent was in rare form. He played a mix of his most well known tracks, and as well as some of his most recent music. He looked to be in great shape, and the sound was impeccable. Another plus was the close proximity of the vodka Redbull stand to Trent. I was finally in a very nice stasis. When Trent finished he implored us all to go over to see Kanye, whose stage he claimed had nobody there.
This, of course was not true, there were thousands of people there for late starting Kanye. Kanye put on a good show, although I was expecting a lot more production value, in the vein of Daft Punk. During Kanye’s performance I used up my last drink tickets and somehow in the blur that ensued with using 6 drink tickets in 30 minutes ended up with a case of crabs. Who ever could have expected one would leave a Virgin Fest with a case of crabs.