25 Aug 99 16:07
David Does Dragonfest

The `fest was a great deal of fun this year. For a reason only Goddess knows, I appeared to have been irresistible to women. Golly. That has never happened before.

I left "home" on the 4th and spent several days farting around Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. The `fest did not start until the 11th so I had plenty of time to explore all of the back roads and fire breaks.

It was in Sever County that I spied a possible camp site from the freeway (I-70 heading East). All I could see was a US Forest Service sign and a dirt road leading into the hills. I took the nearest exist (a rest stop exit) and went down a paved road that parallels the freeway, and managed to get on that dirt road and head south into the hills.

The dirt road was covered with pools of mud. The sign said there was a camp site six miles away, so I started for it. Here and there the road turned into a trail of sparse grass, and then back into holes filled with mud. I got about a mile when I toped a hill and looked out into the valley before me --- to see a black, solid wall of water and wind heading straight for me. I could clearly see the ground brush being torn up by the storm.

I figured if I didn't get down out of the hills before the storm wall hit me, it would be a day or two before the road would drain enough for me to drive back to the freeway. I managed to turn around and make as much speed as possible down the hills, checking the rear-view mirror now and then to see that the storm was gaining on me. Hummm.

The wall of water (and ICE!) and wind caught up with me just as I was pulling my pickup onto the side road that parallels the freeway. It was a near-run thing.

The furry of the storm was amazing. Solid water was being dumped on the pickup, driven by a very strong wind. There was continuous lightning and thunder. Then while the wind continued with the same force, the water content decreased and heavy hail started falling. The hail was hitting so hard I thought it would damage my pickup, so I moved it under a small tree, still facing the freeway.

Yeah. I parked under a tree in a thunderstorm. You'd think a Pagan would know better.

While the hail was stripping the tree of leaves (and covering my pickup with leaves and ice), a car that had been speeding down the freeway slid on the ice and went careening right for me. The freeway is elevated about three feet above the side road I was on, and it was right at a bend in the freeway. Fortunately for me, the car slogged past me and plowed into thick mud and gravel some fifteen feet farther down the road. As I contemplated the near miss, I yelled at the car through my windshield "Ha! You MISSED me!"

The hail got much worse. The windshield wipers could no longer sweep the hail from the windshield. I turned the wipers off, then turned the pickup's engine off, and then looked up at the tree I was under to see how its leaves were holding out.

At that moment there was a blinding flash and a deafening *bang!* Lightning had hit the tree I was parked under. It hit a branch that was about mid-way up the tree (oddly, it didn't hit the highest branch). All the leaves on that branch leaped off, and the whole tree shook as if a Mack truck had slammed into it.

For a minute or two I contemplated the nature of death or dismemberment by lightning. Then I rolled down the window (ice and water poured in), and yelled up at the sky "Ha! Missed me to, you fuckers!" and rolled the window back up very fast (lightning follows air currents).

When the storm passed I got out of the pickup and found a blanket of hail on the ground at least three inches thick. All traffic on the freeway had stopped. I went to the car just as its operator was climbing out (I had to help, since the right side of the car was very deep in mud). Her first words were (in very poor English) "Lightning almost hit me!" She asked me if I could tow her out of the mud, but it was too deep: I had snow chains, but my pickup's clutch would never have done the job.

We walked to the freeway and saw that three other cars had skidded off the road and into the median.

A few days later I met up with my sibling Fredric and his clan at a camp site near where Dragonfest is held. My first words to him were "I was almost killed by lightning!" but he was not at all impressed. His reply was "Where's the nearest place for pizza?"

During the `fest there were two very bizarre "workshops." One was very X-Files and discussed the "Year 2000 computer problem" and how the United States Government was going to use the problem as an excuse to revoke the Constitution, invoke Marshall Law, and make life Hell--- all for increased profits. The other odd workshop was presented by two women who claimed to visit a dozen or so star systems and discourse with the inhabitants there. No, really.

The lightning seemed to have done me good, however. Within fifteen minutes of entering Dragonfest, I received a come-on proposition by a nice woman. How extraordinary! She tried again later, but I got away safely.

Three hours later another woman I actually like made me much the same offer, only more so. I was shocked, to say the least. Too shocked to accept (though I wish I had).

While I was tending a community fire (part of a duty I volunteered for), another young woman I had been talking with for a few hours also made me a brief but detailed proposition. I was nearly beyond shock! Something seriously wrong with the universe was going on. I told her to pick on someone her own age.

The next morning one of my campsite's neighbors, whom I had known at Dragonfest for a few years, walked up to where I was showering under a tree and right out of the blue made a lewed suggestion....

AND THEN IT HIT ME!!! I suspected the fiendish hand of GWENNY THE POOH behind this sudden, inexplicable irresistibility. It wasn't the lightning near-miss that enhanced my aura: it was the devious machinations of a dirty mind, out to kill me by slow torture. Gwen `da Pooh must have put these women up to teasing me. (Some women at Dragonfest did the same thing to Hal Mansfield, a Christian attending for research reasons, years before.) I grabbed a towel to hide behind and went looking for Gwenny, (leaving my campsite neighbor standing there bewildered) but I could not find her.

Friday afternoon I "did gate duty" (guarding the entrance so non-attendees would not enter) with a wee girl of about 13 years old who thought she was closer to 33 years old. When she started with the fluttering eyelashes and demure glances, flirting wetly with me, I really started to freak out.

(With four days of this abuse, the wear and tear on my endocrine system was considerable.)

Thursday afternoon I found Gwenny the Pooh at the community center. She was with a new boyfriend: a handsome, strapping young guy ---- she seemed very pleased with him and herself (she couldn't stop grinning). She also claimed to have no knowledge of the abuse I was being subjected to.

My nights I spent at a coven's fire, talking and singing with them. There is someone there I am very dearly fond of; as usual, this year she was still not interested (Gwenny must not have gotten to her), and my attempt to make her jealous by mauling one of her happily-married coveners (by kissing and squeezing her) in front of her did not work.

My nephew Christopher showed up at this coven late one night and was invited to sit down with us. When the mead bottle was being passed around, he'd make every effort to grab it. Smart kid. Bashful he isn't. Why he was hanging around us old farts instead of the drumming circle staring at the women like a normal 16-year-old is a mystery to me.

The multiple Drawing Down ritual was held Friday. It started at 7:30PM and ended a little past 11:00PM. I went through the rite at a little after 10:00PM. The High Priestess I faced did not hold her invocation, which disappointed me; I made the encounter as brief as possible. I found out later that H-------- dropped out of the ritual because of the strain of holding her invocation for so long --- at least she has the training and intelligence to end her participation when she "should" have (unlike the HPs I faced).

There were 740 Pagans, neo-Pagans, Wiccans, Heathens, and assorted odd folks who attended. Most did not participate in the scheduled activities. Several people I talked to only came for the nightly drumming frenzies.


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