I was recently asked what my most memorable event to date was and I immediately found myself giggling over a gig I’d all but forgotten about where I was invited along as photographer for three days of camping in the Pacific Northwest. Seeing as how it was a first time run, we had nothing to go on but arrived prepared to cover the guaranteed fun time in the cool pines.
Rolling into the venue with storm clouds in tow, we discovered camp was a recently mowed hay field with grazing beef cattle. The main stage was a flatbed trailer used to haul hay bales and organizers had already outfitted an inflatable pool with cake mix, so we knew there were hijinks planned for later. We got our dome tents set up just as the skies let loose.
Canned music pealed through the pines early the next day and we waded our way through the piles of beer cans and cow patties that were squished into the mud to check out breakfast offerings. The evening rain had rendered the woodpile worthless so $2 Bloody Marys served as fuel and we asked for a few extra olives to balance out the meal. Then we were off to hang drippy duds on bushes in the sunny spots and we picked blackberries while organizers rounded up contestants for the bike games. Out of the couple of hundred attendees milling around, few were strangers—except us, of course, and we were trying hard to make friends. We shot photos of gals slipping around in the muddy brown cake mix that had started to ferment in the midday sun until the bees set in and the bike games were cancelled due to the muck so the decision was made to launch straight into the water games while the sun was still out.
A group of gals took the stage to strut their stuff as the announcer explained that all five women for the wet T-shirt contest were from the same family. The gals represented five generations of the clan. Each one was missing at least one front tooth, the granddaughter was missing all the top ones and great grandma only had a few left at all. By the time the music was cued, the ladies were deep in the vibe as the guy on the ground turned on the fire hose from the stageside water truck and blasted the assemblage. Granny immediately whipped off her wife beater and began flipping her mammoth boobs up off her waistline like airplane propellers, cackling hysterically all the while. The youngest was prancing about in her mud encrusted Daisy Dukes, gyrating and grinding, as she alternately waved at the cheering bikers by popping her breasts out of each armhole of her tank top and slapping them together. One was dancing across the stage with her shirt swung over her head like a lasso and slapping herself on the ass while the other two stood center stage and licked each other all over. I had to remind myself to close my gaping mouth to avoid swallowing one of the drunken bees from the goop pool before I busied myself with pretending to clean my camera lens.
In the interest of fair play, next up was the wet boxer competition and the same low expectations applied to the men as with the wet T-shirt contestants. I had to admit; I’d never seen such a display. Participants were provided white cotton boxer briefs in advance and once hosed down with the cold water, the underwear became transparent. Not that it mattered since the guys mostly chucked the clothing anyway. Turned out some of the savvy guys had taken preventative measures to counteract the cold water conditions. A couple had G-strings but one hairy guy’s ill thought out plan included covering himself front to back with duct tape. After prancing around and providing lots of front and back curtsies and poses, he thought he’d gallantly rip the tape off and shock us all. Instead he screamed in pain and fell to his knees, which caused the tape that covered his backside to rip out the hair in his nether region, inducing yet another blood curdling scream. I imagined it as a sort of Brazilian wax job, except with duct tape. And testicles. We couldn’t help but laugh as we cringed in sympathy. Meanwhile, a slight man stood quietly wobbling at the edge of the stage. He had a smile plastered on his face with arms crossed as he sort of rocked back and forth. His briefs dripped as he stood trying to stay warm, but despite the cold, his pronounced profile was hard to ignore. Turns out Viagra is effective, no matter what the weather conditions.