A couple of weeks ago, John and I went to the burning of ZOZOBRA also known as Old Man Gloom with an enthusiasm that would soon leave us.
First we show up and find that the permitter is packed with several hundred cars. After driving around for a while, and tracking down an ATM machine so we could get in, we parked the car and walked to the field of death. There were about 500 people there and I was later to discover that a significant number of them were gang members--this I know because of the fight that occurred and stopped only a few feet in front of me. This event proved to he the most interesting that night.
Then we put up with several hours of had country music and a significant number of chants. A fire dancer (that could not dance) ran back and forth up some stairs, and there was more chanting to the poorly built, over publicized giant mound of toilet paper. After 15 minutes of this dragged out pagan ritual the torches he carried went out. Zozobra's arms waved up and down and someone moaned a lot over the loudspeaker then there were some fireworks. They were neither good nor numerous but once again it was dragged out too long.
At long last Mr. Toilet-Paper-on- a-Stick was aflame and in a mater of seconds it was done. Rather anti- climactic.
As we left, the burnt flesh of Zozobra fell upon our departing car much like fallout from a nuclear winter.
Last Updated 08/29/97.© PPSA