Most every day at Burning Man 2009, I would bike past The Lost Penguin which was on Esplanade, right before turning up 3 to our camp. I had a couple of delightful experiences here, and really just had a fond place for The Penguins.
One night, they hosted a Battle of the Bands type thingie and I stood around in total delight as Chicago’s Environmental Encroachment got wild out front. It was one of many occasions where I would lose my mates. Sorry guys! One minute we’re biking along, and the next, I’ve pulled over, realized that there’s a jam-down in progress somewhere, and then tried to hustle down the road to catch Guy and Ash, only to decide that the only thing left to do is return to the jam. Which again, was The Lost Penguin.
After EE performed and I shared some bass drum admiration with them, I went to the bar to see what was what. There was a lavish tray of dark chocolate shards out (yum!) and I became acquainted with the barkeep-of-the-moment because of overhearing this:
And that’s just too silly not to interject upon, so that’s how I met Hilary, the apparent architect of such silliness. If I remember correctly, Hilary is Canadian, but the point is that — where she’s from — “Kraft” is short for “Macaroni & Cheese.”
Don’t ask me where the Judas Priest came from, but in the techno-dominated world of Black Rock City, the thought was refreshing. Plus? I LOVE JUDAS PRIEST.
So I made a pact with Hilary that I was gonna BE THERE in the AM, expecting to hear some Priest, eat some “Kraft” and that I would bring a couple of authentic Kentucky Fried Camp Fried Baloney sandwiches as an offering.
Fast forward to the next morning: I hit up our ardent chefs Travis and Jerry for a couple of sandwiches — which, when placed in a ziploc bag with catsup, looked a bit like bloody organs — and headed to The Lost Penguin, excited as always to be biking through the wonder, the abject WONDER, that is Black Rock City. (You do NOT want to miss the aerial shot that is linked there, buddy)
I arrived at The Lost Penguin, anticipating that signature Rob Halford squeal, those KK Downing/Glen Tipton guitars, and instead was greeted by the strains of … Michael McDonald? NFW. In fact? The Yacht Rock party was still two days away.
I stormed through the Penguins, in feigned fury, demanding Judas Priest for breakfast, demanding Hilary, who had promised the Priest. I found her being Camp Cookie, slinging together “the kraft,” and after handing over the fried baloney and some Priestly beratement, we were shortly rocking out to “Hell Bent for Leather,” at which point I made the Penguin rounds once again, this time apologizing for harshing the Michael McDonald mellow. But it had to be done.
Favorite quip during Judas Priest and Kraft breakfast, to the strains of “The Ripper,” and many clenched fists and air guitar solos:
(Rob Halford: “Oh hear my warning! Never turn your back! On the Ripper!”)
Hilary, adamantly and with great counsel, in agreement: “Don’t DO it!”