Flaming Pollyanna: The Day Death Guild Came to Kidsville

Anna-Liza here, with the final installment on Burning Man 2010. Because, really, this has dragged on way too long.

Thunderdome, run by Death Guild, has been a fixture at Burning Man since 1999 (my first year there). Simple concept: giant dome in which bungee-suspended combatants whack the hell out of each other with large, non-lethal weapons while crowds of people cheer wildly for carnage. Wavers required. This personal account pretty much sums it up, as does this:

(No, Darlin’ K wasn’t one of the firespinners in the video. But he did spin as part of the Conclave the night of the Burn).

One day, Death Guild came to Kidsville.

Death Guild arrives

I want black banners and Chinese red parasols on my car, too.

 They do this every year, you know.

Mini Thunderdome anticipation

Fierce mini-gladiators

 Mr. R told me he wanted to fight, too, but he was afraid to go in because he didn’t know much about fighting. I told him that he should go talk to his dad for some advice.

I knew what Darlin’ K would tell him — in a fight, the one who gets craziest generally wins — but I had a feeling he’d take it more seriously from his dad than from his mom. K also told him it was all just for fun, with no intention for anyone to really get hurt, but if he felt like he would feel too bad about if he lost, not to do it. After thinking it over, Mr. R decided to go for it.

And of course, there are no pictures of his epic battle with a boy a good foot several inches okay, pretty close to a foot taller than he was, because we were too busy cheering him on to take any photos. But he won. Decisively. And here he is with his opponent, who was an excellent sport, after the bout.

Mr. R and his opponent, plus a random kid and a Death Guild chick

He’s the short kid on the right. He was pretty proud of himself. And he won a Death Guild shot glass as a trophy.


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