Opinion: What’s worse — Burning Man, or Ironman? | SierraSun.com

Opinion: What’s worse — Burning Man, or Ironman?

Kurt Zapata
Special to the Sun

As the season approaches, we the residents of the greater Truckee/Tahoe area are presented with a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. A conundrum, a dilemma, a mental exercise in fortitude.

The answer to this question could cost some their careers, their marriages and even their sanity. Soon this question will consume all our waking hours. It will cause fascination and misery and more lost minutes than is calculable.

And that question is this: Who is more annoying — Burning Man or Ironman?

Now some accuse me of an unfair hyperbole. What do these two disparate events have to do with each other? How can a festival of collective independence and a contest of celebrated self-flagellation have anything in common?

But I posit that the two are comparable and I've found the criteria.

The Traffic. Who causes a larger traffic blockage in the Tahoe Basin, Burning Man or Ironman? I have swerved to avoid an articulated ex-MUNIbus jack-knifed in the right lane of Highway 80, only to realize that the occupants have scattered across the roadway like timid fauns, dilated pupils shining bright in the moonlight. Only some quick heel-toe/10-2 action saved 3-reflex challenged, trust-fund babies from their inevitable repose.

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How about trying to navigate one of our twisting uphill shortcuts and as you round a blind corner there are three spandex clad, corporate logo-embellished cyclists riding abreast, effectively blocking right of way. And the best part is; their jerseys say, "SHARE THE ROAD."

The Smell. Who has the more offensive body odor; Burning Man or Ironman? Let's be brief; take your pick. Patchouli, unwashed butt crack and drug sweats. Axe Body Wash, Tiger Balm and Testosterone Analogs.

The Attitude. Who makes the rest of us feel more like a bunch of out-of-it, dumb mountain rubes; Burning Man or Ironman?

It's the meaningful eye-contact between easily identifiable participants that is the most infuriating. You have the T-shirt on or the patina of pre-carcinogenic playa exposure and you still give each other the knowing glance as if we could never understand.

You just completed a major life event. It has been on your bucket list. The Universe now revolves around you. Stop in the middle of traffic and take a selfie. Comment loudly that plastic bags are allowed in your home town.

Ask me about the "History of the Area." As if the fact that you took 6.75 days of vacation from the Investment Firm/Organic Food Coop that you work for trumps the 3-jobs that I'm now late for now. It was worth it.

So I ask you — who is more annoying; Burning Man or Ironman?

Please feel free to vote with a brick.

Kurt Zapata is a Truckee resident.

Editor’s Note

While we appreciate and respect this opinion from Mr. Zapata, it should be noted that the Sierra Sun does not condone violence — i.e., throwing bricks at people.