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The Henna Page Journal
Ozzfest Diary
Catherine Cartwright Jones
Page 8 of 20

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Every so often I go down to the festival office to sort and count down the cash accumulating in my purse. Twenties get crammed in fast and it needs to be sorted! No way to do that in the crowd without risking a mugging. I usually pull out all the money into my skirt in a locked ladies room stall, but the lines are too long (something to do with the beer). There's a Brit in the office, part of OzzFest crew, chattering about having gotten arrested in Arizona (though his lawyer bailed him out). Perhaps the story will sound more amusing in Shepard's Bush. I joke with him.

Next morning, at the B&B breakfast, we meet young Ozzfesters. We talk about Ozz, and I mention that the beer is a bother. The boy across the table from me immediately stops eating breakfast, so his stomach will be good and empty to get the full alcahol impact of the first beer at 10 am. I tell him that if he comes to my booth drunk, I will personally wring his neck. He goes back to his pancakes and scrambled eggs.

The second day of Detroit is a repeat of the first. Hot, and though pleasant enough in the morning, the afternoons deteriorate into boozy, ballsy, uselessness. A few people get hauled from the mosh pits to the paramedic room, and out again with neck collars. We bail at dusk and go home. I've made money, but I'll not do this gig again. I want to henna at a chick concert! My minimum price for guyz asking me to henna their alleged 13" dicks (yeh, riiight!) is going to start at $1000 a minute as of now.

There are 2 days break before Columbus. We are comatose.


Something is NOT right with Gwyn's clutch, and it gets worse as we drive, turning a 2 hour drive into 4.

We pull into the parking lot at 6:30 again, pleased that it's the last day out. Zimra is there to work with us. We're so exhausted we're thrilled to have a spare pair of hands. I'm near euphoric that this is the last day. I've made the all money I need, so I can slack off.

Zimra pitches in fast and helps us set up. We're near the beer again, but we're also near big flower beds. The tour management lady comes by again for more henna and offers to do us favors, like getting us passes for good dinner with the bands, and a "all access pass" for Gwyn so she can meet band members. Kewhl!

We start the morning as usual ... I grab the first three "pretty gurlz" and henna them for free, Celtic knots to please the crowd. Once we have a few babes on display drying their henna, business starts rolling in. Zimra's steady and persistent, doing lovely delicate patterns, but Shanon, Gwyn and I have totally lost our drive and are slacking. We're stupid tired. I'm grateful for a brief rain shower giving me the opportunity to fold up the books and wander off to look at the bands and other vendors. The rain makes the grassy area above the amphitheater muddy, and headbangers summersault down the incline and wallow in the muck. They're an agreeable college crowd. Our end of the arena is sparse. The other side is so packed people can barely move.

I do more henna, relax, and let Shanon and Zimra do the bulk of the work and collect the bulk of the money. The clients are steady, but there's seldom more than 1 or 2 waiting in line. It's drizzly, so we get out the blow dryers to crusty-up the henna. We are on the same electric drop as a funnel cake vendor, and every time their deep-fat fryer thermostat kicks in, it blows out the dryers. First time we've gotten our promised electricity, and it STILL doesn't work right!

I sling a few patterns Shanon and Zimra can't do, and booth bitch so Gwyn can go backstage to get her CD signed by all the band members. She comes back giggly and pleased. I'm glad to see Shanon's got steady slinging to do. She's had a helluva time breaking even. Speed is the only way to make money here ... speed I've got.

I go to the lunch place, and pass the police/med tent. A drunk headbanger, knuckles and tshirt splashed with blood, is handcuffed to a wheelchair. He's whining to 3 girls to "not tell" the police anything. The girls look ashamed, annoyed, cooperative, and are talking to an officer with a notebook! As the afternoon passes, 3 more guyz are escorted out by security, 2 in handcuffs.

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