Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

COMMENTARY: EIGHT RULES FOR THE MOSH PIT; What I Learned on the Concrete at PlanetFest 5

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

COMMENTARY: EIGHT RULES FOR THE MOSH PIT; What I Learned on the Concrete at PlanetFest 5

Article excerpt

Byline: THOMAS LAKE, The Times-Union

Rock is about breaking things, especially rules, so I don't expect many to heed the following lessons learned in the mosh pit at PlanetFest 5 on Sunday. Nevertheless, some may be useful when Metallica and Godsmack invade Jacksonville on Monday, Nov. 8:

1. Female crowd-surfers should think of their clothing as a suit of armor. Chinks invite disaster. No further elaboration should be needed on this point, but there is an important corollary. The fewer clothes an attractive woman wears, the less likely she is to fall, thanks to ample support from strong male hands. Men are generous in this respect. This is one reason they are known as "men."

2. If you can't see the numbers when you look down at the scale, you will not surf in the crowd. You will sink. Not gradually, like in water, but abruptly, like your head slamming concrete. You might crush someone on your way down, too.

3. Crowd-surfing and jewelry mix about as well as Gators and Bulldogs. In other words, don't combine them in close quarters if you don't want blood.

As a girl surfed past me on Sunday, a silvery hoop earring came out of her ear. That must have hurt. I caught it and tried to hand it back when she floated by again, but she never saw me.

Give me a call if you're out there. I still have it.

4. When shirtless men collide and a perimeter forms, it is time to flee. This is the beginning of a dangerous event known as a "circle pit," in which half-naked men and boys lower their shoulders and slam each other. They tend to slam bystanders, too. While the causes for this phenomenon remain unknown, it may be linked to human males' fundamental need to touch each other. The circle pit is one of the few places they can do it without seeming, well, you know.

5. It is customary to wear black and look generally odd when you enter the pit. You can compensate for your lack of blue hair or pierced nipples by wearing a T-shirt insulting all who read it. "How 'bout a nice cup of shut the (expletive) up" will do nicely, as will "I'd rather be on fire than see you smile. …

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