by Craig Bailey as told by Kari Selfridge
Vendors see it all!!! We’re the first to arrive on lot and the last to leave. Being set up in the thick of the action feels a lot like being surrounded by clowns in a traveling circus and it kinda is.
I’m the owner and creator at Ms. Bliss Designs by Kari and have been a vendor in the Phish community since 1997. I make a variety of wearables for all shapes and sizes. A couple of my most popular designs are “Girl Women Goddess Shit” and “Tweezer/Tweezer Reprise” shirt sets for parents and kids.
It’s super important to me that people feel confident, sexy and comfortable while still rocking designs to represent their favorite band. Slaying the dance floor should be done in comfort and style.
I’m also the co-founder of The Lot by Primal Soup, the original virtual marketplace where you can find my store and dozens of other vendors from tour and beyond.
While spending decades in lots throughout the country, I’ve shared my creations with countless smiling faces, made new friends, connected with old friends and witnessed a never ending display of wookery and antics. Like I said, we see it all!
With most wookery, it’s a fleeting moment in time, lost among our many memories but sometimes, just sometimes, you witness something that will never be forgotten.
One such memory burn happened at Deer Creek in the early 2000s. Like always, shakedown was dusty, chaotic and crowded. I set up at the end of a row to give myself some breathing room with a small opening next to me. This is relevant because of what happened next.
A typical looking guy from that era walked by alone and grabbed my attention. You know what I mean – beard, long hair, tattered shirt, tattered shorts held up with a rope belt and carrying the headiest beer of the era, a Sammy Smith.
I watched as he walked by my booth and stopped in the small opening next to me. He set down his beer, untied the rope belt and took off his tattered shorts. I was thinking, is that dude gonna take a piss 20 feet from where I’m vending? Since most guys don’t take their shorts off to piss, I really wasn’t sure what was happening.
I continued to watch as he then proceeded to take off his filthy underwear, laid them in the dirt, put his shorts back on and retied his rope belt. What happened next made my mind explode. He took a lighter out of his pocket, bent down and lit his underwear on fire. WTF!!!!
He picked up his beer and just stood there and watched as his tighty whities burned. When the flames went out, he turned, made eye contact with me and walked away. He never said a word, nor did I. I really didn’t want to know what that was all about. I’m still unsure what was going on in his head.
At this point, Read-Icculus antics like this have become just another moment in a typical day of a vendor. Another day at the office. There really is no other job like being a vendor on Phish lot, except maybe working in an actual circus. Nah, our clowns and characters are more entertaining!
Visit www.msblissdesigns.com to check out my gear. You can also find me in the virtual lot at www.thelotbyprimalsoup.com.