Mary F’in Poppins


I have a playa name.

It’s about to be “official” if anything out here can be considered official.

I will have a laminate tomorrow, it helps me with my job, bah, who the hell am I kidding.  I don’t need the laminate to do my job, but it is fun to hang stuff off the lanyard and I can unhook my commissary passes from my belt onto the lanyard and have an easier time when I go to meals with my charge.

Mostly, it is, as my sweet mama boss said, nice to have for your scrapbook.

She didn’t say scrapbook, but you get the gist.

I have had a lammy every year for the last five and was a little sad when I was told that I did have one this year.

Not a huge deal, but I miss having it stuck around my neck.

Then today after I got back from a little art adventure while the baby was napping, voila!  The mom gave me the paperwork to go get an official laminate for the team.

So, tomorrow at some point between noon and five p.m. I will got to the ID office, have my photo taken and get official.

My new playa name will be on it.

Not my, well, uh, real name.


That’s always been my name out here.

I have been gifted other names, Ophelia, The Wayward Niece (my uncle gave that one to me and I cherish that actually) Mama at Media Mecca last year,  and the name one of my mom’s back in the bay area gave me as she was washing dishes at the counter in the kitchen recently, “you know what your playa name should be?  Mary Fucking Poppins!”

Holy shit.

I had mentioned it to a few people in a funny, joking, sort of let’s try this on for size and the response was always really great.


And on point.

In fact, everyone has loved it, but I was still a little hesitant.

I mean, I like my name.

Carmen is a good name.

It means music in Latin.

And my middle name, Regina, means Queen.

Got to love that, Queen of Music?

Fuck yeah.

Plus, the moniker, Mary Fucking Poppins, it just sounds too good to be true.

LIke do I deserve to have such an awesome name?


It was confirmed to me tonight that I do.

Or rather this afternoon.

As my monkey went down for his second nap of the day, the mom came home on a much deserved break between wrangling and cat herding, to have some down time and that meant I got to have some down time.

I decided I would go out on a ride and see what else had popped up on the playa–it is freaking happening out there, so much art coming in, so many of the theme camps, holy moly, the landscape that just a moment ago was, or so it feels, empty, is now full.

Except there was to be no riding my bike.

Sad face.

Flat tire!


I got rather pissed as I realized, I have every tool needed to change a flat tire on my bike, my street bike, not my playa bike with its fat cruiser white wall tires.

I came this close to throwing a fit and sitting isolated in my trailer.

I mean, I could use a manicure you know.

Then, I took a breath and thought, this means you get to walk about the playa and, oh yay!  I get to break out my heart-shaped parasol.

Sometimes a good long walk is nice.

You get to meet more people.

Which was the case this afternoon.

I went out the 9 o’clock keyhole to the playa and looked around at what was attractive to me.

There were two pieces that I wanted to take photographs of and I vacillated between the one on the right and the one on the left.

Go left, a voice whispered, so I went left, twirling my heart over my shoulder and throwing a little sass in my walk.

One has to have a swagger if they are going to walk with a heart-shaped umbrella across the playa.

I made my way across the Esplanade and toward the Man Base to go check out the Church on a stilt.

That was the best way my mind could describe it.

It’s called The Church Trap.

It is basically a small church that looks like a mouse trap, you are “lured” into the piece and it is alluring, let me tell you.  I walked right up and started taking photographs.

Next thing you know I am sitting on a church pew having a heart to heart with the builder, the Reverend Frogbeater, yes that is his name, and yes, he is ordained.

Want to get married?

Want to be absolved of your sins?

Need an ear to confess in?

He’s your man.

The Reverend told me about the project, how it was conceived, it was his friends idea, who, heaven help me, I have forgotten her name, but she was sweet as pie, and he, he was just the person who designed and built it.

It looks like an old-fashioned trap like you would see in a Tom and Jerry cartoon, or maybe an old Bugs Bunny, the box tilted up over the bait, propped up on a stick that can be pulled away after you have been lured in.

There is a chapel, pews, a pulpit, stained “glass” windows, it really looks like a small church, an older one, at that, weather-beaten, and dusty, but completely at the ready to take you in its fold.

A sly poke of the tongue at our ideas of religion and how dogma can trap you?

Or a cathartic option to find your way into a new spiritual domain?

Only you can decide that.

As we talked I took his hand and gifted him a hand rub, he melted and we bonded and he asked me my name.

I told him, Carmen.


No, what’s your playa name, he asked, I will never remember Carmen.

I told him what the options were.



The Wayward Niece.


“Oh!  No question about it, you are Mary FUCKING Poppins!  When I see you, and I will, you’re coming back to church for services, I just know it, that’s what I will call you, I won’t forget that any time soon.” He concluded and gave me a huge hug.

I got up off the pew, gathered my water bottle, adjusted the radio on my belt, looked at my watch and realized it was time to join back up with the family, break time was over.

I picked up my parasol and opened the heart into the hight dust clotted sky and twirled the umbrella.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” the Reverend hollered, as I walked away, “you even have the umbrella.”

I did not fly back to camp with the aid of my umbrella.

I did, however, float gently that way with a large, happy grin on my face.

Same one I will wear when I get my picture taken tomorrow.

Maybe I will even bring my umbrella with me.



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2 Responses to “Mary F’in Poppins”

  1. Kozmo Says:

    I have some pics for Rev Frogbeater but can’t find him online. Can you tell me how to get ahold of him?

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