Monday, October 03, 2005

Folsom Tales

Now the trouble with telling the tale of this year’s trip down to the Folsom Street Fair is frankly, where the hell do I start? For those of you just tuning in, the FSF is one of the largest leather events in the US. Taking place every September, the city shuts down 6 blocks of downtown SF and for a day it belongs to us perverts. Thousands flock to this annual event. Ok, more like HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, this year’s head count was something to the tune of 300K. For those who have never gone before, I describe it sorta like this.
This is the only place on earth where you could run up to a group of police officers standing on the corner and shout. Officer, Officer there is man and he is naked, handcuffed to a fence over there!” and the officer would look at you, rub his chin and respond, “Well, does he want to be there?”

Yeah, for one day just about anything goes and everyone comes looking and dressed (or undressed) for the spectacle. Last year, being our first outing to FSF, we played it pretty safe. A moderate booth, some eye candy and a good amount of rope… and we did really well. Last year’s Folsom was the event that really lit the fuse of the company’s rocket ride growth. Sure, I suppose we could have just tried to repeat last year and not strive to outdo ourselves. Then again, I’m not one to be happy with “just ok”, world domination means high stakes and taking risks.

Now this year, well this year I wanted more. More booth, more rope, more sales, more theater. This year was a “go big or go home” year for us. Diverting resources away from filling orders, increasing the temporary help, the cash outlay to rent the stage and rigging tower (no we don’t have one of those laying about the Abbey), money for new products, new give aways and lastly bringing a much larger crew down to the show. Stakes for the show were high and let’s just say that I was not exactly the most calm of souls. Nope, for the last 4 weeks I have been a raging stress monkey. That’s right, a complete and utter bastard to be around.

Yet in the end, we pulled it off. We managed to make and pack three times the amount of rope that we did last year. I should mention here that NerdyGirl deserves a huge, public thank you. Every inch of that rope was cataloged, organized and neatly packed away in easy to locate bins by her. The booth itself was a huge success as well. I wanted something very eye catching for this event. Thanks to Galahad for that. In addition to being our “gay for a day” booth boy, he also designed and built all the signage for the booth. Of course thanks also to his lovely partner Kitten, always a delight to have a pretty girl in a cat suit on hand. Liss and Griffin were there too. This was their first Folsom. I should also say an extra thanks to Griffin. We have come a long way from those days when we made rope in the garage and he has been a huge part of it.

Lastly I should say thanks to my partners. Thanks to Dancer for beating the hell out of me when I got too wound up and needed to go feral for a bit. (Actually I think it would be the rest of the crew who thanks you. Their line was something like “Oh good, he is gonna see Dancer, tomorrow he will be MUCH calmer.”) To my dearest and beloved Tambo? Well dear readers, none of this would be possible with out her. If you have my rope in your hands, say a silent thank you to her.

That’s enough for one day. I need to get to the Abbey and get some work done. Tomorrow? Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the coolest thing and the freakiest thing I experienced at the show.