If you’re going to visit Suite C at Tabby’s Place, it’s probably best to bring your own tent.
It’s loud and messy and magical in there, and the last thing you want is to have to leave early.
Of all the festivals and merriments of summer, Bonnaroo is the most happily, haphazardly freewheeling. Do you like music or suspenders or fried dough or lizards or Zydeco or bluegrass or rap or plaid or Tennessee mud? Would you like to see 400,000,000,000 bands in 17 minutes? Bonnaroo is for you.
Do you like remaining pristine and in control at all times? Bonnaroo is not for you. And neither, I’m afraid, is Suite C.
Walk into Suite C, and you’ll be immediately reminded that this is “C” as in “Colossal.” Actually, I take that back. Before your mind has a chance to register anything, you will be knocked to the floor by the blunt force of Macaroon‘s head, bunting you off your feet with love and joy and a rebel MEOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWza.
As tiny stars wobble around your head, Looney Tunes-style, you’ll stare up into the faces of a half dozen morbidly obese cats, all grinning and glowering over you. At this point, you may have a few questions:
Am I dead?
Is this heaven?
Are they going to eat me?
The answers are: no, kind of, and no, unless the Wet Food Holy Hour of 4:00 is delayed.
“Maoow. Meow. Meow. Meow. MEOW. MEOW. MEOW.” If you expected Macaroon’s monologue to stop now that she has your undivided attention, you’re about to be as baffled as a prissy professor at Bonnaroo.
“Meew! Meew! Meew!” Mango is circling you in song.
And now you’re getting your hair done by Meatball — or, more to the point, by Meatball’s massive mop of hair, as he lovingly hustles his head deep into yours. He wants you to brush him, of course, but he’ll settle for brushing you with every fiber of his being. (He is a man of many fibers.)
Out the corner of your eye, you see a little black-and-white bullet blip past, low to the ground and quiet as a drone. It’s Hailey. She may not be the headliner, but you’ll not soon forget her short-legged, full-souled performance as she skitters out of sight.
Just as you wobble back to your feet, down you tumble again. Macaroon has rediscovered your ankles, and this time she has a special guest in her aggressively-loving song. Virginia has manifested, an 873-pound tortie of great force, great love and great, great greed. She’s greedy for your love and greedy for the bacon she knows you’ve stashed somewhere, and she will bump and bunt and butt your being until you deliver. (No bacon? No peace. No sleep til bacon.)
By the time you crawl out of Suite C, you’ll be a different sort of human: well-loved, a little bruised, and full to brimming with song.
And if there’s one thing you can predict about Suite C, it’s this: you are so coming back next year.
No, scratch that. Because as glorious as Bonnaroo is, Macaroon et al are even better in at least one regard: you can come back tomorrow.
And if you know what’s good for you, you will.
Photo credits from de top: supervolunteer Mary x2, supervolunteer Mark x1. Rock on.