"Whoever's not here."
The Loners on Wheels operate by a democratic-capitalist system: they elect a new "president" each year, and collect annual $55 donations from every member to fund their activities and infrastructure. While East Jesus just assigns each resident to a particular department best suited to his or her individual skills, from construction to electrical to setting stuff on fire, everybody staying there full time is expected to work one hour a day towards keeping the place maintained. One entire hour of work a day -- why don't you just issue everybody tiny running shorts and set down some cheese, if we're all going to re-enter the rat race.
Real Estate Tycoons Are a Bigger Threat Than Super Mutants
Currently, Slab City enjoys a tolerable relationship with The Man: its next door neighbor is a military artillery range, and one popular pastime for many Slabbers is watching the Army test fire cannons across the desert. Some even go collect spent shells afterwards, if they're willing to play some cat-and-mouse with the Military Police and, of course, the same exploding shells of death they're out there trying to collect.
Those who don't make it get to be the new bathroom skeleton.
"The scrappers here straight don't give a f**k about driving into the middle of an active bombing range, grabbing what they can, and hauling ass with the goddamn U.S. military right behind them, all to make a quick buck."
But sadly, the biggest threat here isn't explosions, or marauders, or anything else suitably awesome and post-apocalyptic. The land that Slab City sits on is property of the state, and currently going up for sale. One source we talked to, who acted as a "treasurer" for several Slab neighborhoods, stated that originally "we could've bought the land for pocket change." But once they actually started making offers, other parties expressed interest, and the price rose substantially.
"We were going to bid early, but gluing a baby's head onto a duck's body took way longer than we thought it would."
It's hard to say what will happen -- another source mentioned the possibility of forming a trust to lease the land -- but the exact future of Slab City is unclear. If someone with more money comes along and buys up the land, the "last free place in America" might not exist for much longer. But while everybody there seemed plenty cordial and peaceful at the time, we pity the poor sucker that tries to evict a whole town full of folks who saw the ravaged wasteland settlements from Mad Max and said "that looks like a good place to start a life."
If you want to help our friends at East Jesus buy their land and keep the experiment going, click here to donate.
Robert Evans has a Twitter, and if you follow him he will love you for all eternity.
For more insider perspectives, check out 7 Things No One Tells You About Being Homeless and 5 Things You Learn From Camping (If You Hate the Outdoors).
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