How to survive? We intended to consult with Man vs. Wild host Bear Grylls — who's been dropped into some of the world's most inhospitable locales to deal with some of most dangerous, unpleasant, and life-threatening situations imaginable — but when we explained to him the nature and circumstances of "Desert Invasion," he opted out, lamenting that even his formidable survival skills were no match for such a scenario. So we've come up with some lifesaving tips of our own in the event of these potential pitfalls:
You're stuck in the crowd with no water: Water must be your number one priority. Without it, you won't last long. Search your immediate area for a large fellow wearing leather pants — you're bound to find someone sooner or later at this kind of event. Subdue that person, remove the leather pants, wring out the sweat into some kind of container — you can use a cap if you're wearing one — and drink. It's tastes quite foul, but it's full of electrolytes and it will keep you alive.
You're trapped inside a cloud of Aqua Net: Conditions at this type of events are unpredictable. Aqua Net may not be a concern, because many band members have gone at least partially bald or gotten an age-appropriate haircut since the '80s. But it's possible — probable, even — that many attendees may use the hairspray for nostalgic or ironic purposes, and there may not be a steady breeze. If you do smell the distinctive scent of Aqua Net and find yourself engulfed by the product, it is crucial that you not light a cigarette — or even use your cell phone or any other portable electronic device — because you very well may ignite the air around you into a massive fireball. Instead, do not panic but carefully extract yourself from the Aqua Net cloud as quickly as possible and drop flat on the ground or seek open space.
You're swept up in a massive sing-along of "Sister Christian": Sometimes, when it comes to survival, the challenge is more mental than anything. Not to downplay the temporary physical torture of thousands of people hollering "Motoring!!!!" in your ear repeatedly — off-key, at top volume — but if you can somehow summon the will to shut it out and ride out the storm, as it were, you should be able to come out the other side relatively unscathed. Your well-being may depend on it.
You're attacked by wild cougars: Not the large cat, of course, but the older women who often attend this type of event. Spurred by each successive power ballad they hear — from Firehouse's "Love of a Lifetime" to Trixter's "Surrender" — they will be on the prowl. You must be alert to their presence. Despite the stiletto heels, they're deceptively fast and they'll be on top of you before you know it. In that case, your only option may be to point in the opposite direction and scream, "Whoa, I can't believe Bret Michaels decided to show up! He just went that way!" — Michael Alan Goldberg