Sunday, November 13, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Camping

I was very intoxicated the first time I fired a shotgun. That’s a sentence that usually begins a story that ends with “and that’s how I wound up here in prison”. In this case, it was just part of one of my last ill-advised forays into the world of “camping”. I hate camping, and I am not sure why anyone would ever want to go camping. Most camping I have been associated with is a group of people that go party in the woods and can’t possibly operate their motor vehicles to get home to their warm snuggly beds. This I understand. It’s a weird mix of “social responsibility” and “cry for help”.

One of the last times I went camping with a bunch of dudes I lived with, and a collection of girls that chose to hang out with degenerates like ourselves. Two of the guys were pretty hardcore into camping. They had a bunch of gear, and things like special hiking boots and utility knives. In comparison, I owned a knife that had a bottle opener and corkscrew. My only boots were Doc Martens. But if one of these guys was Grizzly Fucking Adams and knew what he was doing, I’d go.

The day before was spent in preparations. We gathered as much alcohol as we could carry. That was priority number one. Food and shelter factored into the equation somewhere after that. I think we had a couple of flashlights too. It was like the first 20 minutes of any number of teenage slasher movies. We were ill equipped, and heading actually pretty far off into the middle of nowhere. If this was a movie, I would have been the guy that died really early with an arrow in the neck after I lost the group while taking a leak.

I was like an alcohol sherpa, lugging a giant cooler of beer and backpack with whiskey deep into the woods. We set up our camp close to a ledge that overlooked a stream. It was actually picturesque. I would have preferred erecting a Marriott there, but when in Rome. The Grizzly Fucking Adams guy had brought a shotgun and skeet shooting crap. After drinking 113 beers, we left our now assembled camp, and walked to a clearing to shoot skeet. That probably violated every rule of gun safety there is in the rulebook. Drunken amateurs carrying loaded weapons across uneven terrain to learn how to shoot guns. Excellent.

Even if I hadn’t been cripplingly drunk, I don’t know if I would have hit anything. The realization that the petite girl with the loaded shotgun waving it around was probably drunker than me didn’t help steady my nerves either. After blasting a number of rounds into the air and watching the clay pigeons float harmlessly into the distant grass, we went back to camp. Darkness fell quickly, and we scrambled to get firewood together.

The big mistake was even bringing whiskey into the woods. That is clear now. I don’t remember a lot of what happened that night, but this I recall with a vivid clarity. 1) Grizzly Fucking Adams got really drunk and fell off the ledge with a scream. He broke his arm. 2) Bad weather came in. 3) My tent collapsed. 4) The girl I had tricked into going into my tent left shortly after the tent collapse. 5) My back felt like I was in a terrible car crash after sleeping on rocky uneven ground.

There is no worse hangover than the one in the morning in the woods where you have to pack a bunch of shit up. The area we camped in looked like chimps had destroyed it. Garbage was everywhere. The August sun was already blazing hot. Bugs crawled in and out of my ears. The bottled water floated in the standing water of the melted ice, luke warm. We quietly picked up after ourselves and trudged back to the cars, the distance seeming three times as long as the spirited walk into the woods yesterday.

I climbed into the back seat of my buddy’s Ford Escort, already scorching hot from the direct sun. I leaned my head against the window and hoped for a quick merciful death. There was no mercy that day. The drive home took forever.

I just saw a Jeep ad that showed a family living it up camping in the woods. Say what you want about the positioning of the Jeep as a desirable form of transportation. I know that car is an unreliable piece of shit that will break your heart like a small town Prom Queen. What really pissed me off was that company pretending that camping was fun. That is a God Damn lie. Camping isn’t fun. It’s a prison sentence.

P.S. I like Cincinnati today +3 over Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh and Baltimore beat the crap out of each other last week. Home dog +3? I'll do that.


At November 13, 2011 at 11:19:00 AM EST , Blogger vfh159 said...

Hear! Hear! Says my husband. Especially if trip involves stopping by cow pasture on the way.

At November 14, 2011 at 2:08:00 AM EST , Blogger Field Marshal Rommel said...

I've had some damn fine camping excursions, but I can most certainly speak to the hell that is owning a Jeep. Biggest piece of shit vehicle I ever owned and still nauseates me when I see one on the road. My God, the horror.

At November 15, 2011 at 10:55:00 AM EST , Blogger Cy Zibrik, MPA said...

I appreciate the beauty of the outdoors. I just don't want to sleep in it.

To me, roughing it is staying in a hotel without room service.


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