Let’s go camping!
All your camp belong to us.
Everyone knows about campers, right? They are the lowest of the low. Lower than pig shit. And now, I is one.
A camper is, of course, someone who finds a safe spot to hide and gibs poor little innocent players who stray into his line of fire. (Eat my pineapple!) Back in the early days of Quake, campers were considered scurrilous maggoty scum. Unfortunately, camping was often the only way I could kill my old buddy Raiko, who had me seriously outclassed and …
I think I’m talking about the wrong kind of camping here. Please never mind all of the above.
Let’s Go Camping
Three out of the last four years my wife and I have gone camping. Yes, that camping. Out in the woods. No internet. No bed. No electricity. Sleeping on the ground. Mosquitoes up the ass. My wife thought camping would destroy me. I guess we were both surprised when I manned-up and turned into a completely different guy. I go all wild and shit. I collect and break wood. I start fires. Me Tarzan. I think it still shocks the shit out of her.
The plan was a three-day weekend. We both took Friday off. Thursday after work we jumped right in the car we’d already packed and headed out of town. We had to pick up firewood then go back to our house because I forgot my coat. I didn’t think I’d need the coat but the wife made me do it. So we finally got on our way about an hour late.
We were about five minutes from the house when our first disaster struck.
We were driving on a two-lane road and, just when a pickup truck passed us, something hit our car. Loud. Simultaneously we both shouted, “Motherfucker!” as I pulled the car to the side of the road. I jumped out and watched the truck driving away. He wasn’t stopping.
“That son of a bitch,” I hissed. “He either deliberately threw something at us or kicked something up onto our car.” My money was on the deliberate throwing.
Our adrenaline flowing, we inspected the car, expecting to find something like a smoldering crater of devastation.
“Ah, here we go,” I said. A lounge chair had been tied to the rack on top of the car. That lounge chair had a flap that blocked the sun. That flap had been blown up by the wind and smacked down on our own car.
Yeah, that’s the way we roll. That’s how we started our expedition to the woods. I took it as a good omen. “This portends well for us,” I said wisely.
Without further incident, we finally arrived at the campgrounds. The same one where we camped the last two times. The same spot was still open, too. “Let’s take that one again,” I said. Yeah, I’m not big on change.
My wife wanted to keep looking. There’s a spot she’s always wanted to try. It was taken. But she did find another spot that looked promising. “How about this one?” she asked.
“I’m down for whatever.” But inside, I was thinking, “Old spot, old spot, old spot.”
“OK, this one then.”
Thus began the unpacking of the car ritual. We had to get the tent set up and we were already an hour behind and it was getting quite dark. We made quick work of the task and soon I had a fire going. I plopped down in a Coleman chair. It was time to relax.
My wife grabbed a flashlight. “I can’t find the water. I’m going to go look.” And just like that, I was all alone, in the dark, surrounded by scary animals. And probably a grue.
She came back and shared the bad news. “We got no water here.”
Apparently the campgrounds were divided into two areas. The older original sites all had water. The new sites (like the one she had chosen) didn’t. No water. I quickly calculated the odds of surviving on nothing but Jack Daniels. I thought they were pretty food.
Thus began the weekend of me carrying shitloads of water to our camp.
To be concluded in a post entitled “The Fire Incident” coming soon…
The Nothing Hour
Last Friday, one week ago today, I sat at my desk at work in the afternoon, my ears ringing from my illness and bubbles were coming out of my nose as I practiced my mouth-breathing skills.
All sounds were muted since my fallopian tubes (ear canals) were completely filled with snot and I felt like I was swimming underwater. Time had slowed to an interminable crawl and every half hour I checked my watch to see that only three minutes had gone by. Meanwhile my eyeballs started to burn as I tried to look at my computer display.
“Is this Hell?” I asked myself. Every fiber in my being only wanted one thing: To get off work and start the weekend, where, if the Lord would only smile on me, just this once, I’d be well enough to go back to the shit factory by Monday. (I know, what a lofty goal.)
Fast forward to today. I’ve got another week of living Hell under my belt and I found myself back in the exact same situation.
It was the most powerful feeling of deju vu I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.
Home now, I feel slightly better. That alone is enough to make me feel different. Not being at Work has remarkable restorative powers. Sure, my ears are still ringing and my snot is still the color of Nickelodeon slime, but I do actually feel a wee bit better.
I can’t believe the length of time I’ve had this crud. I don’t think I’ve ever been this sick in my entire life. So far 2011 has a shot at the worst year E-V-A-R. I’ve been like this for six weeks now with the current bout lasting 14 full days and still no end in sight.
Somehow I did make it through this week, though. The weekend is here. I will lay low, conserve my energy, ingest my snake oil and placebos, try to sleep as much as I can (epic fail) and try my damnedest not to set one toe outside of the house. I pity the fool who knocks on my door.
By the way, do you know how to tell the difference between effective and ineffective medicine? It’s easy. The shit that has absolutely no effect is the stuff you are allowed buy. This stuff has a code name. It is “Over The Counter” or OTC. There is a huge industry built around selling this fake stuff.
The shit that actually works? That’s the stuff you can’t buy, at least without tithing your physician a Benjamin ($100 bill) and even then there’s only a slight chance he might see things your way and prescribe something that actually works.
If the medical community had any brains at all, they’d put me in an induced coma and wake me up when this shit was over. Now that would be valuable medical treatment.
This week was the ultimate rat-in-a-spinning-wheel experience. Toss and turn and sweat fitfully all night long, where I’d lay awake in bed for hours, staring at the ceiling, then oversleep and find myself with 45 minutes to get ready for work.
I’d run around the house like a madman, skip breakfast, pray to God my car would start, get to work three minutes late, out of breath, then get pounded with the life or death pressures of selling useless crap on the internet.
Then get home when it was already dark, scramble to find something for dinner, then stumble to bed.
There sure is nothing better than being at work especially when you feel like death warmed over. Just the three of us: me, boss and coworker. The holy trinity of cough and snot. Coughing. Blowing our noses. And all in the confined space of a work area smaller than the living room in my house. No privacy and we’re all eating each others germs and phlegm. Yummy!
This week the boss added a new bit of hilarious fun. Sitting at his deck and hocking up loogies, oh God, and then noisily plop-plop-plopping that snot into his goddamn wastebasket under his desk.
Seriously. Is this Hell? If it is, can I at least have the courtesy of a little confirmation?
There was one bit of a bright spot this week, though. (I’ll go ahead and wait while you pick yourself up off the floor.)
I was able to jump off the rat race and get off work early a few days and briefly disrupt the vicious cycle. I came straight home and fell into bed. I wanted nothing out of life more than just fall asleep, which of course turned out to be the single thing which was denied to me. Funny how it works out that way. Even when sick I can’t nap. I did consider quaffing a bottle of tequila but somehow even in my condition I knew that would be a damn lame thing to do, even to get a few minutes of sleep.
What I discovered during these brief periods of rat race interruption, quite by accident, is something I’m calling The Nothing Hour. Lo and behold, this is quite the revelation. The idea is this: No matter what is going on in your life, you step outside of your normal bullshit rut (which is so deep you can hang posters) and do nothing for one motherfucking hour. Every day. No matter what.
That’s it. That’s the whole deal.
I’ve found that it works wonders. It’s like, “OMFG! What a strange sensation! What is this feeling? What is this doing nothing shit?”
This isn’t for the weak. The first couple of times I tried it the feelings were so alien they almost killed me.
Stop and smell the roses? Bah! Sure, do that, only skip the rose smelling part. Just do nothing!
My plan is to take an hour for nothing every single day for the rest of my life. And I’ll always carry a rocket launcher on my person to be used on anyone who attempts to fuck with my Nothing Hour.
This may very well be my greatest discovery yet. Greater than the GPS Dildo. Even greater than the Advent Calendar of the Seven Seals. Maybe I’ll get a trademark on this.
Of course, it goes without saying, even during The Nothing sacred time, somehow The Snot is still there. Fucking party crasher.