My preferred method of camping involves the Holiday Inn.

July 13, 2011 at 12:58 am Leave a comment

Apparently I’m a masochist.  I say this because this weekend I demanded that J and I go camping despite the fact that I hate camping.  Sleeping outside deprives me of some of my favorite things in life, like air conditioning and TiVo.  But I decided that was what we were doing and J, dutiful boyfriend that he is, packed all our stuff in the car without complaint and only looked at me like I was crazy like, 8 times.

We only forgot minor things, like flashlights and maps, but we remembered to buy a lot of booze so the prep part was definitely successful, but pretty quickly into the actual camping part it became apparent that a) I know nothing about camping, and b) I am afraid of nature.  The following things actually occurred during the 19 hours we were gone, and even though they pretty much all make me sound like a spastic idiot I’m going to share them anyways.  Benevolence.

First, just after we’d arrived and I’d supervised while he set up the tent, J pointed out a giant spider like two inches from my right foot and I made an embarrassing ‘wargghh’ noise and the spider leapt into the air and landed like a foot away and it was terrifying and prompted the following exchange which is completely true:

J: I think they call those wolf spiders.

Me: (highly alarmed) BECAUSE THEY’RE WOLVES?

J: Because the people they bite turn into werewolves.

Me: (even more highly alarmed) HOLY SHIT, KILL IT RIGHT NOW.  I DON’T WANT TO BE A CHARACTER IN TWILIGHT WHEN I GROW UP.

This is the full capability of my mental processing when I have unexpected encounters with nature.  I do not hold my shit together well in these situations.  Also, I’m 25 years old and I still say things about ‘when I grow up,’ which probably explains a lot of my life decisions.

Yet another display of my camping savvy was the conversation that took place just a few minutes after the flying-werewolf-spider incident, during which I pretty conclusively proved that I’m not to be left alone in areas where a bear might be within 50 feet of me:

Me: What are you supposed to do if you see a bear again?

J: I don’t remember, exactly.

Me: Run?

J: No, you definitely can’t outrun a bear.  I think you’re supposed to be loud and make yourself look big and intimidating.

Me: (in the deepest possible voice I can manage, which is not that impressive because it pretty much just makes me sound like a really old woman with emphazema) ‘Go away bear.  I’ll cut you.’

J: I don’t think you’re supposed to pick fights with them, either.  It’s probably worse than running.

Me: Well, we’ll see when the time comes.

So if you read a newspaper article about some girl that tried to knife-fight a grizzly bear and then died a tragic-yet-not-unforseen death, it’s pretty safe to assume that it was me.

Also, I put my hand in a giant patch of poison oak despite the fact that I know exactly what poison oak looks like and then a garter snake came sort of near me in the water and I freaked out and told J to fix it, but I’m not going to go into details because it was really ridiculous, even for me.  Just use your imagination, and if it involves some hysterics it’s probably pretty accurate.

Eventually it got dark enough that I couldn’t see all the nature surrounding me, which was both reassuring and awful at the same time (there could have been a sneaky-type bear like, right next to me and I wouldn’t have known to get my knife— it would definitely would have won the fight), so we started playing cards to amuse ourselves.  Unfortunately the only two games we both know how to play are gin and gin-rummy, and they’re pretty much the same thing so we got bored pretty quickly and decided to invent our own game which required you to say a word that rhymed with whatever card you discarded at the end of your turn.  It also involved drinking heavily, which is how at the end of the second round I heard the greatest thing ever when J put down the 7 of hearts:

J: Stevin.

Me: Stevin? Seriously?

J: (long pause) …Grevin.

Me: Those aren’t real words.

J: You weren’t supposed to notice that.

I instantly felt better about myself.  Other people failing miserably always reassures me.  After that there was a lot of liquor involved, so things get kind of hazy until we got in the tent to go to sleep and I told J to be on alert for bears so I would be ready if I had to stab them.  Then he was all like, ‘You don’t even have a knife,’ and I told him that I take my cues from Leroy Brown so I’m always prepared and he gave me a really weird look and we went to bed.  All in all it was pretty fun, although I’ve definitely met my camping quota for the year and I still maintain that fighting bears is a completely appropriate course of action.

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Entry filed under: the great outdoors is a scary place. Tags: , .

I’d like to preface everything I say with a disclaimer: I do not have a fish fetish. If you ever see a mysterious arrow in the middle of the forest, you should definitely follow it.

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