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Thursday, March 22, 2012

On Camping OR OMG I'm Camping With Brownies Again and Not the Good Kind of Brownies

(Note to all my conservative readers, relatives, and friends, I've never made those kind of brownies, although one of my friends and I collaborated about it once.  We decided it was too damned hard and that she should just smoke it instead.  I felt really stupid because she lives two states away from me and we kept sending email to each other with the key component cleverly obscured by using a FAKE word.  You know, like this: "Hey, it says on the Internet that you can cook the Alfalfa up and make it into butter, and then add it to the recipe."  Then my friend would respond with, "What's the website for the Alfalfa cooking down method?"  Hint.  Hint.  Hint.  Hint.  Wink.  But no, I didn't inhale and I certainly didn't eat the brownies.)  (Despite my assertion that I am alfalfa-brownie free and always have been, I still can't run for President.)

Next weekend.  Girl Scout campout at a location somewhere in the mountains.  I've been told that there are no potties.  There will be no running water.  There might be bears.  We have like SIX eight and nine year old girls.  I'm going to die.

Wonderfully this reminds me of the worst camping trip I ever went on, which portentously did not include alfalfa laced brownies.

My husband, colloquially referred to as HIM, bent my arm and forced me to go to a childhood camping haunt of his in Arkansas, which I think he remembers with memories that are a lot more fond than in real life.

There was a trifecta of doom revolving around the camping trip.  (It actually turned into a quadfecta of doom, or a pentfecta, but trifecta sounds more doomier.)  Cleverly, HIM invited the in-laws and said, "It will be fun.  There's a spring.  I'll bring the air mattress."  (It occurs to me that the less discerning reader might infer that the first part of the trifecta would be the inclusion of the in-laws, but alas it isn't really.)

Once we got there, we set up, and it wasn't long before I noticed that there were a number of Daddy Long Legs rambling about.  Now I was a kid.  I played with Daddy Long legs before.  They never really bit, or as I found out on Mythbusters, they don't have very long fangs, and they didn't bite very hard.  So I knew what a Daddy Long Legs is.  But the Daddy Long Legs in Arkansas are obviously radioactive aliens from Planet Freakmetheeffout.  These were the BIGGEST emeffing Daddy Long Legs I've ever frickin' seen.  I think one of them was looking at me lewdly.  I even looked them up later on the Internet because I was certain they were mutant creatures from a long lost, recently opened cavern in the Arkansas Caddo Mountains.

"Oh," you scoff, "you were afraid of a few measly spiders.  What a girl."

HAH!  It wasn't just a few.  It was HUNDREDS of them.  Everywhere.  It was their campground and we were invading.  They were probably going to kill us in our sleep by dragging us off to a bottomless pit and shoving us over.  (Oh, this so calls for an illustration.)

Of course, I evaded the spiders by leaping about in a girlish fashion while simultaneously shrieking and pointing fingers.  Then I jumped into the behemoth-like growth of POISON frickin' IVY that was EVERY frickin' where in the campground.  There was poison ivy all over everything that hadn't been driven over recently.  (And I'll be getting to that, later in the trip.)  As it turns out, I'm not particularly susceptible to poison ivy.  (I did not know this then and was thusly compelled to wash it the eff off my skin before bad things started to happen.)  What we did discover what that HIM is violently susceptible to poison ivy.  Also poison sumac and poison oak, which grow in northern Texas and Arkansas by the bushel full.  If it were a crop they would be richer than Bill Gates.  HIM actually has to go to the doctor if he's exposed.  We had to throw away all his clothes once and the laundry basket they'd been in because the oils in the poison sumac had gotten over it and could not be washed out.

Anyhoo, I was dancing over the spiders and jumping into the poison ivy.  Having perceived that I had jumped into poison ivy, with shorts and flip-flops and tons of exposed skin, I determined that I should jump into the spring at the camp that we were camped at in order to wash the poison ivy off.  I made another acute observation.

Spring water is like jumping into a lake in Alaska in December.  There is a sneaky upper layer which has been warmed by the sun.  So you might dip your hand in and say, "Oh, it's not bad."  Then you jump in and shriek like Nathan Lane in The Birdcage, except louder and shriller.  Because about a foot down, it's like 35 degrees and your ass freezes up and then falls off.  I'm quite certain there are a number of frozen asses still at the bottom of that spring's pool.

Staggering out of the icy water, into the campground, I ran into the spiders again.  Avoiding the spiders I leaped into the bushes and encountered the massive growth of poison ivy once again, which was followed up by another dip into the icy pool of death.

Eventually, I broke the vicious cycle, and I managed to get into the cab of the truck, refusing to get out for the remainder of the trip.  Except, upon reading this, HIM commented about the other fun aspect of that particular trip.

The only place that the poison ivy wasn't growing was the road and that was because the National Forestry Service had recently re-graveled the road.  They'd cleverly used tons and tons of very sharp rocks.  The very sharp rocks made a flat in one of HIM's tires.  We changed tires, and went and got it fixed.  We came back to the camp ground and found out we had TWO more flat tires.  HIM and his father took the other vehicle and got them fixed.  When he got back two more tires were flat.  (There might have been more.  I lost count when the top of HIM's head exploded.)  (That was funny.  It's usually the top of my head that explodes.  So it was nice for a change.)  Later on the guy at the tire place said, with a cheerful laugh, "Every time the Forestry Service redoes the road, we get all kinds of business."  (Maybe they were in cahoots for a cut of the tire guy's business.  I do not know.)

Later we discovered we'd brought about ten Daddy Long Legs home with us.  They rode in the back of the truck.  They took over all the English Ivy in our garden bed and made all the whiptail lizards their bitches.  (Well, they did in my imagination.)  Also HIM discovered he had a very bad case of poison ivy, the gift that keeps on giving.  (Lesson learned: when camping in a poison ivy infested camp ground, always wash your hands before going peepee.  I'll let your imagination fill in the blanks.)

I don't know what my camping trip with the brownies will be like, but I hope there won't be Daddy Long Legs there.  (Or poison ivy, HIM added.)


R. Mac Wheeler said...

okay, what is shack-o-lacking?

Carwoo said...

What's happening? My daughter informs me that I am sorely outdated in today's vernacular. I also could have used, "What's cracking, dawg bone?" But what do I know? ;)

Kay said...

Thanks! I needed that!

Jo said...

That's it. I am declaring you o-fish-ully insane.

Carwoo said...

Oh, I was that, a long time ago.

Quilt Junkie said...

But wait! Was the tire guy cute?!?

Those Arkansas Daddy Long Legs? I make an annual spring pilgrimage with 15 of my bestest friends to NW Arkansas, and the camp/B&B we go to is infested with those big honkin' things. I don't care that they're 'sposed to be harmless. They're SPIDERS. And ... They. Are. Huge.

On the plus side, the place is also infested with even bigger Luna and Sphynx moths, and Swallowtail butterflies. They all make great subjects for photographs with which to shock & awe your friends. Hmmm ... Humongous DLL spiders might be equally as impressive. I'll have to think about that.

Carwoo said...

See. Another witness. I didn't make the spiders' size up. And no, the tire guy was like eighty years old and played games with his false teeth. (Not the good kind of games, either.)