I'm baaaaack. Just like the herp.
We had a couple of great days, weather-wise. The first day, there was absolutely no wind. It was dead calm. Beautiful blue skies. The weather couldn't have been more perfect.
The lake itself -- well, not great, but not too horrible. When we arrived, there was a family of five just launching. They were spread out between a canoe and a couple of kayaks. They paddled out and were having a great time. I didn't notice it, but my wife told me that they had some sort of tiny dog in one of the kayaks -- a chihuahua or something. They were quite a ways ahead of us when we finally got the canoe on the water, but when it's still like that, sound travels. You can literally hear a spoken conversation from across the lake. We didn't have to listen to their conversations to know their whereabouts, however. Why? Because the poor dog was howling like someone was holding a blowtorch to his nuts. He was terrified of being in a kayak. I'm not sure if the thing eventually stroked out or if they just stowed it below decks, but after about an hour it stopped. Luckily they were only there for a day trip, so we didn't have to listen to it very long.
We paddled out to one of the nicer sites and when we got there it was in pretty good shape. Nice and clean, no trash in the fire pit, no wrappers (of any kind) on the ground, etc. The one bad thing about this particular site is that it has no state-sanctioned pooper -- you have to bring a shovel. Amazingly, people don't get that. So I always check out the site beforehand to make sure there's no fly-covered piles just lying out in the open, because seriously, sometimes there are. At least cover it up with some leaves, people. Anyway, this time there wasn't. I couldn't figure it out at first, since it was still only a couple of weeks after Labor Day, but then it all became clear. A few hundred feet down the trail I stumbled on to this:
Yes, it's the super duper grouper pooper. You can't really tell from the picture, but there's about a bushel and a half of shit and tp piled up behind that cross member. Not only that, but they hacked giant notches into two live trees to hold it there. I'm not gonna lie. It was pretty nasty, and again, way too close to the water. People are fucking idiots. The next morning my wife woke up and said, "Oh my god. Last night I dreamed that for some reason I sat on that thing and lost my balance and fell backwards. It was horrifying."
Turns out it was also the last week of Canada Goose season. So there were a couple of yahoos down at the marshy end of the lake motoring around in a flat-bottomed boat chasing geese with semi-automatic shotguns. Unfortunately, because it was so still, all we could hear between the frantic shotgun explosions were the two of them yelling inane shit to each other over the sound of the motor. Followed, of course, by the indignant honking of pissed off geese that circled the lake and settled down to be shot at again. Geese are stupid. But I guess that's what I get for going camping during hunting season, so I can't complain too much.
Here's a shot from our second morning:
Whenever we go camping, we always bring our friend Jack. He's a bit of a black sheep, who was born of hoary nights, when lonely men struggled to keep their fires lit and cabins warm. He also does a great job facilitating fascinating conversation. Here's an example:
Me: What's that show you watch that I can't stand? The one with the stupid witches? Why is that show always on? Always. Is there some all-witch-all-the-time TV channel I don't know about?
Wife: Hey! Don't bust on the witches - I know it's a stupid show. I don't know why I watch it -- I got sucked in while I was on the treadmill. Besides, it's better than that ridiculous show you watch.
Me: What? Venture Brothers? That's not ridiculous, that's genius.
Wife: No, not that one. The other one. The Hungerfords.
Me: The Hungerfords? What the fuck is that?
Wife: You know, Hungerfords. The one with Meatball. And Fries.
Me: Meatwad? Do you mean Meatwad? And Frylock? Are you talking about Aqua Teen Hunger Force?
Wife: Yeah. That one. Stupidest thing on TV.
Me (almost pissing myself from laughing so hard): Meatball? Fries? The HUNGERFORDS?
Wife: Shut up and pass the Yukon.
She made a good point, though. Then we talked about astrophysics and string theory.
On the way home we stopped at an antique store in Warrensburg. While my wife wandered inside I decided to go grab a slice of pizza a few doors down since I was working on a couple of packets of cream of wheat I had eaten approximately 6 hours ago. I walked in and saw a nice cheese pie in the display. An old guy came out from back and asked me what he could get for me. I told him I'd take a slice and a can of mountain dew. He reached into the case to take out a slice and that's when I saw his hands. They were black. And not for any expected and normal reason, like, for instance, he was born a black man. No, this guy was white. But only racially. When he turned around to put the slice in the oven, I noticed his elbows were also black, and he had dirt packed into his neck creases. Then I looked down at his feet when he walked away. Apparently, he had opted to simply walk the excess length off his dark brown pants because they had about six inches of frayed material just dragging on the ground. And then I noticed that his pants had actually started out as tan.
I watched him handle my pizza with his bare, dirt-blackened hands as he tossed it in the oven. I watched him rub his nose right before taking my slice out of the oven and tossing it onto a paper plate. While I was waiting, a woman came in to bum a cigarette from him. She was shaking pretty badly, and had a horrible head cold. After about 5 minutes of listening to them talk, I realized she was there not only to bum a cigarette, but to start her shift.
I almost didn't eat it. Almost. I was soooo hungry and it smelled soooo good. So against my better judgement, in a feeble effort to take my germaphobic bull by the horns, I just ignored my other senses and chowed down.
So now have a nasty head cold. I tell myself I caught it from my wife, but If I don't post for a couple of weeks, assume I succumbed to the filthy pizza flu.
After I ate the pizza, I wandered down to the store to find my wife. I did eventually find her, but first, I found this treasure:
I am pretty sure it's Sammy Davis Jr.
In a thong.
It haunts me, and I hope it haunts you as well.
I immediately sent a picture of it via text message to my buddy Mark and said, "I think this original oil painting would look fantastic hanging in your living room on the wall behind your couch."
A few moments later, I got a reply that said, "I'd pay half to make that happen."
Unfortunately, it was out of my price range.
That's probably good, because if that thing had been less than fifty bucks, it would most likely be somewhere getting framed right now.