July 22nd, 2008


Campers, The End Is Nigh!

The best thing about camping has to be the whole peeing thing. Sometimes I just want to get up out of my seat, walk ten feet, and piss in the refrigerator. But this is America in 2008; I gotta use the fucking toilet like every other hump out there.

The worst thing? Waking up itching in so many places you're cursing the day they invented toenail clippers because the mosquitos took one look at your plump, sweaty white ass and saw an earlybird special at Old Country Buffet.

Everything else just kinda falls somewhere in the middle.

I came into the weekend packing 30 cans of Miller High Life, 6 bottles of Newcastle, 5 Newcastle tallboys, and four big ol' pints of Guiness. I left with somewhere in the vicinity of 15 High Lifes. I can't say I'm proud of the effort put forth, but then again I didn't have anyone there properly pushing me to my full capabilities. And, I'm glad to point out, not a morning went by when I didn't wake up for breakfast. For that matter, not a morning went by when I didn't wake up before noon. I also went in there packing 4 packs of Natural American Spirit menthols and 4 cigars - returning home with 2 cigars - but that's a story for another Hindenburg.

I learned a new card game - known by the kids in Yakima as O.G. - and played the piss out of familiar fare like rummy, speed, and Crazy 8's. I kept up my strong performance in thoroughly cooking hot dogs over an open flame, and I farted on my cousin James no less than 7 times; once right on his head. By the way, he's armed with a plastic shotgun-like BB gun, so it's only a matter of time until he's making Molotov Cocktails and sniping from Spokane rooftops.

We left Casa de Hammer on Saturday around noon to pick up a bag full of burgers at McDonalds, with me and the dog in the front seat of my grandpa's old truck. On the way, 70 miles down I-90, I snapped some photos with my camera (which I managed to keep undamaged throughout our sojourn). We set up camp in record time, then proceeded to drink and play cards and burn through 65% of our wood supply well into the 2 o'clock hour. That's when I bowed out, keeping in mind my mission to drink properly all three nights. I was a little behind, but with the early bedtime, I was convinced I'd make up for it throughout the next day.

Well, I definitely started early enough, somewhere around 3 or 4 o'clock after a big chilidog dinner, but for some reason things went awry after the single longest game of 5-man rummy of my life. At this point, I was only through a third of my High Life, with a couple Newcastles and 3 Guinesses to go. Poor showing all around, though I was one of the last still standing as J.D. seemingly shot most of his load on the first night after I went to bed.

It was on Day 3 where I had the most work to do. I plowed through the better beers well before dark. Although, this also meant I plowed through them well before dinner, leaving me drunk and hungry and playing the two longest games of 4-man rummy in recorded history. I tried to make up the High Life deficit, but my tiredness was no match. Dejected and defeated, I crawled into my tent around midnight. Needless to say, the unopened wounded soldiers are resting in intensive care (a.k.a. my dad's vegetable crisper) as we speak.

LET ME SAY THIS: today was the last day of camping - Day 4, if you will. And even though I'm no longer sitting in a comfortable folding chair in front of a crackling fire, I still consider this a day of camping. I have tomorrow off, I have Kentucky Fried Chicken curdling in my stomach, and my brother will be home in a couple hours. We have the movie Tombstone, and if I still want that camping feeling, we have a dead plant in what was once our dining room.

I got my feet wet in the terribly inaccessible lake, I took pictures of the sunset from behind a distant mountain, I read a chapter of a book by a little creek, I didn't throw up, I took three shits that got progressively more painful as my bowels tried to churn through the endless bounty of Ballpark Franks I forced into my system, and Nate showed up for a few hours on his new motorcycle to play some cards and drink sodapop. I won three out of four staring contests, about 95% of the games of speed we played, and was called a nutbag and a bag-nut by James a total of three times each. If that doesn't spell Taylor Family Camping Trip 2008, I don't know what does.

Weather was good, kids started to get annoying, time ebbed and flowed between dragging ass and REALLY dragging ass, but it got me out of work for three days.

And, of course, I got to pee on things I didn't have to flush.