And anyone who's watched enough horror movies in their day knows that. For me, it's my newfound interest in The Walking Dead that most recently clued me into this truth that unseemly looking mountain men in plaid shirts might not be fully trustworthy, as well as this experience I had last weekend. Which is unsettlingly opposite of everything else I know and love about men in plaid shirts. This feels like an extremely inconvenient fine line. Date them? Run from them to save my life? WHY IS LIFE COMPLICATED
So back to last weekend.
It started out innocently enough -- a camping trip! with my friend Laura! in the mountains! And her friend Nate who I didn't know at the time but hey cool yay Nate! Our plan was simple: Laura and Nate would spend Saturday at the beach, I would spend it in my office working (see: why I haven't blogged in nearly a month) and then we'd all meet up for camping (and naturally I'd go to the beach the next morning to make up for my lack-o'-Saturday).
It all went fine until blah blah blah, campsite was full, blah blah blah. The next important part of the story is when I pull into a gas station in a small mountain town, in a spot that has some precious cell service, and call Laura. That's about when I looked up and around my car and saw.....walkers. (see: The Walking Dead term for zombies) (see: many ragged men...in plaid...shuffling about the parking lot side-eying the lone female in a mini cooper that sticks out like a sore city thumb.) Yipes. Laura informed me that she and Nate were just up the road at an ice cream parlor, so I zipped right out of that parking lot and headed that way (passing a VERY suspect looking hitchhiker...in plaid...along the side of the road in the meantime).
I pulled into the parking lot of a most delightfully kitschy ice cream place, greeted Laura ("Why does everyone in this town look like they want to kill me" "Oh you mean that hitchhiker??") (By the mouth of two witnesses, boys and ghouls....)
Thus ensued the following series of events:
- Laura and I both need to pee like our lives depend on it ("the bathroom's around the corner..."). Wander into some scary dark yard area with a shed ("it's around the other corner...").
- Slightly drunk, unkempt males in line at the ice cream place inform us we need a code to get into the bathroom. We ask the sweet older asian man (his race is relevant, stay tuned) who runs the ice cream parlor what the code is. ("No code....") (Snickering from slightly drunk, unkempt males in line) (Really weird joke, guys...)
- Laura and I successfully pee. I successfully touch nothing in that janky bathroom in the process. Because I am a wizard.
- Return to ice cream line. Witness slightly drunk, unkempt males loudly speaking (really bad) Spanish (yes) to the sweet older asian (yes) man taking their order. Ohhhkay. Open palm, insert face.
- Laura and Nate order ice cream. Since I just chowed down on In 'n Out and a Dr. Pepper in my car, I decline ice cream. Sweet older asian man decides I need ice cream anyway and gives me a small scoop of vanilla with hot fudge on top fo' free ("It's business!") ("Yes thank you I like business.")
- Rendezvous in a booth inside the ice cream parlor. Discuss options. All local campsites full. Determine to find a suitably cheap and suitably seedy local motel to stay in. Not enough connection to search the Internets. Eat ice cream. Drive back down the road to the gas station full of walkers.
- Pull up next to each other at the gas station and roll down our windows. Immediately approached by young female, who claims to be some kind of monk and proceeds to ask for gas money. Mid-convo about what kind of monk she is and what that means, her fellow traveler (male) appears behind us (velociraptor style) and jumps in mid-sentence to mansplain to us what his female travel companion was already successfully saying. Shut him up, turn back to her. Learn that they sold all their possessions to travel the world, or something. Except the car, or something.
- Leave gas station for fear of walkers and veloci-monks. Rendezvous around the corner. Google many local motels. Stumble upon helpfully critical reviews ranging from the usual "no hot water" to the less usual "wear shoes at all times" to the extremely less usual "all phone cords in rooms have been severed." (Don't worry, that guy still gave the place two stars. WHO ARE YOU)
- Discover that even janky mountain motels with severed phone cords want to charge an arm and a leg (which they will probably re-sell to the walkers at the gas station) for a night of no-hot-water and always-wearing-my-shoes.
- Laugh until we cry.
- Admit defeat.
- Drive home.
- Sleep in own bed.
- Obviously drive to the beach the next morning anyway to get my sun/sand/ocean fix.
And there you have it. The story of the creepy mountain town, the walkers, the monks, the mediumly drunk and casually ethnically ignorant townies, the severed phone cords and the camping trip that was never meant to be.
But with a story like that....I'm not even mad, you know?
Over and out. Miss you all in blog world! Stay tuned for when work slows down and I get more of my life back and bring you more enlightening tales.