Sunday, May 19, 2013

That time we got lost in the woods.

What I am about to tell you is 100% TRUE.

A couple weeks ago I went geocaching with my little brother Abe (who isn't so little anymore.) We had quite a few geocaches loaded into the GPSr, but decided to pick up a few that were on a trail loop in our local nature center.

At first, it was great fun. We found four or five geocaches and saw lots of beautiful scenery. The Wittenbach Center is awesome because it has lots of different terrain and habitats - marshes, meadows, coniferous forests, deciduous forest, even a little farm and garden. It's about 60 acres, but is surrounded by private woods on three sides.

We're starting to get tired, because we're fat and we smoke, so we decide to follow a trail loop back to the Center. The tree cover was pretty heavy, so my GPSr couldn't get a good satellite read and the compass wasn't working properly. Even though the trail was narrow and no longer groomed, I was certain we were heading south to the Center, and pretty soon we could see an opening in the trees. We walked another ten minutes and got to the clearing, only to realize - we weren't anywhere near the Center.

We were on a little dirt road, obviously groomed by the Road Commission. We turned right, which we thought was west, and walked about a mile. Suddenly, we see a ROAD ENDS sign, and a big fancy house. This is the point where we realized we were actually, legitimately lost.

I wanted to knock on the door and tell them I was a time traveller who needed a ride, but my brother thought that was a terrible idea, so we sat down on the side of the road, had a smoke, and decided what our next step should be.

I still couldn't get a good satellite read, but we had cell phone reception, so Abe downloaded a good GPS app to his smartphone. The road was too small to show up on his maps, so we still didn't know where we were, but we could see that we had to go southwest. We eyeballed the woods and decided to go back in, blaze our own trail, and make it back to the Wittenbach Center.

What we didn't realize is that there are no trails in that area for a very good reason. About four hundred feet into the woods, we came across a steep drop off with a creek at the bottom. It was at least eighty feet to the bottom, at about a 65 degree decline. We looked to our left and right, to see if there was an easier way down, but there wasn't.

We went about halfway down and then walked sideways along the cliff for a few hundred feet, avoiding the swampy areas as much as we could. The gnats and mosquitoes were thick, and swarming around our heads. We hiked for about 45 minutes along the hill, holding saplings for footing and continually checking Abe's phone to make sure we were heading in the right direction.

Suddenly we were in a valley. The big cliff was behind us - but in front of us was another steep hill. We stopped for a break, but made it quick because it was starting to get dark.

We headed up that cliff, and down it, and then back up another one, and back down. We could hear traffic and we knew we were headed to a busy road, probably Vergennes. Up another cliff, huffing and puffing, and when we got to the top - THERE WAS THE ROAD! The problem was, we had to hike down that cliff, across a freakin; river, and back up a cliff to the road.

We got to the river without incident. Crossing the river was a whole 'nother story. What looked like solid ground was actually mud. Not just mud - the kind of mud that sucks your feet in and steals your shoes.

I took my shoes off and made it across okay. Abe, who outweighs me by at least a hundred pounds, was not so lucky. He had to keep backing up and trying again, until finally he launched himself into a full out run through that muck, his feet going schhhhLURP schhhhLURP until finally SPLASH! He was in the river.

Crossing it was no problem. It wasn't too deep and we picked a nice gravelly area. But now we had to climb up a straight 90 degree angle to the road.

I grabbed saplings and made my way up, wiping my muddy feet on dead leaves before jamming them back into my boots. Yet again, Abe wasn't so lucky. The saplings he grabbed kept breaking off. He stood in the river for a couple minutes and then decided to walk upstream a ways, where the trees were bigger. Before long, he was up and out and we continued our hike until we got to the road.

We finally got up there, sweating and exhausted and covered in scratches and mosquito bites. Abe looked at me, huffing and puffing, and said, "We.... are the baddest ... motherfuckers... alive."
I had to agree.

Luckily, we knew right where we were - which was a quarter of a mile from the nature center. We walked back, nearly getting hit by several cars, and when we got to the car, we started laughing. Here we are - two obese, out of shape people, hiking around in the brush and woods, and we freakin' made it.

Later, I got home and looked at a map of the Wittenbach Center. We hiked approximately three miles that evening, but if we had turned around at that first dirt road and gone about 800 feet, we would have run right into the trail, saving at least two hours of rough hiking.

But we wouldn't have had an adventure, and adventures are totally worth a couple hours and a few hundred mosquito bites.

PS. My husband bought me a compass.

Monday, April 1, 2013

I never think of a good comeback until it's way too late.

What I'm about to tell you is true. Mostly.

I have had a lot of experiences where people catch me off guard with a word or action, and I just stand there like an idiot, smiling and nodding as though I agree with them, and then, hours, days, weeks later, I think of a good response.

For instance. Hubs and I had our taxes done a few weeks ago. We had to list all of our kids and their social security numbers. We have five kids. yes, I realize this is more than the average. No, I don't care what you think about it. 

The tax preparer laughed and said she was the youngest of six, and then said, "You DO know how that happens, right?"

What I said: Erm, hehe, um, yeah, hahaha! [gulp] haha, hahahaha!

What I should have said: Oh hell yeah! You know, it's a wonder we don't have thousands and thousands of children! Hey honey, I don't think we've ever done the nasty in an H&R Block before, whattaya say we work on baby number six? There's plenty of room on this desk!

Here's another example. Last year I got a notion in my head that because I could roller skate in a circle, and do fancy crossover turns, and am in general a pretty badass bitch, that I should join the roller derby. Oh, it was a good idea, initially. I was good at skating and learned how to do all these crazy roller derby maneuvers, such as skating along all quick and then wham! Down on one knee like a boss.

But then I ran into a  little issue - a man. Fucking MEN! Screwing shit up everywhere. Anyway, this man was a ref, and he and I had history. Not that kind of history, you pervs. I had worked with him over a decade ago, when we were legal to vote but couldn't yet buy a beer. We'd smoke together on our breaks and once in awhile we'd do some yahoo chatting, because it was the very early 2000s and people used to do that kind of thing.

Apparently only one of us grew up. And it wasn't him.

He added me on facebook, we chatted, all was good. And then he started sexually harassing me. Like, straight up asking for HJs and wanting me to send him pictures of myself. 

What I said: Oh! Hahaha, oh, you're so silly. Hahahaha. Good one! What a funny joke! Hahahaha! Ha!

What I should have said: Honey, I have heels bigger than your dick. Now leave me the fuck alone before I introduce them to your pimply little face.

I blocked the little shit, but I wish I would have said that first.


Last example. My little brother was killed by a teen driver in a motorcycle accident almost seven months ago. We chose to go to the young man's court dates. The final date was a few weeks ago and was the kid's sentencing. I spoke to the court and then sat down, and when it was all over, the kid's attorney wouldn't leave me alone. Maybe what I said in court touched something in his shriveled black lawyer heart, or maybe he thinks women with shaved hair, large, visible tattoos, and stretched out earlobes are hot.

Anyway, he kept following me around talking to me about nonsense. He told me what year he graduated high school and from where, as though that would impress me. I'm thinking, Great job, dickweed, you graduated high school when I was seven years old. But I'm not saying anything, just standing there with a stupid grin on my face, like I gave two shits about what he was saying.

He crossed the line though, when he started telling me, in detail, about some guy he knew that got killed on a snowmobile. "I know exactly how you feel," he said. "When I was twenty six a buddy of mine..." Blah blah blah.

What I said: .......... 

What I should have said: Listen here, you fat, balding little punk. While your endless drivel about high school and dudes you knew may fascinate the brainless bimbos you've confused me with, I am utterly unimpressed with your lack of professionalism. In case you weren't paying attention, this is my little brother we're talking about and if he weren't lying in a grave due to your client, he'd punch you right in your double chin, just because you look like the kind of guy who deserves it. 

I ended up just turning my back and walking away in the middle of his story, which was probably the right thing to do. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

No one went to jail.

This story is 100% TRUE.

The other night, I was driving my car.

Driving is normal, except when your backseat is crammed with household items and your front seat is full of three grown women.

I got pulled over for having a headlight out. Not a big deal, right? Except one of us - not me - has a bench warrant for not paying traffic fines.

The cop came up to the window and asked for my ID. I gave it to him. Then he asked who the other ladies were. I was freaking out. I said, all quiet, "Uh, these are my friends and that one is moving," pointing to Alli.

He asked for their IDs. The one with the warrant stuttered and mumbled. I said, "Oh crap, didn't you leave your wallet at home? I remember seeing it on the table." She continued to mumble. "Oh yeah," she said. "I left it on the table."

The one without the warrant said, "I left mine at home."

He took their names and birthdates and went back to his car.

We all lit up cigarettes and started trying to figure out what we were gonna do. We figured out that we had $1100 in the bank, between all three of us, which would be enough to get Ms. Warrant out of jail.

We sat there for what seemed like ever, freaking out.

Suddenly another cop car pulled up. "FUCK! Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK!"

It drove up next to us and then in front of us, and after a pause of what seemed like EVER, it pulled away. Ten seconds later, the cop behind me came back to the car, practically threw my license at me, and said "No citation, drive safe."


I drove off, really carefully, and then we all started freaking out even worse. "HOLY FUCK! We got away with it! YOU AREN'T GOING TO JAIL!"

We couldn't stop talking about it. We felt like we had just gotten away with a bank heist. No one went to jail and I didn't even get a ticket!

This isn't real life, folks. This is not how real life works.

We concluded that we must have been caught in a time warp.

Monday, December 31, 2012

That time I ordered pizza in detention.

This is a true story. What you are about to read is completely true.

When I was in eleventh grade, a long long long long LONG time ago, I did something awesome.

First, I bought stink bombs. Not the kind you light. The good kind  with the sulfurous stinky stuff in a little glass vial, and all you have to do is drop them, walk away, and watch the hilarity ensue.

This was great fun. I'd find me a group of popular kids and worm my way into the middle of the group. Then I'd drop my present and walk away.

The rednecks were even better. Just waltz through like you're late for class and drop two of those suckers. But with rednecks, you gotta kinda get out of there fast, because they hit chicks. Especially non-conformist chicks who understand why it's socially unacceptable to fly the Confederate flag.

But that's not really what this story is about.

I had the idea to drop a stink bomb on the schoolbus. It was bitterly cold out and no one could open their windows and the reactions of these people was hysterical. Oh how I wish there was YouTube back then, because it would have been viral.

And then... busted. Some bigmouthed little kid, Mike Shinabery*, found the empty stinkbomb package and ratted me out. The bus driver didn't really know what to do.  Should lil ol Rodey skate away with just a warning? Was this worthy of a bus ticket? Or perhaps it was even worse, a trip to Mr. Pearson's office? That man had a mustache to make you quiver, and not in a good way.

No dice for me, I got the trip to the assistant principal's office.

And the ultimate decision was made - four hour after school detention.

Not four days of detention, no. One day. Four hours long. Detention.

I sat it out as long as I could. I really did. But then, about forty five minutes into it, the detention teacher, who was also a special ed teacher, left the room.

We waited, but she didn't come back.

Finally I got an idea.

"Who wants pizza?"

It was unanimous, we all wanted pizza. I brazenly (or maybe not so brazenly) walked up to the teacher's desk, grabbed her phone, and ordered pizza.

"Delivery," I said. "Room A104, Lowell High School."


They delivered the pizza directly to room A104. Just walked right in there with a pizza.

We ate it. We waited to get busted, but the teacher never came back. No one even came in to check on us. The janitor stopped in to grab the trash and just looked at us. I threw my napkin in his big gray can, staring him down, daring him to say something, but nothing. He shrugged and walked away.

The teacher never came back, so when we were done eating, we all left.

It was a pretty good day.

*His real name. Go ahead, stalk him on facebook. I'm sure he's still a twerp.

Passed out.

This is a true story about a bad decision.
Everything I am about to tell you is true.

When I was younger, I was kind of a hellion. I was like, 99% normal and 1% hellion. Which means no one liked to party with me because I am boring when I drink.


I was about 19 or 20 years old. I was living with my Grandma and she told me I had to be in before midnight because she didn't want me to come in and wake up Grandpa in the middle of the night.

So I went out. Now let me explain to you that I am not now, nor have I ever been, like other girls. I prefer liberty spikes to ringlets and black eyeliner to glitter. On that particular night, I was wearing blue plaid pants that were covered in chains and zippers. I also had on a black tank top and a t-shirt, but I don't remember what shirt it was.

I left around 8pm and went to a bomb ass concert. I got in a little fight with some preppy girls but nothing too serious. My friend was with me and we were going to head back to his house to drop him off (we were just friends, nothing more) but we were kind of under the influence of various substances. So we went back to my Grandma's house.

Two things occurred to me as I pulled in the driveway. One: It was like six oclock in the morning. Two: I had a guy with me.

I decided to make my friend sleep in the backseat of my car, figuring Grandma wouldn't look out there. Then to make up for the fact that I was in so late, I came up with a brilliant plan. I would just make it look like I had gotten up really early. Genius factor 11!

This actually worked out okay for a few hours, until my whole family showed up around 10am. I was still in my clothes from the night before, minus the t-shirt, and my heavy black eyeliner was kind of smeared. I pulled it off okay, talking with my family, until everyone moved into the living room. Being the courteous person that I am, I let my aunts and uncles and grandparents use the furniture, while I sat on the floor.

Somehow sitting on the floor turned into slumping on the floor which turned into passed out on the floor.

I have no idea what happened during that three hours. All I know is, I woke up completely sprawled all over the living room floor, with black eyeliner running all over my face and carpet imprints on my cheek. No one was in the room with me anymore. Apparently the sight of my shame was too much to handle.

I got up and wandered into the kitchen. Everyone looked up at me. And NO ONE SAID A WORD. They pretended nothing was wrong, like I hadn't passed the fuck out in the middle of the floor at a family function.

I don't remember anything else about that day, except about ten hours later I remembered that my friend was hidden in the backseat of my car. He was pretty pissed that I forgot him. We got food and I took him home, and I'm pretty sure Grandma knew exactly what was going on, but I, eternally grateful that to this very day she hasn't mentioned it.

Old Man in my Car

Here is a story about a stranger.
What I am about to tell you is completely true.

One time, I went camping.

This is not such a big deal for me or anyone else, really. Camping happens.

I went by myself, and I brought my dog Bruno, a doberman. We drove north for a few hours till we got to the town of Charlevoix, MI, which is on the shores of Lake Michigan. Then we stopped at a state park, paid the fee, and went camping.

Bruno does not like camping. It makes him nervous. Every twig snap, every child laughing, every flashlight in the night sends him into fits of barking. Bruno does not have a nice bark. He only does one kind of bark, and it's very loud and very deep.

People avoided us when we went camping, because Bruno scared them.

Anyway, that's the not story.

It was almost evening and my cousin Jay and his girlfriend Eva were coming up to visit me while I camped. So I tied Bruno to a tree and I started hauling stuff out of the trunk of my car. I brought all kinds of goodies with me when I went camping - 99% of which I did not use. But for them coming to visit, I did need some firewood and some charcoal, and a little axe to chop up the firewood. (As it turns out, I forgot the axe.)

I grabbed the charcoal out of the trunk and walked back toward the picnic table. I looked over at my driver's side window as I passed by and saw something very, very odd.

Sitting in the driver's seat of my car was an old man.
I stopped with the charcoal in my arms and looked at him for what seemed like a really long time. I just stared. I can't remember what went through my mind. I'm assuming I was kind of freaked out about there being a dude in my car.

He was just as real as you and me. Nothing ethereal or ghost like. He had white hair, nicely combed, and prominent cheekbones. He had a little bit of white stubble on his face. His arm was tan with white hairs on it and he was wearing a turquoise dress shirt, short sleeved with a crease. He was looking straight ahead, not noticing me at all.

And then suddenly all I could see was the reflection of the trees in my window and the old man was gone.

I am not prone to thinking that everything I see is supernatural, but after pondering the incident for the last few months, I'm pretty sure I saw a ghost.

Time Warp.

Here I will tell you a story about when I ended up in a time warp.

Everything I am about to tell you is true. I did not make any of this up.

I was about fourteen years old. My mom had a friend who bought an old schoolhouse in Lowell, MI. We went over there often to help them clean it up and get it converted into a livable space.

One day I tore down a shed and got my foot stuck in the wall. I karate kicked it and my foot went through and got stuck about three feet off the ground. My mom had to rescue me. But that's not the story.

After I tore down the shed, I went for a walk in the woods. I walked west towards Segwun, a pretty major road that runs through Lowell.

I walked and walked and then I got tired so I sat down by a tree to rest. I fell asleep.

I woke up a little while later because my butt was wet from sitting on leaves.

It was getting towards evening, and since it was summer, it was hard to tell what time it was. It could have been 7pm, or it could have been 8:30. Hard to tell.

I headed east to go back to the house. Suddenly I noticed there were other houses around that I did not originally pass on my walk. I was confused and thought I was lost, so I checked my compass. I always carried a pocketknife with a compass in the end. I was still headed east, so I wasn't lost.

I kept walking and then I came to Segwun. I had to cross it to get back. I did not cross this street on my walk, and there's no way to get to the other side of it without crossing. No hidden tunnels or skybridges or anything like that.

I crossed the road and got back to the house.

Since then I have done a lot of thinking. How did I cross the road and get so far without realizing it?

I have thought about that day for the last sixteen years. A few years ago I realized what had happened. The only logical explanation.

I got stuck in a time warp.

The end.