Mindbling and I have been camping together for about 6 summers at her cabin in Tionesta. We have spent many a weekend, sitting around the camp fire, drinking gallons of Captain Morgan, chasing after a dozen kids and dogs, and peeing outside…doin the old pinch and pull. (for those of you that don’t know, the pinch and pull is a technique us hardcore bitches use for peeing while standing up. Just like a man. Only better cause it‘s us.) MB has been camping there for damn near twenty years, but I only embraced my inner camper when she drugged me and made me do it.
Every summer, it seemed like the number of people and children kept on growing and growing, especially on the big summer holidays. Last summer, our friend Coffee decided to try something a little different…she asked a group of us if we wanted to rent a cabin in Tionesta for Memorial Day, super close to Mindbling’s, so that we would all have room to put our children to bed. I agreed and it worked out famously. We immediately booked again for this year.
And thank God. Apparently Mavrick is not what we would exactly call a camper. MB’s cabin is very rustic. The toilet works, sort of. There is a hose from the outside that we run into the tank to make it flush. And there is definitely running water, but unless you run it continuously for about 5 hours, it is the color of tomato soup. It’s small and is essentially one big room…and when that room is filled with ten or so kids…well just imagine the sound. Not pleasant to untrained ears.
MB wanted to break Mavrick in slowly…so the large, air conditioned, ‘cabin’ that we stayed in last year was the perfect remedy. Five bedrooms, two full bathrooms, kitchen, and dining room. It’s hardly camping. But you get the camp feeling when you are looking from the deck down to Allegheny River to see turtles and fish and what not. There is a large fire pit and plenty of room for dogs and kids to run around.
When I look back on all the memories of campfires past, I damn near piss myself laughing. We have had some good times up there, that’s for damn sure. Good times that we all felt the overwhelming need to share with poor Mavrick. I am pretty sure he didn’t say two words the entire weekend. He would start to speak and we would be all, “Remember the time Hot Papa acted like a giant Puss Master cause he was scared of a noise that ended up being a tiki torch falling over?” or, “How bout the time Hot Mama got hammered and face planted directly into a giant patch of rocks the week before her wedding? Ha. That was hilarious.” or my personal favorite, “Remember when MB’s mom threatened to throw one of the children out of the canoe and ‘make it look like an accident’?” Sigh. The good old days.
He was a good sport though. He listened. One tradition of Mindbling and I is our regular trip to ‘the store’. ‘The Store’ means drive down the hill to The Sportsman (The Sporty to some, The Bloody Bucket to others, or all three to us), the local bar, order a shot of Southern Blues and a Captain and Diet. We then do go to the actual store and then stop back at the Sporty for another round. Or two. One time two turned into twelve and we ended up there til 2am, singing with a live band and losing MB’s keys. We woke up in the morning with terrible hangovers and a very pissed off Coffee and Hot Papa. This was before HP and I were even married and I am pretty sure neither of them has ever forgiven us fully. Sorry guys…I love you!!
Good Lord, I wish I had pictures to post of The Sporty. Picture, if you will, outer walls that are just silver insulation and a fucked up roof. The inside is covered with deer heads and bear heads and pretty much any kind of head you can think of. Pictures of hunting scenes hang everywhere and it smells of tobacco, piss, and deer blood. There is a used-to-be-white-but-is-now-yellow dry erase board with ‘PICKLED EGGS $2!!’ on it. I imagine the writing on the board, the board itself, and the pickled eggs are about the same age…ancient. God I love that place.
MB and I have been going in there for our little shopping trips for so long that the bartender recognizes us. She is really sweet and is always happy to see us, but I would not ever want to mess with her. Those redneck bitches are scary!
Since MB has the pregnancy and all, she suggested that I take Mavrick to ‘the store’. Off we went. For those of you that are keeping track, that is my SECOND ‘date’ with Mavrick. That officially makes him my longest relationship besides HP. Ok, kidding, but it’s funny to think about.
We did our shots and had our drinks and talked about MB and how she is pretty much the most awesome pregnant person ever. She actually gets out of bed which is about twice as much as I did while pregnant. And she went canoeing and broke up dog fights and remained pleasant through it all.
That evening, while we were sitting around the fire, Hot Papa busted out the ziplock bags of frozen alcohol drenched fruit that we had brought from home. In his tipsy, goofy, HP way, he put a piece of watermelon in his mouth and looked at all of us. “Holy shit!” he said. “If you take alcohol drenched fruit and freeze it, it tastes like spiked frozen fruit!!” He said this like he had just discovered electricity. All of us were silent for a minute before we laughed at him. And someone, I believe it was MB, said in her best Pittsburghese, “How you make ‘at??” And so we all said it. For the rest of the weekend, every chance that we got. Poor HP. Stuff sounds better in his head sometimes.
It was a great weekend with great friends. And yes, I DID drink a Caesar, and I DID like it and it DID have pickled okra in it and you can just go ahead and judge away. Up with Clamato, I don’t care what anyone thinks.
And there it is. The reason that I love camp. The inside jokes, the memories, the shit none of us will ever forget (or ever remember, depends on your level of intoxication.) It’s the little things, stuff no one else can understand unless they have been there with us…some may be cool enough to join us. And some never will. Gotta be choosy with who you spend 6 long hours on a canoe with. I begin to irritate myself after that amount of time.