At approximately 1:00 pm Friday afternoon, John the Cyclops decided to submit me to ungodly torture. He made me pack my clothes and go with him on a camping trip.
Now, I know you people are all thinking, “Oh, that sounds fun and exciting and romantic.” Well, you people are crazier than me (and I’m clearly schizophrenic) because this is what I think about when people say camping:
4. Sleeping on the ground.
5. Evil, teeth gnashing, gun wielding animals.
7. Cooking on a FIRE.
9. No shower.
11. Peeing in the WOODS.
The logical conclusion is NO.
However I was too stinking hung-over to put up much of a fight. As I had played Band Hero for a grand total of one hour (way to give a present and promptly refuse to let me play with it sufficiently, meanie jerk) and not showered, John had to wait for me to get ready which took two hours.
We arrived to the campsite and luckily, John had rented a cabin. It was next to a VERY scary tree but I figured that there ain’t no tree that can take a cabin. But if there were one, this would be IT. This tree could take on the freaking Empire State Building and win. It was a freaking monster. Like John is a monster but this thing? This thing is a MONSTER with scary teeth and glowy eyes and it’s a freak, okay? A freak. This makes Treebeard look like a cuddly poodle. This thing would own Saruman before he had his morning tea.
So I made sure to sleep on the other side of the cabin because John was a monster, he had a better chance (not as good of a chance as a white wizard, but whatever) against the evil MONSTER tree than me.
I put my stuff in my room and thought, “Sure, this hangover makes me feel pukey and like death but I can do this. I’ve never even been in the woods before, but I CAN DO THIS!” So I went out into the living room where John had a big goofy grin on his face and whined until he made me go on a hike. Gee, what a better cure for a hangover than hiking in the freaking humid woods with stupid bugs attacking you? This is where I discovered John’s monster side, his torture was a sneaky, ninja torture—but it was torture.
And then that’s when I thought about something—Big Foot. I mean, he has to exist right? And like, Big Foot doesn’t strike me as the “hide in plain sight” kind of monster. Like he doesn’t seem like he’d be the kind to attend college parties pretending like he’s not a big hairy monster. And why would that be? Maybe because he’s freaking scary. And you know what? I am starting to get superstitious. Why you ask? WHY?
Because me thinking about Big Foot literally made him happen upon our freaking path. Like seriously, Big Foot are you psychic that you had to just jump out and make me want to pee my pants and run away screaming like a little girl?
So it turns out Big Foot wasn’t really that scary. He was all like, “Hi, I’m being smiley and wavy!”
And John gave him a hug like he knew him so I assumed that he DID know him and he had planned on introducing me to Big Foot all along.
And THEN John introduced me and freaking Big Foot had that stupid “I love you” grin on.
Big Foot’s name is Eugene. Seriously, you call a hairy, smiley, big-footed monster Eugene and not laugh. Go ahead, I dare you!
And then Eugene came back and sat at the campfire with us and roasted marshmellows and hot dogs over the fire.
“So Molly is a bard,” John said like it was my job, which it’s not. He still hadn’t fully elaborated on that title and I was pretending it didn’t exist—like my schizophrenic hallucinations.
“Well, that explains it,” said Eugene like it meant so much but to me it didn’t. I guess it did to them. “The last time I met a bard, it was a dude and he was old and crotchety.”
“Mr. Tamsee?” John said with a laugh, “I am pretty sure he was the worst bard in all of history.”
“Didn’t all of his hero’s give up?”
“Yeah, it’s better if they die—but give up? It ruins the story!”
“Like the guy that tried to kill the centaur but ended up making friends with her instead?”
“Not just friends… they fell in love!”
I felt like this should be funnier than it was, but really I didn’t understand it. It all kind of reminded me about how Arthur was trying to kill John. Then it made me worry—I’m a bard and if Arthur is a hero he’ll either kill John, die, or give up and all options seem, not good.
Big Foot laughed, “Oh and the one that tried to kill your grampa’s hydra but ended up buying one of her pups instead for like three times the normal price!”
“And the last one, he tried to kill your dad and shot himself in the foot and his own ass.”
“You win some, you lose some—not every hero can be Odysseus.”
Then Eugene looked at me, “So Molly, have you met any of your heroes yet?”
John spoke for me, “No, not a one yet.”
I looked at him oddly, “Isn’t Arthur one? The skinny boy that tried to kill you?”
John looked at me even more oddly like I was hallucinating the normal person (two eyes, no fur, no extra head, no leaves for clothes, no pointy teeth). “Arthur?”
“The day we met, you were chasing him and I told you not to and to go away and forget he exists…”
Eugene chimed in, “Molly, everything you tell us to do-we do. John literally forgot this guy exists.”
Then they forced me to tell them everything about Arthur that I knew. First: He’s a baby chick eater. They didn’t find this helpful. Second: He thinks his name is hard to remember or pronounce or something so he says, “like King Arthur.” Does he think were’s stupid. Also not a helpful fact. Third: He’s unpleasant to look at. Not helpful (but John smiled). Fourth: He tried to recruit me to fight him but I imagined a comic situation so I doubted it would happen. Mildly helpful.
It was then like a strategic pow-wow and I went to bed because some how the sun had set, it was dark and I became afraid of everything.
John woke me up at 5 am to go fishing. Yes, FISHING. Like seriously, I don’t want to put little squiggly worms on pointy hooks (yes, I DID stab myself three times) and try catch fish.
So the whole time I’m hoping that my pathetic little worm, who I just impaled like some monster, doesn’t attract a fish because I know I’ll get an evil fish with pointy teeth and glowy eyes that wants to kill me.
And did I mention, I attracted every mosquito and fly and gnat and annoying bug around? Yeah, I totally did.
So we did more sucky campy stuff like another hike and swam in the lake (with seaweed).
Then, then things started to look up. John made me mountain pies which are like hot, goopy, sandwiches of awesome. You put bread in these things with pizza stuff or fruity stuff and you put it in the fire for a while and when it comes out it’s like heaven in your mouth. It’s like God came down and said, “Here’s a sammich.” They’re that good.
And then, we sat out underneath the stars and just sat there all cuddly like enjoying ourselves. And then I realized how romantic monsters really could be because anytime John did something it was romantic. Like he just wanted to make all this dreams you have as a little girl come true.