With all the terrible and tragic news of this past week, I thought it was time for a little humor to end the week
Here I am, nearly a half-century old, and I still have bad dreams, all the freaking time, about all the demons and monsters that live under my bed and in my closet.
With this Appalachian Trail adventure now dominating my daily thoughts, the monsters and demons have now crept into my AT dreams as well.
One dream in particular seems to haunt me nearly every night.
I don’t even know how the thing got into my tent in the first place.
Like a good hiker, I had made sure that every zipper was zipped, every flap was closed, and I had even ensured that the 4 store-bought padlocks I had brought as locks were now securely locked in place on each zipper. My tent should have been more secure than most banks.
But there it was, constricting itself around my neck and upper body, squeezing the daylights out of me to the point to where I was unable to muster even the most feeble of screams for help.
Yes, as you can surmise….. The Idiot was in the midst of being devoured by a 40 ft long “Amazonian Tennessee slack-jawed Bunny Gobbler“, a little-known and seldom seen bunny-eating hybrid of an Eastern Timber Rattler Rattlesnake, and an Amazonian Python, first genetically-engineered by moonshine-swigging hill people in the Appalachian Mountains of the 1920’s in an effort to protect their illegal still sites from Government agents and apparently, hordes of “shine-guzzling” rabbits.
While this massive 40′ long snake was busy constricting me to death, in the tight confines of my 7′ long tent, I somehow used my superhuman strength to reach into my pocket and was able to deftly withdraw my tiny TSA-Approved 1″ Swiss Army Knife Instrument that I had brought on this hike for situations such as toe nail clipping, beard trimming, blister-popping, and yes, personal defense against giant mutated hillbilly snakes.
Still in the midst of having every last ounce of idiot squeezed from my body, I jumbled with my handy little pocket tool and somehow managed to get the tiny little pair of scissors engaged. Rather than trying to give the killer hillbilly snake a trim, I instead lunged my hand toward the side of the tent, hoping to somehow cut an opening large enough into the fabric that would allow Steve or some of the other nearby hikers to see that I was indeed being gobbled by the slack-jawed bunny gobbler.
I did get a small hole cut into the side of the tent, and caught a quick glimpse of where Steve’s tent should have been….
All that remained was a few torn pieces of tent fabric, a bloody hiking boot, and a Snickers wrapper.
Steve was gone.
The hillbilly snake had obviously dined on Steve before making it’s way into my tent!
I knew this trail was a bad idea!!
Of course, at that point, I always awake from this bad dream, heart racing, drenched in sweat, feverishly fighting off the constricting attack of my body pillow that I have mistakenly thought to be a mutated hill snake.
Yes, this is a recurring dream that I often have.
Who cares about falling to my death off a 100′ rocky cliff, of which there are dozens ON the trail. Who cares about dying of thirst because I am too stupid to be able to find water on a trail traversed by hundreds of streams. Who cares about starving to death because I mistakenly believed you could actually survive for 6 months on nothing but Trail Mix and Skittles. Who cares about being savagely torn apart and devoured by Yogi and Boo Boo. Who cares about Malaria, Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Chronic Diarrhea, and possibly, the Ebola Virus. Who cares about butt-probing alien abductors beaming me out of my tent for intimate examinations aboard the mother ship.
What I care about is SNAKES!
I HATE snakes!
I FEAR snakes!
See that cute little garter snake slithering across the yard? Awwwwww…. How cute…………..
I don’t see it, because I’m locked in my bathroom, perched atop the toilet, feet up off the floor, screaming like a little girl for my wife to “KILLLLLLLLLLL ITTTT!!!!!!!!!! KILLLLLLL IIIITTTT!TT!!!!!!!!”, even though I am nowhere near the yard.
The Appalachian Trail is covered in snakes.
After reading 8 books on the trail thus far, my own scientific research says that there are probably about 6 TRILLION snakes ON the trail itself.
The books don’t say it exactly, but I can read between the lines….
The snakes on the Appalachian Trail have a taste for blood.
Specifically, IDIOT HIKER BLOOD.
Steve and I will be doing about 5 MILLION steps each over the course of the 2,200 miles of trail.
Five Million steps while fending off 6 TRILLION snakes!
I don’t like those odds!
I relay these scientific figures and my fears to my wife. She laughs.
The kid overhears my snake figures and fears.
Like any Video Game-Obsessed teenage boy, he instantly comes up with a solution.
Within minutes, the kid has described a scenario in which I am hiking with my 30lb backpack filled with my tent, sleeping bag, food, clothing, and other gear, while I am ALSO carrying a 40lb Napalm-filled tank that is connected to dual flame-throwers attached to each of my trekking poles.
A disabled idiot hiking the Appalachian Trail, grilling trillions of genetically-modified hillbilly snakes, with flame-throwers attached to his trekking poles……….
The kid might be on to something here.
This could actually work.