There are many situations in which I really don’t know what I’m doing. Camping encompasses nearly all of them.
First mistake, we set off late. I picked up my friend and her boyfriend, who thankfully didn’t give me shit about the absurd amounts of things I packed. Leaving late wasn’t the most dire outcome, but we 100% got stuck in Friday long weekend traffic. What can you do in that instance other than go with the flow? Now, I’m a fine driver. Significantly not the worst. I also have no bearings when driving around or out of Toronto. My companions/navigators tried all manner of turns and alternate routes, but really there was nothing to be done. It was chaos all the way down. This highway was jammed, that back street, also totally choked. Traffic lights with short windows became our nemeses and I just have a natural disincentive to run reds. So it took a while.
Then we hit the accident. Along some highway, we first saw the lights. Blue and red, significant in number. Next we saw the cop. She was standing in the middle of the road, telling traffic to split and take alternate routes. Left or right, her hands indicated. We looked past her, towards the intersection. A few police cars, fire trucks, water spilling everywhere. Debris littering the ground. Two cars had beaten the everloving shit out of one another. It was rough. I gambled and took the road to the left. Then things really choked up. We were nigh on a standstill for maybe fourty minutes. Cars going nowhere. A couple of times my friend’s boyfriend (I should probably just give him a pseudonym by now, he’s his own person. How about “Carl”?) got out to stretch his legs. At one point he and I swapped driving so I could walk off to take a leak. Eventually we cleared the line up, and fluked ourselves into this quiet back road where we could zoom along unencumbered by traffic. We arrived just as the sun was setting which, as we all know, is the ideal time to bungle your way through setting up a tent.
Having borrowed a tent from friends, I had no idea it was an eight person monstrosity. Carl and, well, I guess we’ll call her Sarah, helped me a ton. Because tents are one of the many areas that aren’t my expertise. We got everything set up relatively without issue, but it turns out we don’t have tent poles. It’s fine, the structure is up, but my massive tent is entirely untethered. I’ve weighed the corners down with my gratuitous quantities of stuff and it’s all holding just fine. I guess that’s one way of saying that it’s a fucking mess already, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re at a backyard music festival in Meaford, Ontario. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a literal backyard festival. It’s all set up on the acres of property in someone’s backyard. In its 14th year, it’s this brilliant combination of low rent and very well organised. It doesn’t look like much, but there’s an order that’s working really well. Helpful signposts everywhere, abundant porta-potties, camping plots well away from the music. It’s great, and everyone’s super friendly.
I’m also apparently not great at packing a chilly bin. The thing is a fucking mess. I had zero order putting drinks and food alike in, and now everything’s all jumbled. No, I’m not surprised it’s wet, but there are more sticky things than I expected. I brought some weed gummies, lurking in the bottom of the chilly bin. We’ve been keeping them in the fridge as directed. Turns out they really don’t want to be submerged. The little tin was airtight, but the condensation and chill caused them to decompose. Last night when I picked up the tin, they were all weird amorphous blobs instead of the cute hard-jube teddy bears they normally are. This morning they’ve all dissolved into a sugary liquid. I think I’m better off not drinking that. There was also a severely battered banana that’d broken. It was kinda gross. “R.I.B” I said. Sarah, my friend who’s probably the quickest punster I know chimed in. “Don’t you mean R.I.P.E?” Yes, let’s pretend I did mean that. I got rid of the dreaded deceased banana, got changed and ready to party. Or at least I mixed a few drinks for us. Party we did.
I have to mention one of the grossest experiences I’ve had in a while, because it happened last night. By now y’all should know what level of trashbag I am. I may have just levelled up. At some point in the night I came back to my gargantuan tent to mix more drinks. I put some ice and whisky into my beloved sippy cup (Dr. Tipples, PHD), and reached for the coke. THE SIPPY CUP TIPPED WITHOUT ITS LID. Whisky spilled out onto the floor of the tent. I looked around desperately for a paper towel, something to soak it up. I had nothing. Like Bradley Cooper in Limitless, I was desperate. I didn’t want this stinking up the tent, living in some kind of hot-boxed whisky boudoir. Not my style. I did what anyone would do given the context, I got down to the floor and slurped that fucking whisky up. Ugh. I was more drunk than I intended, but at least there was no longer a puddle of spirits on the floor. I decided to grab my water instead of another whisky, and keep it at that for the night. Hey, I’m a trashbag, it’s fine. Comes with the territory.
Anyway, it’s the morning. I’ve characteristically underslept. It’s time for more bumbling adventures. Because at least bumbling is something I’m good at.