From: -------------------------------- (reverse fried egg)

Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free

Subject: pointless retro woodsy crap

Date: Mon, 05 Oct 1998 00:28:52 GMT


Wrote this up a few weeks ago. couldn't figure out what to do with it, so I

decided to post it here where hardly anybody would read it, 'cause, as

usual, it ain't much good.




Well, I was making a half assed attempt to sort through the huge stack of

ring binders and legal pads and such in my office a while back, which

contain, for the most part, copious notes I took on trips and such over the

last 15 years. I guess I took them in the hopes that at least some of them

might one day be worthy of being fleshed out into readable non-fiction. But

I didn't find much that was.


Lotta boring backwoods-path-to-existential-health solitary soul-searching

gee-whiz look at all the dumb stuff I done stuff, but most of it fell

woefully short when it came to inspiring me to try to inspire others to see

wild and woody places as I sometimes think I only WISH I could see them



It's confusing.


I did find seven or eight pages of almost inexplicably detailed crap

scribbled down during and shortly after a singularly depressing camping

trip, which seemed to have the potential to form the core of an equally

depressing post; one notable only for the clarity with which it conveyed

the muddled desperation of half a dozen slobs who wanted to believe they

loved the great outdoors, but never failed to bring their self-inflating,

claustrophobic caverns of futility, despair and hostility (not to mention

cheap beer and ass gas) to the logged and regrown pseudo-wilderness

environment they spent so much time and effort escaping to, just so, once

they got there, they could make a clean chemical and philosophical escape

from IT.


This, be forewarned, doesn't mean it will make interesting reading, but

anybody stupid enough to read the crap I write is already as bored with my

pre-emptive issuance of self-serving disclaimers (my introductory

paraphrasing, as it were, the line from that old perfume commercial, and

say, in essence (yeah, I knows, bad punz): ... "promise her nothing, but

give her Jack Shit"), so I guess I shouldn't be bothering with this one.


But I somehow feel vulnerable when I DON'T tell everybody that is

considering pressing on that they may well be wasting their time,

especially given the absurd length of this partial account. Anyway, such

minor details have never impeded ol'? --------------?s bullshit production.

Guess you can guess it's not gonna now, either.


And given what I think learned about myself from what only seemed like the

COMPLETE waste of time that was this trip, I can only hope that there are

people besides me that can snatch a kernel of mediocre insight from a

downright bad experience.


Like reading what has preceded this line, and what follows.


If ya can't well, piss on ya.


Anyway, the notes on smiley and good natured and inspiring outings got

filed in the maybe some day box, while the notes detailing some Hephaestian

[Dionysian?] early springtime excesses of 13 or so years ago (near as I can

remember - wasn't dated) and the flood of disgusting memories unleashed by

re-reading them, were used to generate the unfortunately non-fictional

account that follows. Given the seemingly permanent difficulty I'm having

coming up with anything worth reading, while still, inexplicably, feeling

the need to write from time to time, I figured I had nothing to lose. No

more than YOU have by reading it, anyway.


Ah well. Where to start?


I was a drunk in those days. No other way to put it. I functioned (after a

fashion), earned a living and what not, but I was still a drunk. All my

camping buddies, especially the five guys that went along on this idiotic

excursion, were worse. Lots worse. I've changed their names just in case

they're still alive and have gone online and now stay sober long enough to

actually find words on a computer screen readable. I haven't seen any of

them, save one, for years.


The first one, Jeff, was a sort-of-a-friend and hunting companion I knew

from high school, who, in those days, spent just about every weekend in the

mountains of North Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, and admittedly

knew the vast network of fire roads, FWD tracks, and the most secluded and

scenic camping, fishing and hunting spots better than just about anybody.

He had a two-tone mustard and crap-colored 4WD Ramcharger that was always

fulla gear, guns and beer, the heavy consumption of which would make him

sorta sarcastic and obnoxious.


The next guy, Rick, was seven eighths Creek (or Muscovy or whatever)

Indian, and was a hell of a nice guy and quite a competent woodsman when he

wasn't so drunk he was pissing in his pants, which he WAS for just about

the duration of every camping trip I EVER went on with him.


He was invariably accompanied by a short, white (originally Texan)

chain-smoking sidekick and co-worker, who went almost totally by his silly

nickname, which we will just say was Road Hog. He drank just as much beer

as Rick did but, amazingly, always managed to stay on his feet and hold his

water till he wanted to let it go.


Yeah. I know. A kind of pale, beery, mirror-image burlesque of The Lone

Ranger and Tonto, so maybe from here on out I will use the Stoned Ranger

and Blotto to refer to them. Or Rick and Blotto. Don't matter. Like I said,

the names are made up.


But I did like Blotto pretty well. No towering intellect he, but he wasn't

TOTALLY obnoxious, and was in fact generally cheerful and easygoing. His

one truly irritating personality trait was that he talked about pussy ALL

the time. But he WAS really strong, as I remember, and could shinny up a

branchless pine tree-trunk as fast as a baboon. He was also almost

completely fearless. He once won fifty bucks by outrunning another

plastered lunatic in a flat-out drunken sprint up, across and down the twin

eight-inch wide metal I-beams that formed the upper framework of a rusty,

deckless, derelict railroad trestle which hung a hundred feet and change

above some rocky shoals in the Chestatee river. I saw it.


The fourth guy, Harold, was several years older than the rest of us. He was

half some kind of Indian, Cherokee, I think, and was a sorta scary,

scarred, nose-busted-a-few-times-too-many mushbeaked, greasily long-haired

and piercing-eyed guy. He was a big time weed and lude peddler in the early

seventies, and he'd spent a chunk of his twenties in prison for trafficking

and assorted nastiness, and had, in addition, at least five drunk driving

and some assault convictions. And he was one of the LEAST troublesome of

the bunch (at least if you had the sense to stay out of his face).


The last guy was the MOST.


I'll just call him Bill Boz (he was blond, young, and looked a bit like

that Bosworth guy that came along later, the football player that had the

amazingly short career in biker/badass B-films). He was a short but

well-built bigmouth, world class schnapps-hog, CONSTANT reefer smoker,

self-proclaimed ass-kicker without peer and, and in my ruthlessly objective

opinion, a complete blowhard. I didn't much like him. In fact, I don't

think any of us did. He had worked with Jeff a few years earlier, and

that's how he, and in turn, we, knew him. But even Jeff didn't seem to care

for him a whole hell of a lot, and Boz and Harold, for reasons I wasn't

privy to at the time, couldn't stand each other.


Anyway, the odd thing about us is that with the exception of Rick and

Blotto, we were all self-employed and could take off in the middle of the

week. The last two operated tower cranes in the city, (a job they

thankfully both CLAIMED to stay sober for) but could get time off when they

wanted it. So we tended to do our camping on weekdays, when the woods were

less crowded.


Back in those days, I had a beat up Chevy 4WD one-ton Pickup big-block V-8

with big rubber, Rick had a jacked-up Toyota 4WD, Harold had piece of shit

Jeep with birdshit stains all over the seats and a winch the size of a

steamer trunk, which was more than adequate to pull it up a tree, and Boz

had some sort of crappy 4WD, an old Scout or Jimmy or something. Don't



Anyway, Jeff got the idea for us to head for the North Georgia mountains,

and zig and zag around exploring dirt roads and tracks bordered to the West

by the Cartecay River and the East by the Toccoa River, camping on the

waterways and/or high country, and fishing and drinking for three nights

and three days. He claimed to have mapped out some "real good shit" on his

Chatthoochee National Forest map with an unsteadily wielded yellow



Sounded suitably stupid and pointless to all of us, so one Monday morning

we all threw beer, booze, guns, tow straps, tents, etc., in the vehicles

and took off.


The first day was okay. We stopped for a while, as we always did, as soon

as we got off the paved roads, locked our wheel hubs and started drinking.

Rains had been heavy and even dirt roads that normally were navigable with

2WD were hopeless hogwallows that we almost managed to get stuck on

ourselves. But we bashed around, scaring off all the wildlife and trenching

up the tracks for most of the afternoon.


We found a high altitude spot with an okay view, then dragged out pistols

and rednecked it up good, drinking beer, blasting the empties and talking

about poon and bitching about how fucking hard new engines were to work on,

etc., etc. Then we cleaned up most of the mess and rode around until we

were sick of wasting gas, and made our way down a long, alternately muddy

and rocky kidney buster of a STRICTLY 4WD track to Jeff's first pick, an

actually quite pretty site on a shoaly bend in the Toccoa river, with some

nice level sites, some 50-100 year growth hardwoods and poplars, and an

abundance of lacy hemlocks and spruce.


What tents that were to be put up were put up, then we started drinking in

earnest. I make the remark about the tents because Rick and Blotto never

brought ANY gear, other than what they wore on their backs, usually one

piece, insulated and water resistant camo coveralls, and the 12 or so cases

of beer (I'm not kidding), that they had iced down in three monstrous

coolers in the truck bed. They'd drink until about three or four in the

morning, fall asleep in front of the fire (pull a scrap of polyethylene

over themselves and sit back against a tree if it was raining), then get up

and six or so and start drinking again. That's it.


As for me, I had a camper cover on my truck, so I usually just threw a air

mattress, sleeping bag, stove, some grub and a old powder blue easy chair (

with shredded arms and lotsa stains, $12 bucks at Goodwill) in the back.

I'd drag out the stove and the chair, set up somewhere near the campfire

site (and get mercilessly razzed for doing so, but every time I'd go off

for two seconds someone else would park their ass in my chair, then get

rousted out just like I would by my old man when I'd set in that ugly-ass

red one of his). Then, I'd sit down like I was in my living room, gloat,

drink beer and Canadian Mist out of the bottle, and alternately

pontificate, read and/or stare at the fire, drunkenly mesmerized by the

flames and the glowing embers. How much of whichever I did depended largely

on how drunk and obnoxious my cohorts got. On this trip, for the most

part, they were both with a vengeance.


Anyway, after getting settled in, we went and cut enough firewood to last

any NORMAL bunch a week. Built a fire, and, you guessed it. Drank and ran

off at the mouth.


About two hours after nightfall, I was bored enough with the bitching about

wives and girlfriends (often by the same person) and the recurring effort

to save the world (involving ideas so brilliant ONLY a bunch of drunks

COULD have come up with them) to take a short walk, and ended up nearly

busting my ass trying to make my way back up some steep bank of a river

tributary I had stupidly and drunkenly descended into in the pitch dark

without a flashlight. Actually I did. Bust my ass I mean. But not bad.


When I got back, things were definitely up and running. It was typical on

these trips for these guys not to start rendering steaks and potatoes

inedible (by flopping the meat on a filthy grill, and wrapping the spuds in

foil and cooking them to perfection - burnt black on the outside, raw on

the inside - by stuffing them into the coals) until it was close to

midnight and they were STAGGERING drunk.


CONTINUED IN woodsy Part Two








woodsy Part Two


Rick and Blotto, however, never bothered to let cooking interrupt their

drinking at ALL, and generally wouldn't even eat anything, except maybe

some uncooked hot dogs onto which they would squeeze little packets of

fast-food joint ketchup (which they usually rooted out from under the seat

of Rick's truck). Looked like the plan was unchanged on this night, because

at around 11, when I returned, they were sucking down beer and liquor,

smoking weed and cooking nothing, and blustering and braying and running

off at the top of their lungs about complete bullshit (except for Harold,

who rarely said much of anything). Rick, by my count, was consuming an

average of one beer every nine minutes. .


Worst thing was, I was bored enough to join in at this point. Somewhere in

the discussion, between which actress had the best looking tits and the

armageddonish eventualities inherent in the misguided compassion that had

created the welfare state, Rick took it on himself to provide the first

halfway interesting diversion of the day, by drunkenly and with little

warning, yanking out the Taurus nine MM he was wearing in a black nylon hip

holster and firing four shots in rapid succession at what he said was a

coon that was trying to make off with the sack of Idaho bakers Jeff had

left next to a nearby tree.


He JUST missed Jeff with the first one, as he unwarily strolled out from

behind his truck on his way back from doing his business just outside the

unofficial but accepted thirty-foot-radius-of-the-campfire no-piss zone.


"YOU GODDAM STUPID COCKSUCKER!!" Jeff hollered, leaping back with suddenly

soberish coordination. "YOU COULDA FUCKING KILLED ME."


"Yeah, Yeah," I think Rick said. "Well, I didn't. Anyway," he added, "a

Goddam coon was after YOUR potatoes," acting miffed by the lack of



I didn't, nor did Boz or Harold or Blotto, bother to say then that the rest

of us hadn't seen or heard a damned thing before Rick started blasting. But

Jeff went over to check out the potatoes, and found that he'd NAILED them

CLEAN. At least twice. A third hit directly underneath had driven flecks of

dirt and grit through the bag and into the tubers themselves at numerous



Noting the spud damage, Jeff started bitching: "AW FUCK ..... GODDAM

....... COON MY ASS.....You fucking MORON."


He called me over there (maybe making too much of my neophyte tracker's

skills) and asked me if I saw any evidence of coon near where the potatoes

had been. I had to admit, even given the wet, mushy state of the ground, my

kneeling flashlight-in-the-teeth examination turned up nothing of the sort.


When I said so, he started up again: "Goddam Fucking moron.... DRUNK FUCK

..... Goddam seeing things ... FUCKING moron .... coulda KILLED me...Stupid

shit...COON my ASS..." he repeated this litany, with minor alterations, a

little quieter each time, for SOME time, then sorted the spuds into

separate good, bad and ugly piles, and set the still usable ones on his

folding table. Rick just opened another beer and harrrumphed.


I guess it's a sad tribute to the drunken stupidity of the rest of us that

none of us considered telling him to hand over the weapon until he was

sober enough to handle it responsibly (who the hell would be in charge of

it?), and the failure to do so didn't come from fear. Just wasn't what you

did on OUR kinda camping trips. The irresponsible possession and

discharging of firearms was an INALIENABLE right. We were in the GODDAM



And I wasn't about to give up the Browning I always sorta discreetly (but

not thinking I was fooling anybody) wore in a shoulder rig under a

smoky-smelling, too-big, unbuttoned flannel shirt.So anyway, If the thought

crossed my mind, I couldn't, in fairness, press it.


Jeff usually wore a big Trooper Mark III with a six-inch barrel himself

(but wasn't on that night) and Boz never made a move without his

have-a-Freudian-field-day huge Bowie knife in a rabbitfur-covered sheath

that he delighted in slicing up newspaper and such with to prove how sharp

it was. Harold never carried a gun or a knife.


Anyway. After that, Harold and Jeff and Boz started cooking their dinner,

Blotto talked endlessly about eating pussy and every woman he claimed to

slobbered on, diddled or otherwise elevated to semi-hysteric bug-eyed

debauch nirvana and so on. Rick drank furiously and let out intermittent

and unsteady injun war-whoop noises. I mouthed off like an obnoxious

know-it-all about the shitty state of the world and got pretty drunk



About an hour or so later, Rick passed out (way earlier than was normal) on

his side next to the fire, causing Blotto to blurt: "Lookit that goddam

pussy. Out like a sack of....." and just let it drift off there, presumably

because he couldn't think of any witty analogies.


I think at this point, I sat down to transcibe some of the notes that

formed the basis for this silly, sad account, and eat the sandwiches and

chips that were gonna be my goddam dinner for the evening. About this time,

Boz and Harold managed to plant the last in (what were apparently) a series

of seeds that would grow into the next night's entertainment. I noticed

they seemed to be having some trouble with their precariously placed grill,

and Harold was poking his hand around underneath trying to prop it up with

a rock, and Boz was squawking "Lookout, you asshole," and trying to hold it

up with a stick.


Anyway, Harold burned his hand on something and withdrew it quickly,

yelling "EEEEYOWCH," and I made a sort of caveman grunt and said

"URRGH!...... Fire HOT!"


Jeff laughed at that. Boz and Harold didn't seem to hear it. Then somehow

or somewhere the grill lurched sideways and Boz's T-Bone went into the

coals and ash. Rather than moving quickly to retrieve his flaming steak, he

took time out to start a big stink about who was to blame for the steer-ass

disaster, demanding he and Harold exchange steaks because it was his fault

that his got fucked up, etc., etc., Harold claiming it was his doing and

telling him where he could stuff his steak and so on.


Finally Boz sorta seemed to relent, dug out his now-incinerated steak and

washed it off, then put it back on the grill and muttered that Harold

wasn't gonna get away with this or some such shit, a remark all three of us

laughed and made " WHOOOOOOOO" sarcastic scary noises at, and got a sulky

"Fuck ALL you assholes" in response.


Shortly after they pulled their nasty food out of and off of the fire,

doused it with squeeze Parkay and A-1 and started scarfing it like starving

Coyotes (except for Boz. He hacked a couple bites off of his plug of meat,

threw it away in disgust and did a slow and showy burn. But he did keep on

eating his nasty-looking spud).


Then the still sleeping Rick began sorta sputtering and sorta snoring, then

making some mildly ominous grumbling noises reminiscent of distant,

just-forming thunderstorm, which grew louder and louder and culminated in

his (without ever regaining consciousness) releasing with impressive

velocity a drywall-mud-bucketload of beer and twice-bit Oscar Mayer stew.


Boz, Harold and Jeff screeched and made suitably revolted noises, then took

up their cheap blue-speckle metal plates and chow and moved well clear of

the presumably malodorous whoosh zone. Blotto cackled maniacally for what

seemed a solid minute or so, then took a belt of beer, wiped his eyes and

said "HEHEHEHEH.....Fucking pussy...Jeez, whatta boner. Bet he rolls around

in that shit during the night. Whaddya bet? HAW HAW."


On that note, I said good night, retired to my truck for the evening, and

drifted off to sleep to a mixture of drunken blather, beer-honk related

"YEEECH.....BLEH" type expressions of lingering disgust, and garbage

music, mostly Moody Blues, that Harold had started playing on his boom box.


Day 2. Got up before everybody besides Rick and Blotto (not even sure he

went to sleep at all). Judging from the look and fragrance of Rick's

coveralls, Blotto's prediction had been right on the money. Swilling almost

a case of beer in six hours and sleeping in his own puke hadn't dampened

his fondness for the stuff, though, as he had a brew in his hand as he bid

me a oddly cheerful and bleary-eyed good morning in the barely post-dawn

chill. I made some coffee, drank it, read a little, talked what trash I

could with Rick and Blotto, and listened to the snoring, beer farts and

occasional cigarette hacks that came from the nearby tents until ten or so,

when they started staggering out one by one and guzzling coffee and

Mountain Dew.


We sat around, trying to make some plans during the ONLY part of the day

when most of us were sober, and eating Doritos and bean dip. I wanted to go

find a new place to stay that night, but I got overruled by the tent twits,

who were loathe to break camp. Jeff wanted to fish some, anyway. So we

decided to do some thrashing around and exploring on our own, and move to a

place in the high ground (one I wanted to go to) the following night.


Anyway, near as I knew, there was no serious drinking done (except by Rick

and Blotto), until afternoon. Jeff went trout fishing and I drove my truck

to a trailhead 10 or so miles away and hiked up some mountain that began

with a T, stretched out a hammock on top, admired the view and read,

deliberately arriving back at the camp late enough to get out of firewood

cutting duty.


When I got back, just about nightfall, everybody but me was already DEAD

drunk. Jeff was upriver fishing, and I heard from Blotto that all he had

caught were some minnow-sized trout and a few inedible things we used to

call hornyheads, that look just like circumcised cocks with fins. Not even

sure if the trout season was open then, anyway, so maybe it was good thing

he didn't catch much.


Rick was standing in a chest-deep eddy in the river (in freezing water.

this was March), swaying back and forth in a clumsy attempt to keep from

falling over, scanning the bank, he claimed, for mud puppy hideouts (mud

puppies are huge salamanders notorious for eating your fish off of

stringers). He had been scared by one on a previous trip (that got bigger

every time he told the story) that he said had stared out of a hole at him

with big, "almost human lookin'" eyes.


He was hollering for a beer, which we threw to him. He dumped it all over

his head and went, "harrrup...Beer's on ME!.......heahehahahHAHAHA, then

went to cackling and blabbering incoherently.


"Heard it before, seen it before" Blotto said, straightfaced. "You just

wasted a beer."


Anyway, eventually he got bored with the Hellbender hunt and tried to climb

out of the river, and miraculously made it almost to the top of the steep

bank before he fell backwards (did a full somersault) hit with a really

respectable splash, and started floating downriver (in a VERY swift

spring-rain accelerated current) with a sorta glazed expression.



"Ah fuck," I said to Blotto. "let's go get him...we can't show up at his

house and tell Patty (his surprisingly attractive wife) a story like this."


"I dunno," Blotto said "Think I'd have a chance with her?... HAHAHAHAH."


I just made a face at that.


Then he said: "all right, all right," and followed me through the brush at

as speedy a clip as we could manage. W


We found Rick a few hundred yards down, clinging a springy willow branch

that overhung a swift, deep channel eight or so feet from the bank, where

he was stretched out almost horizontally and bobbing up and down like a

dead catfish on a limb-line.


Blotto waded into the water, I followed him, grabbing a solid root with one

hand, and Blotto's left arm with the other, and he in turn stepped off into

fast and deep water and reached out with his right hand, which Rick

stuporously latched on to.


Shortly thereafter I realized I wasn't strong enough to drag BOTH of them

out of the current. I tried until my eyes were about to pop out of my head

and I nearly dislocated Blotto's wrist, but there was just no way.


I apprised him of the situation, and he said, "Well, hell, let us go. I can

swim. Fuck this dope, anyway."


So I did. They went quickly out of sight, due to dense streamside

vegetation, and I once again began making my way down along the bank, this

time thinking about what I would tell BOTH of their wives. But I ran across

the two of them shortly after, Blotto pushing a crawling-like-a-clumsy

newborn Rick up the bank.


"Fucking boner," he said as he got to the top. He didn't want to admit to

exactly why he never thought about just letting RICK go. I coulda pulled

ONE person out. Woulda been unseemly and unmanly, I guess, to admit he gave

a shit about him. But Rick didn't appear terribly appreciative. He just

staggered over to a tree, wrapped one arm around it like it was a woman's

waist, and barfed some beer and river water.


Anyway, Blotto had some spare coveralls, which he put on shortly

thereafter, but Rick had brought nothing besides what he was wearing, which

was at least, thanks to his little dip and his recent and surprisingly good

aim, no longer reeking of puke. I had to loan him some clothes, which he

needed help putting on, to keep him from freezing to death while we smoked

his soggy K-mart monkey suit next to the fire on a nigger-rigged



"And don't you fucking piss in those pants," I remember telling him.


I think he did anyway. But it coulda been spilt beer. What I choose to

believe, anyway.


Boz, halfway through a new quart of Schnapps himself and smelling like a

smoked candy-cane, found the whole thing amusing in the extreme.


But Rick was beyond giving a damn (at least, thankfully not wearing his gun

today), his eyes now resembling a couple holes burnt in a blanket, still

drinking like a madman and yelling shit like "HOW BOUT THEM

DAWGS...blurp.....EEEEEEEYAAAAAAAHHHHH!!" every so often for no reason

ANYBODY could understand, and pissing so often we suggested he just stand

by his favorite tree and leave his dick out, which unfortunately, he

thought was such a good idea that he grabbed five or six beers, put them in

a pile behind him, and did just that, until he fell over and went out again

for a while. Yeah. Still with his dick out.


He got back up a little later, going "brrrrfh...hyaaa....uppflk, etc," now

seemingly incapable of real speech of any sort, as well as any movements

other than those required get beers out of the cooler, drink them, and

crawl a few feet and piss on all fours like a female dog. I honestly wish I

was exaggerating, but that's the truth.


Not much else happened until late that evening. We all kept drinking. I

built a small fire for cooking and set up a sort of separate camp about 20

or 30 feet from the massive bonfire Jeff and Boz and Harold chose to abuse

their food on.


I cooked and ate my dinner early, drank a few beers and a maybe a mere half

a quart of booze (which made me the picture of restraint...honest), and

watched, from a short distance, the rest of them try to give themselves

alcohol poisoning.


Harold eventually got so liquored up he went to feeling sorry for himself

and actually said some stuff, allowing half-hearted automotive talk to

abruptly and clumsily segue into bitter whining about what a doped-up,

horny mess his 14 year-old daughter (by an estranged and so EXCEEDINGLY

strange ex that he had gotten custody) was.


continued in woodsy Part Three