Monthly Archives: April 2012

The tragedy of nudity

Here is how the afternoon of the Saturday before last began.

I had an appointment for my first massage.

The address the masseuse, Josie, gave me turned out to be a grange hall. (For those who don’t know, that’s a community hangout for farmers.)

Due to the nonexistence of a parking lot, I parked my car on the front lawn.

The front door was locked and Josie was M.I.A.

Josie showed up one minute before my appointment.

She escorted me into her massaging room – a 10’x6′ room with painted-that-day walls.

Wrinkled and grungy purple sheets covered her massage table. And, I soon learned, were also to cover my naked bod.

Josie’s relaxation music sounded like bugs and people peeing.

Her lavender and lemongrass incense smelled like bugs and people peeing.

The children at the house across the street played a raucous game of hide-and-seek. Each new round of their game started with “Ready or not, here I come. I’M GONNA KILL YOU.”

I learned I do not enjoy massages.

Here is how the evening of Saturday before last ended (poorly).

Feeling pretty certain I had contracted a couple different communicable diseases from Josie’s soiled massage table, I ran home and took a shower. By the time I was done sterilizing my skin, it was nearly 6 p.m. Being freshly showered on a weekend evening is rare for me, so I decided to make the most of it. I called my friend DJ and planned to meet him at his big city apartment. We were going to have ourselves a Harry Potter marathon.

There are few things I enjoy more than consuming Harry Potter media – mostly, haunted hayrides, scaring people, and wearing sweatpants. When I got to DJ’s house and saw how close my friends Katie and Tyler lived to him, I saw an opportunity to do at least two of my favorite activities. We were going to scare them, and we were going to wear matching sweat suits while doing it.

I asked DJ to change into an outfit that matched mine – gray sweatshirt, black sweatpants, white T-shirt, and brown sandals – and to get ready to do some spooking. Lovely him, dude did just that. After checking to make sure our outfits coordinated well enough, we left his apartment.

After less than five minutes of creeping around the neighborhood we were at Katie and Tyler’s. At first I was just planning on knocking loudly on their door and running away, but when I saw their apartment I was overcome with inspiration. I told DJ we were going to the back door.

“They never lock the back. WE SLINKING IN.”

And we did. Just as I’d guessed, the back door was unlocked. DJ, convinced we were crossing a line and probably a law, refused to go past the mudroom they shared with their upstairs neighbor. I, on the other hand, strolled right in. The worst that could happen, methought, was that Katie and Tyler would be really scared. And honestly, that was exactly what I was aiming for.

For the first 30 seconds after breaking and entering into their house, I gave up on the hope that I’d scare them at all. DJ and I were laughing so much I didn’t make it more than two steps past their door before hunching over in a high-pitched fit of inhalation laughter. Sadly, two steps were enough to get a perfect view of the bathroom hallway. And, at the 31st second, two steps were enough to get a perfect view of Tyler in all his glory. Clearly, he hadn’t gotten the matching outfit memo. He hadn’t gotten any outfit memo, actually.

Tyler was buck naked.

We made eye contact for half a second, Tyler said “Oh shit” in a very defeated, very violated kind of way, and I ran out of the house.

Later, when DJ and I got back to his place and I called them to apologize, Tyler told me not to be embarrassed and invited us back over for guacamole. We accepted, partly because if I didn’t it’d only make things weirder the next time I saw them, and partly because I really like guacamole.

Strangely, though, the first thing Tyler offered us wasn’t guacamole. It was pickles from an industrial-sized tub of pickles.


This gets graphic

Before yesterday I’d only ever gone hiking once. It was last summer, it took 45 minutes roundtrip, and it ended with a trip to my favorite pizza place, Flatbread. Even as a total hiking n00b, I knew it was an easy hike.

So, when my friends Josh and Ben invited me to go on an “easy” hike with them, I knew their definition of easy was probably different than mine. Brothers, they spent their childrenhoods hiking around New England with their family. I spent mine eating tacos and peeing in kitty litter boxes.

I’d had fun hiking the first time I went, though, and I wanted to try it again. I knew their “easy” hike could take as much as an hour and a half, and would probably end with no more than a Domino’s pizza, but I decided to tough it. I agreed to go.

With only 15 minutes to get ready, I ran around my house grabbing anything I could possibly need on a hike. I threw on 1) a 7-year-old Maine Envirothon shirt, 2) a 3-year-old pair of running sneakers, and 3) one-size-too-small ankle socks. Then, I took my ripped North Face backpack and stuffed it with 1) two bottles of water, 2) a banana, an orange, an apple, and a granola bar.

Josh was driving, so I took the first few minutes of the ride to eat everything except the orange and drink one of my waters. Then it was time to ask about the hike.

Me: How this hike is?

Josh: Super easy! It’s going to be so fun! You’ll love it!

Me: I am sure, I am a very good hiker. How long it is?

Josh: Oh it’s nothing. Nine miles, methinks.

Me: LOL. You fib.

And he did fib. It wasn’t nine miles, it was ten. Ten miles of walking up and down a mountain.

At first, it wasn’t that bad — I was keeping up just fine, internally congratulating myself on my level of fitness. Then the five-minute mark passed. The following sentence, which I said after seeing the second ascent, summarizes the day.

“EFF THESE EFFING HILLS. SORRY.” (Edited for politeness.)

Those effing hills effed me for the next five hours. Here’s me when I reached the top:

(Edited to reflect my insides and stank and metaphorical tears)

Hiking is not fun. Being on top of the mountain is alright I guess, cause you get to see pretty views, but the parts that come before and after seriously blow. It’s just really really hard work. And, since I didn’t have nearly enough food or water, by the end I felt like I had a strain of ankle-spraining flu. And, since my footwear sucked, my feet felt like this:


The reason hiking boots were invented

I saw neat birds, lots of moose poop, bear poop, and strange green poop, though. Obviously I’ll be going again, cause that stuff is too good to pass up.

Anyone know what these guys are, by the way? I’m thinking mountain chickens.

They were doing the wild thang