30 April 2009

Peein' Outside on Summer Vacation

It wasn’t a vacation exactly. I had one more class to finish up before they would allow me to graduate from college in 2007 (Yeah, I was old when I graduated. You wanna fight about it?). The class in question was Field Botany. Exciting, eh? Unfortunately, the class wasn’t offered at our regular campus, only at a campus in Taos, New Mexico. So I packed up all my gear and headed out for a month in Taos.

I had spent the summer before in Taos, too. It was my first field experience in archaeology. It was an amazing summer. We were required to camp out for the five-week duration of the class. I had never been camping, and I was scared to death of doing it for over a month. I just couldn’t imagine living in a tent for five straight weeks. Well, I liked it so much that time, that when I went back this summer, I requested to be allowed to camp instead of staying in the dorms. I love camping. And the thought of being cooped up in a dorm with seven other girls for a month made me nauseous. It was the right decision.

The other girls in my class were so puzzled by me. I was this strange creature who took four-minute showers and wasn’t afraid of bugs and slept in a tent because I wanted to and didn’t wear makeup everyday. Or any day. I mean really, we were in the woods. They started calling me “The Rugged Outdoorsman.” Every time there was a bug in the dorm, they would call me in to get rid of it. While they screamed and hid on the top bunks. I’ve never seen such prissy-ness.

My tent was like heaven. I could go in, zip the door closed and be in my own world. I set it up right in front of a stream, so I could hear running water all the time. There was a field school going on, so I wasn’t camping alone. We had a little tent city. My tiny two-person tent was sandwiched between Cam’s six-person monstrosity and Rey’s eight-person castle. Though neither of those compared to Angela’s tent. Angela’s tent is the tent that gave birth to all other tents. It even had a “sun-room.” Putting that thing up was a treat.

Living in a tent does have its difficulties. Namely, no bathroom (LiLu's recent post made me think to share this, by the way). Which isn’t usually an issue, but can present a problem in the morning. Leslie and I established a system early on in the summer. No liquids after seven, pee at ten, go to bed. Well, you can imagine how often that actually worked out. Leslie is good at schedules and she rarely wanted to be awake past ten anyway. I, on the other hand, am not good with schedules. So I often woke up with that I’m-going-to-piss-in-my-sleeping-bag feeling. It’s unpleasant, to say the least. The bathroom was a good three- or four-minute walk from tent city. Add to that the time it takes to put clothes and boots on, and you can see how tricky this can get.

Most of the time, I made it. One morning, I knew that I wouldn’t. I woke up at seven and felt like the pee was about to escape through my mouth there was so much of it. So I was going to have to pee outside. Now, I’m not against peeing outside. I did it frequently the summer before, but then my tent was sandwiched between the tents of two other girls. Not two dudes. I wasn’t that interested in showing either of them my fancy girl-parts. Especially not in the unflattering squat-without-pissing-on-my-feet position.

There was this nice big tree behind my tent, where Cam had been peeing all summer. I figured it would provide a little privacy from the other tent city residents. I got myself out of my tent (putting on my boots almost sent me over the edge), only getting the zipper stuck ten or so times in the process. I didn’t hear any noise from the surrounding tents, so I went for it. I positioned myself behind the tree to provide maximum cover, yanked my pajama pants down and squatted. In all my efforts to keep a look out for people, I hadn’t really scouted out the tree very well. In my haste, I had failed to notice the large, sharp, broken branch projecting out at the bottom. And of course that’s where I decided to put my ass. Hard. I yelped in pain, jumped back up and over about a foot, and tried again. I had to pee so bad I barely felt the pain.

After the sweet relief of peeing, I assessed the damages. That tree had left its mark. I had several cuts and a big bruise. Had I been a few inches further front or back, I would have needed lube. It was a close one. I know trees can’t get you pregnant, but attempted rape is not out of their realm.

That same tree got another visit a week or so later when, after a night of drunken Uno, my friend Hannah had to pee. She had never peed outside before, and she was too drunk to even stand up unaided, so I went out with her. You can read that as, I carried her out of Rey’s tent. She couldn’t manage her pants, so I helped with that. Then I was scared she was going to fall in the stream, if left to her own devices, so I talked her through the whole thing while holding her hand. It was quite the bonding experience. I warned her about this tree’s particular affinity for kink, so she avoided violation.

We did a lot of drinking. And Taos sits around 7700 feet above sea level. We were a lot of drunk. Just as a piece of advice: never chase warm grape vodka (this was sort of my fault. I like grape vodka, but this was more like cough syrup) with warm Dr. Pepper. The combination is likely to cause you to make out with a classmate (Ahem. You know who you are.) or puke on yourself in your tent (Ahem. Me. But only after I woke up to them making out on my face, so I can never be sure if it was the vodka or the making out). If you ever get a chance to hang out in Taos, New Mexico, I would go. Just watch out for those ass-raping trees.


adriana said...

Oh wow, this is an awesome story.

Kelly said...

Great post! I can't pee outside or anywhere that isn't a toilet. I will pee all over myself. Coordination is not my strong point.

rs27 said...

Tree rape is the worst way to enter jail. Death by bark.

Jay said...

Shine the dendrophiliac. I had really suspected you of being more of a Peeps fetishist (for obvious reasons), but this one makes sense too.

LiLu said...

Haha- so happy to have inspired! This is hilarious- and you have to read Gladys' TMI from today...

PorkStar said...

hahaha hilarious post!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure this is why grape vodka is illegal in Texas. They don't take kindly to fancy vodkas there.

shine said...

Adriana: Only if you're not the one whose ass got it!

Kelly: It just takes practice.

rs27: I've heard that. From you.

Jay: You've got my number. And I'm still scarred.

LiLu: I read it! Not cool. Chiggers are evil little creatures.

PorkStar: Thanks!

deadleafecho: Pish, you can get any kind of vodka you want in Texas. Maybe it's Ohio where they've outlawed it.