On an ancient parchment, buried somewhere in the vast caverns of time, it is written in Sanskrit that everybody's working for the weekend, and everybody wants a little romance. After this past weekend, those words could not ring any more true. Well, at least the first part.
The Place: Mitch's Cabin Extraordinaire, about 15 minutes east of Wainwright, Alberta. The Event: The Annual May Long Weekend Party Spectacular, aka Mitch-A-Palooza, July Edition. The Result: A party for the ages. One to write about in ancient Sanskrit, or as our current time era permits, a weblog.
I escaped from the clutches of home and work on Thursday night, having cleared my work plate of anything that might create an unyielding obstacle to my having a great time, and a day off on Friday. The car trip is a scant hour and a half/two hours, if you're going about 140 km/h, slowing down for only the slowest of mini-van drivers, with which the highways seem to be clogged. I don't have a real beef with mini-vans per se, since they seem to be the only viable vehicular cage for most people's brats, but do they have to drive ten kilometres below the speed limit AT ALL TIMES? Get out of the way, and wipe off whatever sticky shit is on your kid's face.
I left town at around 8pm, since it took me awhile to pack and pick up supplies. After collecting the usuals: tent, sleeping bag, clothes that I will probably ruin, etc., I had to get but two things: Beer and Meat. Really, for a weekend to be truly grand in my opinion, it only needs to be meatened and liquored up. Those two things are pretty much a great addition to anything. Having a shitty time at a job interview? You should probably liquor it up. Having a colonoscopy done? Definitely meaten up beforehand (maybe even liquor up, too). To my surprise, when I arrived at 10 pm at the cabin, I was only greeted by three others, Mitch, Greggers, and Party On Garth. No worries, I thought, we'll start this up right. Greg proceeded to show me his great idea for the camping arrangements, which led me to believe that he really doesn't work, but instead comes up with fantastical ideas bordering on pure evil genius. He had taken the riding mower and mowed out "campsites" in the field next to the cabin, which from the air, I'm sure looked like a weak effort at crop circles.
Mitch's cabin site is pure gold. His cabin has all the amenities, save for TV, but we can miss the latest celebrity turd gossip or middle east deaths for a while. Shower's great, running water's great and 3 fridges are really great. There's an outdoor pool table, big fire pit, BBQ, nearby lake, floating trampoline, outdoor games. It's like a summer camp for adults, with a bit more drinking and nakedness then you'd find in a regular summer camp. A game of beer frisbee, or beersbie broke out amongst our meagre group, which is a game surprisingly involving beer and frisbees. It's not who wins, but how stupid you get. I got stupid.
The next day was simply gorgeous, the type of day where you just want to sit outside in your underwear and not move for hours. However, this was interrupted by a few chores, like getting wood for a commandeered empty outhouse, which started out like this. It's demise is an annual tradition, which I will comment on further down. After the chores, my stomach was just flipping, so I had meat and beer to calm it down, which always does the trick. Meat and beer is like slapping a hysterical person. Shocking at first, but ultimately necessary. A little game of croquet erupted, and it seemed to pass the time, but eventually, with every game of croquet, the temptation to misuse the mallets overcomes normal gameplay. After just hitting cans, we invented a croquet mallet-hackeysack game with a beer can as a hackeysack. This entertained us for a while, and we got pretty good at it, but in the end, it was pretty retarded.
Near the end of the evening, most of the other party goers arrived, and they brought the rain with them. Bastards. However, when you're camping at Mitch's, rain has no power. It's pretty much castrated. There's plenty to do!
There's terrible singing. I should never be allowed to attempt "Oh Sherrie", by Steve Perry. That dude has pipes. I have a warbling shitbox.
There's pool table dancing, evidenced here and here and here.
And of course, demonic possesion everywhere.
The first night brought out what everybody was expecting in the first place: naked hottubbing. With the characters that this group has, it was a given, and much thanks go to Morghan and Mary for getting the flesh party started. I personally have no problem with shedding it off, and I really don't care about seeing another dudes man-package. I just don't need to see any spread-eagle specials, no offense to you Greg. Not content to just sit and pretend to not notice everyone's naughty bits, the daring tub dwellers decided to take trips back and forth to the lake, complete with mud slinging and trampoline jumping. One problem with all of this: shrinkage. Not too much, and I'm good with what I've got, but with all the hot water to cold water action we were doing, it wasn't helping out mini-Tyler. Bedtime for the hottubbers: 6 am.
Saturday was the penultimate day. Drinking. Yelling (sometimes at insolent pistachios). General tomfoolery. Many, many shenanigans, and plenty of movie trailer voices. Also, I believe Jody and I went through every Terminator 2 line of dialogue. "Miles Dyson! She's gonna blow him away!" Oh, and Jody. This guy should have his own sitcom. Seriously, everything he does is pure comedy, even if it's at the expense of his own body, mind, self-respect. Who else would wear this Lucha Libre mask for almost two days straight? Then he found these crutches, which would have been completely offensive, if it wasn't so funny. This guy can really commit to a bit.
A few of us had a little golf at a local "course" about ten minutes walk from the campsite, but even it's sand greens couldn't keep us interested. We wanted to party, and party we did. More bender. More dancing. More of everything. Including (drumroll)...the Annual Burn An Empty Outhouse, this time with a fireworks display! The outhouse that I previously mentioned (don't worry, it didn't have any piss or shit on it) was prepared for its demise. And then it burned. It was smoked with fireworks, and lit up for all to see in a display that spit in the eye of any safety rules or policies.
Just watch this (MPG courtesy of me). Or this (AVI courtesy of Ashley). This is how to make a good time legendary.
The reactions of the group were of wonder, mystery, and courtesy of Jody, longing and this.
After creating the good fire that Prometheus himself stole for us, there was more naked hottubbing! Yeah! Naked bodies! This time with more girls (thanks Allie)! Of course, we couldn't just do the same as Friday night, so what do we do? We add soap! Much thanks to the earlier, non-naked crew for that idea. It added just the right amount of mystery, but by this point, everyone's seen the junk and the tits, so it's a little moot. The mind, which is a bowl of warm tapioca pudding by now, gets into gear. We get some great ideas and some bad ones. The first was to create a naked slip and slide, using some tarps and the hot tub cover. A huge bucket of awesome for this idea, although since we're adults, we go a little too fast and careen well beyond the limit. Grass and sand tend to get into little nooks and crannies, and our bodies have their share of those. Then we decide that everyone should get a view of our grand state of enjoyment. We institute what I dub "Tent Flesh Packing". If you're sleeping off a night of drinking, or not drinking, you don't want 5 or 6 soapy, naked people invading your tent. It's just not good manners.
Sunday was a travel day, and not all that interesting. So there you have it. Mitch-A-Palooza 2006, as much as I can remember it. If anyone who was there is reading this, please add your own memories, and/or picture links (this is where I humour myself into believing that anyone will read this).
Oh, and if you want to see the rest of the pics, dear reader, check this site out: www.ece.ualberta.ca/~marchand/gallery/.
Until next year, in a world, one man, will face adversity like no other. This summer. This summer!