I don’t camp.
Besides the obvious lack of bathrooms and places to plug in my computer in a tent, I’m afraid of the dark. Not city-dark, where the sky is orange and the darkest place is a burned-out street lamp.
I’m afraid of the country-dark. Where you can see all the stars. And no one can hear you scream.
The Blair Witch Project made me die a slow horrible death. For weeks afterwards.
Because my worst nightmare is to be in a tent with creepy noises and weird rock piles and no shoe store in sight. Oh and a crazy witch serial killer thing that kills people. That’s also why it freaked me out.
But once, many moons ago, I agreed to go camping with my husband.
All day I’m happy and smoochie and hiking in my awesome new boots.
Then BAM! It’s dark and I’m terrified.
After laying in the eerie blackness next to my snoring husband for HOURS also known as thirty minutes recalling all the ways I could die according to every horror movie I’d ever seen, I gentle shake him awake with punch in the kidney and ask him play cards.
And yes, I realize a flashlight in a tent makes us a GREATER TARGET for the freaks. But no one has ever been killed playing gin rummy. Sleeping? Running? Playing poker? Yes. Yes. Yes. Gin rummy? No.
So we play. For an HOUR.
And now I have to pee.
Of course, I make Scott go outside with me. TO STAND GUARD.
As I finish peeing, a great rustling comes through the woods. But not like a squirrel jumping gleefully among the leaves. More like FIFTY-FOOT TREES BEING TOPPLED OVER BY SOMETHING ANGRY and that SOMETHING ANGRY is heading our way.
I turn, half tripping on my pants around my ankles, to get reassurance from Scott.
And he’s GONE.
Now I’m like PSYCHO afraid. And the crashing is coming closer and closer.
I yell: SCOTT! SCOTT!
Muffled voice: Get in the tent!
As I run towards the tent, I holler: EXCUSE ME? Did you just leave me alone in the dark with a MONSTER THAT IS KNOCKING DOWN TREES!
Muffled voice: I’m getting a weapon.
Me: What? A sleeping bag?
Muffled voice: A pot!
As I climb into the tent, I ask: And just when were you going to come out of the tent to use it?
The monster must’ve heard my indignation. Because he hightailed it the other way.
PS. We don’t camp anymore. At least not without a cabin and a deadbolt.