Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Bit Of paleo History

Anyone reading this blog can tell I'm not exactly right. So Imma share a few stories of my past with the understanding that, as part of my biography, they make absolute sense.

I went to college at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, known for damn near not a damn thing except for the Footbridge over the Chippewa River, which at the time was known to have the coldest recorded temperature in the contiguous United States. Fucking yay. I also peed off it after a particularly usual night at the bars and got yelled at by a cop who refused to shake my hand after he let me go and I wanted to start a religion in his honor.

I'm crossing the bridge one day, 1989 maybe?, on my way to my apartment in the college ghetto, when I met with some lady, walking a St. Bernard, crossing the bridge in the other direction.

"Hey, Cujo!" says paleo, and kneels down to collect smooches from a dog larger than he.

Says the lady, "I have to say,"
Says I, "Ja?"
Says she, "You are the first caucasian person who has ever called my dog 'Cujo'."
Says I, "Ah."
Expounds she, "Do you know who usually calls this dog 'Cujo'?"
Queries I, "No?"
Filibusters she, "People. Of color."
Stutters I, "Ah. Good. Um. Ok. I, have to go, um, anywhere, really."

I'd Be This Pissed If I Had No Drinking Water, Too

The next little vignette is again set in Eau Claire, in 1994. I was sharing an apartment with a co-worker (and part-time paleo-chauffeur - see the rest of this sentence), still in the college ghetto, (I was young, footloose, fancy free, and sans driver's license), in a bit of a hellhole (I was also pretty broke, see 'sans driver's license'). I, of course, believe in ghosts. And Bigfoots. UFOs. Giorgio Tsoukalos. My roommate/co-worker was several years younger, seriously crazy, a bit mentally slow perhaps, whether due to illness or the fact that he had a brutal upbringing I'm not certain, and while not religious, very superstitious.

I was cool with the day we came home after a typical 9+ hour workday and found our shower on, with the water still hot. Little weird, lot unlikely, but harmless and kinda neat. Randy didn't really puzzle it out the way I did (if we had left it on in the morning, how the hell was there hot water) and didn't particularly care. Not so one evening.

We were watching TV and the answering machine beeped. (Ask your parents, kids.) The phone had been silent. Huh. Randy got up and played the message. The tape rewound for quite a while. What came out at first seemed like white noise, but then we could make out the sounds of a TV. Shortly we heard our voices, the conversation we'd been having 10 minutes prior. The answering machine had turned on the memo function (again, kids, ask your never mind) and recorded us for the length of the tape. I got shivers and wondered about the possibility of creating a television show about hunting ghosts. Randy, being more superstitious and far more decisive, yanked the machine and any cords that remained attached off the table and sent it off the balcony out to the street.

Two Crashed Trains In A Couple Days. Are You Kidding Me?!?

Last story. This ain'tn't particularly freaky, but goes under the category of "What In Blazes".

In 1992, myself and two college buddies, Big Larry and Lil' Larry, went to Larry's parent's home in Hayward, WI, about February. We went to Cable on Saturday to go cross-country skiing on the Birkebeiner trail, and then winter camping in the Kissick Swamp Wildlife Area.

Please understand, by winter camping... Well, at this point in our camping careers we were prepared, having gone from the surplus maggot bag to proper 70 below winter bags, and, luckily, this time, brought a tent. (This was not always the case... Bright.) We brought assorted cuts of meat to roast over a campfire, enough meat to turn sweat to cholesterol and urine to orange-ish, ummm, urine. Gathered wood, then gathered some wood. We were concerned about temperatures that night so we gathered a little more wood. Took down a dead tree. And 19 live trees. Squirrels nests. Blair witch hangie thingies.

We settled down after a while, three in a tent, warm, well fed, (there was beer buried under the coals for the morning for a touch of fun). At some point in the middle the night, freezing rain sealed us in the tent (to be gleefully borked off in the AM). 

This was pre-cellphone era, and I've never toted a watch too much, so I can't swear by the time, but it was still the middle of the night, the freezing rain had stopped but it was still some time to dawn. Lil' Larry woke us. After the obligatory "What the fuck?" from Big Larry and "Is there coffee?" from paleo, Lil' Larry shushed us. As fog cleared, I heard, we heard, the sounds of a helicopter, doing what sounded to be a sweep of maybe a mile wide, and heading in our direction. The sound continued to move, back and forth and slowly coming closer, for maybe 10 minutes, then stopped. 

Inside the tent, we obviously saw nothing, but as it approached our curiosity grew. Middle of the night, we were not thinking other than, helicopter. And when the sound of blades abruptly stopped, we thought 'no helicopter' and went the hell back to bed.(z) It was with the light of dawn that we realized, hey, 'that sumbitch just stopped', and 'yeah, we're not in the middle of British Columbia, but we're pretty damn isolated. What in the hell was all that?!?'

Questions, comments, scathing rebuttals?

(z) Our usual rule for camping - first one up goes the fuck back to sleep, unless it's paleo, cuz he's just going to make coffee anyhow.


  1. Replies
    1. Whatever did I ever do without my portable porn pod?

    2. You wouldn't have gotten reception in Satan's Armpit anyway...

  2. Big Larry and Lil' Larry, went to Larry's parent's home

    which Larry, your readers demand to know.