"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Saturday, August 14, 2010

8/13/10: Alex Bay, NY-The Asscrack Incident

Wanting to avoid pesky park rangers and potential problems for Gus, I was packed and nearly ready by 7:30 when to my surprise Bill showed up and invited me to stay at his site for the day--or weekend --to relax and mend the blister. I was quite impressed with Keewaydin State Park and more than happy to accept!


Nearly every aspect of this Friday the 13th was ideal. It was sunny, hot, humid and with Keewaydin situated directly on the St. Lawrence River, the perfect place to swim! Bill insisted that we make an early afternoon trip into Alexandria Bay for food and beer before the weekend’s flood of tourists arrived for the Pirate Festival. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, wandering around the campground, and leaping from 12-foot cliffs into the St. Lawrence. It would be hard to improve on the scene or the vibe. It reminded me a great deal of seeing Andre’s Portland, Cambria & The Marin Headlands in California., and a few other places. Intense natural beauty often helps me to feel completely connected and present, but that's something I’m finding much less frequently this year.

We began drinking beer in the early afternoon and began learning more about each other. Bill was in his 50’s and had a razor sharp edge to him. He also had quite an elaborate campsite, living out of of a pop-up trailer with his dog and girlfriend. Set along side was a partially converted van for traveling and his job. From the outset, he let it be known that he was quite prosperous; that he had “made it” as the owner of a successful construction company and they were at the campground waiting on a job somewhere near the Adirondacks. Everyone  knew Bill and Liz because they apparently spent alot of time at Keewaydin every summer. This led to the staff looking the other way as he claimed a “staff” site -- for free! Bill was mindful and quite grateful for this and whenever he went to town was sure to go out of his way to bring something back for whomever happened to be staffing the gate.

Bill had been in the military (Special Forces, he claimed) and had a great deal of outdoorsy know-how and equipment. He offered solid advice about how to deal with the blister, suggesting I use foot powder and thinner socks even offering me some of his along with a t-shirt and a few MRE's.

While he too was well-off, his energy was anti-AndrĂ©. There was a distinct, omniscient bitterness oozing from Bill. His mother came into about $2 million when his father was killed in a car accident. Through some family drama, his mother and brother burned through it and were now requesting money from him-- after he'd seen none of his father’s insurance money! This obvious gnawed at his core. Beyond that, he would freely, almost constantly, point out how he “hated people” and would seriously like to kill some! While he was exaggerating on the second point--mostly--I suspect there were elements of truth in both.

Most tellingly, Bill's hostility carried over to his girlfriend. Liz was much younger than he and they had been dating for 12 or 13 years. She was for the most part a simple, gentle soul. Mousy, quiet, submissive, introspective, and appeared to be at least slightly impaired in some way. When it came to Liz, Bill had an ugly side. One recurring throughout the day. He would constantly remind Liz that he had somehow “rescued”her, was taking care of her and could and would get rid of her anytime he chose. From his perspective, she was the one who needed him and he clearly enjoyed the control. I gained no real background or perspective on their past or private relationship, but from my standpoint it seemed vicious. I felt sorry for her. And, I knew it was not in my interesest to make it my concern.

**Quick sidenote to the self-righteous couch-bound blowhards screaming about what they "would have" done: Perhaps put your shit talking to the test. I can help you gear-up and everything! I'd just LOVE to see how that sort of arrogant domestic interference works out for you! To quote Rush, "Show me. Don't tell me", fuckos!**

As the day went on, the sun shined, my shoulders scalded, and the beer and conversation flowed. Bill introduced me to the young woman who worked security at the campground overnights and explained how she was utterly useless as a supposed authority figure, which Gus (who had appeared periodically during the day while he worked) emphatically confirmed. Some of Bill's young friends repeated it later, recounting with heavy disdain as to how she had called the cops on an unsuspecting camper for simply gathering dead wood -- without confronting him first! She was also a morbidly obese redhead. All of this combined to earned her the affectionate behind-the-back title: "Fat Ginger Bitch". She just reminded me of Cartman.


As the sun fell into the St. Lawrence, Gus vanished into town for the party while Bill and I, despite his domestic tension, continued forging a friendship. In fact, I was certain that this weekend would go down as a classic. I was right -- but not how I thought.

Long after another beer run, midnight approached and after drinking all day the conversation turned to, of all fucking things, radio! I had shared some of my experiences in the business with him a few times through the day and (at his repeated insistence...you don't say "no" to Bill) played him my demo reel from my phone. With that, he shared that his family business was -- wait for it -- radio. His family owns a small group of radio stations in upstate New York, and his brother runs it.

After a day full of PBR, neither of us were particularly effective communicators. Yet, I had no problem telling him what I now thought of his family business! Despite that, Bill was sure that I should run, or at least work for, his family's rock station! In fact, he tried to call his brother, well after midnight. to tell him all about me! While flattered, I really wanted no part of this. But, again, Bill is not used to being told “no”. The more I did-- the more he insisted. The enlightened, faithful reader will naturally see how such a conversation could get a little "louder" than normal. Not that we were yelling, we were just -- loud.

By early Saturday, Ginger Bitch had put on her mental uniform and was "on duty." Somewhere along the way, she'd gone from slurping and gulping Apple Pucker and talking about her supposed daylong "booty call" in Watertown to demanding that we "respect her authoritah" and quiet down. To be fair, we were a bit loud and honored her request. But the image of this ridiculous creature suddenly demanding respect and authority still makes me laugh. It was as though she’d been furloughed from a Jerry Springer Bootcamp and bellyflopped into this cake-gig ranking somewhere between mall cop and Walmart greeter. (No offense meant to either!) Yet, Ginger fancied herself as essential to securing The Homeland™. And protecting innocent, vulnerable dead wood from those who would do it harm.

With that, Bill and I chose to take a lap around the campground. We didn't get far. Ginger's Watertown booty call had shown up. Like moths to flames and rubbernecks to highway carnage, we simply had to have a look. Ahab was a loud, cocky, boisterously preppy young man in his early 20s who proudly (and repeatedly) announced that he had asked Ginger to marry him that day; presumably during post-coital pillow talk; and that she had turned him down. I was shocked. He was a handsome, mostly likable kid  with a seemingly good sense of humor.


Now comes my moment of infamy. Perhaps these next few paragraphs are best read with the old Monty Python theme playing in your mind's ear.

I had just cracked a PBR when Ahab stepped in front of me and bent over irresistibly revealing what historians shall surely refer to as The Asscrack of Doom. First, I just chuckled. Then, without really thinking, poured a few small drips from my PBR into this perfectly presented asscrack. Despite my  proud look of mischievous pride, Ahab and Ginger were not entertained. Particularly Ahab. In fact, he was irate! Obnoxiously so. To be fair, perhaps Ginger had gifted him a new g-string prior to her harpooning? Maybe he had an asscrack infection of some sort? It could have been that assplay of any sort was traumatic and something for which he required a safety word? I have no idea. All I know is that his reaction was dramatic and bizarre!

As is often the case, the more buttons I can push the more I amuse myself. Especially with people who take themselves too seriosly. In fact, when I think about it to this day I still laugh. It was a minuscule amount of beer and no harm was done -- except to Ahab's pride in the presence of his precious Ginger. I had defiled his honor with PBR! And, he had to talk a world of redneck shit to get it back. It was middle school-cute, even by the juvenile standard I myself had just set! While he threw his tantrum and threatened to “kick ass” (without taking a step toward me), I apologized between hysterical laughs and the fact I obviously wasn't taking him seriously enraged him even more. Again, from a safe distance. Soon enough, he was screaming, emotionally convulsing really, and other campers were being disturbed. Ginger could not have that on her watch. Something had to be done, and since Ahab was her man, she informed me that I "had to go". And that she was calling the rangers.

At 3 a.m.? Really?


Two Park Rangers arrived promptly and, chests thrusted forth, aggressively asked me if I was a registered camper. I told them no, and that I had been invited by Bill to stay with him. After running my ID (of course), I asked them in a terse, “don’t fuck with me, rent-a-cop” tone if I was going to jail. They conceded that I had broken no law. But, since I was unregistered. and security (Ginger) had reported me as a disturbance, I had to go.

Packing in amused amazement, I watched Bill's demeanor change out of pure, yet understandable, self-interest. He saddled up to Ginger and Ahab while throwing some of the hostility he had earlier directed toward his girlfriend my way! I don’t blame him. He had a sweet, extended hookup at the campground and, though Ginger was a preposterous excuse for “security”, she was in a position to ruin it for him. Why not throw the drifter under the bus?

I finished packing, minus the gifts Bill gave me earlier,  and asked the rangers to drive me out of town because of the obscenely ridiculous time-of-eviction. As I loaded into the cruiser, I heard Bill barking my name as though he had parting words. I ignored him, choosing instead to reply with an obnoxiously cheerful “Buhbye!”

The rangers chose to drop me off at a public fishing pond a few miles east of Alex Bay. To their credit, after the initial intimidation tactic, they were professional, courteous, and even helpful. I was half-drunk and exhausted, so simply found a semi-suitable spot and crashed. Even then, legitimate title or not, being bounced by Erica Cartman seemed both ridiculous & hilarious! I reminded myself of the “Rule of Agreement” and wasn't the least bit upset as I drifted off to sleep.

Amazingly, after drinking all day and getting to bed at 4, I was awake, and motivated, by 7. However, I was not nearly as philosophically zen as just a few short hours before. A persistent and intense Ginger-based anxiety triggered acute stomach discomfort exacerbated by my over-consumption of PBR and growing fatigue. Clinical diagnosis: the beer shits.

I admit that what follows is likely too much information, and quite unflattering. Normally I would seek out a secluded spot to bury nature's wrath. But, this morning all I could see was Ginger, Ahab, and Bill. All I could feel was a hangover and heel blister. And I knew that I had to walk. I was particularly vindictive; some have rightfully said immature. I chose to leave a little something special behind to show my appreciation. There was a well-used trailhead connecting the parking lot to the fishing pond. By the time I slid into my Crocs and hoisted the backpack, there was a large steaming piece of interpretive intestinal artwork adorning their trail-head.

Of course, my morning affliction was immediately cured. Treatment: effective! As your doctor if the Toddzilla Method is right for you!

No. I did not take a picture. You're all sick bastards.