Mar 162021
 

Oh you guys, you guys, you guys, oh you guys. We took a short road trip to Keystone State Park (only abut an hour away) for some Nature Time and it was JUST WHAT I NEEDED, to quote the ineffable Ric Ocasek. I have been trying very hard to maintain perspective and keep my privilege in check during the past pandemic’d year but trying to remain diligent about social distancing and borderline quarantining in conjunction with DREADED WINTER has really made me crack. So when I saw that it was going to be sunny and mild on Sunday, I screamed at Henry to find somewhere to go and of course he didn’t so I was like “CAN’T WE GO TO  THAT PLACE WE WENT THAT ONE TIME AND THE PARK RANGER WAS LIKE ‘HERE IS A TRAIL YOU CAN TAKE’ AND YOU WERE LIKE ‘THANKS CUZ’ AND THEN WROTE A LETTER TO YOUR MOMMY ABOUT HOW A PARK RANGER PAID ATTENTION TO YOU” and surprisingly, Henry knew exactly where I meant. I mean, after TWENTY YEARS OF DATING, you get the psychic equivalent of synced menstrual cycles.

It started off semi-annoying because we wanted to get lunch from Sheetz first but the app was being a piece of shit and wouldn’t accept my order so Henry ended up having to go in and order in person and apparently they were having a problem with the system because all three of my orders actually did go through lolololol. I love their veggie wraps (it’s the BOOM BOOM sauce that makes it, guys) so I would have gladly taken all three but I guess they were smart enough to know that the others were dupes so they only made one.

PROBABLY FOR THE BEST because I always get it loaded with jalapenos and banana pepper rings which would have made for an uncomfortable car ride home probably.

It was windy on Sunday, which is why Chooch looks like he’s trying to hold his head in place post-decap.

WOO NATURE!

The first 30 minutes or so was dicey because Chooch was being a surly teenager and I was like THIS SUCKS WHY DID WE BRING HIM but then we eventually remembered how to publicly family again.

Chooch found this stick  immediately upon exiting the car and subsequently spawned an unhealthy attachment, as he is wont to do with inanimate objects – he must get that from Henry.

Yeah, from Henry.

There was a public restroom up ahead that  Henry and Chooch stopped at and then after we started walking again, Chooch realized he left that dumb stick at the bathroom and was wavering on whether or not to go back to get it. I mean, we have only been walking for about a minute before he realized so we hadn’t gone that far but I started goading him for being TOO SCARED to go back alone and he was like STFU and ran back to get it. I noticed a set of steps leading down to a little clearing near the water, and it was situated in such a way that you couldn’t really see it from the main path, so I giddily whispered to Henry, “LET’S HIDE FROM HIM.” Henry actually went along with it, I guess because it didn’t require any squatting, crouching, or squeezing between things.

It was HI-LARRY-OUS to watch Chooch run back with his reclaimed stick, continue running right past us, slow down eventually and start looking all around, frantically. Of course Henry was like LET US NOT TRAUMATIZE THE CHILD and ended the game way sooner than I would have liked but it was still super fun, especially when Chooch kept saying he wasn’t scared BECAUSE HE WAS TOTALLY SCARED.

Hiding from and scaring people is honestly my national past time. It gives me THE BIGGEST THRILL. Like riding my own make believe roller coaster in my mind!! (WHILE HIDING BEHIND TREES, ROCKS, CURTAINS, ETC.)

My giddy growler was uncorked at this point and EVERYTHING WAS SIDE-SPLITTINGLY FUNNY TO ME….

Like when we came upon some signage with BAT INFORMATION on it and inspected the neighboring BAT HABITAT and Chooch said, “What if a person fell out, like Lost Boys” and then Henry started to say, “When I was a kid—-”

and I cut him off to say, “A VAMPIRE FELL OUT OF YOUR HOUSE?” and then I couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of Young Henry hiding under a couch from a vampire. (I was about to type here what Henry actually said but I couldn’t remember so I just asked Chooch, who originally tried to walk away as soon as I said “vampire” because this whole scene was so annoying to him, but then he heard me out and said, “He never got to finish his sentence because you cut him off and then wouldn’t stop laughing!”)

You guys, I laughed every bad feeling and thought out of my body that afternoon, I really think I did. I mean, I was SO SET OFF that I had to keep squatting down to keep from peeing my pants and then I was sobbing at one point because that’s what happens when I laugh too hard – my brain gets confused and starts thundering, then HOLA!!! HERE COME THE TEARS!

There were other people around too and they probably Really Wondered about me. Like, Really Really.

And then out of the blue, Chooch said to the surrounding trees, “And thanks to the Vampire Act of 1892, we never had to worry about vampires again” and now I was practically puking, why was this so funny, this dumb  comment about vampires next to a stupid lake in some place called KEYSTONE STATE PARK.

AND THEN THERE WERE PEOPLE FISHING AND I ASKED HENRY IF HE KNEW THEM AND NOW I WAS READY TO BE ADMITTED INTO A STATE HOSPITAL. JUST GO AHEAD, TAKE ME AWAY.

I had to pretend like I was interested in reading this plaque so I could hide my ugly laugh-contorted face from passers-by. These poor people, thinking they could come out to KEYSTONE STATE PARK for a nice peaceful stroll and here I am, emitting my shrieky cackle into the air, sending volaries of birds ca-cawing off to the horizon.

And by the way, fuck off, Harry Miller.

j/k sir, you seem nice.

Then I started laughing again, imagining a young Hank being terrorized by Eddie Munster; I had to bury my head in Henry’s side, so he asked, “What are you laughing at?” but I couldn’t answer so Chooch sighed and said, “Seriously? She’s still laughing at that dumb vampire comment from like 20 minutes ago” and it turns out that Henry had no idea that any of this had even happened. Like, I had just been acting like a live-action commercial for laughing gas for all this time and he just didn’t notice?!

Tried to take a selfie of Henry and me right here but couldn’t my face to relax so I looked like claymation, lol.

So Chooch took one and I look so dumb because I was on the precipice of more laughter. OMG my face hurts at the memory of all the laughing I did that day.

Then Chooch noticed that Henry had somehow acquired a walking stick too, and was complaining about it because Chooch is the only person in the world who can have walking sticks, so I said, “but he needs it for slaying vampires” except that it came out as, “HE NEEDS DGDDSDAUGDAUUDHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAOMGOWWWWWWWWW!!!!”

I can’t believe they didn’t push me in the lake.

Then we had to stop at the same Sheetz that got all 3 of my veggie wrap orders so that I could pee before my giddiness caused me to give birth to a pee-baby, and it occurred to me that it was the first time I peed in a Sheetz since before the pandemic and that was a weird thought.

***

Later that night, I tried to explain the vampire thing to Henry but I was laughing so hard all over again that I couldn’t breathe and then I started choking and Henry just stared at me.

What a great excursion! It almost felt like things were normal again. It also reminded me of when Chooch and I were so fucking giddy in Jongno and Henry was so angry haha.

Choose Your Words Carefully