Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dear God, If You Get The Boyfriend On The Plane Tomorrow, I Will Stop Telling People You Don’t Exist

[My first trip to Korea in July of 2007. No, I don't know why I choose to share photos of creepy seafood and a shot of me riding a huge leather lion. It seemed like a good idea at the time. And now that it is uploaded, there is no going back.]

I know, I know, asking God to prove His existence to me so that I will believe in Him flies in the face of faith as we know it, but you guys, I’m getting a little desperate here.

I adore The Boyfriend, but he’s sort of like a space alien – basic historical knowledge, current pop culture references, and the concept of time all seem to elude him. Usually I think his oddities are kind of cute. But when we are suppose to be on a plane headed towards South Korea in less than 24 hours, I think it’s kind of COMPLETELY TERRIFYING. At this point, all our mutual friends have laughed at me and then wished me good luck because I’ll “need it.”

I knew when The Boyfriend randomly decided he wanted to venture across the world with me that I was in for it. Our only other trip together was a road trip to Northern California, and when I showed up at his house to pick him up and hit the road, he confessed to me that he had no clean clothes. Because it was already close to nightfall, I threw him, and his dirty laundry, into the car and took off anyway. This time, it’s not that easy.

The Boyfriend’s time management philosophy involves constantly omitting important information and promising to get things done by a certain deadline, and then not even blinking as said deadline whooshes past.

Usually, I shrug these antics off. But yesterday I almost lost it completely. I call this incident The Air Mattress Debacle.

Our story begins several weeks ago when I realized the both of us could not fit on Kirin’s couch in her apartment in Seoul. This seemed to be a solvable problem – The Boyfriend’s father owns an air mattress. I asked again and again if The Boyfriend could look at the air mattress and figure out if it would fulfill our needs.

As was expected, this was continually forgotten.

On multiple occasions, I inquired about our air mattress status. “Well,” said The Boyfriend, “My dad says it’s big.”

You guys, I don’t know what that means. You take the air out of the mattress, fold it up, and then how big could it really be? If it fits into the overhead compartment on a plane, I really don’t care. Yet, every time I asked The Boyfriend if he had looked at the mattress, he told me he had not, but that his dad said it was big.

On Sunday night at 10 PM I finally dragged The Boyfriend to his dad’s house for the sole purpose of looking at the mattress.

All the way out to the shed, his dad keeps saying, “It’s a big mattress!” And this point, I am picturing an epic monster mattress. Possible one that can be used as a boat to sail to Korea.

Well, he pulls it out, and I find myself face to face with a perfectly normal sized air mattress that is folded up into a manageable square. I start looking it over. One thing is wrong. THERE IS NO PUMP.

Me: “Do you have the pump?”

The Boyfriend’s Dad: “Nope.”

The Boyfriend: “You need a pump? We can’t just blow it up?”

I stare at my musically gifted boyfriend and his (true story) rocket scientist father. What. The. Hell. I don’t understand. Wait. Wouldn’t the fact that this air mattress is lacking a pump be something THAT YOU SHOULD TELL SOMEONE WHO WANTED TO BORROW IT? INSTEAD OF REPEATING “IT’S BIG” OVER AND OVER?

[This is the point where my mother interrupts my story and says, “You know Brittany, your great grandfather was a very famous and brilliant economist. But he couldn't even tell you the price of toothpaste!” Touché, mother.]


I sigh, turn to The Boyfriend, and ask if he can run to the Big 5 ten minutes from his house the next day and pick up an air mattress with a pump. He says yes.

Fast forward to 1 PM the next day.

Me: “Have you picked up the air mattress?”

The Boyfriend: “No. I don’t have time.”

Me: “What? But you said you could!”

The Boyfriend: “I’ve got stuff to do.”

I hang up the phone and call Big 5 to verify their hours and prices. I call The Boyfriend back.

Me: “The Big 5 is open until 9 PM.”

The Boyfriend: “Oh, okay, I can make it before then.”

Me: “Are you sure? I mean, really sure? Because if you can’t, I’d rather know now!”

The Boyfriend: “Oh yeah, I can make it there before 9.”

Around 8 PM, I call The Boyfriend again to check our air mattress status.

Me: “Did you get the air mattress?”

The Boyfriend: “No, I can’t today, I’m busy. I will get it tomorrow.”

Me: “There is still an hour before it closes!”

The Boyfriend: “The neighbor is over, he needs me to take some pictures of him for something….”


I’m dying inside at this point. I’m a rational, collected human being who always nods my head and lets things go, but this time my brain is about to explode.

Over an air mattress.

But it’s really not about the air mattress. It’s about the fact that “tomorrow” is the day before we have to leave. And I don’t trust his abilities to even be packed by the time the plane takes off, so putting important things off for even one more day is setting off warning bells in my head. Abort! Abort!

I say fine. I hang up the phone.

Psycho ninja axe murderer Brittany suddenly takes over. The girl that hides in the shadows of my normally calm exterior and plots homicide while I pretend to like people.

I am not even joking. I mean, what other logical explanation exists for me texting to him: “You’re in trouble. And I think I might have to kill you.”? THAT IS THE EXACT TEXT MESSAGE.

And he’s all like, Whaaaa? Brittany doesn’t say things like that!

And then we get to the part where he goes all crazy and confesses to being absolutely terrified of going on this trip, plus in constant fear that all the plants are going to die and that his business is going to spontaneously explode because he is out of the country for 15 days.

Oh boy, was this a bad idea. I never should have let The Boyfriend try to leave his natural habitat. It’s just not right.

I take over the air mattress purchasing duties, even though I work full time in an office that I am not supposed to leave between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM – and he continues with his list of mysterious last minute tasks which he has all day to accomplish since he owns his own business and works from home.

Well, I thought everything was solved. Until today, when I told him I would come over tonight, help him pack, and then we would spend the night at my mom’s condo and leave for the airport in the morning.


Homeboy needs to take his Corvette to the shop the morning we are supposed to be leaving to have it color sanded. Ummm, WHAAAAAAAAAT??!

And he’s planning to pack at 5 AM, because, dammit, his mysterious list of things he has to do – which he still hasn’t fully disclosed to me – will not be done until the wee hours of the morning.

I don’t know you guys. I don’t see this ending well.

Hence, if The Boyfriend gets to the plane tomorrow, I’m going to attribute it to a miracle of God.

And, I will immediately start filming with my HD camera, because by the end of this trip I will have made a mini documentary entitled, “The Boyfriend Versus Korea: A Tale of Cultural Misadventures and Really Huge Cell Phone Bills”. Coming soon to a video website near you.

P.S. I still adore The Boyfriend. Take this as a loving portrayal of my slightly deranged significant other. No really.

P.S.S. I'm actually in a good mood. I just got a call from the agency I interviewed at last week - the executive director wants me to come back and do a second interview with her! That's a good sign, right?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It’s Like, I Was Practically Notorious B.I.G.’s Best Friend

[I promise you, by the end of this post, the title and this picture will totally make sense. Original photo (before I bastardized it) can be found here.]

Oh, Mother’s Day – every year, it gives my mom an excuse to scream “STOP IT! IT’S MOTHER’S DAY!” at me for acting in exactly the way I always do. Which is understandable, considering my mother is a very upstanding member of society who never speaks ill of people and always looks put together, and I’m a sloppy hot mess who can’t stop insulting random people on the street.

It’s terrible, really. I feel bad for her. All she wanted was a blonde, smiley, social butterfly of a daughter, and what she got was evil demon spawn. My inability to take anything seriously makes her want to pull her hair out. I laugh about how the elevator almost killed me, she screams at me because my aunt’s boyfriend back in the 80s got his head smashed by an elevator and he became a vegetable. And it was even worse because he was a successful doctor! How could I even joke about that?!

Then I joke that we should throw open our car doors and clothesline the cyclists. And she screams at me because an acquaintance in college got killed when someone opened their car door in front of his motorcycle.


I really can’t win with her.

But never once have I doubted our relation. This is because my mom’s parents are EVEN WORSE THAN ME.

My grandparents are like my second set of parents.

My grandmother, by all outward appearances, is sweet and loving. She takes her mentally challenged neighbor to the grocery store every week. She gets up at five in the morning and walks the dogs of her ill friends. She grew up in Paraguay the daughter of a missionary, and later taught English as a second language to underprivileged kids.

But if my grandmother walks up to you on the street to tell you how beautiful your baby is, do not mistake her intentions – you’ve just been Evil G’mad!


The second you turn the corner, a smile on your face – remnants of the pleasure you got from hearing from a complete stranger that your child is gorgeous – my grandma has turned to me and said, WHAT AN UGLY BABY!

Seriously. Every time.

It’s like my grandmother gets some kind of thrill out of purposely going up to parents of unfortunate-looking infants and lying to their faces. It’s awesome. And it makes me feel better about my insatiable need to call everyone I see fat and ugly.

Oh top of this, my grandfather is a Class A psycho. We tend to picture 80-year-old dudes as sweet, innocent old men. In the case of my grandpa, this is not even remotely true. Gramps is a bonafide Dirty Old Man – a recovered alcoholic, former undercover narcotics officer, truck driver, and musical prodigy who was expelled from college for selling term papers to his fellow students and charging by the grade. Now in his eighties, my grandpa likes to tell stories about that one time he flipped his car six times and hit a tree but walked away without a scratch because he was drunk, and that other time when he and his brother were in elementary school and decided to steal their dad’s gun to hold up an ice cream parlor.

[A few months back, my grandfather was in the hospital. I asked him if he needed anything. This was his actual response. Like I said, I knew I got that "not being able to take anything seriously" gene from somewhere!]

It is important to note that my grandfather is from an extremely wealthy and powerful family. The wacky ones always are.

Anyway, no one gets my mom’s blood boiling like her dad, even on Mother’s Day. We were driving out to have lunch with my brother near his college, because my grandfather had been yowling about never getting to drive on the freeway anymore. Halfway there, the real fun begins.

Mom: I would not go to Mexico right now, it’s so dangerous because of the drug cartels!

Grandpa: We just need to legalize dope.

Mom: IT’S NOT JUST DOPE! They are bringing meth over the border!

Grandpa: Meth is good for you.


Grandpa: It makes fat people skinny. [At this point, I am snickering uncontrollably, because I know this isn’t going to end well]

Mom: AND THEN IT MAKES THEIR TEETH FALL OUT! It’s highly addictive, Dad!

Grandpa: Is it as addictive AS SEX?!! [insert two straight minutes of my grandfather’s famous evil chuckling]

My mother is now seething. And yelling at Gramps for being wildly inappropriate.

We arrive at the restaurant, which means things are about to get a lot worse. My grandfather is absolutely notorious for being a disruptive asshole at eateries.

We’re at the Olive Garden (because we’re damn classy like that), and the waitress approaches to ask if we would like to try some wine. My grandfather starts off with a bang:

Grandpa: DO YOU SELL IT BY THE GALLON?! [Remember, my grandfather is a recovered alcoholic who hasn’t taken a drink in 20 years.]

Waitress: Ummm….no? [Sometimes we get a waitress that can roll with the punches. Other times we get one that is absolutely terrified of my grandpa’s antics. This one was the latter. She was damn lucky he didn’t try to order opium – he does that quite frequently.]

My mother tries to avert disaster by asking my grandmother if she’d like some wine. My grandfather shrieks, “LIPS THAT HAVE TOUCHED WINE WILL NEVER TOUCH MINE!”


Later, when our food arrives, the waitress offers my mother some Parmesan cheese. My grandfather had gotten his plate before her, and he immediately becomes terrified that he will not be offered any cheese.

Grandpa: Hey, hey, am I getting cheese? I want cheese. Can you get me some cheese?! Hey, CHEESE. DO I GET CHEESE?!!

Waitress: Yes sir, I, hold on…I’m…

Poor girl can’t get a word in edgewise. At this point, we are all yelling, “GRANDPA! HOLD ON A SECOND! SHE WILL GIVE YOU SOME CHEESE!”


My mother – as always – tries to change the subject. And somehow, the first thing she thinks of is that the lawsuit against the LAPD filed by the family of Notorious B.I.G. was finally dismissed last month.

My grandmother smiles. She says, Oh yes, we were there - so much caution tape!

Wait, what? You were WHERE?

The museum! We didn’t know what the caution tape was for! continues my grandmother, as if this is the most normal conversation in the world.



They had absolutely no idea what was going on, so they merrily skirted around the caution tape and had a fabulous day looking at classic cars.

Point One: I have the most badass grandparents on the planet. I mean, they’re evil, disruptive, AND THEY SHOW UP AT THE MURDER SCENE OF A FAMOUS RAPPER AND THEY DON’T EVEN BAT AN EYE.

Point Two: Screw this whole six degrees of separation crap. You guys, I AM SEPARATED FROM BIGGIE SMALLS BY ONLY ONE DEGREE. (And death, of course). ONE DEGREE!!! I practically knew him! THIS IS THE BEST NEWS I’VE HAD ALL YEAR!
[Sorry, my best friend Biggie. I can only look so gangsta.]

Best. Mother’s Day. EVER.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Oracle at the San Pedro Courthouse Says I’m a Danger to Society

So yesterday, Cancer Dad calls me up (never a good sign) to tell me that my bail is set at $531 and my driver’s license is on hold and soon to be suspended.

That was even worse than I was expecting, quite frankly. Can’t he ever call me to tell me he loves me and wants to shower me with puppies and rainbows? Why does it have to be all, I have cancer! There’s a warrant out for your arrest because you missed jury duty! (Which I hadn’t – it was a mistake) You’re going to jail for not paying your traffic tickets!

But I digress.

Upon hearing this voicemail, my immediate reaction was something along the lines of What the fuck is he even talking about?!! at which point I suddenly remembered that fix-it ticket I got a few months back concerning my lack of front license plate. I’ve never forgotten to pay a ticket in my life, and suddenly I am completely terrified. Am I going to jail?! This isn’t even my fault! I think front license plates are a perfectly reasonable requirement!

No, really, it’s not my fault. Back in the day, circa 1992, my parents bought the car I now drive, and my father actually got down on his hands and knees and removed the front license plate and threw it in the trunk.


Well, according to my parents, front license plates are tacky.

So, as I’m hyperventilating about how my parents’ demented obsession with disobeying the law for the sake of style is going to get me raped by a four hundred pound lesbian in prison, I remember the kind words of the officer who gave me the ticket.

Don’t worry, he said. Just go show them the plate and everything will be fine. I wouldn’t even give you this dumb ticket if these other cops weren’t here.

Whew, okay, it’s not a big deal. Even the police think this law is stupid. I’m going to be fine.

I drive over to my dad’s house to pick up the letter just to verify that he isn’t trying to fuck with me or something. And, in the tragic tradition of being a young blonde female, I am told that I should really let my boyfriend put my front license plate on for me, as to avoid further infractions. I refrain from punching him in the face, as I am capable of using a screwdriver – the problem here is not that I can’t put on my front license plate, it’s that I haven’t. I mean, really Dad?

Anyway, the letter went a little something like this:

(Okay, it didn’t really say that. But it did imply that I would be charged $531 and/or be arrested if I didn’t address the situation within 10 days after April 30. Fan-fucking-tastic.)

Because I wanted very badly to avoid jail and/or huge fines, I used my lunch hour today to wander over to the courthouse to settle the manner (a.k.a, avoid prison) and found myself looking into the eyes of pure apathy – the eyes of a traffic violations department employee. She has eyes the color of Nutella mixed with broken dreams and sub par moral standards – I hand her my letter with some serious reservations.


She says, Five hundred and thirty one dollars, puleeeease.

Whoa, whoa, missy. It is May 6th. I do not owe you five hundred and thirty one dollars!

My cow-faced traffic violations friend looks me dead in the eye and chews her gum like cud. I put on my brightest, most innocent smile. She rolls her eyes, sighs, and says cryptically, Let me gooooo cheeeeeeeck.

So I’m pretty sure she had to go visit the Courthouse Oracle.


I say this because law does not govern the San Pedro Courthouse. The letter I have handed her clearly states that I owe $231 because I am paying within my ten-day grace period. But, apparently, that means nothing. She has to go make an animal sacrifice and get that shit verified.

I feel a tiny glitter of hope in my chest. Perhaps this is all a mistake. Perhaps I owe nothing. I mean, if they can’t trust the official letters they send out to people, then, well, everything must be up for negotiation, right?

Tragically, the Oracle was pissed off today. He probably found out one of his vestal virgins was really a hooker with herpes. Or maybe my traffic violations friend got lazy and sacrificed a dead skunk she found in the dumpster out back instead of a champion white stallion. Because what happened next was clearly not reasonable.

So, yah, starts my intelligent new buddy. This is a mistake...


You actually owe eight hundred and thirty one dollars, she says. With. Gusto. Oh, and this is a misdemeanor, not an infraction.


My jaw dropped so hard, I’m pretty sure everyone in line heard it.

Wait. WAIT. I didn’t have a front license plate. I missed the date on the ticket by a few weeks. I DID NOT MURDER A CHILD AND TIE SAID CHILD’S DEAD BODY TO THE FRONT OF A HUMMER AND RIDE AROUND TOWN WHILE CHUGGING A BOTTLE OF JAGERMEISTER AND SINGING “MEMORIES” FROM CATS. Although I guess that would be a felony.


I just stare at her.

The only sounds that can be heard are my gasping breaths. And angels crying.

Nutella Eyes starts speaking again.

...buuuuuuut we’ll honor the letter. So I guess you owe $231.

I pay – because at this point, $231 sounds like a goddamn miracle – and leave.

As I am furiously telling this tragic tale of metaphorical rape and highway robbery to my mother, she interrupts and says, “Brittany, have [The Boyfriend] put your license plate on your car!”
Point One: You are supposed to be gasping and yelling about the villainy of the court system right now, not referring to whether or not I have a front license plate on my car. That is not the point anymore. THE POINT IS THIS GREVIOUS INJUSTICE TO MY PERSON.

Point Two: How is it that you think the very second I thought I was going to get molested in prison for not having a front license plate I did not go put on my front license plate? Woman, I immediately dropped to my knees on the oil-covered roadside and screwed that damn thing on then and there AND UNDID WHAT YOU AND DAD DID 18 YEARS AGO.
Obviously, I’ve really got to stop expecting my mom to respond to my craziness in a desired manner.

I mean, I was totally just kidding when I texted her today…


…and I’m pretty sure if God strikes people dead for that kind of stuff, I would have been hit by lightening a long time ago.

P.S. Seriously, I don’t think anyone should die from cancer for treating me like crap.

P.S.S It was a joke.

P.S.S. Really.

P.S.S.S. You don’t even deserve that if you tell me I look ugly and sickly and desperately in need of lipstick in front of a whole room of people (true story). I’m that forgiving.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our Volunteer Buddy Isn’t an Axe Murderer, But She Does Slaughter Wild Pigs and Eat Them

[FrankenFish goes camping: A heart-warming tale of breakfast booze, zombie cows, and drunken axe murderers.]

When we last left off, I was about to travel into the wilderness with Culture, Blonde Beyonce, and an older woman we barely knew who could potentially want to chop our bodies into little pieces and bury them on a remote ranch north of Santa Barbara.

Well, that didn’t happen, even though all the conditions were just right for that sort of thing.

There were definitely a few moments when fireworks started going off in my skull, like,
Warning, warning, you are about TO GET YOUR ASS MURDERED, but surprisingly, nothing ever came of it. And it wasn’t like we had any means of escape. Despite how great my amazingly well thought out plan about using my car as a sailboat was, that shit never would have worked.

See, this is what I
thought our situation was:


But this is what it
really was:


Before we left on this little adventure, our Volunteer Buddy was all like,
Do you have a four-wheel drive car? and we were like, Ummm, no? She cackled and said, This should be interesting!

You guys, no lie, I am writing a fucking letter to the Mercedes-Benz Corporation expressing my everlasting gratitude and newfound brand loyalty that will last for the rest of my sad little life. MY CAR IS IMMORTAL. I have put it to the ultimate test, and it has survived. I should get paid for providing Mercedes with their next car commercial.

It is important to note that my Mercedes-Benz 190E Sport Line is 18 years old and has more than 200,000 miles on it. Yet, for some reason, it seemed like a really good idea to drive it up a mountain with
NO ROADS. I have never screamed so loud while driving. I prayed for the duration of every fifty foot, forty-five degree angle dirt climb of that journey. And when I thought I had made it to the top, our Volunteer Buddy points at a terrifying grassy knoll that is basically vertical, and tells us to back up and take a good run at it.

Spoiler alert: We didn’t make it.

[It is necessary to watch this video with the sound on because the important part is listening to us scream - and hearing me say, "Guys, let's never show this video to my mother." This video is proof that you should always listen to your mother.]

When it became obvious that we would never make it up the hill, we were forced to abandon my loyal vehicle in the middle of a field and climb into the car of our potential murderer. As I waved goodbye to my only means of escape, I discovered that the “road” we would have driven down – had I made it over the grassy knoll – would have been impossible to navigate. I would have had to leave my car in the valley, never to be seen again!
Once we were a million miles away from cell phone service and society with a woman who had apparently adopted an injured wild pig, raised it, and then shot it in the head and eaten it (this is a true story, people), we pitched our tent. There seemed to be an awfully large amount of cow poop scattered around (in fact, as we discovered later, we pitched our tent right on top of a huge cow pie). This should have been a warning sign. Sadly, at the time, we were too busy suppressing our intuition to notice that huge amounts of cow shit usually signify a large amount of cows.

We left our sad little camp and took a hair-raising, four-wheel drive journey to the beach to explore and eventually cook dinner. However, a full on sandstorm was underway and everybody (even the ladybugs) were hiding.

I swallowed about a pound of sand while this photo was being taken.]

[In a survival-of-the-fittest situation, the ladybug on the left will survive due to its amazing shelter-seeking abilities. The one on the right? Well, it's about to be killed by a wind storm. I think this post demonstrates that I am more like the bug that is going to die.]

Cooking dinner in those wind conditions was completely impossible – we realized very quickly that we would have to drive to a small town called Buellton a few miles up the road to eat.

The worse part was that we were all covered in sand and dressed like hobos when we walked into what appeared to be a cheesy steakhouse off the freeway. Sadly, The Hitching Post (yes, that is the name of the restaurant) was completely full of swanky rich bitches from Santa Barbara who were busy vacationing in their mansions on Hollister Ranch. Our Volunteer Buddy took one look and ordered herself two huge margaritas. It was suddenly as if Culture, Blonde Beyonce and I had acquired a crazy alcoholic aunt. The kind that harass all the waitresses and hit on all the cowboys. And order way more food than we could
ever possibly eat.

A plate of mussels, a huge stuffed chile, soup, salad, a baked potato and a steak later, our Volunteer Buddy is drunk as hell and ready to go back to camp.

And because I’m the loser with all the large vehicle driving experience (I blame this on The Boyfriend and his sixteen-passenger van) I get behind the wheel of our Volunteer Buddy’s blue SUV and take off towards the pitch-black roads of the ranch.

At this juncture in the narrative we begin to realize we are in
way over our heads.

After we get deep inside the ranch (after much panicked steering around sharp corners and cliff-edges) I turn over the car to our drunken Volunteer Buddy. Why? Well, I calculated our survival rate. And, after thinking about it, it was much more likely that we would survive the descent down the mountain into the valley if a drunken – yet experienced – driver was behind the wheel instead of me.

Bad plan.

Volunteer Buddy interpreted our screams as she swerved merrily around corners as an invitation to tell us stories about how the authorities were going to find the car empty at the bottom of a ravine with no trace of our bodies.

I couldn’t even make this shit up.

Blonde Beyonce grabbed my shoulder from the back seat in fear and whispered my name repeatedly in a panicked
What-The-Fuck sort of tone. We were laughing hysterically - only Volunteer Buddy didn’t know it was because we were in a hysteria brought on by the absurd way in which our lives were destined to end.

We were basically shitting our pants when we reached the peak of the mountain.
How would she kill us? Would we even make it down this valley without crashing? WAS THIS THE WORST JOINT DECISION WE HAD EVER MADE?!

The SUV lurched down the slopes of the valley as we yelled, and shrieked, and laughed. About halfway down, Volunteer Buddy changes subjects abruptly from death and murder to cows. She wonders aloud,
What if the cows are in our camp?


The headlights wash over at least a hundred cows only feet away from our car. They have completely obliterated our camp. Our tent is nowhere to be seen. The only thing visible on this completely ink-black night is a mass of swarming cattle, their eyes glowing evilly in the glare of our headlights.

We abandon the last remnants of our self-control.

The whole car explodes into sobbing, wet, blubbery laughter. Tears are running down my face and I can no longer breathe.
This is it, I think, They will find my body two months from now, crushed instead the shell of a SUV trampled by cattle.

Our Volunteer Buddy takes in our reaction and smiles. She wails triumphantly, “You guys are

She then proceeds to save our lives by driving into the massive herd of cattle with her car and frightening them away from our camp.

It’s like a war zone. Our tent is flattened, and the ground has become a minefield of cow pies.

We re-pitch our tent to the best of our abilities and crawl inside, still shocked and shaken by the night’s events. We pass out immediately, and I am plagued by nightmares of cows sticking their heads into our tent.
The sun rises, and we face the day knowing we are not going to be murdered.

We celebrate by busting open bottles of alcoholic cider at 10 AM and driving with gusto down the mountain, open containers in hand (yes, in my poor Mercedes). We visit the wind caves and the horses and cows (which are not nearly as scary in daylight) and frolic in the fields like jack rabbits on meth.

As for our Volunteer Buddy, well, the jury is still out on whether or not she is a serial killer...


...but if the fortune cookie I ate today has anything to say about it, our Volunteer Buddy is probably not a cold blooded murderer.


But fortune cookies aren't really the most reliable source of information. Hence, my next vehicle will be equipped with four-wheel drive.

You can never be too careful.