Unique New York

Just like a regular woman, only crankier.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Red light, yellow light, green light, go

You guys, my okies. I miss you so much! I probably would have missed you a lot less if I had known you had actually been living in upstate New York this whole time!

What? You didn’t know? Well, neither did I, but I wasn’t the one who moved the south toward Canada.

Imagine Russ’s and my surprise, when on the very first day of our camping trek, we parked ourselves next to folks who were blaring AC/DC and shouting “Git ‘er done!”


Upstate New York closely resembled the State Fair at Oklahoma. Boys are wearing cutoff shirts, 12 year old girls are smoking cigarettes and searching for their seventeen year old boyfriends, and every silent-ish woods moment was periodically punctuated with a hearty “yeehaa!” It could have been my imagination, but I think all the campers smelled faintly of corndogs.

So at first, the soundtrack to my trashy childhood was kind of comforting, if not entertaining. Hearing a woman in a thick Buffalo accent shout to her family, “I can’t squat in the woods, I have a girdle on!” was nothing short of funny. The accents were so thick, you half waited for the others in their tribe to say, “Da Bears.”

At first, I thought the trashiness was solely at the campsite directly to our left. Then, the rowdy kids (maybe waiting to go to Dumas Walker’s) showed up. They kept the camp fires burning with a vast array of pyrotechnics. I swear to god, they could be heard uttering, “Watch this,” or for those of us from the south, a PWT’s last words.

But I really wouldn’t be adequately describing camping unless I talked about the neighborly sharing. The other campers who were roughing it kept their cars on with their stereos playing so that the rest of camp could hear it. Bless their hearts. If you weren’t sure, “Pour some sugar on me” is just as awesome at 10 am as it is at 1 am. I didn’t know. Thank god for these folks.

We listened to music almost exclusively from 1988 for about three days. Remember those days? I’ll bet my neighbors were still wearing Dep with Rave in their hair. If only they’d stood closer to the campfire they built with combustibles on it. So close.

After the first day of Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, I went to sleep bitching about the fact that people can’t be someplace without noise for five g-d minutes. To add insult to injury, I have to put up with the noise being either cursing from the children from the camp next door, or the noise of crappy hair bands. I decided to hatch a plan.

I hadn’t planned to use them, but I did bring my portable iPod speakers. Those things have a sound that carries. I played every esoteric and non-radio friendly track I could find. My neighbors were regaled with the Icelandic utterings of early Bjork in the Sugarcubes, Mariza (Portuguese blues), They Might Be Giants, Sifl and Olly, and others. As a side effect, I couldn’t hear their music anymore, and was happier to hear my own. If I had NPR’s Fresh Air or All Things Considered on Podcast, I would have blasted that shit at 9 am. That would have ruled.

This just furthers my suspicion that rednecks are everywhere. You may end up seeing my old camp neighbors drunk at the top of Niagara falls in a barrel with suspenders while shouting “Watch this!” That’s if their campers don’t get blown to smithereens in a freak tornado accident.

Anyway, when in Rome…so I donned a tube top and surrendered to the flow. I can get trashy like the rest of them. Here is a pic of me looking like hammered hell. I am nothing if not honest.

Stay tuned for a new post about day 3 of the adventure…


  • At 7:49 AM , Blogger Mizzou379 said...

    "Watch this!" LOL - I love it.

    I swear 90% of all childhood accidents were preceeded by those words.

    My favorite is Bill Kratz (remember him?) showing off in the neighborhood 7-11. Our carpool let us stop there on Fridays. Bill thought he would be cool by turning the icee machine of full blast and yelling to all of us, "watch this!" That was the last thing I remember before we were all covered in Coke icee and the 7-11 clerk was cursing us out of the store.

    This is before 7-11 went Communist and switched to Pepsi.

  • At 2:45 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

    Oh yeah! Bill Kratz! He was with the class in the 6th grade!

    I got all excited in Denver when the 7-11 started carrying sugar free Icees. Awesome

  • At 2:06 PM , Blogger Mizzou379 said...

    Okay - I'm ready for the 3rd installment! You're killing me.


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