July 29, 2010

Writer's Workshop - 07/29/10 - Three Prompts for the Price of One!

'Tis Thursday again, so it's time to participate in the frivolity that is Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

I decided that I just had to do three prompts this week.

2.) Write a poem for your furry friend.

Ode to the Domestic Shorthair

Oh, Eddy, how do I love thee?
Let me count the ways!
Uh...I got nuttin'.
Let's try again.

Eddy, stop clawing the furniture.
You textile maven, knowing exactly which threads will fray.
Don't puke on the carpet...again!
You must watch The Boy eat - don't you chew?
Geesh, cat, how can you stink up a litter box so fast?

Shorthair, my ass! Short or not, it's everywhere!
Should the cat authorities rename you Domestic Annoyinghair?
And cat? Don't let that 'shorthair' get you excited
That name means you are the mutt of the cat world.
Wikipedia says so.

Edwina, putty tat princess
Thanks for chasing that mouse into the toilet.
You rock, kitty.
After six years, you haven't quite worn out your welcome.
But if you chase another mouse so it runs across my lap again, you're a goner.

3.) Describe a memorable camping trip.

I like to camp. Unfortunately for me, The Boy is NOT a camper. I tried everything - I set up the tent in the back yard when he was little. He loved playing in it - I think he even loved the idea of camping. But when it was time for sleep, he was ready to go inside to his bed.

I quit camping, cold turkey, for TEN long years. I had had enough of a hiatus.

One weekend, when The Boy was visiting his dad, I went camping. 

By myself.

And that tent that The Boy shunned, even when I put it in our dining room, so he could soak up the ambiance of camping?

Ten years old by that time, that trusty tent. I packed up my stuff (and had to borrow a lantern - mine was MIA). I still had my Coleman stove (never used). I even purchased a bit of firewood, as I imagined sitting by the fire in the evening, becoming mesmerized by the flames.

I picked a campground about an hour away - no need to go far on this first trip. I stayed in a modern campground, in one of the "civilized" areas - meaning I had access to water, and the outhouse was within sight. Also, there were modern bathroom facilities (with showers) within a couple of hundred yards.

I found a level spot and began setting up camp. My dome tent could be put up in 10 minutes, even by myself. I got my gear out of the trunk of my car, and fixed up my bed for the night. It's always best to get your campsite ready before darkness sets in. I was set.

I did not light a fire that Friday night, since I didn't arrive at the campground until dinner time, after a full day at work. I figured I'd cook up some grub and sit and read while there was still light outside.

Dinner was prepared, and like always, food made while camping tastes better than food made in the kitchen. I cleaned up and sat and read my book, feeling accomplished and contented.

When it was too dark to read, I went into my tent. My camping 'neighbors' were still up;  their lantern provided enough light for me to walk around my campsite without my flashlight. I made sure I had everything all tidy in the tent, then headed off to the outhouse.

When I returned, I brushed my teeth, washed up and got ready for bed. Nothing like washing your face with cold water to get you to appreciate indoor plumbing. While I was getting comfy in the tent, I noticed a HUGE shadow darkening one wall of the tent. Something was out there, circling the tent. From the size of the shadow, it looked huge. 

I unzipped the zipper, just a little bit, and peeked out. Pepe Le Pew had come a callin'! I don't know if I have ever sat so still in all my life...and time, I know, has never moved so slowly. I barely breathed, sure than any movement on my part would frighten the skunk and cause it to spray my tent...and me.

One crisis averted. Whew.

I settled down to sleep. About one in the morning, I was awakened...by a drip, drip, drip, right on my head.

Here's a tip: Ten year old tents are probably ready to be retired, as the seams weaken - and they're prone to leaking. And leak it did. It leaked about a half inch of water in the bottom of the tent, wetting all of my bedding...and me. And some of my clothes.

Sounds like fun so far, huh? It was raining really hard. I picked up all the wet stuff and put it in the back seat of the car. I figured there wouldn't be much sleeping after that, so I went for a drive, and bought a Coke at a convenience store a couple of miles down the road.

I went back to the campsite and dozed in the front seat of the car - oh, such lush accommodations!

When I awoke, the sun was shining. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day. I spread out my damp bedding over the picnic table and over my lawn chair. I opened up the tent and aired it out, hoping it would be dry by nightfall.

I took advantage of all the amenities at the campground - I went to the pool for a swim. I took a hike. I cooked, ate and cleaned up my mess. Again, feeling contented. I read my book. I listened to the radio. I was perfectly happy...except that I wanted a fire. Since the kindling I had picked up was still wet, I knew I'd need some help starting the fire in the fire ring. Impatient, thy name is June Freaking Cleaver!

Lucky for me, I had some trusty Coleman lantern fuel. I got my DRY firewood out of my trunk, and arranged it in the fire ring with the kindling. I liberally squirted the lantern fuel over the wood.

Perhaps I squirted  a little TOO liberally - for when I used a match to light the wood, the fireball that resulted was so intense that it sort of singed off my bangs (but only on the left side of my head). Sweet.

Now I had my fire, my lawn chair, and the lingering stench of burning hair...what more could I ask for?

How about breaking out in hives on my drive home the next day? We're talking hives of very impressive proportions, which necessitated a trip to the ER, singed hair and all.

That was the last time I went camping by myself. I think I'm overdue for another adventure.

4.) It happened on a motorcycle.

I had some experience with motorcycles, but I wouldn't say I ever had an inclination to be a biker chick.

I had ridden bikes through the fields at my in-laws' house for a few years. I liked it. I never went faster than about 25 or 30 mph - sometimes, the grass could be slick with dew.

I realized that AFTER I dropped a NEW BIKE onto its side in said field, and caused the left side lights and mirror to be torn off.


Oh, and there was this one time where my brother-in-law was rounding a corner around a truck from one direction JUST WHEN I WAS ROUNDING THE SAME EXACT CORNER FROM THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION...

A small collision occurred. The bike sort of fell on my foot, and left a great big bruise.

Oh, and I was ever so slightly pregnant at the time. 

At my next OB visit, after I was assured that everything was fine, I told the doctor that a BOX fell on my foot (when she noticed my purplish appendage).

Don't try this at home. Don't be like June - I'm a complete dope.

And if you insist on doing it anyway, honk before you approach a corner.

And wear a helmet, ok?

Ya gotta pinky swear on that part. And don't tell me it feels great to have the air blowing through your hair (even though it does).

Ok, let's move ahead 25 years or so. My next opportunity to be on a motorcycle.

None of my previous experiences prepared me for my ride with my friend Jim. Jim had a Honda Shadow (maybe that was it)? - it seemed huge compared to the Kawasaki I used to ride. And I was just a passenger on Jim's bike, and we were going to take a ride in the country.

On roads. Paved roads. I was not dressed for riding on HARD, paved roads.

Jim is a sweetheart. He's funny, he's kind. But he drove that thing like he was being chased by the police. He was going pretty fast on these winding, two-lane roads.

And he only had to remind me NOT TO LEAN on the curve just once. Hey, I'd never been the passenger before, how would I know?

Did I enjoy myself? 

While I sat on the back of the bike, and hung onto Jim for dear life (no sissy bar, no seat back), lest I lean back and slam into the pavement, I did NOT think about the lovely weather, how the sun was streaming through the leaves as we rounded each curve.

Here's the conversation I was having in my head:

"What the hell am I doing here? Can't he slow down? I don't even have my ID in my pocket. When I fall off the back of this bike and my brains are splattered all over this road, how are the authorities going to notify my children? Holdonholdonholdon, dammit!"

"When my flesh slides across several hundred feet of pavement and THEN I hit a tree, will there be any 'ME' left to identify?"

Then I just closed my eyes for the rest of the ride, and tried not to think at all.

I kid. 

I DID close my eyes for a while - but then I got used to the idea of instantaneous death at the drop of a hat, and started to enjoy myself.

When the ride was over, Jim told me how fast he was going (upwards of 70 mph), and I died a little inside.

Sorry, Jim (he does read my blog sometimes).

When we arrived back at Jim's place, I still felt the vibration of the bike as I walked to his door. 

That ride was like an outdoor romp with a 'marital aid', if you catch my drift. 

Is that why some bikes are called crotch rockets?

Thank you, Jim, for the ride, and for getting us back safely. You rock!

If YOU want your next motorcycle experience to be more 'stimulating', you might wanna look here (some videos with adult content, of a sexual nature - it's loud, but no nudity). Think 'When Harry Met Sally', the restaurant scene.

That 'no nudity' comment got your attention, didn't it? Go ahead and look, I know ya WANT to!

Who'd have thought of putting a bullet 'marital aid' in the seat of a motorcycle? And let the driver control the passenger's "ride"?


  1. Ok the camping story had me hilariously laughing!!

    A lot of people these days consider "camping" to be in a trailer or RV of some sort! Almost as comfy as home!

  2. I was laughing so hard about the camping, I forgot to mention how adorable your kittie is!

  3. I love the poem! As much as we love them, our furry friends drive us crazy! I keep telling my puppy..."how can something so cute be so rotten!"

    stopped by from mama kat's

  4. oh my! these are good!

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE the poem for your cat!!!

    Seriously, these are all good enough and stand alone that I would recommend putting them in 3 separate posts in the future. Its like they are so good on their own that they weaken each other by sharing the same post!!!

    I like yer stuff :-)


  5. I really liked you peom. How do they stink up a little box so fast. My cat will come in the bathroom and watch and wait for me to be done, so he can be the first in fresh litter.

    Your camping story was funny.

    Loved the motorcycle story and yes all women should learn to enjoy the "ride". Harley's are the best!

  6. What's a great story, it's really so fun. Mini Dirt Bike

  7. Love the poem for your kitty! Thankfully, my cat isn't bad anymore!

  8. We just recently went camping and it rained, everything in our tent got wet and didn't dry out very quick....it was awful sleeping on a wet pillow!

  9. I feed my cat every day and he still insists on swallowing it like we never ever feed him resulting a steaming pile of not even remotely digested cat food usually in front of the bathroom. It's a love hate relationship with me and Ivan the scaredy cat :)

    I absolutely loved your camping story. It looks like good old Murphy got you good. Hopefully it didn't turn you completely off from camping.

    Passing by from Mama Kat's
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Loved all three stories! The cat poem made me crack up -- I totally relate!

  11. Oh so glad that skunk didn't spray you. We used to always go camping when I was little. I used to wake up early and would just sit there in the cold tent hoping someone else would wake up. Yeah, camping isn't my thing so much. :)
    Stopping by from Mama Kat's

  12. The camping trip is hilarious!

  13. Skunks!!! Wow, I really did LOL. Visiting from Mama Kat!

  14. Love your poem to your cat. How do they manage to shed so much?

  15. 70 mph I think it was more like 55. Back then we had a national 55mph limit and I am always the perfect law abiding citizen.

    Great stories as always Kim sorry June

  16. OMG - your camping story made me laugh so hard I cried and maybe even felt a little "we-wee". Although not as funny as your story I still remember the camping trip we took for that orinteering thing, whatever it was called. Remember how someone (ahem...cough cough...me...) got clastrophobic in the tent and so you had to sit up around the campfire whilst Erin slept soundly in the tent. I certainly found our that night that, although I love the outdoors and yes, food tastes much better over a campfire, I'm more of a "lodge-r" than a "camp-er". Any way, your story was hilarious (although I am sorry you had to experience all that "adventure").


Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!