It's another dark, cold night and the temperature is just above freezing. I exhale, the window to my tent fogs up, and I crawl back into my two sleeping bags. Even with another four blankets on top, I am still chilled to the bone. It has been two months since I left the frozen flatlands of Alberta for the rain forest of Vancouver Island.
I look down at a ten dollar sandwich I've been eating. Two days ago this weighed about ten pounds (not really but it was huge). I was down to the last quarter and I didn't want it to go to waste. Meat, Cheese, Pepperoni....it had it all. Where did I find such an amazing deal for a meal that could be used as a weapon, or cure hunger for an army? I wanted to dream about it, that's how awesome this find was to me. And that's not all! With it, in the same store, I found the ultimate road trip drink. Arizona Green Tea! You know, the ones in the 99cent cans which holds a mighty 691ml of quenching goodness. The taste is as if Chuck Norris made the ingredients himself.
Ok, let's focus for a minute: why am I here doing this? It's the first week of December here in BC and my brightest days are because of a 10 lb sub and Arizona green tea. I'm sure there is more to life than warming my hands over my camping stove, patching up my tent with duck tape, having hemorrhoids, and enjoying working late cause it gives me the sense that I'm staying out late with friends. The thought really occurred to me when a homeless man came up and said, "We've all had low points in our lives...want some Cheerios I've got here?" I have a huge sub that has lasted a couple days! My life is awesome (tear drips down cheek). Which brings me to my first all-nighter.
2:30 AM. "Oh MY LAND. What in the name of me is wrong with my stomach!?" I groaned. I snapped awake and I knew. My golden sub of purity and health was now rupturing inside me. After two sleeping bag zippers, kicking and groaning, I was onto the next round. Four blankets was a joke but the twist in my torso put some pressure on the bowels....lost some major seconds there. Tent zipper, then fly zipper..."please, Lord, please!" I prayed. Two tarps to lift!? I crawled from under them while applying pressure on my bum like you would on a wound to stop the blood loss. Panic set in.
This was a battle, and the outhouse was down the path and into the woods a bit. "I can't win," I thought. I now realised the full value of an ambulance--I would have called 911 at that moment. With my head lamp already on, I grabbed my machete and hatchet for protection and took off running. Head lamp bobbing, and machete and hatchet blade sending gleams of light into the damp, dark woods, I kept running. Groaning and trying to complete full strides, I kept my head down to see where I was stepping till halfway along the path when I looked up and saw a round, pudgy old lady with a pot of boiling water looking at me and screaming. I had to think fast. Lowering my blades, I dodged quickly to her right and proceeded to the task of relieving myself. "Sorry, I have to poop," I politely yelled back.
Besides having to spend most of the night spooning the toilet on the concrete pad in the outhouse, I couldn't stop thinking why that old lady was boiling water out on the path at 2:30AM? Whatever she was doing, I was scared she might want some time in the outhouse I was now occupying, so I went back to the tent. Of the 13-15 times my bowels went into implode-to-explode stage, I successfully made it a couple times to the outhouse. At first I didn't learn and went back to bed in the tent afterwards, but by the end of the night I had a blanket with me in the outhouse. With practice, my strides got longer and not even a sweet old lady boiling water was going to stand in my way. Many times I had to bail and hit the bushes. Sad really, being so grateful to have the comforts of an outhouse. Bad meat does a lot of things to a man. You also need angel hands to handle the toilet paper in those outhouses so it doesn't rip while in motion. Just breathing on it can cause it to rip.