There are two kinds of camping: White Trash camping and Dirty Hippy camping. They operate under entirely different philosophies. Dirty Hippy camping, for instance, revolves around the idea that man is one with earth and nature, and we can all somehow get along with the bear and the tree. These campers usually shop at REI and buy light-weight tents, foam pads, and moisture wicking shirts. White Trash camping, on the other hand, revolves around the idea that man is king of nature, and nature can take my electric generator, RV, satellite plasma TV and shove it up its ass. White Trash camping does everything in its power to keep nature from getting in the way between man and his enjoyment of pretending he’s in nature.
Usually I pride myself on being a Dirty Hippy camper, but when I went to Zion National Park in Utah a year ago, I’m afraid I might’ve been a bit more White Trash than I would’ve liked. There were six of us, and although many of us were experienced campers, as a whole, we were a ragtag team of city folk pretending to be roughin’ it in the wilderness. I won’t get into the details, but after filling up two garbage bags of trash and eating 3,000 calories of curry chicken and Cheese-Its, I started to feel the pangs of pathetic self-awareness, and desperately needed some sort of redemption to prove that we, too, were hard core.
So, we went on a hike. It was a short trip up the canyon wall. While several of us were seasoned hikers, as a whole, we were not much made for walking let alone hiking. Two of us had just run the Los Angeles Marathon two days prior and still couldn’t move, and a couple others were unfortunately a bit out of shape. But, as in desperation to regain some sense of masculinity, we pressed on huffing and puffing up the trail.
That is when a boy who could not have been more than nine years old, shirtless with bulging pectorals and biceps, as well as a fully developed six-pack, ran up the canyon past us carrying a backpackers’ backpack and a look of stern self-confidence only ever seen in wolves and classic actors. He appeared before us, and with a hop, a jump, a leap, and a sprint, he was gone.
The six of us stood in shock and awe saying nothing for several seconds. We immediately started joking about how that boy was probably banging all of his elementary school teachers simultaneously, and making their husbands watch. It was funny for a while, until we decided to start hiking again, huffing and puffing, moaning and groaning up a small hill to a vista point.
Sometimes I stop to think: as I live a frustrating life of unintentional chastity, somewhere out there is a ten-year old boy boning all of his friends’ moms and probably the District Attorney’s wife.