That One Time I Stole my Best Friend’s Car

Where do I begin?

Huzzah Valley Float TripI guess I’ll start at the beginning…with the float trip. When I was a noob adult, fresh out of college, I would spend a long weekend in the summer with a large group of country boys from Central Illinois and college friends. It started small with about 15 people, but by my last year, it was up in the high 40s. We’d caravan down from Chicago to Missouri in a snowball fashion, picking up more cars along the way.

We had walkie talkie communication between cars, as this was before the days when everyone had a reliable cell phone with unlimited mobile to mobile talk time, back when roaming was expensive and people could go off the grid for whole weekends without Facebook or MySpace or whatever it was that we used. Nobody went into withdrawal or anything either. It was nice. And entertaining. We’d pass each other on the road and make commentary on the other cars/people we were passing.

We’d drink, camp, drink, eat, drink, swim in the river, drink in the river, float down the river, drink on the rafts that float down the river…and so on and so forth listening to country music all weekend long. Basically, we spent an entire weekend hammered, eating breakfasts of Beerios (Cheerios in beer when milk was scarce) and lunches of Pringles and jello shots.

One such float trip, I convinced my dear friend Mark (name changed to protect the innocent) to come along. Little did I know, he hated camping. Drinking, he loved, but when the opportunity to sleep in a bed jumped at him after night one, he was all, PEACE OUT BITCHES.

His best buddy from high school lived close to our campsite and he spent half the weekend with him. Which would have been fine if he returned to the campsite before everyone else had left.

One of my girlfriends and I had ridden down with him from Chicago and on Sunday morning, as everyone else packed up their stuff and rolled out of town, we sat there. Waiting for Mark. The last man standing, the guy who organized the trip stuck around with us for a while longer, waiting for Mark’s imminent return…but it wasn’t happening. We tried to call him, but the campsite was getting zero reception for our phones. The other guy was ready to leave. And we were two twenty-something girls in the middle of Missouri. This was a bad horror movie waiting to happen.

So we did the only logical thing we could think to do. We got into Mark’s car and started driving. The plan was to go somewhere with phone reception (and people in a public place), call Mark and wait.

Except that Mark was driving past us with his friend and kind of freaked out when he say his car.

There was some serious yelling. On both sides. I was clearly pissed that he would leave me stranded in the middle of nowhere, and he was pissed that I “stole his car.” I mean, to be perfectly honest, I can’t blame him. My driving record at the time wasn’t the greatest…To say that the 6 hour ride home was stilted and awkward was an understatement. Sometimes, I wonder how he still loves me. But the best kind of friends forgive, I guess.

Have you ever done anything really crazy and really pissed off your best friend? What’s the worst fight you’ve ever had with a friend?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Monday Memories: Wild Animals…AKA I Got Bit by a Duck

When I was growing up, we did a lot of “camping.” Of course, our version of camping was a little bit more civilized than the camping that I learned about when I went to college and planned my first “real” camp out. We had a motor home. A motor home that happened to be Dad’s daily driver.

We always had a fully stocked fridge, running water, a shower, a toilet, a functional kitchen, and beds. We stayed in resort campgrounds, mostly Yogi Bear/Jellystone Parks where we swam in heated pools with water slides instead of lakes or rivers. We played video games in the arcade, and the parents cocktailed by the pool. We watched cartoons in an outdoor theater, participated in exciting kid programming like water balloon fights, scavenger hunts, and snipe hunts.

Our favorite campground was in Calendonia, Wisconsin. Occasionally, we would take “nature walks” around Boo Boo Pond. This would always seem like an adventure, but we never really saw anything terribly exciting…Except for that one time we saw a duck. It was a white duck that was just sitting there…hanging out.

Usually, the ducks were in the pond, but not this little guy. Or girl. She was sitting a foot off the path. Just sitting there.

We often brought bread to feed the fishies, so I thought that it would be cool to feed the duck.

Big mistake.

Huge.

I reached out to hand the ducky a little piece of bread. The damn thing reached it’s beak out and bit the crap out of my little hand. I screamed. My mom laughed. My brother laughed. I started crying. I had a big red bite mark covering my entire hand. It was surprising how much it hurt. Stupid duck beak.

Apparently, the duck was sitting on a nest. It was definitely a she-duck. A mommy-to-be-duck. A biting-vicious-beast-duck.

I remember whining about how I got bit by a duck. The whole weekend. I’ll bet my family loved that. Then again, whenever something ridiculous happens to me, I whine for days…

Check out more wild animals at It’s a Dome Life and First Time Mom and Dad!

What about you, friends? Any strange encounters with wild animals?

Monday Memories

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!