I found a severed head on my porch this morning. I had opened the door, expecting only to retrieve my weekly delivery of delicious hormone-free milk when I first spotted the head. It wasn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill decapitated head. The insides were stuffed with jellybeans, tootsie-rolls, and lollipops. Also, the head was a piñata.
I had to think back. Who would murder a piñata and deposit its remains on my porch? About fifty people sprang to mind. After narrowing the list down to people I actually know, I figured it out. I remembered getting a call last weekend while I was driving to Wyoming inviting me to some Mexican-themed party. I had to decline the invite because I was on my way to spend a few days attacking the Snake River with raft and paddle. The party-goers must have messed around with some piñatas and then, drunk on the fiesta spirit, decided to cast their leftovers on my porch.
The piñata looked like it was hand-made at the party -- yellow with two black spots for eyes and one large, black gaping mouth. Pretty shoddy craftsmanship. It is times like these when I wish I led a secret double-life as a homicidal maniac. Then I could procure a REAL severed head and leave it on THEIR porch. Maybe I could even stuff it with candy.
But the head is not important. In fact, what I really wanted to write about was the river trip. Three days of rafting, camping, and general outdoorsy activity. Very satisfying. The Yellowstone corner of Wyoming is breathtaking. Nothing better than floating down a river with densely packed pine trees on rolling mountains, visited frequently by deer and bald eagles. Plus, the Snake has good rapids.
On the second day, the layers of sunblock, sweat, dirt, and bug spray got to be too much. For the first time in my life I grabbed some soap and bathed in the river. It wouldn’t have been so bad if a raft hadn’t passed by with leering onlookers just as I was shampooing my hair. I felt like a dirty hippie.
But who cares, camping is great. Two weeks ago I camped with some friends at Bear Lake, which straddles Utah and Idaho. We enjoyed a 1 a.m. swim in the freezing lake water. Nothing so refreshing as not being able to feel your limbs. We were looking for the Bear Lake Monster, which is rumored to frequent the waters. I swear I saw a glimpse of it, although the blurred splotch I saw was more than likely just an artifact of hypothermia.
I love the summer. I love the sun. I love sleeping under the stars. Much better than the 8 hours a day I spend in this freezing office. It’s 97 degrees outside and I have to wear a jacket. They have the air conditioning pumped way up so the warehouse workers downstairs don’t get too hot. It isn’t natural. I come in and freeze and go out and sweat. One of these days I’m just going to lose it and heads are going to roll.
Keep your eyes on your porches.