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Embarrassment Off The Beaten Path

October 12, 2011

One of my favorite memories is hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina. Despite the Hill of Hades that made me wonder if I’d ever reach the top, the views were worth not being able to breathe. But no matter how much you enjoy hiking, one thing you have to come to terms with during an overnight hike is peeing in the woods. If you’re a guy, I’d imagine it’s not that hard to come to terms with this. In fact, I have it on the authority of some fellow hikers of the male persuasion that peeing outside is one of life’s greatest joys.

Lucky jerks.

Most people who are hiking and have to take this step choose to do so well off the beaten path. We’re talking so far into the woods that the only accidental companion would be a furry quadruped.

This brings us to the local greenway where Ben and I went for a walk this weekend. The greenway is surrounded on both sides with trees and you usually feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. It’s not very busy yet because it just opened, so not only is it a paved trail through the woods, it’s rare you see very many people.

We were walking down the path when I noticed a baby stroller parked on the side of the trail about 30 feet ahead. This seemed odd, because I didn’t see anyone else. I just assumed someone had stopped to look at something beside the greenway.

We kept walking and I noticed a woman sitting on the ground, staring at her phone. Then my eyes panned to the right, and there they were. Taking a squat. Ten feet from the trail was a woman and her 10-year-old daughter, relieving themselves in plain view of the whole world.

I’d like to take a moment to tell you that this is not normal behavior for southerners. I know there are a lot of stereotypes about southerners and their back woods ways, but I’d say it’s a commonly held belief that peeing in the woods is something that should be done rarely, and deep enough in the woods that no one going on a walk could see you.

As Ben and I drew closer and it became clear what was going on, the mom and daughter saw us, pulled up their pants with a cry, and I immediately looked at the ground. What else are you supposed to do in a situation like that? Make an awkward joke?

Lovely weather today, huh? How about that draft—I mean breeze?”

Don’t forget! ‘Leaves of three, leave them be!’”

Ben put up his blinders and let them know he didn’t see anything. We continued walking, too embarrassed to say anything—not like there’s anything to say—and I could hear the exchange between the two women.

You were supposed to keep an eye out for people!”

I was downloading something on Facebook!”

Oh Facebook. So much embarrassment you have wrought upon us all.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Amanda Strayer permalink
    October 13, 2011 3:41 pm

    I don’t even know what to say about this…

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