The Fest of We

In my four years at college, I had spent an estimated amount of $4,000 on booze.  I know that seems a little steep, since it could be a down payment on a car but somebody has to feed the economy.  Sometimes I compared the spending to one of those Glamour articles ‘You Had This, When You Could Have Had All of This.’  I get it, $4,000 worth of booze is nearly 3,000 iTunes songs, a liter of expensive purebred dogs, a designer dress, a 30 second concert with Christina Aguilara, and purchasing something from the McDonald’s Dollar Menu every day for ten years.   Five hundred dollars of that booze money was spent at Wefest and my one trip to Vegas.  That is a lot of money, considering my main food course was usually Taco Bell and I could barely fork over enough money to attend annual Saturday football games.  But who would pass on outrageous costume wear, urinating in awkward places, and alcohol as the main focus of each event?

Wefest is a place I couldn’t even dream up when I take Tylenol too late at night.  Often referred to in clever fashion, ‘The Fest of We’ is a celebration located at a large field in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. The land area is large enough to house two Justin Bieber concerts; Taylor Swift as his opening act.  I googled Detroit Lakes once, and was greeted by an html website constructed before Bill Gates was born.  Detroit Lakes is in the middle of nowhere and the hazy location is no different on the net.  I hastily wished the Google van drove by during WeFest.  I’m sure I would spot more than a passed out overweight woman on a driveway.

The land of Detroit Lakes is gloriously open-spaced, countryside, free of bleeding hearts, Smart Cars, and clustered buildings.  A large swamp separates two rolling hills amongst long threads of mysterious highways and small hobby farms.  I was convinced every major Nascar driver was born in a tool shed along the small divots of grassy knolls of the field, fed corn, and raced in the Demolition Derby at every county fair.  The radar of Hicksville is skyrocketing up the roof of every silo around the city.  The place is barren and I’m assuming a living hell, come winter.  Nothing catches the fierce winds, freefalling snow, and snide biting temperatures.  My mother would always claim, “Well Brittany, it keeps the riff-raff out.”

A dozen lakes litter the land like a venereal disease, and come summer, and the first week of August, the fields of Detroit Lakes turn into a haven of half-dressed college kids and a four day country music extravaganza featuring artists like; Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Sugarland, Keith Urban, Kelly Pickler, and the ba-donk-a-donk song.  However, when I went, Taylor’s only claim to fame was a sticky, tear-stained guitar, bouncy locks, and an obmre-colored prom dress.  Still, tickets to the event revolved around the cost of a down payment of a John Deer Gator, and saving up for the event took skipping a few thirsty Thursdays and late night Jimmy Johns orders.  The sacrifices were totally worth the glory of the experience.

Lovely patrons come in from every angle of Minnesota to endure in the magical event.  Minnesota is the same shape as a garbage can for a reason; shit can get trashy.  They pack all of their beer bongs, toilet paper, and swisher sweets.  They travel from far away distances, and lose themselves in a world full of slip n’ slides and country music. People set up camp, drink all day, and cops roam around on their trusty steeds and watch girls do body shots off of each other and play drunken word games around a bonfire.  Come concert time, busloads of people are trucked to the concert venue.  Or, large clumps of terribly drunk human beings roam like zombies along the path (which should be featured on ‘Dangerous Trails In America’) to the concert site themselves.  The event is pure mayhem.  I can just close my eyes and imagine one hundred plus extremely intoxicated people running through an underground tunnel chanting ‘U-S-A’ before they catch a glimpse of Taylor Swift’s hair flips on stage.  Wefest is unifying.  Wefest is trashy.  Wefest is one of my favorite places to spend a long weekend.

My friend Lauren, who grew ‘Up North’, told me about the event.  People who lived ‘up north’ in Minnesota were another breed, compared to the normal people who live in the suburbs.  Most of my family lived ‘up north’ and every one of them has endured in a starring contest with a frightened deer on the nearest highway and has a strict diet of venison.  They pack hot dish to-go bags for you to take home when you visit, follow you out the door as you leave and chase you down the street while they say goodbye.  Up northerners are extremely nice, don’t appreciate concrete, and often have a weird attachment to the Minnesota North, as if no one else but them really understands what they went through growing up there.  They’re right; I don’t understand.  Therefore, I fail to relate.

My roommate Lauren was an ‘up northerner.’  She was so excited to tell me about WeFest, she even pulled up her ‘Hammy Time’ album on Facebook that scarcely documented the affair.  People weren’t even standing and it was broad daylight in most of the album.  While I skimmed through the album; I received the same feeling when I have to take a big shadoobie when I’m in a public place.  I get extreme anxiety when I have to poop in public and know my future resides in visuals of extremely drunk people.  I was nervous about the venue situation, but extremely excited.  That feeling alone convinced me I needed to go to WeFest.  Conquering my inner fears had been my most recent New Years resolution.

I purchased my ticket that September, in the safety of my own dorm, shaking with excitement, and almost a year before the event was even going to take place.  Lauren had told me so many stories about her experience there, like passing out alone on a hilltop, making out with random people, crying all the time, and getting lost in various campgrounds.  I felt extremely frightened for what was to come.  I also loved country music, so that was a plus.

However, I was scared to sleep in a tent.  I hated sleeping anywhere else besides my bed.  That was probably why I went my entire freshman year with only kissing one boy.  I just wanted to go home to my own comforter, is that a crime?  My mild fear of tents and disliking to sleeping in random places injected a little excitement into my life.  What would happen if I couldn’t go home to my own bed?  What would happen if my only option were the tarp bottom of my own tent, or even worse, somebody else’s?  Constant fantasies about finding someone with a tent housing an air mattress replayed over my mind for months.

The anticipation to the event was like opening a bottle of shaken carbonated water in a movie theater.  Me, my roommate Taryn, and our two loyal besties; Sonja and Brandi were road tripping to Detroit Lakes together and our insides could have exploded in all of the most inappropriate of places.  We were all so excited, normal people could barely have a conversation with us because we would bring up the event like it was our newborn child.  My mother couldn’t even stand to go grocery shopping with me, because I couldn’t stop buying hot dogs to grill and variety Cheese-It’s to munch on before Wefest rally time. We were hours away from what was sure to be the best time of our innocent lives.

One night before the event, drunk on mojitos and WeFest stimulation, we made a list of ‘WeFest Rules’ on a paper bag. Here they are:

1. Make out at least once…your tent or mine?

2. Be tacky.

3. If you want to bone, go back with a guy to his tent. Otherwise, don’t.

4. Darrell say’s ‘Remove your tampon.’

5. Have at least one ‘tutti frutti’ night.  It’s a ‘no-no’ and you like it.

6. Don’t die. Live to tell the tale.

These rules, and the fact we were taking them seriously, scared me the most.

I scribbled a list of items to pack weeks before shoving all of our shit in Taryn’s lesbian car, Leslie.  She drove a red Honda CRV.  The list consisted of; Charmin To Go Rolls, Jerky Sticks, Condoms for Laura, Target cowgirl Hats, Cheese Squares, Grape Swisher Sweets, Daisy Duke Shorts, swim suit tops, the ‘Wefest Rules’ list, and my Subway groupons.

Trying to leave the cities was like trying to scope the sea with a screen door in a submarine.  It was useless.  Our first moments traveling were during rush hour, and we were all wearing cowgirl hats screaming out of the windows like golden retrievers that had vocal capacity, a southern accent, and knew fluent English.  Brandi and Sonja were in the backseat. Taryn and I could barely see their blonde tresses because most of our belongings were sexually molesting them.  When we finally reached the open road and cornfields, we listened to Enya and Bryan Adams in happiness.  We were all excitedly anticipating what was to come of the next, and hopefully not the last, four days of our bittersweet lives.

The first scene of WeFest flooded my heart with emotions equal to the feelings of seeing Weiner Dogs dressed up as phallic looking objects.  I was so excited; I grabbed the top of my cowgirl hat in anticipation and gazed across the rolling fields as I imagined Christopher Columbus had gazed across America.  Except, I most definitely had discovered something to be proud of; something to celebrate, something to go down in the history books as possibly my happiest day as an American.  Besides for the time I discovered grilled corn and the cob dipped in melted butter.

Speckled across the long grass were millions of tents and campers.  For our urinating convenience, I spotted lines of porta-potties and beer pong tables.  A flood of even more excitement pumped in my veins like I had a blow hose of pure thrill shoved up my anus.  We all squealed in unison at the site. Taut and tan college boys drove by in their pick-up trucks like they had been pulled right out of a Friday Night Lights episode and pasted into our new world.  This was better than finding Narnia in my closet for two reasons.  One, it was hot and humid.  And two, unlike Centaur, the men had real calves and still weren’t wearing shirts.

“We’re not in Kansas anymore, assholes.” I told my friends, hanging halfway out of Taryn’s lezzy car.

“If this is what heaven is like, take me now,” Brandi hollered after whistling at some guys staring at us from their campsite.  They resembled sexy lumberjacks and looked at us with fierce drunken intensity.  So many fabulous movies were entwining themselves with this scene.  I saw American Pie, Remember the Titans, Dazed and Confused, the last scene in Grease, The Hangover, and a Cowgirl fantasy porno all rolled into one.  I couldn’t wait to stop the car, whip out my swisher sweets, and light one up while we pitched our first tent.

I was so surprised by my excitement; I wanted to remember it forever.  On most accounts, I hated camping.  I wasn’t the type of person whom enjoyed zipping up my North Face sleeping bag and waking up sweating bullets the next morning, about ten feet away from where I’d originally set up my tent because I forgot to install the tent-stakes correctly.  I wasn’t big into hiking and rolling my ankle numerous amounts of times on large, visibly retarded tree ruts.  I definitely did not enjoy the risk of getting in murky lake water and taking very public shits in porta-potties.  It wasn’t the unsanitary issue that bothered me about camping; I could go three days without showering and constipate myself to ignore pooping in a two foot by two foot bucket.  It was the questions that I often associated with camping.  Wanna go for a hike?  Brittany, can you go get wood for the fire?  Hey, do you want to tell scary ghost stories by the fire?  How bout’ we hike our asses back to the RV or go back home, flip the switch for my gas fireplace, and then watch Hoarders?  I loved the outdoors but had no tolerance for excreting myself into outdoor activities where they would come much easier in indoor elements.  Camping turned easy activities, like brushing your teeth, into a strenuous, awful activity; that’s harder than winning a game of Bocce Ball.

However, WeFest was tickling my fancy and proving to me I had an outdoorsy bone somewhere inside that lazy body.  Probably my foot, because I heard that is where most bones are.  The skewed assortments of young drunk men, country music, and 100,000 plus humans whom were drinking were helping the equation come out the other end with a big number.  Just thinking about crawling out of the car and making eye-contact with some young cowboys made my cowgirl hat feel warm and snug on my noggin. I shoved it further onto my melon. This created a natural shadow across my face so I remained more mysterious, emotionally available, and deep.

The WeFest campgrounds were separated by dozens of separate campground neighborhoods.  It was like WeFest’s own personal cast system.  One campground was for old people, one was for college kids, one was for families, and one was for trailer trash.  We were staying in a campground called Hilltop.  Hilltop was for trailer trash.  Hilltop was located on a hill and was designated for “mellow partiers.”  Mellow partiers were usually the ones whom would become drunk off of beer, instead of vodka. In true fashion, usually Red Dog.  Of course, this was an issue for my friends and I.  We hated beer.

The hill overlooked most of the campgrounds and had easy access to other campgrounds, so we weren’t too worried about not getting into any shenanigans. We decided Wefest was going to be awesome for many reasons; including free body shots, little tiki bars around every corner, and a future monstrous slip n’ slide, or as I liked to call it; a “Slip n’ Bleed from the Anus.”

The campground kitty corner from Hilltop was Eagle.  Eagle was for college kids and hosted all of the crazy freaks that arrived there a few days early to snatch a spot.   Eagle was hot property and known as the craziest campground on the grounds.  Obviously, since we had lives that revolved around more than sitting in line with the hicks to get there, we didn’t get a spot.  I found getting there at the ass crack of dawn completely ridiculous and unnecessary.  From our Hilltop perch we could properly view the entire campground and often times fall or battle roll down the hill to get there.  Although Hilltop people were beer drinkers and a bit mellower; we didn’t need a spot in ‘Eagle’ to conduct our proper fun. We felt fun bubbling over within ourselves.  Hilltop was the beer to Eagle’s vodka, or the Taylor Swift to Eagle’s Lindsay Lohan.  Naturally, we were knawing on the bit to go check the campground out.

After driving through the campground slower than molasses in January, and weaving down the rows and rows of campground, we found our spot; a nice little open grassy area on the side of the hill.  We knew this may cause difficulties, considering we were at a slight slant, but we figured the slant and our drunken state would even themselves out.  When we had a lemon, we squeezed it into our vodka tonic.

For me, pitching a tent to sleep in was harder than pitching Lance Bass’s tent.  It would have been easier to light a gay man’s fire with my white girl dance moves than effectively construct a standing tent.  I was never patient enough to read the directions and I was convinced the tent rods were too long for the top sheet of any tent-like establishment. Camping was ridiculous.  Luckily, Taryn’s parents were still hippies and she had a nice grasp on the art.  I stood and smoked my grape swisher and pretended I was reading the directions, when really I was giving a porta-potty the stank eye.  I was useless.  I dodged Girl Scout camp for a reason.  I had no physical drive to exert myself in an activity that had nothing to do with my climbing cholesterol level. And Sonja’s mother had provided us with a tent on steroids,’ so it was taking them forever to figure it out.  In the grand scheme of life the two things in the world I will never solve are how to put together a tent or a Sudoku problem.  Both are a waste of my time, even when I have to sleep in one.

It was already dark when they figured it out. We put the bottom tarp of the contraption on the top and vice versa, but bypassed the glitch as a minor issue we could live with.   I failed to tell them the correct directions because they were too deep in the wrong already and a campground exploration mission was far more important than a tent that was actually going to stand, erect.  I looked at them and put my palms straight into the air and rose one way more than the other; like my own personal chemistry lab weight, indicating one decision was lighter in fun substance than the other, therefore, less of a burden.

“A place to sleep or half-dressed men in cowboy hats?”  You can only imagine which hand was higher.

If one was to lock hundreds of college kids in a warehouse with sprinklers that sprayed out Smirnoff for five hours and then set them free in a barren land with porta potties and tents; that is what Eagle brought to the mix. Over the hill from our campground, was a complete transformation.  And despite many previous disappointments, I now believe the grass is greener on the other side.  Drunken people were everywhere, it was like Day of the Dead re-made into Day of the Drunk.  This, you can imagine, contained a lot of loud screaming, hugging, and rejoicing.  I saw men wearing cut offs and carrying around their own personal mini-kegs on their shoulders like boom boxes in the 80’s.  Cops aboard horses rode by leisurely like this was a Sunday Fourth of July parade.  I waited for them to toss me those candies that might as well be chunks of wax candle.  Because I hate the dentist, gag every time they do X-rays, and am no longer on my parent’s insurance; I was happy that wasn’t the case.

Taryn was standing and staring with sparkling, hopeful eyes as a cop drove by on a four-wheeler and snatched her Fuzzy Navel right from her firm man grasp. The neck of the bottle was turning her knuckles swirly white and purple.   Taryn spun around like a top in a cartoon.

“What!? Hey!”

“No GLASS BOTTLES.” The man hollered and buzzed off like the fun-sucker he was.  Taryn’s top concern was not that she was underage, but that her full bottle was now in the hands of the law. “He’s probably going to use that bottle to masturbate later,” Taryn said, expressing her anger in one, hot huff.

“Taryn! Language! There are children in the next campground,” I looked around, but definitely did not see any children on this end.  I was tempted to lick my lips like a cheetah.  I could safely creep without worrying about pulling any freshman shenanigans.

It didn’t take us long to find more alcohol.  We were like Dora the Explorer and her monkey, except with botched Spanglish and on a much cooler mission.  We ran into four Canadian boys, whom were beautiful and obviously extremely exotic.  Canadian boys can be extremely alluring, ask Justin Bieber.  They are a little country, a little Toronto, and totally into hockey and peanut butter.  What more could I ask for in a man?  I loved Canadian boys because Ryan Reynolds was one of them, they can skate on everything (even wood), their accents are adorable, and they inherit an ability to be self-depreciating and extremely apologetic about anything.

“Hey ladies,” they cooed.  I imagined how amazing it would be if they were half Australian, half Canadian.

“Hey boys, could we maybe have some of that?” Like usual, Sonja wasn’t wasting any time and pointed to their bottle of Karkov.  She did not consider how the duration of our evening would have panned out had they roofied us.  The Canadians probably figured they didn’t need to since Karkov is alcohol’s equal to nail polish remover.  The one day I drank it, I thought I could shit fire and pee acid for a week.  It was awful.  I was wondering why Sonja had come across this offer, but decided it was that Canadian magnetism speaking.

“Sure, as long as we can make out.”

I couldn’t believe he had answered with such enthusiasm.  Such balls, he did have!

Clearly, Sonja’s watch was ticking a little faster than mine, because we were running out of time to get back-up.  And she didn’t even blush or bat an eyelash, “If you insist, Canadian boy.”

Then, she planted a big smoochie right on his Canadian raised chops.  And the kiss lingered for about five minutes, long enough for Tara to grab the bottle right out of his hands and take a pull standing right there in the WeFest dirt while Sonja sucked CanadianBacon’s face off.  I politely passed, because I knew passing gas like a dragon for the next week wasn’t going to cut the cheese.  Like pockets in short shorts, Karkov should not be legal.  Also, I hated drinking copious amounts of booze in public because I imagined myself laughing and having it come out of my nose.  And, the public eye of judgmental and overly exertive college students was not something I needed rating my performance.  I had an innate fear Tyra Banks was going to crawl out from under the sticky beer bong table in crazy eyed angst and say, “You’re no longer in the running to be America’s next top model.”  Or worse, Paula Abdul would drunkenly creep from the magical American Idol judging stage that would appear from fairy dust and she would combust into a variation of sloppy dance moves, over the head applause, and muster enough energy to nearly spill her mystery drink from her Cola cup all over my Team Taylor tee shirt.

Whatever dawg, thank God she made Randy stay home.

I felt so sorry for Taryn, I almost pinched a lonely tear for her.  The pain on her face was inevitable.  She winced for about five minutes after her expert pull as if she had just sucked on the cotton ball she used to remove her O.P.I. polish.

“Hey, can I have some of that – I have a situation on my toenail here.  I wanted to get some of this chipped nail polish off…”

“Go to hell,” Taryn stuttered after Sonja stopped kissing CanadianBacon and reached for the bottle.  It was then, I wondered if we all had a problem.  Sonja was prostituting herself for cheap alcohol and I was watching.  My philosophy was that we were merrily like everyone else in the given 100,000 plus population of the venue, so we did not have a dilemma.  The people with the predicament would be the ones drinking Smart Water and cooking macaroni with hot dog chunks in it over the fire while telling Ghost stories.

After roaming around for what seemed like five minutes but was really an hour, Sonja somehow made it back to our tent and passed out.  She wasn’t with CanadianBacon anymore, so we decided to leave her alone with her lethal flatulence.  Taco Johns had not been a great plan.

In the same fashion people walk the beach late at night, Taryn and I walked the rows of WeFest campgrounds.  It was 9 P.M. and the first night in, so naturally, people were starting to pass out in piles of Chewy wrappers.  But Taryn and I were a little buzzed and still pumping out those swisher sweets like we had a life supply in the back of her lesbian roller.  We were on a mission to find our friends that were staying in Eagle, but I was on a secret mission to find the dude I was currently infatuated with; Jeremy.  At this point, I had become slightly obsessed with his attention.  Yes, the home wrecker gentleman I’d been prancing around campus late at night with for half a year.  He, however, had finally broken up with his ball and chain and I knew he was roaming around somewhere, free.  I was destined to find him.

“Where is everybody??”

This confused Taryn because people were merrily everywhere.  I internally knew ‘everybody’ meant ‘Jeremy.’ She answered with ease,

“I have no idea.”

I knew Jeremy and I were meant to be, because I did find him about two and a half swishers later.  He was walking towards us wearing a cut-off tee and black jersey shorts.  I was not expecting to ever find him, so my spirits lifted. My voice was husky and rough from my swishers and I felt like a brand new woman.  I puffed out my chest like a rooster and pranced up to him,

“Jeremy?”

“Brittany?”

“I can’t believe you’re really here!”

I can’t believe you’re really here? I was acting like I had spotted him alive in the hospital after the whole Pearl Harbor debacle.  First of all, he wasn’t Josh freaking Hartnett. Second of all, he had not been announced “dead” for months after he crashed his aircraft in the Indian Ocean, and I wasn’t pregnant with his best friend’s mystery love child.  I was being unrealistic and ridiculous.  Taryn knew this and started making her rounds back to our non-properly constructed tent and didn’t say anything as we started trekking up the hill.  Jeremy and I followed like homeless dogs.  He kept trying to kiss me and my cowgirl hat would fall off come contact.  I would grab it, shove it so far on my head I couldn’t see straight in front of me, and giggle in his face.  I thought I was being so sexy, like Jesse James in her “Blue Jeans” music video. I knew Jeremy wanted to put it in his mouth and tear it off my head so he could see my ocean-green eyes gaze up at him.

In reality, I could only imagine the only reason Jeremy would ever want to “bite” my hat off, was because it smelt like burnt sausages and he had the drunken munchies. I closed my eyes, met Jeremy’s gaze with my lips and imagined my legs were tanner, the moon was brighter, and everyone was jealous of us.

Despite the fact Taryn had recently referred to Jeremy as a “big jerk off,” and “a jar of Vaseline,” I was still determined to snuggle in our tent with him.  Taryn hated Jeremy for everything he put me through.  She hated him for cheating on his girlfriend.  She hated him for his slightly swooshed colic.  She hated him for the good sparkle I saw in his eye.  Regardless, and despite the “no guys in our tent go do your business in his” rule on our long list of WeFest rules; I was going to infest my pillow with Jeremy’s blond hair remnants – the boy shed like Chewbacca.

“I’ve really missed you,” I said sweetly, hoping my whole southern girl outfit was blending nicely with my saccharine attitude.

“I’ve missed you too,” he said, and I didn’t realize he was mirroring everything I said like some kind of deranged parrot.

We fell into the tent, next to Sonja who was completely out for the count and ten more.  Still today, Sonja refuses to tell me she was awake for Jeremy and I’s fun under the starry night sky.  Brandi and Taryn were absent, so we needn’t worry about waking the tent roomies.  It was clear then, Jeremy’s appeal came from sneaking around with him, and this night wasn’t any different. He got up before the sun rose and kissed me goodbye.  Since I was in a desperate and needy mood, I did the one thing a girl should never do, especially according to dating coaches; Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider of ‘The Rules.’ Whatever, one of them is divorced now anyway.  I asked about his previous relationship,

“So, you and Chelsie are done?”

“Um, yea.”  Um…yea?  Ok, I hadn’t just hit the kid across the face.  He didn’t need to answer me like I’d been physically abusing him for ten years and he was scared to tell me the truth.  I just wanted to get things cleared up.  Was he with the bitch or not?

“Are you sure?  I mean, I don’t want to be that girl again.  I really like you.  You promise you and Chelsie are done for good?”  I needed to stop prying.  I bet at this point, he was wishing he’d fallen down the hill.

“Don’t worry alright?”  He gave me a side wave and skittered off like a fox into the darkness.

In my slightly buzzed and hazy mind, I self-confirmed he truly liked me and wanted to be with me.  Oh, and had broken up with Chelsie for me.  And that he hated Chelsie.  And that he wrote about me and my supple, perfect breasts and beautiful mind on his online Word Press blog.  I went to sleep dreaming about cartoon fairies and happiness.  It was a great first night at WeFest.

Seeing my girlfriends and I or anyone for that matter not intoxicated during Wefest, was like seeing a Smart Car with an Iowan license plate slapped on the back; as in, never.  Therefore, as you can only imagine, we ran into many messy issues during our experience at ‘The Fest of We.’  First of all, we woke up the second day to the sound of Rihanna playing loudly five feet away from our tent and to a person dry heaving, where I assumed to be against the corner stake of our tent.  They sounded like a human-sized cat coughing up a vomit-induced hairball and I didn’t appreciate it.  I woke up in a hung over, disgusted sweat.  It had to be the temperature of a camel toe in that tent, or split pea soup.

The morning after that, we woke up after a late night rainstorm.  Since the tent was at a very compromising angle, and we had a floor as our roof, all of the water from the storm had leaked into our tent and congregated in the lower half of the small room. Taryn woke up in a puddle the size of the English Channel.  Her sleeping bag smelt like a litter of wet Chiwawas had slept inside of it.

I didn’t take off the same jean skirt for four days straight.  In a world where dirt, piss, and alcohol are the three main ingredients, you can only imagine the only choice I was given after wearing the skirt for the lifespan of a fly, was to throw it away.

Along with properly dressing myself, urinating was very difficult.  And it wasn’t because I had tracked a urinary tract infection from wiping the wrong way with my Charmin To Go roll.  It was because I refused to do my business in a porta-potty.  I understand pissing in one of those hell cubicles, is not very fun for anybody.  But for me, it was an absolute nightmare.  Because I was born as blind as a possum during daylight, I had a very nice set of ears and a keen knack for smelling anything from an ant fart, to make up for blindness.  Therefore, the feces in a porta-potty were as strong as the sulfur stench immediately after a match was lit.  And like the club can’t handle me, I couldn’t handle a shit smell equal to the intensity of sulfate.

Not to mention the sudden need people at WeFest, accumulated while they were on the grounds, to behave like apes.  I don’t know why, but the minute anyone entered a porta-potty I’m pretty sure the toilet hole grew to astronomical sizes because piss was everywhere.  Writing your name with your own urine is fun if it’s snowing and you can see it show up vibrantly against a snow pile.  It’s not as cool when it’s dripping from the walls of a public urination area.  From experience and small snippets of my nightmares, “drunk poopies” made my fingernails curl backwards and caused the particles in my hair to expand.  Drunk poopies were everywhere at WeFest.  The celebration should have been called WeShit.  They were lethal and make me reconsider the human being as the dominant species.  Scratch that, no wonder humans are at the top of the food chain; all they have to do is chug some vodka and stand in a circle around their own shit.  I’m pretty sure a Black Bear would avoid that encounter.

This entire dilemma, added onto the stress of traveling, constipated me for four days.  Second of all, I needed to find alternative locations for urinating.  I immediately ruled out the stream run-off in our tent.  It was too difficult and although urine was sterile, I didn’t want to risk waking up face planted in something I may mistake for warm apple juice.  It was a complex feat to pee anywhere on the campgrounds because people were everywhere. People were crawling out of bushes, tents, truck beds, and garbage cans; the place was a battlefield and all of the intrusions were downright rude. That is why I’d like to take a moment to give whoever invented Go Girls (shortly after this rampage) my blessing.  I really could have used one during the adventure that was finding my own personal pee sanctuary.

The alternative I took to tinkling where normal people do was a little dramatic.  The passenger’s side of Taryn’s car was positioned against our tent.  This gave me ample opportunity for a private area to relieve myself.  If I opened the passenger’s side door, and the backseat door on the same side, I created a perfect personal porta-potty sans the rancid smell, and questionable toilet mixtures.  My “pee stance” became very stable, because I would rest the lower portion of my spine on the lower part of the door, grab onto the door handles and relieve myself in a confidential area.  Often, I shoved my Charmin To-Go Roll on the door handle.  This made the situation relaxed and homey.  Whenever I peed I heard the song, ‘Fighter’ by Christina Aguilara because, “it makes me work a little bit stronger, made me learn a little bit faster, makes me that much smarter, so thanks for making me a fighter.” To this day, I know I am a stronger woman because I can pee just about anywhere.

Sometimes, my new place to pee wasn’t always nearby, especially when we roamed over to Eagle for an afternoon of beer pong and body shots.  I didn’t let a little glitch get to my pride.  Instead, I resorted to another one of the many hills on the campgrounds, traveled to the top, snuggled in the long grass, and risked tinkling all over my ankles for a little privacy.  I would glare at the blue porta-pottys from the tip of the hill and wave at them like they were an intrigued audience, not a cluster of plastic hallow tubes people shat in.

Once I got the peeing thing figured out, we were pretty much underway.  The girls and I would walk the eighty miles to all the concerts, pay for an eighty dollar hot dog when we got there, make eighty new best friends, and travel the 180 miles back because we usually got severely lost.  Unfortunately, MapQuest did not cover the small bunny paths that wound through the grounds like a Barbie Riding Club course.

My favorite concert was a Sugarland gig we went to one evening.  Everyone had been drinking all day and Taryn had just finished giving a stranger a lap dance.  A group of guys had constructed a large wheel passerby’s would spin while walking by. Options were; make out with Butch, flash the titties, or chug a Coors.  Taryn landed on ‘strip tease.’  Since she was a stripper in another life, she totally soaked it up like the slutty little sponge she was.  Her number one dream, above being an Advertising Account Executive, was getting into Burlesque.  She promised me “next year” we were getting pole dance lessons for her birthday.  Like I said before; I was very proud to be an American.

We were stumbling along the trail to the concert venue with hundreds of other patrons and I was rapping about wearing a doo-rag.  This would have been extremely offensive, had there been a black person in a one hundred mile radius from where we were. We had to travel through a tunnel under a major highway to get there, which I decided later was very unsafe, considering it was pitch black inside and there were probably extremely poisonous rats scurrying around with rabies.  However, since everyone was chanting “U-S-A,” I felt comfortable, and protected by the comradary of freedom ringing in our country.   Everyone was in the same position I was, and we basked in the unifying glory with American flag speedos, corn dogs, and cult-like victory chants.

Mid-way through the tunnel, I lost my flip-flop and went into a complete frenzy,

“MY FLIP-FLOP. OH MY GOD.”  I tried to stop, but all of my friends and I were linking arms like we were in some kind of mining tragedy, making it harder than a game of Red Rover to get through.  This did not go over well, considering there were about three hundred people behind us, pushing through a pitch-black tunnel.  I stopped anyway and bent over for my shoe.  The onslaught of drunken people nearly knocked me over. I needed to keep walking.  I was happy I had been drinking; the bottom of that tunnel had diseases we probably won’t hear about until 2030.

“Brittany, we have to keep walking!”  Sonja yelled like we were chained with handcuffs at the bottom of the Titanic before it sunk.  She was always so dramatic.

“But my flip-flop!  I lost it, and it’s newwww.”  Although it was from Old Navy and probably five dollars, I had grown an inevitable connection and endearment with my shoe through travel.  And now, like most of my boyfriends, my bond was gone. Sonja bent over and came up with a shoe.  To this day, I don’t know how she did it; saved my shoe.  Her bend and snap was possibly the most promising bend and snap of all time.

“I got it!”  She yelled, like she had just found the skeleton key to unlock our handcuffs from the Titanic bilge.  I grabbed the shoe.  By this time, we were coming out of the tunnel and I shoved it on my right foot.  The show was owned by a genetically impossible sized man, size fourteen and for the left limb.

About an hour later, in a skirt I hadn’t washed in weeks, and a shoe that could have been mistaken for Michael Jordan’s, we stood in the middle of thousands of people, dancing slowly to the sweet sounds of Sugarland singing Fleetwood Mac cover songs.  It could have been the happiest time of my life since reading my first TY Beanie Baby poem. I was rocking back and forth with my best friends, under a star-lit sky, to wonderful harmony.  Sugarland was one of the best concerts I’d ever attended, and not because I had been drinking for four days straight and eating Cheese-Its for dinner.

Then, a storyline equal to a Tampax commercial where Mother Nature busts into my life like the Kool-Aid man, made me react like a diva. I shoved a hand in the face of bore because nothing could get in the way to my fun.

It started raining.

Not just one of those half-ass sprinkles where my windshield wipers and the rain end giving my windshield the same consistency and visibility as a condom. It was the kind of unnatural rain that would be in a movie when the sun was out.  The raindrops were the size of small rodents, falling from the sky and bursting on our sun burnt skin like pop rocks.  It was completely unnatural and obnoxious.

And I had to pee.

When it rains, I do two things; imagine making out with a hunky Superman in it, and bask in the tingly sensation of having to pee.  Badly.

I was so happy and buzzed; I looked around like I had just done something as simply farting.  Then, I had an amazing light bulb moment. I reached down my skirt, pulled over my underwear, and peed right there in the rain.  It splashed all over my leg and the people around me.  Nobody but my sweet, innocent soul knew anything about it.  And maybe God, but I’m Christian, so he’s still going to love me for it.  I looked into the sky and watched the rain plummet over me.  It came down slow and light, and I let it rinse the dirt off my cheekbones, shins, and the pee pee on my calves.  I lifted my arms into the air in adoration.  I didn’t want to get wet; I wanted to feel the rain.  Between the music, the concert lights lighting the raindrops, and the contrast of hot summer air and perspiration; I felt re-born.  I licked my salty lips and slung my arm around my best friends.

“Little Miss, you’ll go far.  Little Miss, hide your scars.  Little Miss who you are, is so much more than you like to talk about,” Jennifer Nettles sang.  I soaked it all in.  That was one of the many sliver-moments in my life where I knew I didn’t need anything else, I was grateful for the moment.  I was grateful for the mini goose-bumps on my arms, I was grateful for the luscious, idyllic looks plastered on my friend’s faces, I was grateful for the smell of smoked birch, country melodies, and the freedom I obtained to do whatever I pleased; even if that included pissing on my own leg.

Taryn’s story was a little more unfortunate.  She was wearing Daisy Duke shorts, so pulling them over to pee was a little more noticeable, and she didn’t want to risk peeing on her fingers.  She tried to go to the porta-potty but the line was too long.  She came back to our group looking like she’d peed herself in public, well, because she had.

On the way back to the campground, Sonja and I took the bus because I was too worried about losing another Old Navy flip flop to the battle that was the violent, clustered tunnel.  I did not respect the people whom seemed so nice in the light; refuse to help me when I was barefoot and screaming in the darkness. The minute Sonja and I sat down, we were laughing about something, and Laura squealed,

“I think I just peed a little!” And she grabbed her muffin and looked at me, nearly in tears.

My friends and I may pass gas and urine in inappropriate places, but that was a small snippet of what I loved most about where I was at in my life; a place where I didn’t care.  I was not there to pass judgment.  That’s under God’s schedule. And as far as I’m concerned, he still loves us.  He gave us Go Girl’s after all.

 

The best part of the story came the last day of our trip, when we were beat up and pummeled so far into the ground, you could mistake us for a group of homeless prostitutes. It was the final night and we were drinking the lasts of our White Zinfandel and smoking the last of our Strawberry Swishers.  I had a voice that couldn’t out yell someone with a swollen thyroid gland.  And my skirt finally had reached the point of looking intentionally dirty, or like I rolled around in a pile of soot.  I hadn’t seen Jeremy since the first day of our trip, in fear I would seem too needy, not that I hadn’t already displayed that element of affection, so I was determined to find him.  Brandi was tempted to find a guy she had met a week before and had fallen in love with, and Sonja was determined to get into our neighbors tent and sleep on their air mattress.  Taryn was just trying not to piss herself in front of too many people.

Since it was the last night, and we all clearly had had enough of each other, we split.  I went off alone to find Jeremy, which I later dub very unsafe considering the next turn of events.  Taryn passed out on her own lap next to our neighbor’s bonfire.  Sonja ended up in a tent with a guy from Australia that we were pretty sure was barely legal, and Brandi ran out of a guy’s tent after he got completely naked and asked her to have sex with her.  She saw him on campus a month later, but that’s another story.

I found Jeremy right away and practically begged him to come back to my campground.  From our first night, he had accumulated many mysterious hickeys he claimed were from me.  I tried to convince him I don’t like to suck on necks like I housed some kind of serious vampire fantasy.  Besides, I never believed I had the physical capacity to be able to pop blood vessels under someone’s skin with my own mouth, and I never watch a single episode of True Blood. In defense, he used the line,

“I bruise easily.”

And I told him to man up.

But in all honesty, it was probably me who gave him the love marks.  I remember being in the tent and so excited for him to be there; I just wanted to latch onto him like a human-sized leech.  I told him to tell people he got it from a curling iron.

He told me to man up.

I self-decided Jeremy was getting very good at mimicking me.

Regardless, I brought him back to the campground.  Remembering the ladies got so mad at me for bringing him back to the tent the first night and thus taking my privileges away from the Cheese-It box, I drug him into Taryn’s car.  It was time to show that CRV who wasn’t a lesbian.

Like usual, Jeremy and I made out in a car again.  We were as predictable as a Project Runway episode.  Like Heidi Klum wears anything and it looks good, and the token flamboyant gay guy never wins the show; Jeremy and I were going to spend three hours inside of a car frame swapping spit.  The back of Taryn’s car was disgusting.  Four chicks had been living in it for the past week.  It smelt like athlete’s foot and looked like Jared’s binging battlefield with all of the Subway wrappers thrown everywhere.

Suddenly, Jeremy and I’s predictable Project Runway episode took a turn for more violent events than the last season of Project Runway where they had to make dresses out of potato sacks.  Bouncing flashlight beams sliced through the center of the car.  Jeremy and I ducked, which was another thing we were getting very good at.

“What was that??”  I asked, half expecting Jeremy to spit out an answer as timely as Inspector Gadget or a Cha Cha text.

“Woah, what was that?”

He really needed to stop mimicking me; I was starting to catch on.

We discovered they were WeFest renta-cops.  Jeremy was freaking out because I had, yet again, placed myself in a situation with another underage guy.  I really needed to start dating people older than me, because this trying to- protect-underage-drinker-mania was getting a little more exhausting than a session on the elliptical in Matthew Maconahay’s company.

I peeked out of the window and saw Sonja, standing there with one cowboy boot on and her shirt on backwards.  I had to rub my eyes to make sure I was catching it right.  But yes, Sonja was still standing there talking to the cops, looking sluttier than a Bratz Doll.  I needed to start looking for new friends, because she was underage too.  Vicious movement behind a tent caught my eye, and I wondered if Big Foot had finally exposed himself.  I spotted Taryn run across the car and into our tent.  She looked like she’d been sleeping for hours; on a slab of basalt rocks.  I watched her pass and tried to figure out what was going on.

“I’d better get out there and see what’s happening.”  I said smartly.

“No!  I mean, no – stay in here, I don’t want to get caught.”

The kid had finally stopped mimicking me and all he was standing for was holding me back from poking around the intriguing outdoor happenings at hand?  Which, might I mention included cops and my half-naked friend?  This was ridiculous.  I put my hand on Jeremy’s cushy cheek so I could crawl above the window and better view the scene.  Since I didn’t say anything, neither did he.  I was beginning to think communicating with him was like communicating with an Old Navy manikin in one of those completely warped commercials of plastic people throwing frat parties.  So, as he was being as communicable and hospitable as a naked manikin, I was trying to decipher the havoc that was going on outside.  The sun was rising in the east and I really just wanted to pound a Capri Sun and sleep on Jeremy’s chest.

After talking to the cop a little longer, I watched Sonja go back into the tent.  I hoped she was going in there to find her other boot and uncover some dignity.  She didn’t come back out, so I’m assuming she didn’t find either.  Rest assured, her serving of little Australian candy had something to do with that.

Moments later, I watched the cops escort two random Native Americans across the campground.  Another cop was holding an axe, which I am presuming, because I’m racist and judgmental, had been previously in the tight grasp of the male Native American.  I started laughing hysterically.  What in the hell?  First of all, clearly the Native American couple had missed the Great Clips on the way to their reservation and ended up at WeFest.  I swear to God the entire Caucasian population of Minnesota was in the vicinity of these rolling hills and I hadn’t seen someone with darker skin than a china doll for over an entire week.  I was laughing so hard at the sight by the time they were out of mine; Jeremy looked at me like I’d just said something in Pig Latin with a heightened Chipmunk voice.

“What’s so damn funny?”  He was under me, so he couldn’t see out the window.

“The cops just escorted half a tribe off the grounds.  They had an axe,” I said in between countless giggles.

“A tribe?”

“You’ve got it.  I’m sure if they stuck around longer we could have joined in on a rain dance.”

Jeremy clearly did not get my “politically incorrect” joke and looked at me with concern.  This is about when I decided I could never like him as much as I liked myself.

The next morning, while eating leftover hotdogs over the fire, we discussed the evening. The conversation went a little like this:

“So I was innocently sitting in my tent with AustralianCandy . . .” Sonja started.

“Is innocently sitting code for humping?”  Tara asked

“Shut up.”

“Sonja, you came outside wearing one boot and your shirt on backwards.” I looked at her with my ‘get real’ face.

“Ok, being a huge slut at WeFest aside, we were in his tent and things were getting…saucy.  Then, some random dude blew into our tent like the grounds were on fire.  ‘Help!  We need help out here!  There is a domestic dispute!’  Of course, I stormed out of my tent like I was Jerry Springer and I was there to mediate the situation.”

Taryn chimed in,

“You mean you LEFT AULSTRALIAN HOT SAUCE?”  She started giggling, “Meanwhile, I was taking a ten next to the campfire; vulnerable and extremely alone.”

Sonja looked at her sternly for interrupting her story, “We don’t care about your ignorance to the situation at hand, Taryn.  And yes, I definitely left him there,” she rolled her eyes, “Then, before I knew it, the cops were there because there was one,” Sonja turned down her voice to a whisper, “Native American, threatening to hit his wife with his axe.  It was absolutely crazy.”

I was thankful Sonja was trying so hard to be politically correct when really; her ‘inside voice’ was only making the situation more awkward and offensive.  I couldn’t believe we were actually having this kind of conversation, especially after we’d spent our entire weekend running around defenseless and drunk.  And I was still constipated.  That should have been the number one concern at this point.  For the first time in a long time, I was thankful for the protection of a man like Jeremy.  If it hadn’t been for him, I could have been destined for death in the form of a very large axe chopping me up into a Native American stew.

I wished I knew where the dispute was generated amongst the angry Natives kind of like I wished I had a British accent and a sparkly Victoria’s Secret runway in my bedroom. I’m sure the dispute began when one of the persons accidentally turned into the campgrounds and saw a guy run past their truck wearing a lax pinnie and waving an American flag.  I can only imagine how that conversation went; ‘Honey, I don’t think we’re at the Casino anymore.’

It’s funny, that’s almost how our conversation had gone when we drove into WeFest.

“Ok, so Brandi, where were you?”  I asked.  Brandi was sitting and staring at her hot dog like it was having a conversation with her.  She slowly looked up at me.  Her face was as blank as a slate.

“I was lost.  Because I took it upon myself to run out of Jake’s tent when he started taking off his clothes.  Like his penis was a fire breathing dragon, or a mini snapping turtle, or something. I can’t believe I actually ran away. I’m pretty sure he’s in my Philosophy class next semester.”

“Oh, that’s special,” I snorted.

I starred at all of my friends and was very proud of all of them.  Taryn was kind of like a toddler; too thick and sleepy to get involved in the domestic Indian dispute five feet away, Sonja was a floozy, I was desperate and seemingly needy, and Brandi was aloof and frightened by a little Peewee Herman peep-show.  My friends and I were blissfully ignorant and perfectly safe at all times.  Even if a domestic dispute was threatening our security and well being.  Best friends were hard to come by, and I was happy to have found mine at a very young, stupid age.  I wanted to cherish them all, forever.

The drive home was one of the quietest drives I’d ever endured in, besides the time on a road trip with my family where my sister listened to her first IPod; my mother worked on her crossword puzzle, and my dad nearly fell asleep at the wheel every five minutes.  That was a situation where silence wasn’t in fact, golden.  We did however; find time to stop at a Dairy Queen so Brandi could get her fix with a vanilla ice cream cone, since she hadn’t the previous night with boy-who-whipped-it-out-to-say-hello.  The wallpaper in the DQ had large black bears on it.  This was about the time we decided it was time to go home. Where people had a solid row of front teeth, and gas was more expensive.

Before WeFest, I thought the lowest part in my life had been when I listened to Ditto and cried all the way home from the Apple Store after I found out my hard drive crashed and I had lost all my Gossip Girl episodes.  But now I knew, the lowest part of my life had been endured at WeFest, when my growing up process was stunted; I peed on myself, went back to thinking boys like Kevin, had koodies, and discovered how to live with my arms in the air and my face pointing towards the rain.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Author:bechaffee

University of Saint Thomas graduate. Minnesota-bred and happy to talk about the weather any time you’d like! Strongly believes any situation can be bettered by a slice of generously buttered toast or Phil Dunphy. Would get arrested to touch Justin Timberlake’s face. Always trying to be a better person by not wishing horrible karma on people driving slow in the fast lane. Hear more: @twitter @instagram

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