Howdy Myst, (Edited Version Available 2020)
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park…..at last, but wait a minute we have just heard a Camp Story that will cross crease everybody’s ass cheeks! Billie Holiday Blue has been telling us of a collision with Christ (Dude carrying a cross) in the Park yesterday. “Yeah, apparently this poor old fella, on some kinda pilgrimage, didn’t have a backcountry permit…..so the Rangers kicked him out.” “Oh sweet Jesus…..you mean a National Park Ranger decided someone reenacting the Messiah’s march needed a backcountry permit?” “That’s what he said, yep” “So this old dude, carrying a cross and walking down the side of the road…….”
The restaurant door opens and here comes these three Camper / Outdoorsy Chicks……beauties, but straightforward about it (no dazzle, no razzle). “Howdy miss, howdy miss and howdy…..” “Mom” said the older sisterish one. “Really?” Head tilts to side “Mom?” The thing about Ridicu – Moms love him, but not this one. Maybe it’s the way we are all so close to Billie Holiday Blue, (people can get prickly if they think you are messing with their Bugs) they just stare at us for a couple a seconds more then, “they’ve been talking to the VW!” We scan the three as the words are spoken – nobody’s lips are moving……ventriloquist ? Telepathy ? Then we notice the youngest lady is holding a pet carrier and inside is the whitest, most fluffy bunny we have ever seen, but it’s the hateful look in his eyes that are his most striking feature.
“Billie Blue, tell Momma true” said the Mom. Billie knows she has been caught “I had to get it off my chest, Kimmie Lou here saw it written all over my face – it isn’t just a scratch or a dent……it’s Stigmata!” The Bunny is clearly annoyed, his expression sours, “hey, I recognize these guys…..they set up by the group area last night!” Momma’s eyes narrow, “are you camping at Cades Cove Campground too?” We talk, it turns out we are camped a few hundred feet from the girls, introductions are made – Momma is Campfire Cuisinator (apparently she only cooks outdoors). The Lone Lunch Ranger has this OCD thing where she has to order last at Restaurants and then get something completely different from everyone else. Spoof is holding the bunny cage, half of the stuff in Spoof’s back-pack is hair styling gear (how did she get the bunny that white and fluffy?). The Lone Lunch Ranger and Spoof refer to the bunny as Bunny D……when we ask what the “D” stands for it is Campfire Cuisinator’s turn “he is Diabolical – it’s not entirely his fault though.”
Everyone looks down for a few seconds, there is a palpable rage coming off this little creature in the cage, but when he speaks, he is matter of fact. “I Shape-Shift between this body, an Alpaca and a Horse” says Diabolical “imagine all the nervous energy of a Horse……when I go Bunny, it gets crammed into a very small package – out comes some pretty ugly emotions.” Diabolical isn’t making apologies, he is just owning up to being horrible at his most compact – he’s kind of refreshing, probably an old soul who’s just having a stretch of delinquency at times. “We have dabbled in a little Megalomania here and there…….putting yourself in charge of everything can be a bit of a pressure cooker too.” “Well that settles it” says Campfire Cuisinator, “I make a Kick Ass Megalomaniac Macaroni – how about dinner at eight?”
We finish running some errands around Townsend, including scoring some Fudge for dessert (the girls tell us not to bother because they are making ice cream tonight – yeah right). Back inside the park we decide to run Cades Loop before getting back to the Campground…..probably the most picturesque afternoon on the whole trip and of course the Samsung Galaxy 3’s battery has faded. Just before the campground we spot Lone Lunch Ranger riding a handsome Black and White Paint Horse (Diabolical?). We pull out and wave them over.
The Horse is named Shadow……he’s the Bunny, just all mellowed out, “hey guys, hi Kimmie Lou.” Lone Lunch Ranger stretches back in the saddle “howdy folks…..say, back there at the diner – you didn’t think Campfire Cuisinator could be my Mom right.” Ridicu opened this can of worms, but as usual, he is silent when things get sticky, “she does look too young to have teenage daughters.” Lone Lunch Ranger dismounts, “Spoof is her daughter, they adopted me five years ago…..I’m an Orphan, I’ve lived in sixteen Foster homes until I was 14.”
Kimmie Lou’s side stand kicks out – she is telling us this Kid needs to talk. “Spoof just turned 15, Campfire is 29…….I met Spoof at a Summer Horse Camp, we hit it off right away.” Shadow’s reins get wrapped around Kimmie Lou’s handlebar, we all sit on a bench 3 feet away, “we are Adoptees too – kinda lucky though……just one Foster home, then Adopted at 8 months.” Ridicu and Lone Lunch Ranger then go on and on about being Adoptees – it was kinda nauseating, finally Kimmie Lou interrupted, “But everybody’s Indivisible……go on tell her……about That Which Is Whole.”
We lay everything out, Lone Lunch Ranger grasps the concept right away, she’s a pretty sharp kid, “how do you guys know that this isn’t just something you have made up to combat your isolation and despair?” Mmmmm, we hadn’t thought of that………”ah….well…..” Kimmie Lou chimes in again, “the Aliens – tell her about the Aliens and the End of the World!” So in another 10 or 15 minutes we have her completely up to speed. Shadow even senses the truth we speak, “TWIW cannot be accessed by a single being or singular theology……..that’s why I hit him.” Everybody looks at Shadow, Kimmie Lou asks “hit who?” Shadow tilts his head, “yesterday, in the car – as Diabolical…….I grabbed the wheel, I hit Christ.”