[at-l] a story...called "Wanchor"

Felix J athiker at smithville.net
Tue Feb 20 15:09:56 CST 2007

(Here's a story I was working on when my untimely dismissal from the ATN 
came about. I apologize for whatever format this comes out in if it 
isn't a good one. I will not, however, apologize for the content. ) 

"Yeeeeaaaahhheeeeeoooooowww!!!" he bellowed as he slowly stretched and 
contorted his aching muscles. "Nothing like a good nap."

 "I don't know how you can take a nap at 5 o'clock in the evening and 
still sleep at night," I said, looking up from a women's magazine I'd 
found on a shelf in the shelter.
 "What makes you think I sleep at night?" he countered
 "Because your snoring usually keeps me awake! That's way I have to take 
a nap in the middle of the day!" I kidded.

 Wanchor went about the struggle of getting out of his sleeping bag and 
trying to get his legs and arms to move in some sort of controlled 
fashion. His grimaces told of the joys of 'hiker hobble'.

 "Besides, what else is there to do?" he went on.
 "You could learn ten secrets to longer lashes. Or, how to be a better 
girlfriend," I said showing him the cover of Glamour magazine.
 "I need to learn one secret on how to grow hair," he said with a quick 
brush of his bald-head. "Do you think I could grow my lashes long enough 
to do a comb-over?" 

 There was never a dull moment when hiking with Wanchor. It seemed like 
we were always on the edge of an Abbott and Costello bit breaking out.  
It was always fun for us, I think. It was quite possibly always annoying 
for anyone around, though.

 We'd been hiking with a guy from Connecticut, or California, or 
Colorado, or someplace that started with a 'C'. I was never really clear 
on that.
  I had shortened his trailname from some long, Polynesian-sounding word 
with letters that may not even exist to the easier-to-say, 
tastier-sounding 'Cake'.

 Cake seemed to have a pensive, contemplative look on his face when 
around Wanchor and me.
He never said much, but always seemed to be listening. Always trying to 
figure out what we were talking about, and not wanting to give us fodder.
 Little did he know, we generally had no idea what we were talking about 
either. That never seemed to keep us from saying it, though.
 Wanchor took the shelter register and stumbled his way to the picnic 
table. He sat across from Cake, who was cutting up some wild rosemary 
he'd found.

 "That stuff'll kill ya, ya know?" Wanchor said as Cake brushed the last 
of his herbs into his spaghetti sauce.
 "What will?"  Cake asked with a bit of forced concern.
 "Hey, what was that gal's name you used to date? The one whose dad 
invented Beltrac?" Wanchor yelled to me.
 "You mean Liteshoe?" I said after pausing to think about what he meant. 
"Her dad worked for Tensabarrier. He didn't invent Beltrac."
"Same thing," he mumbled as he started scribbling in the register. "You 
care if I write her a note?"
 "What'll kill me?" Cake tried to sneak in. 

"Go ahead. No one can read your hieroglyphics anyway," I said in 
reference to Wanchor's habit if abbreviating words in ways they aren't 
typically abbreviated and coming up with a few words of his own.
I turned my attention back to the ten questions that were going to help 
me determine what kind of girlfriend I am.

  "What could you possibly have to say to her anyway? She didn't even 
like you" I continued when I realized I was going to need a woman to 
interpret number 8 for me. 
"Oh, she liked me just fine, my friend," he said with a touch of 
deviousness as he started scribbling in the spiral notebook. "...liked 
me just fine."
I put the magazine back on the shelf and slid my boots on. This was more 
of a task than it sounds as several 'hot spots' caused me to wince a bit.
"Your feet wouldn't hurt if you'd listen to me once in a while" he said 
as he was scribbling this in the register:
"Hey, Lt. Shu,, dent yor fthr d-I frm E-ting wld rOsmry? Lemme no" 

"I'm not gonna carry enough alcohol to wash my feet every night and put 
baby oil on them and wrap them in gauze.  That's nonsense!" I said as I 
walked away with my water bottles.
"Suit yourself. My feet don't hurt." 

His feet didn't hurt because he'd hiked them to the point they didn't 
have any feeling left.  He only started the alcohol/baby oil treatment 
after it was too late.  His feet were soft and supple, though. 

As I walked down the trail to the water, bootlaces dragging behind, I 
heard Cake say 'What's wrong with eating wild rosemary?"

Felix J. McGillicuddy
ME-->GA '98
"Your Move"
ALT '03 KT '03

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