A Couple Good Ole Boys Just Having Some Fun (in the Woods)
She watched from the shadows, having paced the two since she became aware of their presence in the woods. Her mother had taught her to be warry of their kind. They were strange, noisy like playful squirrels, darting about barking. The smell of their foods was dizzying. She hid just downwind of them in thick brush.
“You redneck, trailer park whore fucker, we aren’t pitching the tent here!” Harlan shook his head, and gave Warren a playful push. Warren, built like an offensive lineman, stumbled backwards, tripping over their Roadie 20, containing a scoop of ice, two six-packs of Budweiser and sandwiches. He landed on his ass. His full pack cushioned his fall, but when it hit the ground, it snapped open, spilling a cookpot, a can of Sterno, a flashlight, first aid kit, assorted sundries, and a roll of TP that unwound as it rolled along the ground. The sleeping bag and pad were wedged in holding everything else in place.
Sitting in a mix of old and newly fallen leaves, Warren burst out laughing, “Trailer park whore fucker? Bull fuckin’ shee-it, Harlan that’s funny.” Harlan joined in the laughter, then reached down and helped Warren stand. Besides their laughter there was only the rustling of the wind on this crisp November day deep in the woods of central Alabama. It had been bow season since mid-October and Warren carried his birthday-new Halon 5, his dream bow. His wife Jenny Lyn and the kids had all grinned broadly as they presented it to him, wrapping paper barely hiding what it was. He would have been pissed had he not sat the bow down before Harlan’s push.
“You think that’s funny? There’s more of that shit,” Harlan turned and farted, a loud wet one. They laughed again. They were both closer to 40 than 30, too old for their playful banter. When together and alone they quickly regressed 25 years. Their vulgar word play went back to their youth. They’d played this game so long that rarely did either of them come up with an original curse or taunt. There were few things off the table: Just their kids, the Crimson Tide, their mothers, and NASCAR. They were close friends.
Several years before, they attended a Halloween party as Laurel and Hardy, Warren as Laurel and Harlan as Hardy. Now, Harlan’s thinning sandy hair was hidden under a Tractor Supply cap. His full jovial face sported a goatee. Thick lensed wire rimmed glasses slipped down his nose. He was always a big boy, who ate too many doughnuts and cheese burgers, and got too little exercise. Harlan carried his pride and joy, his grandfather’s Winchester.
Warren had a leaner face, short full beard, neatly trimmed and curly dark hair. Though they were the same age, Warren appeared younger, until you inspected his medicine cabinet and found the bottle of Grecian Formula. His curls were tamed under a 2012 Alabama National Championship cap. He had pinned a crimson “16”, to his cap.
Harlan teased, “You cheap fucker, just buy yourself a new cap.”
“Harlan, you’re the mother fucker who shits in a trailer. And besides I haven’t fucked your fat old lady in a week.”
Harlan looked over at Warren, “So, the bitch got the clap from you.” They both eyed each other for a moment and then laughed again. The two wouldn’t really cheat on their respective spouses.
Harlan and Warren were best friends since boyhood. They hunted these woods since before their BB guns turned into 22’s. Birds, squirrels, anything that was furry or feathery and moved was a target. Eventually they grew up and became responsible adults holding down jobs, getting married and making babies. “And for your information, it’s a modular home, you mothafucking retard, not a trailer,” Harlan retorted.
“OK, your bitch is the only slut I know living in a trailer.”
“Modular home, asshole.”
“Whatthefuckever, skunk prick eater. And calling me a retard is politically incorrect; it’s an intellectual disability.”
“Damn, that’s nasty,” Harlan snickered.
“An intellectual disability?”
“No, sheit-face, skunk prick eater.” They laughed again. Harlan set down his own backpack and helped Warren repack. “Don’t leave your crap here. Bigfoot ain’t got no need of Sterno.” Warren dropped the can into the pack and they were done.
“So, let’s make camp here,” Warren argued. The woods opened, blackberry briars were below them, and a thicket of underbrush 20 yards behind them. Here the ground was flat and relatively clean. There were stones scattered about, easily enough to ring a campfire.
“Better along the fuckin’ ridge,” Harlan pointed up. The trees were thin as the last leaves had fallen. Warren looked and mentally agreed it was a superior site. He wouldn’t tell that to Harlan though.
“Bullshit. It’s better here.” Warren stood walked the open forest floor pointing to where the tents and fire would go, and then to the creek below. “And Lard-ass, it’s a shorter walk to the water.”
Harlan shook his head, pointed again up to the ridge line, “Higher ground is more defensible.”
“Defensible against who? Environmental wackos with shitty Chinese Fitbit watches? Rabid herds of horny rabbits? What’s wrong with you? That’s fuckinridiculous. You got wine in your eyes?”
“Just the Wild Irish Rose your skag gave me when I left last night,” Harlan chuckled, at his joke. Jenny Lyn was no skag.
Warren pulled out several sandwiches sealed in baggies from the Yeti, and then sat down on the cooler. He peeked inside two baggies and tossed them to Harlan. They each took large bites of their sandwiches, which were made of white bread, cheese and ham. One oozed mayonnaise and the other, Grey Poupon. They talked about football, their kids, work, and their wives.
“Is Jason playing travel ball next year?” Warren asked.
“I don’t know. He has some potential, not a bad pitcher, but he’s been growing so much, maybe he’ll play football like his old man.”
“Yeah, you rode the high school pine ogling the cheerleaders. What was her name?”
“Yeah, Monica. What happened to her?”
“She went off to Auburn and then married a vet down in Mobile.”
“She had a set, didn’t she?”
“No kidding.” They took another bite of sandwich. “You forget Stallings recruited me.”
“Yeah, but you rode the pine in college too, ogling the cheerleaders. What was her name?”
“Brenda, but she was a majorette, not a cheerleader.”
“She was the whole package.”
“No shit. She’s got a huge ass now. You know she married Robert. Dang, can’t remember his last name. They live up in Gadsden. She popped out kids like she was Catholic.” He took another bite of sandwich. With his mouth full, “At least I wasn’t a pussy like you. What were you, chess team captain?”
“Cross country,” Warren answered. “Why make fun of Brenda. You like big butts, I cannot lie.”
“Yeah, yeah, mesmerized by the sashaying. The bigger the better, and the tighter the sweater.” They both laughed. A breeze kicked up rustling through the woods in a new direction. They both had just a bite of their first sandwich left. “How about your Julie? Her recital coming up?” Harlan inquired.
“Yeah, she’s doing great. Miss Katie says she could maybe get a primo part in the Nutcracker next Christmas.”
“That’d be sweet.” They each swallowed the last of the sandwich and then started another.
“You smell that?” Warren asked, sniffing the air.
“Yeah, that nasty fucking mayonnaise combining with your Aqua Velva?”
“It’s Duke’s mayo, and I splashed on your Old Spice when I left your old lady sleeping off multiple orgasms. But no, what I smell reminds me of like someone with a bad case of BO, like your dog rolled in shit and then died in it.”
Harlan sniffed, “I just smell the woods. Maybe there is something dead up wind.”
Warren turned and looked toward where she hid. “Yeah, I suppose you’re right, Dick Wad.”
“Do you really think there’s a bigfoot out here?” Harlan asked, his sandwich near gone.
“Hell no. I think we would have seen or smelled his fuckin’ ass by now.” Warren sniffed after he said this. Each took another bite of sandwich. “We’ve been running these woods for what, 20 years?”
“25,” Harlan said. Warren stood, pulled out two Budweiser’s from the cooler and passed one to Harlan. They popped the tops and took swallows. They were quiet for a moment, enjoying their Buds, the fall weather, and the few remaining colors on the trees. They had found no deer sign.
“Do you really think they saw a Bigfoot down in Clarke County?” Harlan asked.
“You shittin’ me? If you were a motherfuckin’ Bigfoot would you live down in Clarke County?”
“Me, neither. It’s too close to fucking Mississippi. Bigfoots may be dumbasses but not stupid enough to live that close to ass-fucking Mississippi.”
“What do you mean? My people are from Mississippi,” Harlan countered.
“Good, then you don’t have to worry about having Squatch blood!”
There was a pause, “Fuck yeeew, Bigfoot!” Harlan picked up his rifle. “I’m coming for you!” Harlan yelled and then fired his rifle into the sky. They laughed, finished their beers, crushed the cans, putting the empties in each other’s backpacks. Without debate they hiked up the ridge.
Harlan paused, “I got to piss.” He hurried over toward the brush where she hid, unzipped, peed and sniffed. Over his shoulder he called, “Warren, that smell is really strong over here.” He was nearly peeing on her. Responding to his brazen action, she rose, stood, and stepped out of the shadows, big, hairy, with two sagging teats. She looked like Andre the Giant’s mother on extra doses of testosterone. Besides her size, what over powered him was the stench. She smelled of someone with a bad case of BO, who had rolled in shit like a dog, and then died a week ago. Harlan screamed and Warren hearing the scream pissed in his favorite fatigues.