Adventures from Back of Beyond

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Moose Bugles

The campground at Hite Marina in Southern Utah is certainly nothing to write home about. It's bleak. Really a dusty, rocky, flat expanse, not much more than a dirt parking lot. We camped there due to necessity one hot summer night.

It was getting dark, and there was unfortunately no better camping choice available to us without getting off road in a high clearance vehicle, and we were in a minivan. Basically it was set up the tent, get in and sleep, get up the next morning and move on.

But it was not to be uneventful. We had a little situation develop in the middle of the night.

We were all sound asleep when about 2:00 a.m. several cars and trucks noisily caravaned in. One guy maneuvered his truck, lights ablazing, until it was almost right on top of our flimsy tent before repositioning. Crude.

It gets worse. As soon as the engines were turned off, there was momentary silence, which was profoundly silent. Then the silence was immediately broken by some guy opening then closing his truck door, and yelling out to the others in his group.

"How's this?" he called out slowly and loudly, it seemed deliberately to wake up everyone in that campground. Stupid.

They talked, then proceeded to set up their own camps, continuing to talk loudly for a good 20 minutes. Slowly they drifted off to sleep one by one, until there were two last holdouts. We, and everyone else in that campground, could clearly hear every single word they said.

Now my wife is not one to just take abuse. She's not afraid to open her mouth. So when it got to the point where these two night talkers, in my wife's opinion, started forcing the conversation a bit too much, meaninglessly just talking to make talk, she let out a very loud "shhhhh!"

It was so quiet in that campground I'm sure everyone heard that big shush. After the briefest of pauses, one of the jerks let out with a sarcastic, "Ewww," with the tone rising in the middle, as if to say "she's pissed, so what."

But the shush worked. The jerks retired and everyone went to sleep, or in our case back to sleep.

But this was late June, and the sun rises very early during that time of year. I was up by about 5:00 a.m. at the crack of dawn. I got dressed and crawled out of the tent to check out the scene. There they were, several trucks, with people soundly sleeping under open camper shells in the truck beds.

I walked right through their little party and blew my nose. Loudly.

Now many people aren't aware that when I was 9 I had my tonsils and adenoids removed. The surgeon at that time said I had the biggest adenoids he'd ever seen. Consequently, I have shall we say passages into my sinuses that are a bit more open than most. As a result, when I blow my nose it's pretty loud. It reverberates. In fact I've been likened more than once to a moose bugling.

So that's what I did. And I'm sure it woke every one of them up.

Almost immediately after the echoing report from my nostrils, I heard my wife back in the tent burst out laughing. Everyone in the campground heard her laughing. She's heard that moose call every morning since we've been married. She knew exactly what I was doing. Call it passive aggressive, but it sure felt good.

Later that morning, we overheard them talking. They seemed fussy and short with each other, grouchy from lack of sleep. A couple of them remarked about how "some guy woke me up blowing his nose."

Sweet poetic justice.