So Saturday I went out to Farmer Jason's for a big old-fashioned egg hunt. This is like the seventh or eighth time they've done it and it's gradually turned into my favorite party of they year, mainly because we're allowed to drink wine at eleven in the morning. Farmer Jason and his wife Suzy live on a big beautiful farm in Bon Aqua, Tennessee and it's always a beautiful day when they have this party - I don't know how they do it. Lots of musicians show up with their children and that's always fun to see - musicians not focused on THEMSELVES non-stop. Victor Wooten of the Wooten Brothers was there. Usually I play the Easter Bunny but I couldn't get the suit this year, so I just hopped around in my regular clothes, puzzling children far and wide. The usual: hide the eggs while you suppress the children inside - it's always fun to go and listen to how LOUD forty children can be. The exact decibel level is, well, I don't really know but LOUD.
The hunt went off without a hitch and I spent some time taking photographs of Suzy's garden tableaux; she has a knack for the nutty. An owl in a picket fence. A disco ball in a tree. A rusting doll house among the daffodils. Fetuses in a jar. She's the Howard Finster of Bon Aqua! Only not crazy and not dead. Side note: Howard Finster was the officiating minister at Suzy & Farmer Jason's wedding and it was FULL. BLOWN. CRAAAAAZY.
On Sunday, I went on a 6.4 mile hike, again to Beaman Park, with Chicago Meg, Sister Meg and Regular Carol and a dog named Cooper. Two things: 6.4 miles isn't as far as it sounds and cigarette smokers walk the fastest. I saw Sister Meg at the beginning of the hike and then again at the end. She was too far ahead the rest of the time. We all had a grand time talking about our total amount of weight loss - 80 pounds among us all! - and Carol regaled us with stories about her mother who wants some goddamned bread and butter on the table whether she's going to eat it or not. And also about our friend Mary Beth, who is famous for saying things like "isn't it WEIRD how AIR is CLEAR? I mean if it wasn't we couldn't SEE each other." or "I wonder if when you get to be a GHOST you get to choose where you hang out or if they SEND you somewhere. I wanna be a ghost." So there was a whole bunch of talking about crazy people on Easter Sunday in Beaman Park.
After the hike we were "cooling down" (that's hiker talk!) before we got into the car and uh-oh, here comes my worst nightmare! Other hikers! With GEAR! And poles! Multiple poles! And dumb jackets with zippers and oh, all the shit that makes me crazy. I was rolling my eyes a little because we had just done the whole damned hiking trail system and Sister Meg practically did it in Hello Kitty flip-flops and here were these jackasses looking like they were thinking about tackling Everest before breaking for lunch back at the Chick-fil-A. So then they piped up: "Are you here for the hiking meet-up" and we all said no and then they said that they were part of TennesseeTrails.org which seems to be a Scientology-like cult based on the zeal and enthusiasm with which two of the ladies tried to recruit me. They focused on me pretty much and I admit I probably did encourage them when I asked for a newsletter - WHICH THEY JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE! - but then the did that thing that almost every single other hiker - especially the gear nerd ones - does: they got competitive. "What hikes have you gone on?" Um, some. "How long did you hike?" A while. "Where are you hiking next?" Um, over there. I don't know why they all do it but they do. Then they tried to encourage me to rush right home and sign up because then I could be INVOLVED in putting the next NEWSLETTER together! Hahahahah. The Two Megs and the One Carol loved that - I thought they were actually going to WARN the hiker ladies that they better be careful about what they wish for, that if I got involved, I'd not only redesign the newsletter to MY liking but I'd have those two excommunicated from the club! Which was totally probably true. I do tend to lean to the bossy side.
The whole encounter reaffirmed and confirmed my deep belief that you should NEVER join a club of like-minded people. Eighty percent of them will be pushy and have hundred dollar hiking poles.