Have you ever done something you couldn’t believe you were doing? Not necessarily big, maybe just the first time you cleaned something really nasty. When I was a kid, and my Bohemian Gram would sweep crumbs off the kitchen counter with her bare hands, I’d shiver. Who knew what that stuff was? We had a MONKEY in the house for pity’s sake! And let me tell you, monkey’s do gross nasty stuff. But then you grow up, and life requires you to suck it up and do all sorts of gross things you never thought you’d do.
Sometimes I downright impress myself. And sometimes I downright gross myself way out. Way. Do you know the feeling?
As far as I know, no amount of prep work can prepare you for hiking the ten miles down into The Grand Canyon. If you were to take a hammer, and very gently knock it against the top edge of each of your toenails for a few hours – perhaps you’d get the idea of what it feels like afterwards. I don’t know what the stats are, but if you’re sporting a sparkly blue pedicure when you hike it, take a picture before you start, because that is the last you’ll see of a pretty pedicure for about six months. You won’t know that beneath the polish your nails are turning black and blue, and that they’re going to fall off one by one over the ensuing weeks. Like some sort of delayed sacrifice to the foot fetish gods of the canyon.
|Photo Credit: Stephanie Karfelt
Hiking the ten miles back up, while challenging, does not involve your toes. While this is a blessed relief, it is definitely a case of too little too late. I crawled over the top ledge of the canyon, tugged my hiking shoes off and put on flip-flops. I did not care about the snow. My legs were fine after the hike up; well at least they had the decency to go numb. Even in flip-flops the toes were still throbbing and sobbing about going down. All I had to do now was hop in the rental car and drive four hours to the airport (talk about bad planning). Wait, before that I have to go to the mule barn and pick up my gear that I’d hired a mule to carry up (worth every penny).
The snow has started to melt, so the yard of the mule barn is a sea of wet, black…shtuff, if you know what I mean. I must cross this. It is soft, mushy, and wet, and smells like mule…shtuff, if again you know what I mean. I think about just leaving without my pack, but I need my license to board my flight. For a moment I wonder how difficult it would be replace it, but not for one second do I consider putting real shoes back on. Yep, ignoring the foul factor, I slosh right through mule muck, sinking deeper into it with every step. It sucks at my footwear and goops right up over my flip-flops onto my bare feet. Focusing on my goal, I disassociate from the fate of my feet. After all, I just spent days getting all zen with Mother Nature, she ain’t always pretty. I make it all the way into the barn where to my stunned amazement I discover my own personal Mr. Darcy all alone, staring at me. Oh my gosh! At last I found him! Why did I never think to look here before?!
He is disguised as a mule wrangler at The Grand Canyon, and he probably doesn’t even know that he is the love of my life. He does, however, know that I’m up to my ankles in mule…shtuff. “What are you doing?” he asks. I would answer him, except I can’t remember what language I speak. Sadly I suspect he’s had this effect on women before, because he rolls his gorgeous eyes and points to a pile of duffel bags, and just walks away! Yep, there he goes, the father of my unborn children. Picking up my forty pound bag, I retrace my steps. Carrying the extra forty-pounds makes me sink even deeper into the mule mess, but what does it matter? I’ve found him at last. My Mr. Darcy. I throw the bag into the backseat of the rental car and attempt to sit. But the real and actual father of my born children reaches from his place in the driver’s seat and stops me. “What are you doing?” he shouts. “You have %#*! all over your feet!”
“Do you know what happens when you won’t go carry your wife’s suitcase for her? After she just hiked all the way to the top of The Grand Canyon? She falls in love with a mule wrangler, that’s what,” I say. Dear Hubby still doesn’t budge. “Good, go see if he’ll let you in his car.” “It was unrequited,” I admit, “I suspect he’s already forgotten I exist.” “Well, I’ll take you back if you go wash your feet,” Dear Hubby concedes. I weigh my options and negotiate, “If you drive me to the washroom, I won’t leave you.” He shakes his head, but my argument is sound. “Oh come on, it’s a rental car!” He moves his hand and lets me sit, but warns, “Don’t put your feet down!” Turns out that true love isn’t what I’d originally thought it was, but gross stuff is even grosser.
How about you? Do you have a nasty-monkey gross story? I know you do. It doesn’t have to be combined with finding Mr. Darcy or true love. Have you ever found yourself doing something you never thought you’d do? Your own little personal fear factor conquered, even if you didn’t really want to do it?
And speaking of Fear Factor, I've had to add CAPTCHA to my comment section. I apologize. I detest it. It's all the fault of Ambien and Viagra hogging up all my comment threads to pedal their goods. Dang drug dealers. Anyway, besides CAPTCHA, what is the grossest thing you've done lately? Or ever?