This was my comic review of our annual hike. It was first posted in a (pre-internet) friendship newsletter called the red-eye.
The Gods condemn me to hike with sissy-fussers at the lake of O‘Hara.
“There is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labour.”
To hear them boast, to gawk at horse and pony, you may conclude they are admirable men.
I speak from that hellish overworld to tell truth.
I am the absurd hero of this tale — not the sissy-fussers. Mine is the …
“unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing.”
If you could see me; face screwed up, cheeks tight, shoulder bracing the day pack (I, of course, carried beer for ALL), arms outstretched to grasp the heavens ….
Ron forgets his new wet fly. Rocco needs lip balm. Rob dreads perspiration. John Long seeks the mild man within. And where is Ian?
The sissy-fussers balk at 2.8 km over well-groomed trails. They fear bears. They fear avalanche. They fear porcupine. They fear fear itself. Four year old children skip by as the fussers decide to pack it in for the day. It is 11:00 am.
“My face that toils so close to stone is already stone itself!” I go back down to the plain with heavy, measured step.
The sissy-fussers came. They saw. They went for mocha.
Oh, the travesty of Le Roleaux gourmet coffee in the Rockies! Merde!
In a saga less Homer than Homer Simpson, the sissy-fussers are a gaggle of giggling school girls. The soundtrack is Gershwin and Mantovani. Yoho-ho, indeed!
A meal with these pantywaists is punctuated by a Flanderian up-tempo “God is Great”. They pooh-pooh single-ply bog roll. Ron contemplates busing down the mountain to use a flush toilet. (The MegaGorp was too fiber-rich!)
Actually carrying a pack is anathema for a sissy-fusser. Ian arrived for the hike with an “ugly dog” — a suitcase with wheels on a leash. Ron and Rocco used a wheelbarrow to move their goods from bus stop to liquor cabinet.
If this myth is tragic, it is because I am conscious. Hope is my torture.
“My boundless grief is too heavy to bear.”
“You, too, work every day at the same tasks. Your fate is no less absurd.”
“The absurd man says yes and his effort will hence forth be unceasing.”
But, “imagine me happy.” I smile an absurd victory smile.
“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.”