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Still Mentally Incontinent
The second MI Book

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Chapter 2:
- Never Saw THAT One Coming...

Chapter 3:
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Chapter 4:
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Chapter 5:
- Where's Your Sense Of Adventure?

Chapter 6:
- I Never Really Was The Outdoor Type

Chapter 7:
- Sorry, Deer



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I Never Really Was The Outdoor Type
By joe the peacock
Post your comment 16 Comments/Edits Share:   |    |    |    |    |    |    |  

We were seniors in high school, but our parents should have known better than to let Mike and me go camping on our own. Camping involves knowing how to survive, which involves knowing how to build a fire—and given that we'd burned down a Hooters restaurant the summer before, it didn't make sense that my parents would be okay with it.

But they were. And in order to go camping, I needed supplies. Both Mike and my father were outdoorsy types; Mike was an Eagle Scout, and my father loved hunting and killing and the smell of pine and whatever. But me? The closest I'd ever come to being outdoorsy was playing that horrid E.T. Atari game and getting him lost in the woods, and the only hunting I'd ever done was on Duck Hunt.

The weekend before we were to head off into the woods and live off the land, Mike and Dad and I hopped into my parents' Volkswagen Vanagon and headed up to the scout hut to pick up some gear for me to use on this trip. During the drive up, I could feel myself getting weaker from withdrawal from my Super Nintendo. When we arrived, Mike and Dad bounded out of the van with the giddiness only outdoors lovers could have for objects made of canvas and steel that smelled of DEET.

The scout hut was a camper's heaven. A cache of tents, cots, cooking stoves, lamps, fold-up chairs: All the things any outdoorsy person could ever want or need were located in this scout hut. I couldn't possibly have cared any less. I just knew I didn't want to be laying on dirt and sticks when my girlfriend, Michele, met up with me and I ditched Mike and made the trip worth going on as we sneaked off to, like, not camp. So I just agreed to whatever Mike and Dad suggested I needed and helped carry it all back to the van.

On the ride back home, I was rifling through one of the backpacks they'd picked up. In one of the pockets was a package of matches and a can with the word "Sterno" written on the side.

"What's a Sterno?" I asked Mike and Dad.

"It's not ‘a' Sterno, it's just ‘Sterno,' " my father noted from the front seat.

"It's fuel for the stove," Mike said.

"What, so it's, like, flammable?" I asked.

My father snorted. "It wouldn't be much good in a stove if it weren't, now, would it?"

Mike laughed and shook his head. I suppose it must have felt good for him, being knowledgeable about something I wasn't. It was a rare case—since we'd met, we'd always been the same level of smart on the same stuff. It must have felt great for his ego to get one up on me with this whole camping gambit, that fucker.

It was with all due haste that I opened the lid on the can of Sterno and dumped almost half of the contents in Mike's lap. He immediately freaked and slapped the can from my hand, causing it to spill all over the floor.

"What the fuck?" he yelped.

I grabbed the matchbox from the backpack, picked a match from the box, and placed it against the striking strip. "Laugh at me, will you?" I said with a manic smile.

"Oh, shit, no!" he shouted.

"Makes you feel like a big guy, knowing what Sterno is, huh?"

"Dude, don't do it!" he begged.

I wasn't going to. I just wanted him to think I would. And I carried out that illusion to the best of my ability. "You laughed at the wrong city boy, tough guy!" I said with a smirk.

"I didn't mean it," he said, attempting to wipe the Sterno off his corduroys. "Don't do it."

"What the hell?" my dad shouted from the front seat. "What is that smell? Is that the— Did you open that Sterno?"

"Yeah," I replied.

"He dumped it all over my pants!" Mike barked.

"What?" my dad said, turning back to look. He saw me holding the match to the box and Mike frantically trying to wipe his pants off with his bare hands. "What the HELL are you doing?"

"Teaching this dickhead a lesson!" I said. I thought maybe my father would understand the situation and realize that I was goofing around, given that my entire life had been spent goofing around. But when I look back on it now, I realize that my entire life had been spent attempting to goof around while actually causing reckless mayhem and strife. Usually involving fire and always by accident. Which is why I don't blame my dad for immediately reaching back to snatch the match from my hand.

But in doing so, he pulled his entire body across the steering wheel, which he held with one hand. This caused the Vanagon to swerve into the lane next to ours, which caused the driver of the car he almost creamed to lay on his horn and, presumably, scream vulgarities out the window of his vehicle. This of course caused my dad to compensate and swing the van's steering wheel the opposite direction, which pulled the vehicle left and back into our lane, but caused those of us inside to lurch hard to the right.

This knocked Mike into my left arm, which held the box of matches, which caused the box to rake across the head of the match I held in my right hand. Simultaneously, I lost my grip on both the matchbox and the matches, and they fell right into Mike's lap.

Immediately, my best friend's pants caught on fire.

"Wha . . . Augh! OH FUCK! I'm on fire!" Mike said as calmly as he could.

"What the HELL!" my father yelled. "Did you . . . Is he on fire?"

I didn't reply, as I was frantically trying to slap my best friend's crotch to put out the flames.

"Ow! Shit . . . Don't . . . You're racking me!" Mike yelled.

"Sorry!" I said, continuing to slap him on the lap.

Mike dropped to the floor in front of the bench seat. Lying face-down, he began rolling on the floor of the Vanagon. Given the shitty quality of the nearly plastic fabric on the floorboard of your late-seventies model orange Volkswagen Vanagon, and given that said shitty fabric was coated in the Sterno that Mike had just knocked from my hands, it wasn't a pretty sight.

My father had just pulled the van to the side of the road when Mike performed his "stop, drop, and roll into even more fire" routine, so I leaped up and opened the van door. I dragged Mike out and plopped him on the ground, where he began unbuckling his pants. My dad joined us just as we put out the fire in Mike's pants, and he was pretty damn angry. But then he realized there was a bigger, much worse fire burning in the Volkswagen, and all he could do was watch. There was no way to put out the flames besides grabbing me and using my body to smother the fire—which, I swear to God, he was considering as he stared me down.

Poor Mike stood there in his underwear with a slightly blistered crotch. The police and firefighters arrived in time to keep the entire van from being a total loss. The seats were melted, and the upholstery was almost entirely turned into carbon (and soaking wet). But the van still ran, and after a few visits to a few junkyards, the van was suitable for travel once again (even though it stank like hell).

My parents forbade us go camping for as long as I lived under their roof, so the great "Weekend of My Birthday During Our Senior Year" camping trip was off. But considering that my first attempt at being an outdoorsman had resulted in my shooting the truck in the engine, and my second had just reduced our van to a charred hulk, nearly everyone associated with me—including myself—gave up on the idea of my ever being the outdoors type.




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Posted on Monday, January 05 2009
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COMMENTS / EDITS



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blah (Score: 1)
by jeremy on Monday, January 05 2009
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.jeremyhalvorsen.com
sorry for the spam joe, trying to figure out why some user had an issue posting a comment.



Joe' Story (Score: 1)
by mom on Monday, January 05 2009
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There is more truth to this than you think. Joe and Mike were something!



[No Subject] (Score: 1)
by CallieMo on Monday, January 05 2009
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Did the local fire department have your picture up on their wall by any chance? You certainly seemed to keep them busy...

Fun story. I giggled at the part where you were slapping the fire in Mike's crotch out but I'm sure all the menfolk will be cringing.



[No Subject] (Score: 1)
by 55seddel (Black55sedandelivery@hotmail.com) on Monday, January 05 2009
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Hmm, Firepants, That is an epic scene sir!



[No Subject] (Score: 1)
by jeremy on Monday, January 05 2009
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.jeremyhalvorsen.com
I had wondered why Mike screamed like a little girl and ran out of the house when you lit that candle.



[No Subject] (Score: 1)
by VictoriaE77 on Monday, January 05 2009
(User Info | Send a Message) http://ladydyani.livejournal.com/
Joe, your wife doesn't let you use matches or own a lighter, does she? And your house doesn't have a fireplace, does it? I'm a little concerned.

P.S. Hubby wants pictures.



edit (Score: 1)
by SupremeRuler on Tuesday, January 06 2009
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Paragraph four: lying, not laying.
Paragraph ten: wouldn't



[No Subject] (Score: 1)
by DarkAngela on Monday, January 12 2009
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You know, we had a kid at my school that everyone called Fireball. This gives that name a whole new meaning.

Also, hahaha, you slapped Mike's balls!



[No Subject] (Score: 1)
by Nessa on Monday, February 02 2009
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I would like to say that for a brief moment, I thought about writing a "How to Be Outdoorsy Without Killing Anyone" article. You know, something along the lines of your how-to articles for getting fit, or winning a fight.

However, I then felt something like terror at the thought of you out in the woods, possibly the same woods I might be in, and I decided against it.

I laughed out loud reading this!



edit (Score: 1)
by Namaste on Tuesday, February 03 2009
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"My parents forbade us go camping"



edit (Score: 1)
by Namaste on Tuesday, February 03 2009
(User Info | Send a Message)
"My parents forbade us go camping"
Not sure this is technically incorrect, but it doesn't seem quite right.
Going camping or from camping maybe?



I missed this site! (Score: 1)
by azuremystere (kazeeboy@yahoo.com) on Thursday, March 26 2009
(User Info | Send a Message)
I was off the internet for over 7 months, can you guess where one of my first stops was??? And this story was worth the wait! Poor Mike... he should have gotten hazard pay just for being your friend lol Although he caused his fair share worth of damage.. You two remind me of my best friend and I at that age... which considering we're all about the same age... it's a good thing we were not in Georgia, there would have been NO survivors




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