Sunday, August 09, 2009

Kottage Kavalcade

Because you want to know, I've distilled my cottage journal into it's pure essence: 7 days of fighting against Man and Nature for my very survival.

Day 1 - Get There Alive
  • I fine-tune my unpatented 30:1 Fun Uncertainty Ratio (FUR). That's 30 minutes of packing activity for every 1 day of cottage time. This covers clothing, books, DVDs, games, iTunes downloads, etc. for all possible weather and roommate conditions. FUR also applies to camping trips - albeit with an overall 60-minute penalty for non-electrical campsites.
  • cap off a typical Travel Day by watching Harrison Ford play Action-Hero President in 'Air Force One'. My jestful critique a la Mystery Science Theater 3000 only serves to offend my sister-in-law and elicit several "So what would be a good movie to you?". I have no energy to respond.
Day 2 - The Tribe Has Spoken
  • Brother-In-Law, Sister-In-Law and their sentient drool-machine, Shadow, head back to London by Noon, leaving Dee, the kids, and I to fight off bears and Hummingbirds by ourselves.
  • Spend the afternoon Spring-cleaning the cottage to force Dee's allergies into abatement (see: Shadow). As the last window is cleaned and the vacuum motor spins down into silence, the rains sweep in from Georgian Bay. Remainder of day is spent finishing 'World War Z' and losing my pocket-change to a crooked 13 year-old card shark.
Day 3 - Conlflicted
  • The Sun peeks out enough to convince us that the beach was viable. While Dee and the kids heed the frigid water's clarion call, I feel the need to do something useful to justify some later goofing-off time. I spend a few hours power-washing old stain from the deck while others frolic in the surf. I become Les Nessman and the power-washer - my violin.
  • My In-laws (Dee's folks) arrive later in the day, which means that I am duty-bound to sit in a lawn chair with a beer and watch my father-In-Law cook something on the barbeque. This is a non-negotiable tradition and the only allowable forum for politics and local gossip.
Day 4 - 20 Year-Old Routines
  • The typical cottage groove: breakfast, cleanup, lunch, cleanup, dinner, cleanup. Somewhere in there is a glass of wine or a beer (or two). Some fish are hunted from a metal boat, and they prove elusive. Rummoli is used to pass the evening hours.
  • I spend some time applying water-seal to the deck and am rewarded with beer and conversation near a barbeque device.
Day 5 - It Had To Be Snakes
  • Awake and staring into the horrific fractal-orange 'bedroom' carpet. I think too hard about the thousands of life-choices that led me to be staring into this carpet. Also wondering about the thousands of choices that led someone to green-light the production of this carpet.
  • Spend time underneath the cottage repairing some leaky waterpipes. Also spend some time trying not to think about the possibility of snakes hiding in the piles of leaves under the cottage. These thoughts are pushed from my head later on courtesy of the fumes emanting from the stain we apply to one of the cottage's sleeping cabins.
  • In the afternoon I nearly step on a fucking rattlesnake. I catch the fucking rattllesnake with a rake and a pail to dispose of him in the woods. I then lose the very pissed fucking rattlesnake out of the pail and catch him once more. He's more pissed at this point as I run into the woods in a determined effort to avoid pissing him off even more. The lessons: rattlesnakes fucking jump, rattlesnakes are fucking fast, I do not fucking like rattlesnakes.
Day 6 - And Now A Word From The Bear
  • Awake to find a bear in the backyard helping himself to the compost-pit buffet. I secretly wonder if bears are afraid of snakes, and I decide it doesn't matter. I'm not a big fan of either life-form, anyways. I make note that the bear enters and exits the yard near our outhouse. Joy.
  • Spend the whole day reading Anathem, taking a boat-tour to the dump, and swimming a little bit with the kids. I secretly feel guilty about not staining the deck today. We boat to a nearby lodge for a restaurant dinner.
Day 7 - End Game
  • It's the last day at the cottage, and the day is uncomfortably cold. I work on some mathematics to predict why the presence of an outhouse seems to propel the bladder into overdrive - especially at 4am. I am not successful in developing the appropriate model. I cannot imagine how the bear fits in.
  • We pack our belongings and make note of all the items that were not used (I'm looking at you Breakfast Club DVD!). We make our way home and, by mid-evening, I am thanking my toilets for just being there. You know?


David said...

So that's why people have cottages. Hunh.

On the other hand, you avoided a lot of crappy weather. And London. So it wasn't all bad.

Sonny Drysdale said...

Nice report - but what did you have to eat?

Was it all BBQ? Was steak involved. Home-made burgers? Beer-can chicken? Now, that's cottaging.

Crazylegs said...

David - Years of observation tells me that people have cottages because owning just a single home leaves them with excess time and money that must be used up somehow.

Sonny - What *didn't* we have to eat? That's the real question. The menu was decidedly BBQ and included: burgers, country-style ribs, roast, etc. Alas, no beer-can chicken last week - but we're no stranger to a bit of lager stuffing.

David said...

An excess of time and money? Now you're just talkin' silly. Next you'll be shinin' on about flying cars and moon people.

Anonymous said...