5 (30 plus adults) + 1 (hyperactive canine) - 1 (mini van complete with old school tape deck and beastie boys) = kentucky's own version of "little miss sunshine". but without the suicidal gay man. or the mute son. or the horny old man (horny younger men perhaps, given the way the conversation deteriorated rather rapidly), but the neurotic mother character was fully represented. and there was definitely no beauty pageant or talent show (unless it was the dog's penchant for overly toxic farts).
on this popular brunch 'n flowers hallmark holiday, mothers had either already been treated to breakfast at waffle house, or were too far away (florida) or halfway round the world (she celebrates british mother's day which was last month) to care. we had a free pass on the guilt impulse to "perform" and "please". instead we chose to subject ourselves to acute mini van nausea for the 45 minute drive to madison, indiana so that we could stomp around in the mud and creek beds, followed by a 'soak and grope' in the bat cave, at clifty falls state park.
as i am once again sans health insurance, it is fairly reasonable to assume that i will contract something requiring out of pocket doctor visits, prescriptions and expensive ointments. i spent a great portion of the hike scratching at imagined poison ivy rashes, possible tics under the skin (from which i could potentially contract lyme disease after an incubation period, as one of my peers kindly pointed out) and an obsessive chigger check. at the time of "going to print" i appear to have come away unscathed.
as our hike (slooooooowly) progressed the collective IQ reduced commensurate with the increase in lactic acid levels, although i prefer to re-frame it as utilizing age (in)appropriate coping strategies. we passed "ear worms" (those particular songs, usually of the one hit wonder variety, that compel you to do everything short of slamming your head between the washing machine lid to eradicate it) around like STDs. in an effort to out ear worm each other across the various categories the hit parade included bubble gum; "im a barbie girl", rap; "who let the dogs out", schmaltzy; "its a small world", easy listening (what exactly about easy listening makes it actually easy to listen to?); "someone like you, makes it easy to live...blah, blah, its by rod stewart, in fact ANYTHING by rod stewart".
our "bottom" finally came when we regressed to levels below beavis and butthead. the goal was to use rhyming words for "porn" in sentences and general hiking conversation. for example: i had never seen "children of the porn", we were all looking forward to porn dogs and porn on the cob at the state fair. someone liked porn muffins, cream of porn and porn chowder (it's amazing how many variations for "corn" we found), of course by the end of the hike, we were all well and truly porn out.
for visuals please see: