Today’s column is about enjoying the great outdoors.
There are people who will tell you that the best way to have sex in the woods is to do it in a tent, but those people are lying to you. Life is too short not to get mother nature all in your mouth when you’re face-down/ass-up in bear country. As an inveterate mountain-dweller, I have enjoyed all manner of outdoorsy fucks, be it on top of a gentle Appalachian peak (the rocks are good for leverage and there’s probably not many rash plants BUT there are usually a lot of gnats), down by a river (great if you want to get your face rubbed in the mud and also get cleaned up later), or up in a tree (okay, this one was pretty dangerous but the tree was huge and welcoming and after a while it started to feel like some kind of Tolkien threesome). I’m saying there are options.
The number one thing you want to be aware of—I mean, other than bears and park rangers—is poison ivy. Think this doesn’t apply to you because you aren’t allergic to poison ivy? Think again bucko, because you can develop an allergy to urushiol-the allergen in this spiteful vine-at any point. So pay attention.
I’m going to make this as simple as possible: LEAVES OF THREE, LET THEM BE. This is great advice and honestly, if you just follow this as diligently as possible, you’re off to a good start. I know other plants have the three-leaf configuration, but how much time are you really going to spend learning the difference between box elders and poison ivy? Yeah, that’s what I fucking thought. Also avoid any hairy vines crawling up tree trunks; that can also be poison ivy and will fuck your shit up. I came very close to mashing my face into a poison ivy vine once in flagrante delicto and ooooh boy, let me tell you I was pretty pleased that I caught it in time.
By now you must realize that all of this fucking in the woods has left your most vulnerable bits ripe for tick infestation. Do not be alarmed. Checking your date for ticks can be a beautiful bonding experience, in which each person takes turns spreading their cheeks and bending over for inspection. If you are in the possessions of testicles, be sure to do a gentle lift and grope, as nature’s questing arachnids sure do love the warmth and darkness of warm weather folds.
Be not satisfied with a cursory exam. Deer ticks—which are notorious for transmitting Lyme disease—can be the size of a sesame seed, and you definitely want these fuckers off of you as soon as possible to mitigate the risk of exposure. Be sure to check your armpits, in and around your ears, the warm cave of your belly button, the oft-neglected backs of your knees, the more vigorously attended to area between your legs, in and around your hair, and the circling span of your waist. And for god’s sake if you find a tick, don’t squeeze the damn thing, lest you would like it to barf undigested blood and potentially infectious material back into your precious meat sack.
To remove a tick, go for the fine-tipped tweezers that you use for rogue mole hairs and grab the tick as close as you can to the surface of your skin. You want to get the head and pull upward with even pressure. Be a surgeon about it and calmly pull that motherfucker out, avoiding the rookie mistakes of twisting the body or grabbing the swollen abdomen: the former will decapitate the tick, leaving the head in your skin; the latter can pop the tick, which is gross. After removal, wash the bite zone and your hands with alcohol, iodine scrub, or soap and water, and keep an eye out for a telltale bullseye rash heralding Lyme disease. (If that happens, see a doctor.)
Fun fact: When I was in third grade, I found a tick on my head during class, but declined to inform my teacher until we reached my least favorite part of the day (social studies), so that my tick removal could distract from whatever we were supposed to be learning that day. While leaving a tick on any longer than need be is strongly ill-advised, my point is that if baby Leigh can calmly deal with a tick, so can you.
Let’s continue this fantasy camping trip and imagine a world in which you have successfully caught and killed a rabbit. Maybe you set a trap, maybe you dug a hole, maybe you’re a professional archer, whatever. The point is that you have a dead bunny that needs to be turned into food.
There are many ways to field dress a rabbit, but based on sheer cinematic value, my favorite is the method espoused in an Air Force survival manual in which the insides of the bunny are flung violently out its own asshole via a combination of squeezing and flinging.
Squeezing and flinging.
To perform this ancient ritual, grab the rabbit tightly around its delicate ribcage using both hands and then squeeze down towards the stomach. Very tightly. While squeezing your rear-loaded water balloon full of guts and shit, bring the body over your head and then, in one vigorous motion, fling the carcass between your legs. Hard. Do not let go. Continue flinging until the bunny is empty of their contents by way of anus.
Also, try to stop your swing in such a way so that the momentum of the viscera is going straight back towards your awful cousin Steve (ugh, Steve) and not up and over your body. I mean, unless you’re into a warm shower of organs and fermented grasses, I’m not here to judge. (If that is the case, try not to get any of it in your mouth, unless your particular fetish is contracting new parasitic infections, at which point, I gotta say, you’re on your own with that one.)
Still wanna eat? Puncture the skin at the mid back with a sharp stick, work your fingers in the hole gape-style, and begin ripping apart. Once the tear is big enough, you can peel that sucker pretty easily. From here, wash the carcass and pretend you know how to butcher shit. (For dedicated students, I recommend the hallowed halls of Redneck YouTube for dispatching and butchering tips.)
A bear wanders into your camp, beckoned by your roasting rabbit. A good tip on punching it in the face is to not.
So you decided to punch a bear anyway. While I personally would not recommend this, the protocol from here on out is pretty simple and easy to master. Fall to the ground as you clutch your stomach, feeling slippery loops of bowel buckle beneath your fingers as you press yourself back into yourself. The bear may or may not leave you alone at this point, depending on where you are but I am an East Coast woman and so this is a black bear, the relatively friendly kind. As the bear retreats into the bushes, survey the damage to your torso and be sure to take in the aroma of rain-soaked copper pennies and omnivore shit wafting up from the gaping maw that mocks you. Depending on the severity of the damage, you might not have long to savor the way the now-black moss cradles your fading body, but it’s always a nice touch to pay attention to the details. Lay your head on the forest floor, gaze up at the only sky you’ve ever lived beneath, make peace with your maker, and let the darkness take you.
Do you have questions about sports-related bodily horror? Want the inside scoop on how a particularly gruesome femur break went down or the intimate details of sharing skin fungi? Email our columnist.
Leigh Cowart is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Daily Beast and Hazlitt, among others. Follow her on Twitter @voraciousbrain. Careful, she bites.