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[pct-l] Lighter side of the PCT

One of joys of reading the messages on this list (and the archives) is the
"day dreaming" about the PCT I inevitably fall into ... same thing happens
whenever I'm back on a trail, even if it's just for a quick afternoon hike.
Anyway, what popped into my head this morning was practical jokes/humorous
situations on the trail, so I thought I'd pass one along with the hope that
you all get a chuckle and/or post some of your own.  Hope you don't mind ... 

When Ray, Harry and I did the thru-hike in 1982, we found ourselves playing
favorite tunes in our heads as we pumped along ... usually one that fit our
pace or one provoked by that day's particular situation ("Stairway to
Heaven", "Rambling Man", etc.).  What we rapidly found out and commented on
was how hard it was to get a song out of our minds once we got going on it.
And then we discovered that a tune hummed or sung by one of us at a rest
stop would suddenly replace our own song for the rest of the day (or week).
If you happened to not particulary like the other's tune, this could be
particularly aggravating.

I'll never know why I did it (perhaps it was an overly aggressive reaction
to one of Ray's rice concoctions the night before), but I decided to use
this tendency to make my partners' trail-life, uhmm, a little more
challenging than it already was.  The next day at morning rest break, I
started singing "Your Having My Baby" (if any of you have never heard it, I
strongly caution you against giving in to your curiousity), since that song
easily qualified IMHO as one of the most offensive tunes of all time, in all
ways.  I was immediately pelted with small stones, but could tell my buddies
had not yet caught wind of just how devious and treacherous a hiking
companion I had become.  They did by that evening, however; boy, did they.
I would have had to sleep with my ice ax by my side that night, were it not
for the immediately recognized fact that they'd have to carry some of my
packweight were I to "accidentally" come to some kind of harm.

The game was on.  Harry caught us unawares one morning with "The Sound of
Music" (the worst part was that when the tune replayed itself ad nauseum all
through the day, it was with Harry's cracking, squeaking falsetto I heard).
Ray countered with the Jackson Five song, "Ben".  The Hundred Mile Mu-sick
War had broken out (actually, history verifies that it lasted approximately
113 miles), and a lasting peace was only brokered once we had all reached
emotional exhaustion  - or perhaps we just ran out of satisfactory ammunition?

I hope not to have offended anyone by my obvious bias, but remember: it's
the nasty thought - not the musical genre that one despises - that counts,
so feel free to substitute your (or your hiking partner's) favorite musical
phobia if you decide to play the game on your next long-distance hike.  As
always, however, practice due caution in the wilds.  Do not play this game
near icy precipices, when your partner will be cooking your dinner that
evening, or when you think you might need a sip or two of his/her water on
down the trail (especially if you are hiking near Hat Creek Rim).

I'd love to hear of the practical jokes, humorous experiences on the trail
of others (I need some good ideas...)!

Take care everyone...

Kelly Flowers

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