Thursday, March 09, 2006

Escape to Green Mountain Day 2 : Where DID We Think We Were Going Like That?

Continuing with my recounting of my Green Mountain Falls trip with the Book Monkeys; when we last left off, I had gone to bed exhausted after a full day of driving, eating, and mad table slapping. On day 2, there was more game playing, more eating, and some very uncomfortable driving.

Oh, and a run-in with the law

The next morning I awoke to the sounds of feet running above my head and the incredibly distinctive laugh of The Mag. I got up and took a quick shower before clambering through the trap door to the main cabin.

Oh, did I neglect to mention the trap door? It's one of my favorite features of the Berry Patch; beneath the main cabin lays a smaller cabin which can be reached either through going outside and walking down a little path to its front door, or by scaling through a trap door in the main cabin's living room. The trap door was the preferred method of travel between the two, although such travel was restricted by the fact that the trap door opened directly onto the top bunk bed where Rebel Monkey slept. Luckily, by the time I was done showering, Rebel Monkey was up; well, lucky for me, I suppose, but not so lucky for Rebel Monkey who, by virtue of being directly beneath the trap door, had been much closer to the noise upstairs.

We spent the first half of the day just lazing about: reading, watching TV, taking turns playing Rebel Monkey's portable old-school arcade game system version of Galaga, which ranks up there with Tempest and Tron as one of my all time favorite arcade games; we all lamented how unresponsive the little portable joystick was. Sometime around noon everyone had gotten cleaned up and ready to go out and about. Buster suggested we head to nearby Manitou Springs to check out their old school arcade, which included some even-older school penny arcade style games. The six of us (Buster's brother and col. having headed back to Denver by that point) piled into Buster and Bunny's car; since said vehicle was built for a max occupancy of five, we were a bit squashed in the back, with Rose Hips having to sit on The Mag's lap. Luckily for the more claustrophobic among us, the drive to Manitou wasn't too long of a haul.

When we got to town, The Mag noticed a wide array of strange outfits and asked if there was something special going on; Buster replied that seeing strange outfits was par for the course for a town whose motto was "Keep Manitou Weird." True that may be, but as we drove through the increasingly crowded streets we realized we had arrived in town during a Mardi Gras festival. After we finally found a place to park, Bunny immediately set out on a mission to find the booth selling beads and crazy hats; found the bead booth, but no sign of crazy hats. Buster and I headed to the arcade while the girls went in search of the crazy hat man, who they learned was moving through the crowd with his crazy hat merchandise on a pole. In the end, I was the only one who didn't wind up with any beads, hats, masks, or other strange accoutrements, unless you count the Macho Man Randy Savage finger puppet that Rebel Monkey and I pooled our hard-won arcade tickets to get.

The arcade itself was pretty cool; most of the really-old school games took pennies, nickels, and dimes to play, and there were a ton of old school arcade games like Tron and a couple of Galagas (no sign of Tempest, sadly); Rebel Monkey was more than happy to have access to a fully functioning and responsive Galaga machine, and quickly earned the high score on both machines, much to the consternation of a shaggy headed teenager, who instantly leaped onto the game as soon as Rebel Monkey was done obliterating his old score. He really should have just saved his money; Rebel Monkey is Queen of Galaga.

After demonstrating her Galaga dominance, Rebel Monkey and I played a game of air hockey in a building which could have doubled as a meat-locker; I was envious of Rebel Monkey's monkey gloves every time I accidentally touched the metal of the air hockey table and felt a little more of my flesh go dead from the sub-zero temp. I blame this obstacle for my loss, and not my total lack of coordination and tendency to score on my own goal.

After a few hours we decided to head back to the cabin, with the plan being that we’d fix some lunch after which a smaller, less crowded carload would go shopping for more groceries and a couple of videos. First, though, we were going to stop at a store to pick up some CD-ROMs so that we could burn some stuff off. Bunny drove towards where she thought an appropriate store was, but soon realized that she was mistaken, so she turned down a side street and headed back the way we came. We were just getting ready to turn back towards the main road when a cop drove by, giving us a scathing look; instead of turning in behind him, Bunny just drove straight on to the next side street. The cop was a wily one, though, and was on to our escape gambit; as we headed straight, he made a couple of right turns and came right at us with his lights flashing. He ambled towards us; as Bunny rolled down the window, he leaned down and uttered the accusatory phrase “Where do you think you’re going like that?”

Now, let me ask you, what sort of answer was he hoping for? I mean, seriously, wasn’t there a less confrontational way of approaching us? I braced myself for Bunny’s answer, which came out more like a question: “Back to our cabin?”

The officer informed us that we weren’t going anywhere, unless one of us wanted a ticket, saying one of us had to get out. So, new plan: Buster, Rebel Monkey, and Rose Hips got out and walked to the nearby store, while Bunny ran The Mag and me back to the cabin. After the shopping expedition returned, they started up a new batch of chili, and we played some games while waiting for it to cook. The Mag, Rose Hips, and Buster played a game of Pirates, while Bunny, Rebel Monkey and I played some Texas Hold ‘Em. Bunny had the power of the Big Stack (as opposed to the power of the Big Deck during E.R.S.) for a while, due to my complete inability to know when she was bluffing or not, an act made even more difficult by the fact that she didn’t necessarily know either.

After dinner, we turned off most of the lights and popped in Saw, which Buster and Bunny hadn’t seen; once it was over, we put in Saw II, which only I had seen. While I was entertained by Buster and Bunny reacting to the first Saw, I was operating on very little sleep, and wound up napping on the couch for the last 20 minutes or so. When it was all over, most of the group was pretty creeped out, and were all talking about how there was no way they were going to be able to go to sleep; then we watched Saw II, and that cured all the nerves there were. Rebel Monkey maintains the sequel is total crap; I still enjoyed it, although I think it was a much weaker film when viewed right after the original. What I found interesting was that the things Rebel Monkey cited as reasons for disliking the film (not duplicating the claustrophobic feel of the original, not doing a one-by-one blow-by-blow “here’s why you’re getting bumped off”) were pretty much exactly the things I appreciated in it; ah, well, to each their own.

The TV wound up on FX, which was showing King of the Hill; we watched a couple of episodes, but when another one started up we realized we were in the midst of a marathon, and decided to just call it quits.

If only we had had as much willpower the next day . . .