September 20, 2004

Vermont Wake Up Call

By Tenzin McGrupp

15 Aug 2004, Coventry, Vermont

Normally as an insomniac, I wake up several times in the middle of the night, usually never falling back to sleep. I passed out hard after the first show due to the serious sleep deprivation I suffered from the entire week of being on the road seeing four shows spread out along the Eastern corridor. My first memory of Sunday morning were the wailing screams from a drunk guy. I wiped away the eye boogers and unzipped the door to my tent. It was 8:30 AM and I was greeted by a shirtless dude wandering around our camping area with a cocktail in his hand.

"Happy Sundaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay morning! It's go time! High temperatures 76, low of 72. Happy Sundaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay morning!!!! Time to get up. You're all on vacation. You're all in Vermont. Happy Sundaaaaaaaaaaay morning!!!!! It's go time!"

He repeated the same phrases for twenty minutes straight. He woke up everyone in our acre of wet grass and mud. Despite her ear plugs, Molly could still hear him. As soon as he calmed down, I heard the girl in the tent next to us utter, "I am never doing mushrooms again."

Everyone in their tents started a domino effect of uncontrollable laughing and giggling. The poor girl next to us from Kansas was still tripping when she woke up. Yeah, Dorothy, we've all been there. Dr. Pauly's advice.... smoke through it. And don't forget... no matter what you might think, you cannot fly.

"Happy Sundaaaaaaaaaaaaay morning. High temperatures 76!"

I stumbled out of our humid tent and began my ritualistic wake and bake session, my first ever in Vermont. That's when I saw the naked pregnant woman squatting down in the woods behind our tent. She was taking a shit. A nasty one, too. I heard a several uncomfortable grunts and moans. Only at a Phish festival could you shrug off that scene. Sure it might have been the first strange thing I saw that day, but I was guaranteed that by midnight, the naked pregnant chick taking a shit behind my tent would be the 136th weird-ass-happening that I'd experience. Now if she gave birth right there... then that would have been definitely blogworthy.

What does one say to a naked pregnant woman taking a shit in front of you while you're getting high?

"Ummm, er.... how about those Red Sox, huh? Want a hit?"

No, she probably didn't like baseball. Plus the Sox suck. That would have been bad. I wandered over to the Common Ground Cafe and I picked up two egg and cheese sandwiches on a wheat roll and two waters for me and Molly. I chatted with a few Canadian Mounties to get the weather report. There were plenty of people still up from the night before as they stumbled back to their tents. We ate a little bit and Molly called her stepfather to get the skinny on the weather via the Internet to verify the information the Mounties had given me. Technology vs. odd Canadians in red shirts on horses. Which do you trust when you're stoned out of your tits and see dark clouds rolling over the hills from the West?

Tenzin McGrupp is a writer from New York City.

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