Friday, February 26, 2010

Why I Still Hate Yanni

Years ago my wife and I went camping on Catalina Island. Now this was shortly after returning from living abroad. We were both in pretty good shape and liked hiking and outdoor stuff plus we didn't have any kids yet. We took a boat over to the island from the mainland to Two Harbors and then took a bus to the campsite. What a bust that place was. The water tasted like chlorine (it was treated rainwater). The sun was so intense that whole week that we had to build a shelter next to our tiny pup tent. Now the brochure had promised that every campsite had a palm tree-they just didn’t tell us that ours was only about 2 feet tall and useless for shade. We ended up actually building shade out of spare wooden pallets.

Things were going along OK  The diet was pretty lean, consisting many of rehydrated foods and good coffee (we brought along one of this little espresso makers). We actually ended up hiking back into town and bringing some decent water back, lugging it on our backs. So things were going just great (well OK) until Yanni and his love interest rolled into camp. I mean literally rolled because they came by bicycle (motor vehicles are prohibited on the island). I immediately nicknamed him Yanni because he had that doofus-looking long girly hair and was also all buffed-out like a rock star. He liked to strut around topless too, flexing his muscles.

Yanni and the Mrs both had those sidesaddle panniers on their bikes just packed with gear and goodies. We watched them set up from a safe distance. Yanni had a much bigger tree-enough to shade his walk-in tent. Yanni’s love interest soon disappeared inside the tent (no doubt primping herself for a romantic evening) while he set about preparing a fine meal.

“WTF did he just pull out of those panniers? Was that a steak?” my wife remarked. It was. That Yanni had thought of everything. Fresh vegetables even. Then out came a bottle of wine, and a corkscrew! After he prepared the meal, Yanni disappeared into the tent for the night. No doubt for a major seduction scene.

The next morning Yanni re-emerged topless from the tent to cook his lover breakfast (we never did see her until they packed up and left later on that day).  Once again he dipped his hands into the bottomless panniers "Are those eggs? is that bacon?" soon came the laments. Oh well, at least we had our good coffee. And reconstituted refried beans and rice.


  1. Awwww. I hate Yanni too, then!

  2. Gosh Darcy, I hope some humor came through!

  3. LOL. It did. But geez! Why camp if you're going to bring a four course meal? It's kind of the anti-camping and yeah, it's a little obnoxious.

    But you did write it with tons of good humor. I'd have snuck over and raided their ice chest.

  4. While in college a buddy and I often camped at a beautiful place called Devils Lake State Park. Chickelit and Ruth Anne have probably been there.

    Late one night a huge motor home pulls into the campsite next to ours. Next morning, while we are cooking breakfast on a Coleman stove, a guy gets out of the motorhome. He's in his late forties and a bit overweight. He's dressed for hiking up Mt. McKinley. Expensive Italian hiking boots, three layers of socks, shorts with many pockets, shirt, photographers vest and a safari hat.

    There is a carabiner attached to each belt loop. From the carabiners dangle a compass, a first aid kit, a canteen, and Swiss Army Knife.

    We wave at him, he nods his head, then takes a minibike off the back bumper and rides 50 yards to the shower/toilet building. After returning he pulls out a lawn chair and sits. He was still sitting whe came back for lunch. There are empty beer cans next to him. While we are chuckling about this a delivery car pulls up with his pizza.

    He rides his minibike to the can again after lunch then back to the lawn chair. When we came back at sunset he was in the motorhome, a/c running, watching TV.

    He pulled out the next day, having conquered the wilderness.

  5. LOL. See? That's exactly what I mean. You're allowed to take treats on a camping trip, of course, but what is the experience all about if you bring every creature comfort with you?

    It's kinda silly.

  6. Going tent camping over Memorial Day weekend at Palomar Mountain State Park. We had to make reservations way in advance. The kids like to fish and the whole location reminds us of Northern California: there are cedar trees that look like Redwoods. The observatory is only a few miles away and always worth a visit.