Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Adventures of Monica and Rachel

The first time I met Becky was in 7th Grade. She had long dark hair that she kept braided, perfect handwriting, and the best posture I had ever seen. I thought she was awesome immediately, especially since I write like twenty doctors combined, all scratchy and elusive to the point where I don't even know what I was trying to say. Little did I know at that time that this handwriting master was going to be one of the most important people in my life.

Whenever Beck and I would go out to a place where no one knew us, for example a dance or out of town for the day, or even when we were incredibly bored and wanted to throw someone off, we would use code names just for fun. She was Monica and I was Rachel. No one ever caught on. Maybe if we had a Joey and Phoebe with us they would have, but never once did anyone act like our identities had been stolen from a popular TV show. It worked well except for the fact that we usually forgot we had these code names and ended up having to explain why we had other names we used for each other. Those were tough times. Although we used the monikers of our famous Friends, we really have always credited ourselves to being the modern day version of Lucy and Ethel. Whenever one of us sees an I Love Lucy Ethel and Lucy friendship magnet or what have you, we get it for the other person. Good times we've had.

Here are some of our more adventurous stories. Please feel free to shake your head and laugh at us.

Let's go for a Walk
Becky and I used to go on four mile walks several times a week when we were teenagers. We had one particular route we loved taking but would sometimes venture out into other areas of town for fun. No matter the path we took, we always ran into trouble of the four legged variety. There was this one time when I was ahead of Beck and turned around to look at her only to spot a dog quietly and angrily walking up behind her. Never before has my brain shut down so quickly. I couldn't talk. I literally just stood there making little sounds while trying to find a rock on the ground until I realized I was never, ever going to be able to tell her what was about to go down. So, I decided to run. I figured that running would convey to her the message my mouth was unable to spit out. Hey, if you saw your friend fleeing away wouldn't you run too? That was my thought. At some point I did yell back "DOG! DOOOOOOOOOG!" and she got the idea. When she caught up with me she hit me promptly on the arm, as any good friend would do, as a way of thanking me for saving her life with the warning run/yell.

We were attacked so regularly by dogs that you would think we would've just given up walking altogether, but nope. Not us. We're not quitters. We developed keen walking senses where we would either sense one coming up and take a turn to avoid it or, more commonly, scream and hold onto each other for dear life while trying to escape.

Just recently when I went back home we decided to go on our favorite route. It was nice to see how our walking senses had stayed with us all these years later. Several times we jumped at nothing and we even freaked out appropriately at a fake coyote statue in someones yard. Yep, we've still got it.

The Scream
Payson is a small town. You have to be creative to entertain yourself. Beck and I would go driving a lot to do such entertaining. Heck, we still do when I go back and visit. On one particular occasion we were driving through a neighborhood and there were some guys outside this house hanging out. Becky told me to scream at them...so I did. I screamed my most blood curdling scream ever. Ever! At one point I even heard my scream branch off into two different sound tones, which impressed me as I didn't think that was even possible. Anyway, I scream, Becky's happy face takes a look of sheer terror, the guys look at us weirdly and we take off in her truck at the speed of light. She then leaned over and hit me (this is a signature trademark of true friendship) as we rounded the corner out of there.

Becky: Why did you do that!?!
Me: You told me to scream!
Becky: Not like that! Like a sexy scream!
Me: A what? Huh...oh. Ohhhhhh.

I told her she would need to clarify since I obviously didn't know what a sexy scream was. I mean really, I watched a lot of horror movies back then. A lot, a lot, a lot of horror movies. There was one scream I knew and it was the one that told your entire neighborhood a serial killer was in your house. That was the extent of my screaming capabilities. I then proceeded to tell her of my new found ability to scream in two voices when she informed me that I had scared her so much with my unexpected shriek that what I was hearing was her screaming along with me. I had startled her, to say the least.

So picture this: You're some poor innocent guys hanging out at your house when two girls in a truck drive by. One minute the blonde girl is smiling, the next she's screaming her head off. Then the brunette freaks out because of the blonde and starts screaming too. Then they turn around as quickly as possible and almost crash into the neighbors house while doing so.

Hilarious, right? And maybe a little terrifying mixed with some confusion.

The truth is, we screamed a lot when we drove, and not the sexy kind either. The I'm Terrified kind. We used to drive and talk and a lot of that driving was done out in dark places, like Doll Baby Ranch road, which is in the middle of nowhere. We used to think we saw all kinds of things. If we hadn't lost our voices by the time we were done hanging out, it was a miracle. 

The Boulder
Speaking of Doll Baby Ranch, there was this one lovely evening when we decided to go out there and park the truck and talk. Just get out of town and hang out. Becky found a little pull out where we could back in, in case other trucks came up the road. Unfortunately, she ended up backing us up onto a boulder. Yes, a boulder. It was about three feet tall and round. Mind you, it's nighttime and we're in a forest like area with nothing around but miles of...nothing. Terrifying, silent nothing. This is an excellent horror story kind of place for all of those reasons. Try as we might, we could not get off of the boulder. It was awful. I'm not even sure how much time passed as we tried to figure out a way out of our mess. Finally, she came up with a horrible plan which consisted of me having to get out of the truck and go jump up and down on the truck bed to try to, I don't know, bounce it off the rock while she would try and pull away from it. This, I was not happy with.

Me plus the forest plus stranded in the middle of nowhere at night is bad. Add on to that my fear of werewolves (due to above mentioned horror movies) and there is no way, NO WAY, I am getting out of the perceived safety of the truck.  I did though. Why on earth, I don't know. I'm pretty sure the fear of being stuck there all night outweighed the fear of stepping out of the truck for a few moments, in the hopes of securing our freedom.

I don't remember the rest of this story well, but Becky does because she reminds me every so often that I was in the pickup bed jumping up and down yelling, "Noooooo bears. Noooo wolves. Don't eat me. I cannot believe this...Beck...Beck, did you hear that?? BECKY! Did you? I think I see...oh shoot...I think...ughhh...please no wolves, please no coyotes. Beck, BECKY! I am never, not never, ever, ever coming back out here at night...Beck. Psst! Did you hear that?!" It continued on like that for a while, I'm sure. I don't even know how we got off the boulder, but clearly we did because here I am writing this. See how traumatized I was? I have blocked that portion out completely. 

Four Wheeling
I remember very clearly the time I almost died. Twice, actually, when we were four wheeling. There for a little while Becky was really into ATV's and I was up for trying any new adventure. She would drive, because I couldn't - we tried and it was very, very bad - and I hopped on the back. We were on this dirt road out by her house when she suddenly went down a hill. A small hill, mind you, but a hill. It's not like I didn't see the hill or anything, I just didn't realize that I wasn't holding on tight enough for dear life. One second I'm sitting up straight having a ball and the next my legs are literally flying up over her head. All I can do at that point is grip onto the bottom of the ATV to keep from doing a back flip type thing off of it.  It was like I was trying to do a Cirque du Soleil kind of move without actually meaning to. How I didn't fall off, I don't know, but I imagine my guardian angel must have been frantically trying to keep me on and shunning me for being an idiot. I do remember that it freaked Becky out pretty good and we took it easy the rest of that day, key phrase being that day.

On a completely different occasion we went out to where there were some other trails and a very steep, very large hill that kind of went into a river ravine and back up. The perfect hill for anyone who wanted to go dirt bike riding or, like us, four wheeling. By this time we had done a little more riding and I had successfully kept my legs and myself firmly planted on the seat. I was ready for this hill. Bring it on! Going down was a piece of cake but up was the trick. The first time we were fine. The second time, not so much. I accidentally did the legs in the air death trick again and this time Becky almost came with me. That ended our four wheeling with any hills. It was flat ground for us only.

The very last time we ever went on one of these adventures was when it was summer and we wanted to go cool off at this river by her house.  We loaded the four wheeler into her truck and took off for the water. While wheeling around we spotted some guy fishing in the river. I decided he looked like Heath Ledger from a distance, which therefore meant we should go talk to him. I had just read some teen magazine article on how these random people bumped into Heath Ledger somewhere when they were hanging out so I was certain this was the same case for us. I was clearly in love with him during this time in my life. We get closer and he gets far less Heath like and much more creepy looking. We attempt to turn around and go unnoticed, but to our misfortune he spots us and says hello. We're friendly (and stupid) so we say hello back. Then he proceeds to tell us he just got out of jail. For stealing a car. Uh-huh...time to go.

We go back to the four wheeler only to realize we are out of gas. Like completely and totally out of gas and cannot load the four wheeler into the truck at all. We debate leaving it there but don't want Becky's mom to kill her when the ex-con steals it, so we do the only thing we can think of - we ask him to help push it in the truck. Brilliant, right? See, I was fresh out of martial arts, me and my purple belt, plus I had recently taken down a football player with one swift move when he tried to kiss me at school, so I was certain I could take this guy, me and all of my 5 feet and 3 inches. No problemo. He obliged us and loaded the four wheeler in the truck, but asked for our numbers to which we gave him completely fake ones that probably didn't even exist in our area code. But hey, we made it out alive and with the four wheeler, which was the goal. That little event put an end to our four wheeling adventures and our approaching of strangers that resembled movie stars.

Flagstaff and the Blizzard
One of our most memorable and death defying acts was our trip to Flagstaff one winter. This would be the one my mom knew nothing about, the one where she thought I was at Becky's house all day. We left early and got to Flag to have our fun day out of town. The weather was cold, but nice. We had finals that night in our college psych class so we weren't going to stay too long. We were having fun checking out little stores here and there when all of a sudden it started to snow. We had brought my gigantic Suburban so we thought we were fine.

We're driving through town and it's getting so icy that at a corner light where I'm making a turn, I slide into the sidewalk. I do this several more times before I realize things have gotten bad. Really bad. Other people are sliding off the road into other things, such as cars and ditches, and I didn't have four wheel drive nor did I own snow chains, which are both important things for a blizzard. Plus, we need to get home soon for class. Shoot! We find a place to go get food and attempt to figure this out. As we're eating it gets worse. We debate on buying a bunch of bags of gravel to put in the back to weigh us down but decide we can wait this baby out. Soon it becomes clear that we are either going to have to leave or get a hotel room and stay for the entire winter. We call our professor, tell him our situation, and beg for his mercy to let us take the test another time. He agrees. Whew. Now to just get home.

We load up and set out on the road. Normally the drive from Payson to Flagstaff and back is lovely. Trees everywhere, a lake, pretty scenery. When you're in a blizzard, however, things are just white and terrifying. Our normal two hour drive turned into a 5 hour screamathon with some intermittent praying and awkward we're-going-to-die laughter. As you know from my prior story, we two girls can scream. As for the praying, I was yelling out loud for some unknown reason even though the blizzard left everything eerily silent. I was hoping to get The Big Man's attention more quickly in our dire situation. Becky and I also thanked each other several times for the good memories over the years as a way of getting our final words in "just in case".  It went something like this...

Me: We are going to DIE!!! Becky, you have been such...*sniffle*...a good...friend...
Becky: We are not...*uncertainty to her voice*...going to die...I think...probably...
Me: I don't know what we were...AHHHHHHHHHHH! 
Me: Whoa - whoa. That was close. 
Both of us laughing like crazy maniacs: Ha..haha..hahahah....ahhahahahahah!!
Me: Whew! We almost actually died there just then, can you believe that?! 
Beck: Yeah, I was totally kidding earlier but now I'm not so sure.
Me: We should pray. 
Beck: OK...
Me: Dear God...
Beck: Are you writing Him a letter?
Me: Noooooo. I am trying to be formal.
Beck: I was just checking.
Me: Uh-huh...anyway.  Dear God, I know it was a really bad idea to come here in winter but we're DUMB SOMETIMES! I mean, we're supposed to be, we're TEENAGERS! That should be ALLOWED! Right? I think so. Anyway, PLEASE DON'T LET US DIE!!!! Please...
Beck: Why are you yelling?
Me: WHAT? Oh. 

To add to all of this we also suffered embarrassment as many, many smaller SUV's that were fully equipped for snowy weather passed us on our super slow journey home. Once we reached our home-sweet-home town I literally got out of the car and kissed the ground. From my new eyesight angle I then noticed that large icicles had formed all over the bottom of my suburban making it look like some kind of a freak death trap. Mind you, back in Payson there wasn't a drop of snow not anywhere at all. It wasn't even cold enough to snow. Since we had "just been at Becky's house all day" we proceeded to kick off as many icicles as we could, which wasn't very many. They were so incredibly frozen to my car that I thought for sure we were going to take some paint off and I was not having that. I drove home and prayed that my mother would not see them, but just to be safe I told her there had been a freak snow storm at Becky's house, which is slightly out of the main part of town and therefore in it's own weather zone (in my teenager mind) and left it at that.

More adventures to come!

Ever done anything crazy with your friends? 

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