While I was in college, I had a yearly tradition of going whitewater rafting in West Virginia. Usually I was able to rope a friend or two into going with me. We would drive down, camp out for the night, and have breakfast at the Western Pancake House the next morning on the way to the rafting company.
One year I was only able to get one friend to come with me. I think a third guy may have bailed on us, but anyway, it ended up being just the two of us. We camped at Babcock State Park. It was October, great camping weather, but the park wasn’t crowded. We set up a tent, had some dinner and went down to the park office to use the pay phone to call our girlfriends. That’s right, a pay phone. It was after dark, and the park office was closed. I called my girlfriend and let her know where we were, and talked until my change ran out. Yes, change, that’s how a pay phone worked. Then my buddy called his girlfriend while I leaned on the fence by the parking area.
This is when the night got weird. While I was waiting for my buddy, a car pulled up close to me. Both the passenger and driver’s side doors opened, and out came two guys straight from central casting for your average ‘you’re gonna be killed by backwoods inbreds’ horror movie. My friend noticed the car too, and he noticed me giving him the ‘I don’t know, but I think we may be in trouble here’ look. The driver of the car walked toward us as my friend got off the phone. I have to describe this guy. I don’t care if you believe me or not, but this is completely true. He was around five feet five inches tall, had longish brown hair and a beard, was about fifty pounds overweight, and wore jean overalls and a trucker cap. His buddy was taller and skinnier and for the next five minutes or so all he did was stand next to the car. The big guy was the conversationalist, and what a conversation it was. For purposes of my own enjoyment we’ll call him Cletus.
Cletus: “You guys have any drugs?”
Me: “Nah man.”
My Friend: With an amazed look on his face. “You can get drugs out here?’
Cletus: “Oh, yeah man no problem.”
My Friend: “What kind of drugs?”
Cletus: “Oh, pretty much anything, meth, coke, blah, blah, more drugs,,,,”
Me: Smiling because even though I’m a little nervous, this is super entertaining. “Wow.”
My Friend: “What are you guys doing out here?”
Cletus: “Just riding around, looking for something to do.”
At this point the guy looked up and howled at the moon. No lie, he howled at the moon. There may have been more of a conversation after that, but I don’t remember. All I know is that they both eventually got back into their car and left. We walked back to our campsite, amazed at what had just happened and half worried that they would come back. The next day we rafted the Gauley river, an experience I highly recommend. And remember, apparently you can get all kinds of drugs in the country too. ; )