As mentioned in a previous post, one of my new favorite things are the online chats done by columnists of the Washington Post. I love them. They save me at work when I'm bored, and, when I'm not really all that bored. They are staffed by people who know a lot about a lot of different topics. Plus, some of them are really hysterical (check out Gene Weingarten on Tuesdays or Lisa de Moraes on Fridays). These are my usuals: Travel, Life at Work, any chat about food, Fitness Gurus, Got Plans?, Weekend Now, Tell Me About It, and On TV. I've even won two fancy cookbooks due to my participation in them. Anyway, I didn't mean to spend this entire post on the chats. But, the travel chat yesterday (which I had to miss due to a lame-o meeting) started with an interesting topic. Here's what they wrote: "Tell us your favorite/scariest/funniest critter tale. Have a raccoon crawl into a tent with you? Snuggle with a snake? Swim with the sharks?" And seeing as I had to miss it due to the lame-o meeting, I thought I'd share with you what I would have shared with them. (And I would have won that prize, too. I'm just sure of it.)
The first crazy animal story was during my travels of the summer of 2003. I was making my way to Canada and doing a lot of car camping on the way. This particular leg of the trip found me in Olympic National Park in northwest Washington. It was raining (shocker), and I didn't feel like hiking alone. I was bored in my tent, and so I went to check out the visitor's center. There was a nice man there, and I chatted with him for some time, as I never felt like going back to my tent. When I finally did decide to go back to my tent, I found that it was being guarded by about 20 very large elk. They were all bedded down and completely freaking me out. I didn't dare defy their authority, so I went back to the visitor's center and just chilled. Unfortunately for me, the visitor's center closed not long after I came back to it. Fortunately for me, when I was forced back to my tent, the elk had moved. Phew.
The other crazy animal story happened earlier this year. C and I were in Atlantic City and were enjoying a funnel cake on the boardwalk. Then, out of NOWHERE, a pigeon comes over my left shoulder, rips a piece off my funnel cake, and knocks the funnel cake off the plate and onto the boardwalk. The whole thing took about, oh, 2 seconds and cost me a delicious funnel cake.