Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Alcohol is the answer... What was the question?

Back in 2003, I went to the Hultsfred festival with three friends. I had the accommodations, Ape number 1 and Ape number 2 had access to a car, and Jake the Cake just tagged along.

We stayed with the parents of a friend, which we had done a few times before and a few times since. Its one of the best festival accommodations ever. They have two rooms in the basement with six beds, we get access to a shower and a massive breakfast. I'm not much of a festival person, so it has suited me perfectly.

The first night we were on the festival grounds, The Cake and I decided to walk back to the house around 1 am. We tracked down the Apes, and told them we were leaving. No problem, they said, we'll stay and party some more. I explained how they should walk to get back. Out the main entrance to the road, then left, then right at the crossroads and walk to the gas station. The house is right behind the gas station. Not exactly rocket science.

In the morning Ape number 1 hugged me and almost cried at the sight of the breakfast table. Then they explained that they had walked around for about an hour without finding the house. Turns out they had walked out the wrong entrance, and while they had followed the directions after that to the tee, they were thoroughly lost. Eventually they hailed a taxi, and managed to persuade the driver to get them to the gas station for practically no money at all.

The next evening, the same thing repeated itself. We decided to go back, they decided to stay and get drunk. Or rather more drunk. In the morning Ape number 1 showed me text messages he had gotten from Ape number 2 during the night. They said, among other things “Var am I?”, which is a nice combo of Swedish and English, and various misspelled variations on the theme “I'm walking and don't know where I am” and “I don't recognize these houses”.

Ape number 2 filled in the details. The ones he remembered that is. Ape number 1 had left to go to the house. Ape number 2 once again walked out the wrong entrance, and then managed to get even more lost than the night before. Eventually he came to a straight road and decided this was the road that led to the crossroads, where he was supposed to turn towards the gas station. So he walked. And walked and walked and walked. Until he came to this sign:

See, he had walked six kilometers out of Hultsfred, along a road that cuts through a forest. Not a single house in sight. No lights, no nothing. Just darkness, trees and the road. And that sign.

We laughed so hard we cried. He does too. Nowadays. Not back then.

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