Wednesday, March 4, 2015

11. Zero Days

Once upon a time, Loverboy told us all the immortal truth: "Everybody's workin' for the weekend." This is true for everyone, from grownups paying their bills to preschoolers just trying to figure out how entire handfuls of glitter ended up in their pants. For hikers, the equivalent of a weekend is a Zero Day, which is usually only one day, and only happens once every two weeks or so. But when it does happen, it is glorious and perfect. The following is a basic hiker Zero Day schedule at a motel. This is the ideal Zero Day, in which laundry and food shopping was done the night before, just after hitching into town:

8:30am: Wake up (this is WAY sleeping in, typical hiker wake-up time is whenever the sun is up)

8:35am: Groan and waddle your aching bones to the bathroom to thoroughly enjoy sitting

8:40am: Groan and waddle your aching bones back into bed

8:41am: Put the TV on a channel with endless Cheers episodes

9:00am: Lean over the edge of the bed and scrabble around until your hands find your food bag. Drag the food bag up onto the bed and dump all the contents out on your legs

9:00am - 4:00pm: Mindlessly jam food into your mouth, fall asleep, wake up, eat more food, be judgmental of Sam and Diane

4:00pm: Call your parents on the motel phone to let them know you're not dead

4:10pm: Call a pizza place

5:00pm: Have a democratic discussion with your hiking partners about who's actually going to get up and answer the door when the pizza guy comes. Finally cave and get up yourself, making it halfway to the door before you realize you're not wearing any pants, creak and waddle your way back to the pile of clean laundry sitting in a heap in the corner, locate your pants, put them on, and then take 5 full minutes to shamble back to the door like the Living Dead that you are


5:20pm: Be confused about why the pizza disappeared so quickly

5:21pm: Call a Chinese Food place

6:00pm: Wonder why your head hurts like it was hit by a truck, and realize that since you normally have your water strapped to your back, you've accidentally you've gone the entire day without drinking any liquid at all. Chug two liters of water

6:05pm: Spend more time in the bathroom

7:00pm: Take another shower just because you can, even though you already took one last night when you got in, and even though you've literally done nothing all day and are perfectly clean... except for the chinese food and pizza all over your face. Drink and beer and brush your teeth whilst taking a shower, preferably one before the other

7:15pm: Fall asleep

Other people like to add in other fun activities, like going bowling or mini golfing, or going to see a movie. Some folks will go out to an actual restaurant to eat. Or, if you're like us, you'll wander mindlessly through a tiny town in Virginia until you find your way to an old abandoned house, jump a fence and go exploring and hope you don't get arrested for trespassing, These are all valuable Zero Day activities. The essential goal of a Zero Day is for your body to completely recharge and replenish, which is why it is essential to eat as much junk food and consume as little water as possible to do as I say and not as I do, and actually eat some fresh produce and maybe drink some milk or something. 

Zero Days are really wonderful for spending time with your hiking partners that involves absolutely no decision making, so that you can re-establish yourselves as a cohesive, positively communicative group. Just like how congress needs all those vacations.

Clever Girl

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