Month: August 2016

What Are We Mad About, Again?

Ebola came out of nowhere and exploded in the media, and then it disappeared overnight. Then Zika popped up, and that has disappeared as well. Brock Turner was a hot topic for a couple weeks, and then, you guessed it, he vanished. Ryan Lochte was the talk of the town for a little while, but then his fire died down to make way for Colin Kaepernick. (Let me not forget to mention that Feminist garbage heap Jezebel wrote an article about how sexy he is while shitting on him the whole time. Hooray, feminism?) So, what are we mad about today? Actually, there are two things: The DEA is starting a new war against Kratom. From the linked article: Kratom is made from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, a Southeast Asian tree related to coffee, and has been consumed in Asia for millennia, typically as a tea or powder. The herb contains alkaloids that appear to activate opioid receptors in the brain and reduce pain. Although most opioids have sedative qualities, low to moderate doses of kratom serve as a mild stimulant. Kratom has been used by a lot of people for everything from analgesia to anxiety maintenance, and more recently as a tool to help combat opiate withdrawal symptoms. Of course, if there are fewer people using drugs the DEA won't have anything to make money off of, so that can't happen. Kratom has also been used recreationally as a mood elevator, and we can't have that, either. Happy people…

Seven Day Story: Conclusion

Marcus Colvin for BBTV 7, Brantleberry In the early morning hours of Tuesday the fourteenth, the body of a missing cave diver was discovered about forty miles north of Exit 87. Caleb Dorne of Brantleberry was out on a solo survival hike when the worst of the worst happened; a troublesome encounter with nature ended in a broken leg. We recently visited Dorne's home and spoke with his girlfriend, Siobhan Clemens, about how things will change for her in the wake of this tragedy. As we made our way to the home neighbors waved cheerfully and kids shouted and played without worry. It never seems to get less unsettling that the world around us can be so utterly unknowing and carefree when one person's existence has been shattered just next door. We were invited in by a somber-yet-smiling woman who looked as if she had been interrupted while trying to sleep. She led us quietly into a sitting room with a sectional couch and two recliners of muted colors, and as we sat she retreated into the kitchen to grab drinks. A quick glance showed a familiar scene of family photos and nice end table ornaments, but nothing kid-related. "I always expected him to come home when he left," she starts. She sat glasses of water on the table in front of us before sitting down. She kept her eyes down on the floor as they welled with tears. "He had gone out dozens of times and always came back…

Seven Day Story Part 6

I'm losing time. It's been hard for me to write. I don't know what time it is. My watch is still going but I can't see it very well. Everything is blurry and I don't have any strength left. Even holding the pen is hard. I'm doing the best I can to document all of this but I'm not sure if it's good or not. I can't even tell if this is legible. I hope it is. Siobhan is probably worried. I don't know if I'm past the time or not but if I had to guess I'd say she started being worried days ago. It's so hot. My body is burning up. It's hard to concentrate and I just want to sleep more than anything. I haven't moved from the tent since the last time I wrote and I can't even tell you how long ago that was. Everything is slipping away. I wish we would have had a girl. I said I wanted a boy so he would do the same things as me, but I really want a girl since she would be more like Siobhan and she's the best person I've ever known. I hope she finds someone new and has her princess. I don't feel pain anymore.

Seven Day Story Part 5

So it's now after ten o'clock and pitch black. I can see a million stars out here, I swear to you. Every constellation I learned of in school and immediately forgot about when I walked out the door are floating above my head without a care in the world. Me, on the other hand, I fell asleep sometime in the early hours of the morning and was out all day. You think it would have done me good but I feel even worse now. The fever is getting worse. My whole body is hot and I itch like crazy. Getting that extra rest has made me lethargic and I'm behind schedule. I think part of me wants to just set myself up in a decent way here so it'll be a little easier for whoever it is that finds me. That part is very strong, but even so, there's still a little part that wants me to fight my way back to Siobhan. She's the kind of woman that would only get me one glass of water when I was sick, and if I wanted another I had to get up and get it myself. She truly believed that a little goes a long way. We were supposed to be trying for kids. She had the whole schedule down. (A squirrel or something just ran past the tent and it has me on edge.) I was hoping to get a little guy that would like to go caving with me…

Seven Day Story Part 4

I made it maybe a mile before I felt the blood running down my leg. It's mostly numb, but I thought I felt a tickling sensation and it was bugging me. When I looked down my leg was completely red from the half way point of my shin down. All the strain of walking ripped the cauterized wound open. I'm not sure how long it was like that before I noticed, but it has me worried. My pants are covered in things from the forest that dried in the original blood. There's no telling what kind of infection I could get. Currently, I'm looking through a clearing. I'm about two miles in, and I figure if I can do two miles each day I should make it back just in time. Trying to work through this with my leg makes it about ten times harder than it would be otherwise. I say ten because I've done these types of trips a hundred times in my life, and doing this one right now feels about ten times harder. I don't know why it's not six or eight, or even twelve. Ten just feels right. Actually, nothing feels right at the moment. I think maybe I'll camp here at the edge of this part of the forest. I can see things coming easily with the clearing in front of me, and I've done a pretty good job of shuffling up sticks and stuff hobbling through so I should hear them coming from…

Seven Day Story Part 3

It's dark now and the fire is going pretty steady. There's a good coal bed forming and if I can find some small game it'll be easy to cook in the camp pan I brought. I've been sitting here complaining about my situation when the truth is, I'm way luckier than others that have been stuck like this. I have professional gear, a first aid kit, a lighter. Things we take for granted in the city. I am fully aware that I could be stuck out here with none of those things, so I'm trying to do better about being positive. Part of normal positivity, though, is adequate sleep, and I won't be getting any of that out here. The forest is so loud. I thought traffic in the city was bad, but these crickets and birds are something else. They talk to each other all day and all night. I might be different if I could tell what they were saying, but it's like going to Chinatown to get herbs; you might be able to find what you're looking for, but not without some work. I sure would like to be able to tell one of these birds to fly out and get help. My next plan went off without much of a hitch. I heated one of my climbing hooks in the fire until it was red-hot on one side, then used gloves to hold it against me and cauterize the bone's evacuation point through my leg. The…

Seven Day Story Part 2

It's about three hours later. I found a rotted trunk with a bunch of insects in it and ate a handful. I'm guessing the tree got struck by lightning or something. The bugs were pretty gross, especially the slugs. They burst when you bite into them. Luckily I knew that before I dove in, otherwise I probably would have vomited. I still almost did. I rested another thirty minutes or so after eating and then hoisted myself to a standing position. I leaned against the tree for support and looked around for a piece of wood I could turn into a walking stick. While gathering firewood I found one that would work, so I hobbled a few feet over to some brush, pulled a few handfuls and tied it to the bottom of the stick with some of my climbing rope to make a broom. There was quite a bit of debris on the ground and in order to pitch my tent I had to clean it up. Being so unsteady on my feet it probably looked like I was dancing with the broom. It took about forty-five minutes to get everything where it needed to be, but I managed to do it. Once the tent was up I brought my gear inside and reopened the first aid kit. My dressing was completely saturated with blood. My girlfriend, Siobhan, told me that I should always pack extra gauze when I go. She got hooked on those survival shows when we…

Seven Day Story: Part 1

(A seven day story is just that, a story written over seven days. Each day's story has to be written completely on that day with no prior planning.) To anyone that may find this: My name is Caleb and I've been cave-mapping in the forest north of Brantleberry for the past ten days. Two days ago I finished the last of my original route and decided to keep going. I had food for another week since I brought two weeks worth just in case. I say had because an accidental slip caused me to lose one of my packs in a cave pool. It sank to the bottom and I couldn't see it, even with my headlight. Luckily I didn't lose my gear pack, but even so, I can't eat rope. I thought that would be the worst of my worries, having to hike a day or two back to the signal spot for pickup with no prepared food. I was wrong. This morning I ran into a family of black bears. A mother and two cubs. They came within about thirty yards of me, and when the mother locked eyes with me I thought it would be best to disappear atop the trees and get off the ground. I mean, I know bears can climb, but I figured if I could get high enough into a tree before they got to me I could maybe get out of sight. Another bonehead move born of hunger. As I climbed I watched…