Monday, June 01, 2009

Camping Wisdom: Never Burn A Totem

     Mike-a-licious and I escaped way up to Northern Wisconsin for some camping last weekend, and as part of June's Special Promotion we are going to bring you some bits of wisdom that we learned during out trip.  Today, the perils of burning a totem pole.

     Yeah, we burned a totem pole.  But it's not as bad as it seems.  It's not like we brazenly went out and took it down from a Native American Tribal Center or a park somewhere and took it down and hacked it to pieces in the middle of the street and set it on fire.  No, not at all.  John Boy had given Mike-a-licious some wood somewhere along the way.  It was already down.  It was already in pieces, sawed down by someone other than myself or Mike-a-licious far away and assumedly long ago.
     So it is not like we destroyed the thing.  It was most certainly destroyed when we got our hands on it.  And we didn't even have the whole thing.  All we did was burn it in a US Forest Service installed fire ring in a US Forest Service approved campsite.  We burned it for warmth and light and cooking, but apparently that was enough to anger/upset/dishonor any spirits that were associated with that totem pole.  Because from the moment that we set those pieces of wood in the back of Mike-a-licious' truck, all hell broke loose.
     Well, not exactly.  It wasn't like there was fire and brimstone.  It wasn't like I was attacked by a bear.  Or a turtle.  It was just little things here and there that sort of mounted up like straws attempting to break the back of the camel.  I suppose that the spirits could have easily crushed us had they wanted to, but they decided I guess that we just needed to be toyed with instead.  So it was little things that went on.  This fell out of the truck.  We forgot that at home (more on that later).  This other thing broke.  Whatever.  To his credit, Mike-a-licious was the first one to think of the link between the shenanigans and the totem pole smoldering in our fire pit.  Everything that went a little bit awry he would say "Shouldn't have burned the totem."
     But I don't think it was that bad.  We weren't the ones that hacked the totem apart.  If anything we helped it return to the earth, and we made sure that none of the wood was wasted.  So that's good, right?  I mean, we've got that going for us, which is nice.  But still, the whole thing makes me wonder what exactly was going on.  Were the sprits messing with us?  Did we bite off more than we could chew?  Maybe Mike-a-licious was right and we never should have touched that stuff.  Maybe it's a huge coincidence. Maybe Mike-a-licious shouldn't have bought totem pole for firewood.  I don't know.  But maybe for now you should avoid burning totem pole.  That's my camping advice for you.

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