Monday, July 13, 2009


At three in the morning, as they lay quaking with fear, as we all were in our own tents, Katie turned to her husband Emil and whispered, "No, they're worse than Rednecks—they're Hoosiers." —Spooky and ominous moment from SOMA Camping trip, 2009

They showed up in their Cousin Eddy, and I think we all knew, without really knowing, that our lives might never be the same.

They were Hoosiers, and they were out to have their version of a good time.

Katie would explain to us, the morning after the night none of us were sure we'd make it through, what a Hoosier was.

"Well, a Redneck is, you know, like a cowboy. They wear cowboy boots, and they live out in the country, and they don't really get it that they're that different. But a Hoosier is worse than a Redneck. A Hoosier is someone from the city who acts like a Redneck." They're worse because they should know better.

It was about one in the morning the first time the cops had to come out. They had been loud all night. But all of a sudden there were screams, scuffles and commotion. There was such a stream of MF's and the like that you would have thought you were at a Chris Rock show (a dated reference I know, who is the latest comedian that should be noted for his swears? Let me know if you know).

The details were sketchy and sordid. Apparently a guy had thrown his wife and daughter to the ground. The cops came but nothing happened, and they left.

The Hoosiers continued to revel, somehow my wife and I drifted off to sleep, only to have our blood turn to ice in our veins at three in the morning.

"They're beating the hell out of him!" A woman screamed. A man, with a voice that sounded what I'm pretty sure Satan's must sound like, was drunk and seemed to be looking for blood. There must have been about 20 people within 10 yards of our tent, screaming for help, screaming for blood, screaming because they couldn't think of anything better to do.

I was alternatively imagining a Hoosier unzipping the door of my tent, or one of them driving a truck over our tent as we lay their reciting the Lord's prayer. Emil was waiting for what felt like inevitable gun shots.

In the end it took five cop cars and an ambulance to bring all the fun to a close, somewhere around 4 a.m.

The next day we tried to pretend like everything was ok. We tried smiling for the cameras.

But little Sophia's face told the true story...we were petrified.

Soon the camp broke out into a spirited discussion of how we would possibly survive the inexorable night that would soon fall.

Small discussion groups splintered off and focused on more minute details such as should we actually consult a lawyer about our wills that we were writing out on napkins? And, at what moment would it be best to call the cops tonight, just simply when they began talking, perhaps? Though that isn't wrong in itself, we all knew where it would lead, so why not head it off at the pass?

The conversations and planning exhusted themselves, so we dispatched brave Jovi on a recon/fact-finding mission to gather any inteligence he could on the Hoosiers.

He was able to scout out the fuel they were using for their rage, the choice beer of the Hoosier: Busch.

At about 6:30 the Bragas decided they couldn't take the heat, and they left for home.

Ok, that isn't really true, they had actually been planning on leaving on Saturday evening since we first planned this trip, but it would increase the dramatic tension if it were true, so I won't mind if you forget that was a joke.

And before we knew it, the night once again had come.

And nothing really happened. I think the rain might have taken some of the fight out of them. At about midnight we heard one of them say, "Well it's about time for our domestic dispute," but clearly his heart and enthusiasm was not in it.

In the morning they packed up and left.

And like that,

they were gone.

But their memory will be a burning, traumatic scar in our brains for years to come.

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