Misadventures in Heavy Metalling

Defecating in the Woods is Not Power Metal: Ignominy to the Brave

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Artwork by Matt Smith

Getting out into nature can be a great way to free your mind. You can forget all about modern society and imagine yourself being somewhere else or someone else or maybe even in some time else altogether. But stopping for Indian food beforehand can really deflate those epic delusions of grandeur. I know this because right now I’m no longer daydreaming about ancient forest spirits or medieval quests. All I’m doing now is just heeding the call.

And honestly, I don’t even know what I was thinking. Vikings, crusaders, knights in shining armor, none of those guys ever gorged themselves on an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet of lamb vindaloo and chicken tikka masala before suiting up and riding off into the woods just to get away from it all. Oh, my heart’s on fire all right, and it’s burning, burning with a very certain kind of desire.

But one of the great things about being out here all alone in the woods is that there’s no one around to bear witness when you need to vanquish your curry-induced heresy by one of the more vulnerable ways of the warri—wait, where in fuck’s name did that family just come from?!? They weren’t here just a minute ago.

I haven’t seen a single person since I entered the woods till now. How did they sneak up on me like that? Was I too all-consumed in my own little world and sudden, urgent call to duty to even notice? All I know is that I had assumed the position, and now thanks to these usurpers, I’ve been dethroned and defied, my quest incomplete. And I absolutely have to finish it, before it finishes me. But I never said it would be easy. If there is no sacrifice, there can be no victory either.

It’s time to find somewhere more secluded by any means necessary. I make a mad dash towards salvation, charging deeper into the woods with all the fury of the wild propelling me forward. A startled voice fades in the distance, ”Oh my God! Did you see that? Was he doing what I think he was doing?”

There’s a shady grove just ahead with a reliable-looking log covered in sweet green moss. Nothing can stop me now. I’m blood bound with this silent sentry. I know he will stand guard and always will be faithful and unwavering to the end as I perform the ignoble deed. Then I unclasp my belt to the spark of crimson thunder and let the hammer fall.

The storm rages and howls, but then as suddenly as it started, it breaks. And I rise again, unbent, unbowed, and unbroken. I stare at the ground where the dragon lies bleeding, its twisted and lifeless form an evil stain upon the tranquil forest floor of decaying leaves and soft, supple grass below. But the sense of victory is short-lived as a new question pierces my armor, striking fear into my steel-clad heart: what does poison ivy actually look like?

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