To the Onion LadsWell wishes to Dilly and Bom,
from a Hobbbit from another Mom
A riddle I've got for you,
and a story revolving poo
I'd like to write this entire e-mail in rhyme,
but for that I aint got the brains, nor the time.
Alright, hi DIlly and Bom. Love the show, and yes, I actually am a Hobbit. Or at least the closest thing a Swedish person named Alex can come to being a hobbit - I once attempted to walk the entirety of New Zealand barefoot along the long distance tramping trail Te Araroa, which is Maori for the long pathway.
While I did finish the trail, it turned out I wasn't a thoroughbred Hobbit seeing that I only walked about one sixth of the 3000km long adventure without shoes, and for this I consider myself an honourary member of the halfling tribe for the effort alone. You decide - anyway, along this trail in the "Hunua Ranges" south of Auckland I stumbled upon a sign with a riddle written upon it that I had a fun time figuring out:
Wanna hear it? Well, you can't. Just kidding, you can. Here goes:
There were 30 cows in a field,
and 28 chickens.
How many didn't?
(Answer at the end of this letter)
Got it? Maybe an easy one, but for someone who didn't read it out loud it took some time to figure it out.
Anyway, all that talk about you, Bominic Monogahanagan, shitting yourself has made me think of my New Zealand journey, where I on a trail called the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in 2015 pooped on the mountain that most of your listeners will know as Mount Doom. Mount Ngauruhoe, which I suspect you did not pronounce correctly, is the visual stand-in for Mount Doom in the movies (although I believe the actual shooting with Gollum and the non-podcasting Hobbits was done on another mountain, Ruapehu?). This mountain of doom sits right along the trail, and being a huge fan of the tolkien legandarium and the movies, I just had to climb up the summit with my tramping friend Dave from Massaschussets, which I know you can locate on your hands without any trouble.
There was just this one big problem - I really had to take a poo. I am comfortable pooping in the wild, shit, I consider myself an expert on the subject, but pooping on Mount Doom comes with its own set of problems.
Usually you can just bury your poop and toilet paper in a so called cathole that you dig with a poop trowel, but up on mountains where the soil is less active and where there’s frost for much of the year you shouldn’t do this due to the slow decomposing times. Also the trail is heavily populated, so it’s not like you can find a desolate spot to squat down and poop. But damn it, I really had to poop. I would either shit in my pants, or outside of them. The choice was easy.
I walked perhaps some 200 feet away from the path and found myself a decent rock to hide behind. Luckily (or unluckily for those who wanted to enjoy the great views along the trail) it was a really cloudy day, so it seemed that I was out of sight from others. Yet just as I had pulled down my pants and was ready to blast away, I heard voices coming from above me. A group of about half a dozen hikers, men and women all in their 20s, had summited the mountain before us and now they were welcomed back to lower altitudes by the palest Swedish hindquarters they might have ever seen.
Awkward no doubt, but at least my friend Dave had heard them coming and helped me out big time by shouting some question towards them about the climb up to the summit, and leading them to him instead. But hey, if strangers never see your ass up on a mountain every once in a while, are you really living life to the fullest?
So how DO you poop up on a mountain? Let me tell you what I did: I put down a pad of toilet paper to poop on once the group was gone, then I wiped myself like ones does, and then instead of burying my shit, I put it in and the paper enveloped around it inside an old zip-lock bag that had once housed some of the food I had just squeezed out. Then I climbed up Mount Doom not to cast any ring into the fire, but with poop in my pack.
Due to the "tapu" or sacred nature of this mountain, hikers are since 2017 asked not to climb the mountain at all, so I have considered taking this to the grave. But seeing that 1; I packed out the poop, and 2; it happened in 2015 I think the crime is prescribed. While I'm now member of a probably exclusive club of people who have shat on Sauron's mountain, poop in the wilderness in a big issue, especially post-covid with the advent of new people making their ways into the great outdoors, which is why I'm now in the process of finishing up a book about pooping in the wild for this new generation.
So if you ever want to have a quirky-worky talk with a poop-author who's walked across New Zealand about hiking and pooping in the wild, I would love to have a chat with you two. I have a riddle about penguins and a story about getting shat on by a dying seal to further sweeten the deal...
All the best from Sweden,
Alexander Andreasson, a.k.a pooper of doom
I know your names aren't Dilly and Bom,
I just thought it sounded silly and fun!