We were camped in a clearing just off the dirt road. It was just for one night but I was feeling particularly irritable that evening.
Instead of joining the rest of the group (we were traveling with a 4 wheel drive club on a two week trip around the outback) I decided to have an early night while the others settled around the campfire for drinks and giggles.
Actually, it was more like I was having a bit of a sulk because earlier in the day we’d had the option of camping near a town at a spot with amenities, but the trip leader had made the decision to press on.
This was my first experience “roughing it” and I still wasn’t comfortable with the idea of peeing or worse, dealing with morning constitutions in the bushes.
My husband had taken the kids down to the fire with him so I was alone in the tent, huffing to myself, tossing and turning aware of the distant sound of laughter echoing through the still night.
I was doing a magnificent job of sulking. It’s a shame there was no audience.
After a while that familiar feeling began to alert me to the fact that I would not be able to fall asleep until I’d made one more call of nature trip outside.
Unzipping the canvas I congratulated myself at having the forethought when we set up to face the opening of our tent towards the intended campfire site.
This way I knew I could sneak around not too far behind our tent to take care of night time business without being able to be observed by anyone.
Dropping my pants I squatted down cautiously. It was a very bright night and felt kind of funny being so visible under the light of a very large full moon.
Still, no matter…no one could see me. They were all safely down there toasting marshmallows.
How wrong could I be.
No sooner had I taken the position when there came a loud whooping and a whistling from not too far behind me that almost caused me to fall flat on my face tangled in my britches.
I must have turned beet red under the light of that very full moon because I had no idea that another set of campers – mainly blokes by the sound of it, and not in any way affiliated with us, had set up camp directly behind us hidden from view by some scrub.
What could I do….except finish and scramble frantically to wrangle my pants back up before beating a mortified and very hasty retreat back into the safety of the tent.
With burning cheeks I lay there and listened for several minutes while the cat calls and whistles and whoops continued along with delighted yells of …
“WE SAW YOU! WE SAW YOUR BUM! OH YES WE DID….WE SAW YOUR BUM!”
It was a most unfortunate situation and one I still find myself blushing over when I think of it.
I was NOT a happy camper.