August 17, 2011

Undercover as a Twilight Fan: My Adventure to Forks, WA

Stephenie Meyer succesfully made the most random town in the entire state a cultural mecca for her Twilight series. It's a weekend effort from my actual house, but a mere hour and a half from my beach house. Therefore, scarily in reach. Though I am a reformed Twilight enthusiast, my mom still thought it would be cool to go.


So I decided to put on my sparkle pants (or whatever the hell kids are wearing these days) and go undercover, pretending to be a Twi-Hard. I like to think myself as the guy who was in a gang in his youth, but cleaned himself up and joined to police force to only get into vice and go undercover in his gang again.

Oh Leo, you seem to show up everywhere, don't cha?
So, naturally I was nervous. But I just had to tell myself to get in the Twilight mindset. The only way to do that is to seperate myself from sanity and become a Twilight fan again. It was brutal, but I'm here today to tell the story of my survival.


The early morning sun hit my eyes as I walked outside the door. I instictivly reached for my sunglasses but then stopped myself.

"You won't be needing those." I thought and laughed bitterly. Forks, the little raincloud of hell that sits on the penninsula of Washington state. Everyone had heard of it sometime or another, but it's not like anyone ever had been there.

Until Twilight.

I cracked open my diet coke and got in the car. I finally relaxed a little as I took the first sip. Like Edward, I crave something that certain something to drink all the time. But unlike Edward I don't make stupid simile's to explain it to a stupid human. It is what it is. He didn't even have to courtesy to use a metaphor.

But I digress.

I looked back at the house with longing. Is this what it means to be a Twilight fan? Leaving every comfort you have for the unkown and strange. My phone was dead, not that I had any service anyways. All I had was my kindle and hopes that I would make it back to my bed safely.

We turned left on the road out of Moclips. To leave we go right. Right, to civilization and phone service. Left, one the other hand (pun intended) was the end of the road. Literally. Nine miles north and you hit the rez. There was nothing after that. Beyond that is, well...beyond me. I panicked for a moment. Was my plan ruined? We were going to a rez...but the wrong one! I couldn't go to Taholah and say I went to La Push. I would have been the ultimate poser.

But then we turned right a little down the road to nowhere. Down the Tsunami evacuation route.  Little did we know that tsunami's would be the least of our fears.

I felt calmer and optimistic as we continued down that little road. This would take us right into Forks. But wait. It was still sunny. Sun = no vampires. They sparkle in the sun, so they can't expose themselves. And isn't that the only reason Twi-hards go to Forks...for the vamps?


"How long until we get there?" I asked my mom ten minutes in.
"An hour and a half." She replied. There was still time.

We travelled on quietly for a while longer until the road grew into two parts.
"That's a big fork in the road." My mother said. I chuckled silently at her surely unitentional pun.

We entered Quinault National Forrest for a quick detour. All of a sudden a huge flash of blue came on my left side. I made a sound that I can only describe as two Wookies having sex.


There's a lake here? It's pretty damn big lake too. This place is actually a outdoor tourist haven. There's a lodge and old people with cameras. Its pretty. That is, until we got behind a person on a bike.

Nothing slows  down traffic like an asshole on a bike. I realized I just pretty much quoted Bella Swan without thinking. I patted myself on the back You are learning well, young padawan, I thought to myself.

We drove along and were stopped again by people holding picket signs out at us. I instantly recognized them as hippies protesting.  The northern depths of the PNW is breeding ground for such people. They were waving cars on and stopping them randomly. Crazy assholes.

See what I mean?

"I think they're on marijuana." I whispered pronouncing it mary jew wana. The person in the strange orange hat waved us on. In the Stephenie Meyer world, characters seem ignorant of drugs and alcohol, and pre marital sex does not exist. I must pretend the same.

We stopped at the ranger station for a restroom break (I chugged that diet coke). As I came out, I noticed my mother talking to a front desk park ranger, asking for directions.

Correction. Not just a park ranger, but a god awfully hot park ranger. I don't recall his name because I instantly deemed him Park Ranger McStudly for my own reference.

He was tall as a mountain. With blond hair and blue eyes that stood out against his deep summer tan. He couldn't have been older that 25...I had no idea the wilderness contained such specimens. I would have come sooner. The ranger uniform didn't hurt matters either.

I evasivly wandered the small visitor center looking at maps and browsing through the books until I caught his eye. I want you to be the Edward to my Bella, I mouthed at him.

"Can I help you?" He asked, not understanding.

"I want you to be the Edward to my Bella." I whispered loudly, batting my eyelashes seductivly. Twilight fans say shit like that all the time, right? He would have fitted in perfectly with Hitler's master race and didn't have poop colored eyes but he was damn fine. As fine as any vampire.

It doesn't work the other way around.

"Excuse me?" He asked, forcing politeness. How coy.

"You heard me." He turned away, rollling his eyes all the while. I think I heard something like "damn Twilight weirdos" as he stalked off. Damn. Bella made it look so easy.

At this point there were about three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Park Ranger McStudly was a park ranger. 

Second, there was a part of him-and I didn’t know how dominate that part might be-that thought I was bat shit insane.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

We left my love to continue on our journey. The dense tree'd road turned to a less dense tree'd road paved with wildflowers. There wasn't much, just a few more bikers and a juvenille correctional facility.  Needless to say, it was very peaceful.


Further on, I started to realize there was absolutely NOTHING on this road. The GPS didn't even recognize the road. It looked like the arrow representing our car was apparently blank. The closest town besides Forks on the map was Vancover. Canada. Let me say this again. Canada. You know you're in the boonies when the closest big town is in Canada.


Ten miles out I noticed there were bullet holes in every sign.

My kind of place.

I also noticed that the sun hadn't left yet. Time was running out. I rolled down the window and cursed my misfortune. Wasn't it always supposed to be cloudy in Forks? It was a given. Like my dad having banana cream pie every birthday. Or the Mariners being last in their division. That the sun would rise every god damn day?! This was my impression of the world, and now it had been shattered. My whole experienced was ruined because it was sunny. This was NOT an authentic Forks experience. My opperation was laughable at this point.

Almost as laughable as they are.

But don't count out Forks.

Literally the minute we entered the town a giant cloud went over the sun. It was insane...dare I say, supernatural?

It was cloudless five miles before.

"Welcome to the Twilight Zone." My mom said chuckling at her wit. I did not laugh. Her unitentional puns are much funnier than the intentional ones.

We went to all the tourist Twilight shops and, oh boy, there were many. Twilight was the best thing to happen to Forks. Their tourist business has no doubt, shot through the roofs.

But at what cost?

However, as I was in the stores, every fiber of my moral being was protesting against this horrible, horrible deed I was commiting. I hated being a tourist. Even worse, I hated being a Twilight tourist. But I had a mission to complete. As stupid as I felt, I had to keep my cover. It could be dangerous if I didn't.

In one store there was a section labeled "More mature themed items" behind a curtain door. I casually slipped in, expecting something like weird vampire role play stuff...but it was just undergarmets and a dark room with glow in the dark stickers. Only in Forks.

As I stood there pondering which season of TrueBlood I wanted (I was baffled my the competing vampire series as well), three douches wearing JV football jerseys walked in. I was unimpressed. If you're on the JV team in FORKS, you're probably are doomed to a life of undeserved douchery.

Bill is so much more swoon worthy than Edward. Just sayin.

They were laughing at all the stuff. I realized they were only making fun as a defense mechanism.

"Are you team Edward or team Jacob?" I asked suddenly. They stopped laughing and turned to me expectantly.

"More like team Faggot." The obvious leader replied gwaffing. Hillbillies.

I managed to snap a picure of them before I left.

"I'm sorry, is are you using a derogatory term in subsitution for what I'm sure you mean as stupid?" I asked, thankful for that  one public service announcement.

"Twilight's gay." The fat one said.

"Well yes, some of the fanfic is. Literally." I replied and ducked back under the black curtain. I was done with them. I finally understood Bella's distaste for the breathers in Forks.

We decided we might as well take a tour. To bad it was three hours long and my brother had been in the car with my dog the whole time. Of course, the front counter of the Twilight Tours was scarily enthusiastic. I giggled a little in excitment to play the part, but was secretly glad we didn't go. That changed when my mom said we would do it next time. NEXT TIME?!

We were ready to leave Forks. But not before we got some ice cream. OH THE CHOICES. Naturally, Twilight themed. So many decisions. I could choose between Jacob's Beachcomber: A blue fruity style with a medley of nerd candies. OR Edwards Hugs & Smooches: A strawberry with white and dark chocolate chunks.

At last, I had to decide who my loyalties lay with. I wasn't just choosing ice cream. I was choosing what is ultimately THE Twilight question. Team Edward or Team Jacob.

I wish I could say I photoshoped this.

"Jacob's Beachcomber, please." I told the lady at the counter after five minutes of deliberation...if only Bella had been that quick in deciding. We could have been saved a whole movie.

I watched in slow motion as she proceeded to scoop Edwards Hugs & Smooches onto my cone. I took it without a word. She was obviously Team Edward...they're crazy, so I dared not contradict her.

 It was delicious.

Our final act in Forks was signing in the guestbook. I let my mom do the honors. She apparently made our alllegiance without consulting me first.

 I dare not contradict a Team Jacob-er either...they're even crazier.

I personally am team Park Ranger McStudly.

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