Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Once Upon a Time at Camp Part III

 How's everybody doing so far?  Pretty easy to follow along?  I hope so.  I had to pay extra to put in the "Part" number after the title of this blog.  But, like two-ply toilet paper, I figured it was worth the expense.   

NOTE: Repeat from 'Ode To a Flushing Toilet'

    After finally getting our tent squared away and listening to what, I’m sure, would be the first of countless renditions of Layla, I settled on a log to watch Timmy build a bonfire.  Oblivious to the suspicious looking plants poking through the campfire ring’s cold ashes, he happily piled on the abundant dead wood found in our campsite.
    Evidently, trees came to die at Mattatuck.
    Oblivious to the fact that the nearest water was fifty yards away, he collected all the combustible material he could lay his hands on.  Tossing a lit camp brochure into the middle of the mass of brush, he watched little tongues of flames race around his creation. 
Could been worse. Coulda been mine.
    The resulting conflagration lit up the campsite like a flare.  Not only would it scorch anything within twenty feet, I bet it had something to do with that airplane that kept circling overhead.
    As we watched this pyromaniac’s wet dream blaze into the darkening sky, we relaxed.
    That is, until we noticed Timmy had set his brand new pair of sneakers a little too close to the flames.
    Funny how quickly rubber melts.

    The following morning, we were rudely awakened by Father Karl.  Already shaven and showered (showers?), he paraded through our campsite with an air horn and outrageously chipper cries of “Rise and shinnnnne and give God your glory, glory!” 
    Reluctant to emerge from the warm cocoon of my sleeping bag, I wondered if it would be okay with God if we gave him a later wake-up call instead of our "glory, glory."
    After slipping into yesterday’s clothes (which doubled as pillows), we groggily shuffled to breakfast.  Hoping for a feast, we were instead treated to runny eggs, cold bacon, charred Wonder Bread, and a pitcher of syrupy sweet orangeade which we christened Bug Juice.     
Ditto repeat on this picture.
You think it's easy using Google?
    After washing down our sandpaper toast with the ghastly bug juice, we embarked on the first event of the roller-coaster summer camp experience.  Father Karl promised us “can’t-miss” fun in addition to teaching us invaluable life lessons, such as “people are flammable” and you shouldn’t say, “Here, kitty, kitty” to a skunk.
    He said we were going to experience how Jesus felt when he wandered the wilderness.
    Oh, I didn’t like the sound of that.
"Hey, I know we're lost and all. But, how 'bout you get dressed?
That wetsuit is totally skeeving me out."
    Enter Pioneering, also known as Getting Lost in the Woods.  For pioneering, we were piled like livestock into a couple of ancient pick-up trucks, driven through miles of deeply rutted roads to a malarial swamp.  Once there, we were given a map, compass, and a hearty “Good luck” by a wild-eyed counselor named Chuck.
    Cackling insanely as he sped away in a cloud of dust and blue smoke, Chuck left us stranded in the middle of nowhere. 
    Completely alone.  Unless you counted the swarms of mosquitoes that were only too glad to say “Howdy!” to our bloodstreams.
"I'll take the fat one."
    Ignoring the turkey buzzards which circled ominously above our heads and the bleached skeleton of...something, we decided we’d better get moving, if only so we wouldn’t miss the scrumptious theme dinner that evening.
    How bad could it be, we asked ourselves.  After all, Pioneering was touted as a “fun adventure using only your tools and wits to survive.”
    Although-and I may be a nitpicker here-should the words fun and survive ever be in the same sentence?
    Luckily, despite resembling giant bug bite Connect-the-Dots puzzles and my own unfortunate discovery that some leaves aren’t good to wipe with, we survived the Quinnamuc Death March and staggered into the dining hall late that afternoon.
    Just in time for Potted Meat Food Product Night.
To be continued....
Well, what did you expect??   


  1. Potted meat food product? I just threw up in my mouth! Glad that like Jesus you found your way to the people and didn't get lost on your rambling walk. I am trembling at the thought of being in your way.

  2. @Jewels: I guess we coulda had SPAM.
    @Eva: Wait until I get to my Maine stories!

  3. now the song is stuck in my head. "rise & shine & give God the glory, glory." repeat several times & yell parts of it. follow up with "childreeeeen of theeeee looooord."
    they left you to be vulture food. yikes!

  4. He actually DID sing the whole song. And THAT's why, nearly 40 years later, I can still hear him singing it.
    "...he built an arky, arky..."
    Oh, yeah.

  5. Al, this is priceless. A great reminder of the camping days when we were too poor for a real vacation. We'd pile 4 kids and a gasey dog into the car, drive to the woods, set up a tent and convince the kids this was a vacation. Waiting for the continuation.

  6. I don't know why skunks are so damned touchy. If they'll squirt you for saying "Here, kitty, kitty" you may as well tell them to go and fuck a spider.

  7. Ugh at least offer an appealing reward for all that drudgery. Anything that ends with "food product" can not be a good scene.


  8. Potted meat food product? That's worse than spam (and I'm talking email spam, which is worse than the other spam). Jesus didn't eat that stuff, right?

  9. Nothing I like more than food product. Part meat and part parts.

  10. This is probably really inappropriate, but when I saw your use of the word "Howdy," I thought of a Big Bang Theory line: "...medieval carnivals exist not for historical accuracy but because it is an opportunity to lace women up in tight corsets so you can say howdy to their boobs."


  11. @Manzanita: Hopefully, you kept that dog out side the tent.
    @Rob: Especially the fart lighting contest.
    @Gorilla Bananas: I just had that visual image cross my mind.
    @Kyran: It makes SPAM look like filet mignon.
    @Robyn: Jesus didn't eat it. I'm not sure it was kosher. Or food.
    @PTM: I guess it fit on the label better than "Scraps We Found Laying On the Floor But Didn't Know What To Do With."
    @Lemons: I'm convinced those dresses were meant to take medieval man's mind off the Black Death, Hun invasions, illiteracy, famine, witch burnings, etc.
    "Did you see how they disemboweled William Wallace?"
    "Aye, a shame it tis. But, methinks that.....hey, boobies!!"

  12. Leaves of three, let them be.