Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This One Time? At Scout Camp? (Letters from the Edge)

Dear Sassy Britches,

You were 100% right. A pStyle would have come in very handy.

Sisters in the Bonds,

Dear Miscellaneous Dad Next To Me In The Dinner Line,

I am sorry you never grew any hair on your legs, but I still haven’t figured out why you thought I needed to know that about you.

Isaac’s Mom,

I am guessing this was the first time you had been out in daylight. Clearly the first time you have been around other adults. How you managed to find someone with whom you could reproduce is beyond me. I’m just saying that if you were my mom, chasing me around the entire camp yelling “ISAAAAAAC!!!!!” at the top of your lungs every 15 minutes and NEVER ONCE praising me for anything I attempted all weekend, I would have smeared the play-do too. Only, it wouldn’t have been on the floor of the Medieval Castle.

Get Help,
Dear Albert,

What can I say? You taught the kids to make rope, you taught the adults to braid plastic, and you gave me an evening I will never forget. I only hope I was able to return the favor. And I hope you find your dentures.

And Finally…

Dear Man (or Woman) Who Snored Like A Lawnmower At Scout Camp:

You suck.

Really, until we shared our night together, Boy Scout Camp had not been nearly as torturous as I had imagined.

Oh, sure, it was hot and humid, and I smelled like a locker room floor by the time the sun set. And they only had 8 toilets for 258 campers (95% of whom could pee standing up).

But all in all, the first day of camp had gone much better than expected. I had avoided both touching poison ivy and putting on my swimsuit, and nature and I were getting along fabulously.

Until taps.

Per camp rules, I securely velcro’d the tent doors shut and turned off the flashlight. I curled up in the sleeping bag I borrowed from my daughter (that was about 6 inches too short). I laid my Tempur-Pedic pillow carefully upon the standard-issue cot that had almost as much give as concrete and closed my eyes for some well-earned sleep.

And then, about 15 minutes later, you must have done the same.

Your “kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn (pause) kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn (pause)” penetrated my securely fastened tent doors, shaking the wood floor below and causing every hair on my fetal-positioned body to stand on end.

I began to cry. Memories of childhood camping trips spent sleeping in our car flashed through my head, and I considered waking the camp leader to request a different tent. Preferably, the kind that rhymes with “SchMarriott.” But instead, I curled deeper into my sleeping bag.

Your “kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn (pause) kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn (pause)” continued to pierce my ears.

As I turned to my side to muffle the sound with my pinkies in my ears nearly touching each other in the middle of my skull, I crowned you “Most Irritating” in my own personal Boy Scout Camp Pageant going on in my head all weekend.

Your “kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn (pause) kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn (pause)” reached beyond my air-tight ear canal seal.

I fumbled through my duffle bag in the dark for the moldable silicone ear plugs Dave had sent with me and shoved them in as far as they would go, cursing his name for having the audacity to sleep soundly in our bed while I suffered in the woods.

Your “kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn (pause) kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn-kgn (pause)” blasted right through the ear plugs.

I reached back into the bag and pulled out the rest of the moldable silicone ear plugs in the package, wrapping and molding them around each ear both inside and out. I may not be an Eagle Scout, but I’ve had two semesters of college physics and I know how sound travels.

It was then, when I had completed forming my vibration-proof, sound-absorbing, Princess-Leia-like silicone earmuffs stuck to my head, that I forgave you for leaving your C-PAP at home.

The steady stream of chainsaw buzzing ceased. My eyes gently shut. My pulse slowed. My muscles relaxed. And I drifted off to sleep.

No thanks to you, of course.

And so, the next time you decide to grace a 35-tent campsite with your gnarly, ear-stinging presence, I would highly recommend, in the spirit of friendship, consulting with your ENT about getting your air passage roto-rootered before you come.

Because next time, I’m bringing more than silicone earmuffs to silence you.

Very Truly Yours,


Auishtha said...

I love your letter to that miscellaneous dad and Isaac's mom.

So hilarious!

Keep on writing funny posts! :)

I adore you!

Newbie reader,


Mrs EyeCanSee said...

Haha. Thanks for my morning laughs! Hope the lawnmower quiets down soon! Only you would have brought ear plugs camping...genious!

JenJen said...

oh Jules!!! Love this!

Men with no hair on their legs (through no fault of their own, or because they are swimmers and the shave) are decidely creepy and should be avoided at all costs.

Snoring dudes are jerks. Specially because you cant elbow them, or kick them off the bed. Or cot.

Diane J. said...

Oh my gosh, I hate snoring..okay, actually, I hate anything that disturbs the quiet. I went to visit my mother this weekend and my step-dad nearly lost his my hands. Seriously, who the heck cranks up Tivo'd music channels to party levels at 12:30am? AND THEN, channel surfs the music he's Tivo'd at that roof shaking level? OMG! I went and asked him to turn it down, it came down one notch (it really needed to come down 45 notches). At 1:30 I was contemplating packing and leaving or killing him. He must have read my thoughts because he shut it down and went to bed.

Glad that the camp wasn't too bad and that you were creative enough to make a workable ear cover...I'm going to have to give that a shot. Pretty clever.

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

I have never had an enjoyable experience at any sort of camp. Ever. Sorry you had to go through this.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Ah, your camping saga brought back memories. Not good ones, but um, thanks for that.

Now, scurry over to Cathy C's Hall of Fame and get your dang Award. I've got to do something to get the camping pictures out of my head.

Chrissy said...

Glad you made it back alive. And see what funny stories you have? LOVE your graphics!

Sassy Britches said...

I just gave you the fist-pump-in-the-air! You survived!

Now, let's time: pStyle AND Bose noise-cancelling headphones.

LC in Hawktown said...

Jules,you've done it again! So funny! Though my son will be 35 in just a few months,those seven years of scouting experiences haven't been forgotten by me or him:the identical twin scouts in his grade-school troop about whom it was said,"The only thing cute about them is that they are twins";the really nice,considerate, quiet 11-year-old scout whose adenoids made him snore as loudly as the grown-up at your camp; and the week at the regional Boy Scout camp in Willets,CA, nestled among the redwoods, when NONE of the toilets worked...For your sake and that of your husband,hope your son never decides to continue scouting until he reaches Eagle ... no matter how proud you'd both be if he did! (.P.S.Don't forget the super-avid male cyclists who shave their legs!)