"Did you ever...?"
Did you ever think about planning a camping trip to experience the great outdoors? If you did, then you know what I'm talking about. If you didn’t; don't !!!
A few of the guys in the neighbourhood were talking about it one day and decided to plan a weekend camping trip in the woods. They talked about hiking and fishing and cooking over a campfire. It all sounded good. I knew I should have said "no" right away, but my neighbour Mark, talked me into it. I couldn't refuse him because he had just started speaking to me again. He stopped talking to me weeks ago when my garden hose got away from me and I accidentally sprayed him with weed killer. I tried to explain to him that his hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows would grow back, but he wouldn't listen to me. As it turned out, I was right. His hair is growing back nicely and the numbness has almost left his tongue. His eyebrows and eyelashes will probably take a little more time.
Nine of us planned to go on this camping trip, but the number dwindled to four.
Steve couldn't go because his wife threatened to leave him and make sure he got custody of the kids.
Marty refused to go because we wouldn't let him take his dog. His dog is an annoying toy poodle that is nervous, high-strung, and barks for twenty-three and a half hours every day.
Carl's wife said he could go only if he took their four kids with. He stayed home.
Roger's wife threatened to schedule him for gum surgery if he dared to go.
Doug's wife said that was the weekend he was supposed to clean all the carpeting in the house and help her alphabetise all the canned goods in the cupboard. I have no real proof of this yet, but I am sure Doug's wife spends at least three hours a day pouring grease down the kitchen drain and watching it harden, just so that Doug will have something to do when he comes home from work. She hates to see him sit and relax.
The trip started out badly. Mark asked how far it was and how long it would be before we got there; Bob said he had to use the bathroom; and Dennis wanted to know when we would stop for something to eat.
I ignored them, started up the car, and we pulled out of my driveway.
Several hours later, we pulled into a campsite. We pitched the tents and, after a lot of trial and error, got a good campfire going which was promptly extinguished by the onset of a torrential downpour. We all got into our tents except Bob. A hurricane-force wind blew his tent away and it was never seen again. He had to share a tent with Dennis. Just as I was beginning to wonder if we should begin building an ark, the rain stopped. We came out of our tents and looked around. The entire campsite was under a foot of water. All our supplies had floated away, and I could have sworn I saw a school of fish swim by.
We all slept in the car that night and told each other that everything would be better tomorrow. The next morning, Bob, Mark and Dennis went hiking and I stayed at the campsite to salvage and repair what I could. When the three of them returned, I had things looking pretty good. There was a good campfire going and I had made a tent for Bob from a big old blanket I had in the car. I wish there had been another blanket to build a tent for Mark. I built the campfire too close to Mark's tent and it burned down. Now he is not speaking to me again. They couldn't go fishing because I used their fishing poles and fishing line to build the tent for Bob. When he tried to get into his tent, it collapsed and it took us two hours to untangle him from the blanket, fishing line, and broken fishing poles. Now Bob isn't speaking to me either.
We decided to pack up the car and head for home. I offered to help Dennis pack up his tent, but he said that if I came near him or his tent, he would braid my lips. Mark took a vote and it was unanimous that I shouldn't be allowed to ride home with them, but I out-voted them when I reminded them that it was my car. We drove home in silence except for the sneezing, coughing and scratching. They had all caught terrible colds, and Mark caught a case of poison ivy.
Bob and Dennis finally got over their colds and Mark recovered from his bout with poison ivy, but he is still sneezing and coughing. The three of them are going on another camping trip next weekend, but they didn't invite me. My sister said that they are probably worried that if I went with them again, they would all be doing hard time in a maximum-security prison for murder. When I asked her if she and her husband would like to go on a camping trip, she hung up on me.
"Did you ever...?" is a weekly newspaper column by Melech
©copyright 2009 by Melech all rights reserved
The next article will be posted on July 04, 2009