15 January 2008

Ah, Childhood Memories

Jayne got me thinking of some of my not-so-fond childhood memories, and this old camping tale first sprang to mind.

Camping has always been a part of our family tradition. Of course it is the "poor man's vacation", but a holiday nonetheless. It's been compared to being homeless. We've never been wealthy enough to go RVing or even trailer camping, so it's always been the tent for us.

Camping isn't camping unless it rains. Quite often it rains. And in order to enjoy camping a little more during the rain is to cover the campsite with a tarp, usually just your typical blue plastic 15'x20' covering.

This particular time I was about 4 or 5, and my parents decided to bring along some friends. I don't remember where we were, either somewhere in upstate New York in the Adirondacks close to my childhood home, or possibly on the coast of Maine or even Virginia Beach. Hanging out at the campsite after a long day of rain and my dad and friends were drinking some beers, one of them has the great idea to start messing with me. "Hey kid, go over to the edge of the tarp, I got a surprise for you," one of my dad's buddies says to me. Unknowing of what was to come I do it, because like a good kid, I did what I was told obeyingly. Guy pushes up on the tarp where water has collected and...


I am totally soaked head to toe. Like someone poured a bucket of water over my head, but from several feet away. I was shocked and a little sad, but I laughed anyway.

So a little while later, guy says again, "Hey kid, why don't you go over there again by the edge of the tarp? Don't worry, I'm not gonna get you wet again."


I get wet again. I was gullible and trusting. I'm not really sure how the story ends, I may very well have gone back and got tricked again. I may have even liked it, I don't really remember. I'm too traumatized.


cake said...

HA! I mean...*cough* how mean.

I'll have to do my own camping post...that was our holiday of choice while I was growing up, too. Mainly because it was cheap, yup. We had an old hand-me-down military tent for years...if you touched the sides at all in the rain, the water would just gush in.

I still camp occasionally with friends (maybe once a year) and I've never quite gotten accustomed to having a 'good' tent that doesn't leak!

Lois Lane said...

If humans were meant to go camping, God would not have invented hotels with room service.

Redbeard76 said...

I've even been camping in Canada! Charleston Lake Provincial Park in Ontario, to be precise. The first time I heard loon calls in the wild, it was amazing. Wonderful park, wonderful lake, wonderful Canadians.

The only low spot of that trip was the next campsite over from me, there was a family with a blaring radio, bright loud hissing propane lanterns shining over into my site while I was trying to enjoy a nice campfire. And you guessed it, they were American, they had Pennsylvania plates.

Ted D said...

I'm with lois on this one. However, we camped all the time as kids so I can sympathize.

What you should have done was kicked that dude square in the marbles. Ah, hindsight, right?

I'm really starting to worry about you and the Canadian/English thing; Homeland Security is going to flag you, man.

cake said...


Okay, that's almost spooky...guess where we went most often growing up?

Charleston Lake.

HA! What're the odds? Now I'm gonna have to dig out some pictures and post them, just for a laugh.

(I still like camping occasionally...it helps to scratch my "oh my god I need to travel" itch...but I do appreciate a nice hotel and room service, too. How do ya beat breakfast brought to you and eaten in bed!?)

Redbeard76 said...

Cakie: I've been there only once, just one night, after spending the day around the Thousand Islands National Parc area, about 10 years ago. Then I went to the Johnny Mac House in Kingston. I would definitely go back, lovely lake, perfect for kayaking with that island in the middle there.

Ted: I'd not be surprised if I've already been flagged. There's a Washington DC spot on my Frappr map. I suspect they're already listening to my calls and monitoring my library usage and book-buying and waiting for me to make an incriminating slip up on my blog. Thank you, Patriot Act. Goodbye, First Amendment.

To make matters worse, there is a Homeland Security branch in my town, just a few blocks from where I live.

Jayne said...

I giggled at your story. Mean mean people!!

I have never been camping. Ever. Never.

Redbeard76 said...

You're better off that way Jayne. I was partially inspired by the Top Gear episode where Jeremy and the gang ended up torching their caravan.

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