Thursday, June 18, 2009

Episode 83: How to Go Camping With Small Children

So last week I went on an awesome camping trip to Mammoth Cave with my friend Meg and her Chicago friends Judy and Rob and their hilarious, very citified twin children. I think the kids are six, but I could have that slightly wrong. It was the kids' first camping trip and that was verrrry interesting. Lots of questions. Why are we cooking outside? Why are we sleeping in a tent? Why is this tree here? When is it my turn to fall out of the hammock? Is the chicken ready? Is the bacon ready? Where are you going? Where have you been? Can I go sit in the car and play my DVD player? Would you like me to show you the remote for the DVD player? Again, when is it my turn to fall out of the hammock? Would you like to hear me sing a song about the fifty states in alphabetical order that rhymes? I always like to name the campsite to reflect the tone and tenor of the trip - like two weeks ago it was Camp Dogbite because I got bit by a dog - and it becamee quite obvious quite quickly that the only name for this campsite was going to be Camp Ohmigod Please Quit Singing That Song.

ANYWAY. So I had it in the back of my mind to tell a ghost story at the campfire one night and the only ghost story I know is "The Monkey's Paw," which I only know because it's the only ghost story my father told when I was growing up and he basically tells it wrong because when the lady opens the door at the end, Dad just screams real loudly and scares the ever-loving-beejezus out of you and you never do find out what happened because you have to go change out of your pee-soaked clothes because he is a really scary screamer. So the day before the night, I sort of observed the kids to see if they were ghost-story-ready and I eventually determined that they were not. But the boy kid decided he wanted to tell a ghost story so he made us all be really really quiet and he started by telling us that this was going to be a very terrifying tale and we should prepare ourselves to be scared witless. Then he lit the flashlight and held it under his chin to make his scary face and very seriously intoned: This is The Tale of the Invisible Latté... and I laughed so hard I really did almost pee in my pants.

Needless to say, none of us slept a wink.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Episode 82: How to Be a Good Samaritan

Okay y'alls, so if you were to hire a private detective to ask around about me, your Psychopediast, I think you'd find that almost anyone queried would immediately respond "oh, he's such a giver."

And it's true! I give people headaches, I give people hard times, I give people what for... ha ha, I'll be here all week! Stay for the veal!

No, I am not famous for my generosity. I mean, I am friendly and I never say bad things about people to their faces and I will go out of my way to run an errand to Target for you if I am going to a Target, so I don't really feel too badly that I haven't adopted a Cameroonian or rowed around in circles in a rowboat in New Orleans with Sean Penn.

But recently, my bountiful cornucopia of generosity was tested! I went on a camping trip with my friend Sarah. We drove for a few hours and then set up eight million pieces of camping equipment, one of which was an air mattress. Now, I have an air pump, so that took about eight seconds. And we laughed and said "oh, ha ha ha, don't you feel sorry for people who blow these things up with their lungs?" which apparently some poor people still do even though if you go to Target (or I can go for you!) you can get a pump for fifteen dollars and avoid the fainting black spots and possible date rape altogether.

ANYWAY. About an hour later, we went to get ice. On the way back, we saw a person at a campsite blowing up his air mattress with his mouth. I figured this was a sign from lower-case-g god so I went back to our site and got my pump and then rolled back down the hill, where I jumped out of the car and offered him the use of my fancy air blower. He took me up on it - we pumped up the air mattress in like five seconds and then when I turned to go, a dog came out of nowhere (actually, from under the picnic table, where he had been sleeping) and bit me in the leg! A deep bite; torn skin! Black blood! Texas tea! Then the guy - Dutch, long hair, patchouli-smelling - said "Thanks!" without mentioning the river of blood that was forever staining the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area along with its watershed and I limped back to my car, drove back to the campsite, drank fifteen glasses of wine and then fell asleep and vowed to never help another living soul as long as I was drawing breath.

That was six days ago and so far I am not frothing at the mouth or afraid of water and not one person has called me Old Yeller, so I guess I'm safe. Unless I have goddamned rabies, and then one of you better fucking help me and give me a kidney or a pancreas or WHATEVER it is that cures rabies. Or you can drive your own sad self to Target after I die.