Why I Am Not Going To Summer Camp This Year

Let’s be clear on this.  They can’t make me! If I have to I will remain in this bathroom forever.  I will turn off all the lights.  I will grab the plush bath towels taken from the Connaught Hotel in London and wedge them under the door.  Then I will turn on the bath water and let it over flow to fill the room… and then I will drown in the dark.

That will teach them! (maybe before drowning I will slash my wrists with my Father’s razor so there will be blood… there has to be blood)

I know what you’re thinking.  I’m being overly dramatic.  I’m making an unnecessary fuss.  After all… who doesn’t love going away for the summer, and leave behind the anxieties of home, family and suburbia?

Wait a second!  I’m putting the light back on.  Oh, look at this!  I think I have a zit on my chin!  Shit!  I’m too young to have this! And they want me to go camp?  With a zit?  Sure.  Would, My Father, Mr. Fancy Shmancy Partner of the hedge fund go to work with a fuckin’ zit on his chin?  NO!  He would rather walk across broken glass!  But does he care about me?

Maybe I won’t have to slash my wrists and drown in the dark.  Maybe I will starve to death.  A slow, long drawn out heart wrenching end that will be covered by all the papers!  Hedge Fund King Suffers A Loss!

That’s it!  I will refuse all food!  Just like I should have done at Camp Wilderness!  Camp Wilderness?  No electricity.  No plumbing.  Rustic charm.  Builds character… so the brochures claimed.

I am turning off the lights again.

My highlights from camp last year…

I threw up after lunch on the first day.  The grey lunch meat turned out to be very old cheese (Mark Sklarz, our tent counselor, said it was caribou).  I spent the rest of the summer surviving on soggy potato chips and chocolate milk.

I cut my foot on the boat dock on day two.  I needed 15 stitches to close the wound.

Did I mention no plumbing?  The Camp outhouse, a four seat version, was probably considered a palace during the Civil War, when it was erected. On warm nights with a westerly breeze, you could smell that outhouse a quarter mile away.  Our group tent was just 75yds away.

Camp Wilderness bordered a large pond considered of strategic importance.  Why?  I have no clue. But the adjacent wood became a home to a nike missile site in the early 1960s.  Not a cause for major concern ‘til a July night last year when Lance Pendleton (from Massapequa) thought that it would be fun to build a fire for roasting marshmallows next to the ammo dump.  Lance’s parents had to come and explain his actions to the Camp Director, Reuben Feingold and the F.B.I.

On the third day, when I was at the fishing cove, a seagull swiped my snacktime graham cracker. 

On a rainy afternoon spent in the Arts & Crafts Cabin,  I drove a finishing nail into my thumb(maybe it was a blessing to learn at an early age that “handiness” will never be one of my strengths).

Mr. Feingold told us that if we failed to “buddy-up” during pond swim, we would suffer a horrific diarrhea attack that would last a week.  On my fourth day at camp, during the afternoon swim, my “buddy”, Clay Gillette, was out of sight on the far side of the diving raft when the buddy-up whistle blew. I was by myself.  Red Verderame, the Swim Front Counselor, sent me from the water.  I had horrific diarrhea for a week.  I spent the rest of the summer hiding from Mr. Feingold.

While I’m not keen on reptiles, I am a fan of dinosaurs.  Not that there was going to be a chance of stumbling on a stegosaurus at Camp Wilderness.  But that didn’t stop Joey Horton (who wasn’t keen on reptiles or dinosaurs) from staking out Hostess Twinkies on the perimeter of our tent.  This was his idea of how to keep carnivorous reptiles (and sweet-eating dinosaurs?) at bay.  Joey?  He had problems.

The Camp softball diamond had a rut four steps from second base.  During the Battle of the Bulge they would have called the rut a fox hole.  In addition to spraining my ankle in that rut while trying to stretch a single into a double, as I lay on the ground in agony, I suffered the added indignity of having a seagull (probably the same one who stole my graham cracker) score a direct hit on my baseball cap and left shoulder with his diarrhea load.  It was painfully obvious that diarrhea would be a common affliction for campers and birds alike. Let’s not forget the Saturday my Father had to give up playing at Pinehurst so that he could answer for my behavior to Mr. Feingold.  Was it my fault that Randy Chapnick was standing 50yds behind the archery target?   Yes, I overshot the target.  But I was demonstrating to Clay Gillette what the English Archers of King Henry V did to the French men at arms at the Battle of Agincourt.  And besides, my arrow barely penetrated Randy’s butt.

I am putting the light back on. 

 My Father has a bottle of iodine in the medicine cabinet somewhere in here.  ? … smells like the single malt scotch he likes to drink.  Hmmmm.  Maybe if I swallow enough of it I will poison myself.  And even if I don’t die, I will probably throw up!  That’s it… I’ll puke on his prized after-bath robe that he took from the Hôtel George-V in Paris! The stains will never come out!!

“No… I’m not coming out!  I’m never coming out!  You can’t make me go!  What’s that you say?  Lobster and sweet corn?  It’s almost ready?  Did Mom pick up some White Birch Beer?  Great… OK, I’m coming out.  Dad, I think I have a zit… oh, one more thing… I’m sorry Dad, but I accidently spilled some iodine on your bathrobe.”


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