Wednesday, May 2, 2012

to camp...

I got a red-card from TooFastTooFurious this morning.  I said the ‘F’ word and he said he was all out of yellow cards so I’d have to take a red card.

One of the reasons for my cranky outburst was that I’m feeling rather frayed after a weekend of camping.  The ‘To Camp or Not To Camp” argument has received far too much airtime in our house and the only reason I do it is for the kids and partly for Best-kisser (though he says he also does it for the kids but I know he’s lying.) 

You’re either a camper or you’re not.  I’m not. This is only made more so by what I call ‘Camper Snobbery’.   If you tell a camper you hate camping they don’t even bother to disguise their disgust.  They’ll normally retort something condescending punctuated with the words ‘princess’ or ‘royal treatment’, which I don’t find funny in the least. I mean really, a real princess wouldn’t be seen dead camping.

What you’re also definitely NOT allowed to ask a camper is ‘why don’t we stay in the adjoining chalets instead?’ I know this because once we went camping with a camper who said ‘who wants to stay in a chalet?’(all the while sneering at the happy-looking chalet-stayers.)  Naturally, my arm shot up quicker than an over-keen first graders, only to realise that her question was rhetoric. I had to act as if I was raising my hand in some kind of ‘Amen’ agreement.

In an effort to get my head around this camping business, I thought that I should research what makes campers tick.  It seems the most accurate conclusion is that it’s like playing a giant game of ‘Wendy-house Wendy-house’, which goes something like this:

Even though you have your own house with all the shit that you need and want, you pack up all your shit, and some shit that you don’t yet own, and some shit that you're thinking of owning. You then cart your shit to some wasteland – the very best sites are located in dustbowels (yes, deliberate typo) – and then you set up your camp. With all your shit. And then some more shit. Then you get to do all the shit you do at home, (like cook and wash dishes) but with none of the conveniences. It’s a refugee themed mini-break but without the break.

What shit you can’t bring though is the really useful shit. Like good food. It has to be food that can’t go off.  This includes culinary delights reminiscent of the war years, namely canned food and dry biscuits. Some fruit is of course is allowed, but you have to eat it quickly before it starts smelling rank.

Fortunately, alcohol doesn’t go off, though using booze as means to cope hasn’t always been successful.  I once got so shickered that I peed in my shoe.  Due to my reluctance to face the darkly lit pathway-of-death to the insect-infested ablution block, there was more force than normal which proved unmanageable.  My foot was partly frozen (and partly drunk) so I didn’t feel that my aim was skew and it was only when I felt my foot go comfortably warm that I realized my error. 

Naturally, one of the highlights of camping is always the ablution blocks.  They offer wonderful things, like cold showers, which are popular amongst many people. Mostly Thai prisoners.

What made this past weekend especially fun was that Best-kisser (luckily) won the game of Rock-Paper-Scissors for the best camping spot.  It was right up against the stables so we had a whole bunch of flies join us in the tent. They liked us so much that they simply refused to leave. Not only that, but we never felt alone.  Did you know that horses don’t really sleep?  Oh no. They spend most of the night chomping noisily, making farting noises with their mouths and kicking their hooves against something hard or hollow.

The one thing we didn’t take along was firecrackers.  Yes. According to the sign next to our site, this activity scores as ‘highly likely’ amongst campers.  It read, “ABSOLUTELY NO FIRECRACKERS ALLOWED”.  I didn’t realise that there were levels of firecracker allowedness. Some Firecrackers Allowed, Hardly Any Firecrackers Allowed and Absolutely NO Firecrackers Allowed.

I’m going to close this argument by saying that there’s a reason that shack dwellers choose shacks and not tents. They must think we’re absolutely do-lally.

P.S. A friend spotted WheelchairBoy canvassing for free 2nd hand leggings from another victim last week.  Things are getting out of control.

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