Well, hello there! Does the cheesy 80’s sitcom come to mind? If it does then you may have come to the right place, maybe. This is about a man named Charles who thinks he’s king of the castle but just until his egotistical bubble pops and he’s sent crashing back down to Earth and opens his eyes to see that he is in fact a loser like all the other losers strolling around. It’s about the camping trip we had planned for the summer in August. It turned out to be a disaster…
The camping trip was hell, Charles in charge, being an ass, turning the camp into Gilligan’s Island, bringing everything except the kitchen sink. Bought a $150 canopy, sold it later on and I swear I saw the same one at the Jackson fair, judging by the identical box on the ground. Chaz starts (or attempts to start) fires every time with some success, walks around with silly straw hat, uses whole tank of propane. Drank 10 beers, still drives. Totes, totes, totes, for just three days, but wears same clothes. Brought way too many chairs, I really couldn’t decide which to sit in. I prided myself in getting my tent pitched before his, which I did. When it comes to people like Chaz, I really get a competitive edge, which I should feel terrible about, but it’s Chaz so no.
Weather was hot and unbearable. Mosquitoes, gnats, bees buzz about like motorcycles, can’t touch us from bug repellent, MC would be proud. Always resorting to rubbing my face with a towel to cool things down, but works as good as a lawnmower in a cornfield.
Went fishing for the first time, caught nothing but got a few bites. Worm gone every time. Stuck in seaweed and other messes, losing a bobber and some line. Had a fisherman look with a camo jacket, sleeves rolled up, and shirt wrapped around my neck to avoid sunburn.
First attempted dinner on a campfire sucked, ended up using propane. I literally spilled the beans in the fire, ending up eating the “enemies” food, according to Jack and Emily.
Slept in tent , felt miserable, bee/flies buzzing constantly in my corner, repellent only kept them off for about 10 minutes, the cheap stuff. Still a better story than Twilight.
Raccoon, joked about it being in the tent, ate food from our picnic table under Chaz’s Christmas lights pavilion. Was it Roger, our three legged raccoon who used to visit us on occasional nights while we were still living way back in the sticks?
Em’s car brakes failed, had to be towed away along with Jack and Emily. They left me some food in a Styrofoam box, didn’t heighten my spirits much. Rain poured after I wished there would at least be a thunderstorm to authenticate the experience.
Fight ensues between Mom and Charles, “We’re all God’s children”, Charles said. Tells us about his days as a youth, getting swirlies, pants pulled down, etc. Big discussion about keeping secrets and holding back lies about one another, Charles tries to establish firm ground with “our side” and forget our differences, but it seems all hogwash. Like the Sith trying to forge peace with the Jedi. That ain’t ever going to happen.
Peed in the woods; different setting feels nice even with mosquitoes threatening to bite you a nice blood. TMI, I know.
Finally succumbed to going into town for food and supplies. Ate at Jet’s Pizza, big screen showing The Open, every detail fleshed out, every wood fiber of ESPN’s broadcasting desk looking realer, every wrinkle and sweat drop magnified on the players faces, blades of grass looking crisp. Mickelson won the Open, his fifth major, further more the ‘good guy’ of golf.
Trip home back to normalcy, Kashmir beating into my ears. A hellish three days at this Crooked Lake, dysfunctional ending as usual. Next time I go, there won’t be any “Charles in Charge”. I guess the good thing about this camping trip was that I avoided using the rustic facilities for both reasons: number one and especially number two.