Friday, October 28, 2011

Kamping Komparisons

I never went camping as a kid.  Perhaps it was the way I let out bloodcurdling screams whenever I saw a mosquito or the fact that I was allergic to tree bark, but my parents never took me.  They also never sent me to summer camp.  Or allow me to drive.  Or unlock the door to my room on weekends and let me out.

(Honest, that’s why I never went to parties in high school.  It had nothing to do with my being unpopular.)
I was a little surprised when my wife wanted to take the family camping this year.  I had always assumed that camping was for teenage coeds in horror movies or survivalists who think the government is out to get them.  She insisted that her family took her brother-in-law camping for his first time and he loved it, so I should give it a try, too. 

I agreed and we went, but it did not live up to my expectations (see my previous post).

Last Saturday, in spite of my protests, my wife took us “glamping.”  Glamping is short for “glamorous camping.”  See, my wife figured that the problem with our last camping trip was just the horde of mice that ran around in our cabin and carried off our breakfast and wallets.  This time, she figured if we went to a camping resort, we’d like it better.  While the kids had a good time (they seem to enjoy everything I don’t), I still didn’t “get it.”

Here’s the differences between what I imagined and what really happened.

Imaginary camping
Taking only what you can carry on your back, climb small mountain to campsite.  Build shelter with sticks and mud.  Hunt, fish, and scavenge for food.  Start fire by rubbing sticks together.  Fend off marauding bear with Swiss Army Knife.  Collapse from exhaustion.  Sleep under stars.
Fend off photographers.
Real camping
Drive to campsite.  Unload six metric tons of food, clothes, equipment, and supplies.  Cook Hamburger Helper on gas grill you brought.  Spend six hours starting and maintaining fire for marshmallows.  Sing songs and read ghost stories from camping book.  Sleep with the rats.  Get up in middle of the night to pee in the woods.
"Next time, bring tabasco.  Your food needs more spice."
Drive to hotel and check in.  Carry suitcase to room.  Go to five-star restaurant.  Wait for staff to start campfire.  Toast marshmallows.  Attend talk by bat expert.  Sleep in room.  Get up in middle of night to pee in bathroom and adjust thermostat.
Oh, how we did suffer.
Harold Camping
Predict end of the world.  Predict end of the world.  Buy billboards.  Predict end of the world.  Say you’re surprised you’re wrong.  Predict end of the world.  Have stroke.  Predict end of the world.  And so on…
In defense of his followers, who wouldn't believe him?  I mean, he looks so knowledgable.

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