Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Camping In A Tent Days Are Over. Finis!

Actually, I haven't camped in a tent since I was about 17 or so. I'm 50 now. A whole lotta water has went under the bridge since then and I've fell in it a few times, nearly drowned a couple of those times. I cemented the fact forever in concrete this past weekend. I will no more, forever, sleep in a tent.

I ain't made that way these days.

I've got this cute little tent. Pretty nifty actually, and a dream to set up and take down compared to the old tarp material job I had as a kid. Heck I can carry my tent a mandolin, a guitar, my duffle bag and a 12 pack of beer all at once. My old tent was like dragging dead bodies around. Smelled nearly as bad too, which brings me to another part of this camping experience.

I'd set up my tent kinda in behind of this ominous looking POS cube van. Now keep in mind I still felt pretty crummy from my sickness and my sense of smell wasn't too keen.... but something stunk. Not like a feedlot or poop type of stink... more like a zombie delicatessen. I'm talking serious amounts of P.U. My friend Ronnie comes walking by...

Me: You smell anything wrong?

Ronnie: *sniffing* No... I don't think so. Like what?

Me: Like a dead body.

Ronnie: *sniffing* No.. maybe a little bit.

I'm just walking around trying to figure this one out and finally kinda pinpoint it. Mary Beth and Louis show up and they're looking at my tent.

Mary Beth: Does it stink back here or is it just me?

Me: It stinks.

Mary Beth: What is that?

Me: Rotten meat.

Mary Beth: Well where the heck is it coming from?

Me: *Just looking at the creepy cube van*

Mary Beth: *shivvers*

Me: I'm moving my tent. Gah!

So I did and the smell was better over in Louis' neighborhood where he was pitching his tent. I then pulled out my brand new air mattress that Sal and I had got for the coming up week of a houseful of people here... and the brand new pump that I'd got at Wal Mart on my way thru to the music festival.

The hand operated pump wouldn't hook to the mattress, of course so I sat in my chair and drank beer while I whittle on plastic parts with my knife until they fit... sorta. I held it in the mattress hole while Louis and Ronnie took turns stroking the pump... that made the most vulgar, overtly sexual noise, in an otherwise calm and docile camp ground. Of course me encouraging them loudly with "FASTER, HARDER, OH YEAH BABY! THAT'S ITTTT!" caused Mary Beth to go hide in the camper, and pretend that she didn't know us, until we were done with our adolescent antics.

When it was done, this damned mattress was like 1/4 as tall as my stupid tent. It's like the high rise air mattress. Here let me show you my hacienda for the weekend.

Top that monstrosity off with the heaviest dew I've ever seen in my life... coughing my fool head off all night long, getting cold because I was damp... and the new mattress stretching out during the night so it wasn't tight anymore... and being on a slight slant...

It was like trying to sleep on top of a fat woman on a rainy precipice... desperately hanging on for dear life all night long.

I slept like what seemed to be 20 seconds all night long. Having gone to bed pretty well sloshed as well from having a good time you know, I woke up in a near emergency state to go pee at 6 AM and nearly tore the front of the tent off, had my shoes on the wrong feet and fell off the front end of the fat woman onto the dew soaked grass, as I exited my ever so humble abode with the grace of a tap dancing walrus.

Lord, I am done camping. I mean it. I ain't made that way no more. I slept like a baby in my own bed last night. Thank you Sally for not waking me up while I snored. I love you with all my heart and will never forsake you for an air mattress ever again. I was crazy.

We had fun though in spite of a horrible bed. Got some excellent stories. Had one real magical night of music... at one point about 10 or 11 musicians were in our jam session. Some of them VERY gifted individuals that were a pure joy to play with.

I didn't get many pictures, I was too busy having fun, but here's a couple. The first is our regular gang of Louis, Mary Beth, Ronnie and a fellow on the right named Ron that was an excellent guitar player and had a great song that we're stealing... "White Freightliner Blues" by Townes Van Zandt .

And as I was getting in the car to leave, some ol' boy that seemed to have had a stroke, but was still making music, stopped by with his percussion stick. Go gettum tiger!

A great weekend all in all, but the Super 8 is getting my money next time! :-)



Jennifer and Sandi said...

What is a tent again? Hahahahahaha
Larry and I are off to Lake Vermillion this upcoming weekend to stay in our "lodge" that sleeps eight. As there will be only two of us maybe we could pup some tents inside of it and pretend we're campin'??

Looks like you had a blast!!

Darn mattress'

- Jennifer

Jerry said...

Now's one of those times when I'm just reading along, minding someone else's business, and all of a sudden I bust out in a nice, healthy belly laugh. Once I scrolled down to that fat lady in the tent I just fell off the sober wagon, big time. LMAO!!!!

I don't "tent" anymore, either (is it OK to use that as a verb?) :)

Reenie said...

I'm not leaving enough comments. I read this a while back and laughed myself silly. Absolutely dumb-silly.