Life is Sweet (Trick or Treat 2)

Okay, things are back to normal… well, the internet works much better today, I mean. I need to catch up on a few too many reviews, but first, some brain draining to take care of. It helps me in these crazy times. This will be another TO BE CONTINUED entry, thanks to a bit of stream of consciousness working itself into this post, but I think we’ll be done by the third one.

Maybe.

(Thanks. Cuerva!)

I don’t swim at all not because I’m lazy or never had the opportunity to learn. When I was about 7 or 8, the parents sent us to summer camp and maybe ten minutes into the very first day there, one of the counselors decided to grab some frightened kid from the back of a group of kids who’d never seen a lake up close before and toss him into it. There’s nothing like taking in the sights while airborne and screaming, then the shock of cold water hitting your body (or your body hitting the water at speed) and seeing fish swim away along with a few water snakes. And man, those assorted pebbles and rocks on the bottom of the lake? I was getting a geology lesson and learning about a small selection of sea life while sinking like a proverbial stone. Ah, memories!

To be fair, I didn’t even know snakes could live in water until that point and I would have been surprised at that if I wasn’t busy drowning. At some point, I was fished out by a bunch of councilors after they saw I didn’t surface (my bad! I didn’t read the instructions on swimming before I got on the non-air conditioned hot as hell yellow school bus, and by the way, there were NO instructions). But it also seemed that no one was stepping up to get me to a hospital or medically treated for swallowing all that lake water. I know I was out for a bit, as I woke up with a crowd of worried camp counselors staring down at me and all that water I guess was coughed up and I can recall a bunch of kids with big wide eyes gathered nearby. We hadn’t even been assigned cabins when this happened, so they all had nowhere to go.

I was a pre-Jason Vorehees victim of kid-neglecting teens, I guess. I think I need revenge, or an appropriate trailer:

(Thanks, YouTube Movies!)

Anyway, once it was discovered that I was still alive, some councilors thought it best to shut me up by allowing me to have access to the Canteen’s candy selection for free (but only like three bucks worth, if I recall correctly). I was also told not to tell my parents about this, so I didn’t. Kids those days, huh? We all got assigned cabins after that, and I got to do nothing for the rest of the day but practice breathing normally and eat candy. Sleeping that night (and for a lot more nights for years afterwards) was a bit of a chore what with dreams of water, fish, snakes and rocks coming up at me, but I haven’t had those dreams in a few decades. I still don’t go in deep water at all, but I’ve learned to be a bit seaworthy and have been on a few boats from motorboats to ferries and even once, a cruise ship with no issues.

That said, if there were ever a remake of JAWS (and there absolutely shouldn’t be), I’d cast myself as Chief Brody and my scenes would consist of waving bye-bye to the crew of the ORCA, and then going home to eat coffee ice cream and read shark books with my lovely wife. THE END and what, Quint got eaten? Hooper, too? Too bad, man. You guys shoulda stayed on land and had some of this coffee ice cream and read shark books with me. That U.S.S Indianapolis story would have been better told over a few scoops (and I don’t mean chum scoops, pal). Where’s my Oscar? I’m so good at this acting thing I just pretended to have a wife and you believed it for a second. Waaah!!! (he emoted, crying actual tears). Wait, does someone make Chicory ice cream? I’m trying to quit coffee and right now I need a few pints of not too sweet ice cream to fix things. I’ll look into this while I await my phone call from the Academy.

(Thanks. Grafferty!)

Speaking of phone calls: In the camp, when you arrived, any cash you bought along was confiscated and changed into points that were used to purchase snacks. There was a notebook that contained everyone’s extra purchases and I think, calls. Food was included with the camp fee, I believe, but things like treats were extra and everyone wanted that extra. This practice was allegedly to keep potential thefts of all that camp money carted upstate by kids down to zero, but these days I say it was actually a scam where money was changed into points, someone was getting that cash and the kids were led to believe it was a fair exchange. Kids, those days, huh?

Phone calls were allowed once or twice a week and nope, there were no cell phones then and if I recall correctly, you had to have a councilor nearby and/or it was a communal pay phone that was in use and calls were deducted from any funds bought and confiscated. Papillon goes to Camp Crystal Lake, I say. Here’s another funny that’s not so funny: maybe a day or so after the lake incident, I was out walking with my fellow inmates on a treacherous hilly stretch and we got accosted by a costume wearing councilor promoting the camp Halloween celebration… by hitting me with what felt like a burlap sack filled with rocks. Gee, thanks.

Trailer, please:

(Thanks, YouTube Movies!)

And yes, it was a sack of rocks, as I found out later while resting for another day back in my cabin and a councilor came in to offer an apology (but not the guy who waylaid me with that sack of pain). I got more free candy and more rest, but between the councilor assigned to the cabin asking the kids he was in charge of that night if they had been with a girl yet (he started miming sex positions, halp!) and the REALLY BIG MOTH that decided to rest right behind the toilet (harmless, but try telling that to a city kid) it was, shall we say.. a rough night.

I also got bitten by a few mosquitoes that night when I did drift off to a fearful, fitful sleep. So by the next morning, I was a bit of a wreck and it was less than a week with what, two more to go? No, the horny councilor in the cabin THANKFULLY didn’t touch any of the kids, but that was not quite a comfort as he was replaced soon after. At least the new guy was nicer and left us alone in terms of not revealing any nasty surprises. I think one of the other kids reported the first councilor as I was too shell-shocked by water torture, a sack of rocks, moths and too many mosquito bites to do anything useful.

Traillller! (It’s a good thing they made so many sequels, right?):

(Thanks, YouTube Movies!)

Long story short, I did survive that hell, but not telling the parental units was a terrifically awful thing. Guess who was on a bus the next year up to the same camp, this time with some bad cousins who were giving an aunt much grief and it was decided to send them along for the ride? The discovery of the camp’s BB guns, archery range from hell and me getting an inside the park home run and later being a victim to one (you couldn’t find the ball in a unkempt field with broken bottles, rocks, and snakes, mind you) will be fodder for another post, but not any time soon, as I think I’ve suffered and revealed enough trauma for now.

Or, I need to break out a trailer for that potential future post just thinking about it:

(Thanks, YouTube Movies!)

-GW

 

 

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