Yahoo! I'm home and done traveling for the next 12 days. Precious precious 12 days. We loveses them.
Many of you (4) responded to my camping blog post with comments of support. I thank you. The rest of you (X - 4, where X is maybe a couple dozen) either hate me or love doing dishes in the dirt. The former is forgiveable.
In honor of you wackos, I present the top 5 reasons why I hate camping:
5) Packing. When one travels to normal places, one packs normal things, like clothes, and maybe some snacks or entertainment. But when you go camping you have to pack pretty much everything required for human survival. I think maybe a good rule of thumb for vacations would be that you should pick destinations where you don't have to pack your own dishes. Or furniture. I like traveling to places that already have luxuries like can openers. And fire. Let's just say that anything that was invented by cave men should already be present at my destination.
4) Chores. I'm not a big fan of chores. I do a lot of them around the house and under the best of circumstances they're not much fun, but cleaning things like dishes IN THE DIRT is an order of magnitude more frustrating. Did you remember to pack dishsoap? Sponges? A dishwashing machine? If you're washing more than one dish, then where will you put the clean wet ones? You can't really clean dishes when camping, you just swap one type of grime for another.
3) Food fights. For two years running now, animals have stolen or eaten bags of our groceries. Call me spoiled, but I prefer vacations where you don't actually have to fight animals for food.
2) Bathrooms. Even though we selected this campground partially because they had flush toilets instead of pits, the bathrooms were still NASTY. They had coin-operated showers at this one, but judging by the amount of dirt and slop on the bathroom floor, I'm suspecting that you'd emerge at least as dirty as when you started. The urinals were similarly vexing. Not only was there a pool of fluid on the floor around them, but the urinals themselves seemed to be positioned and angled for maximum splashback. It was the Grand Theory of Urine Conservation in action. I couldn't really get rid of the urine, I just moved it onto my pants and shoes.
1) Sleeping. Often when I go to the movies, I'll sit there amidst my fellow man and contemplate how much I hate him. I hate the talkers, and the loud eaters, and the baby-bringers, and the cell phoners, and pretty much anyone who makes an impression on me. Camping is a lot like that, except that essentially you've invited that movie theater full of asshole strangers into your bedroom.
Last night was especially annoying. Our neighboring campsite kept up a jolly conversation until nearly 1:00am. I MIGHT have been able to sleep through this since I was totally wiped out from sleeping like crap the previous night, but sometime after midnight, a child began screaming.
These weren't ordinary screams. These were the blood-curdling screams of a child who was being slowly consumed by a giant squirrel or at least dismembered by a campground hatchet murderer. The kid sounded about 10 years old, and was screaming like that, at the top of his lungs, for about 20 minutes. The screams were both terrifying and tremendously annoying. I was aghast that someone was slaughtering this child so late in the evening. Campground signage had been pretty clear that 10:00pm was the beginning of quiet time.
Anyway, that combined with the car horn sympony kept me awake into the late hours. Then, when daylight broke, I was delightfully roused by the campground squirrels who apparently took a break from stealing our food long enough to climb into the campsite trees and drop acorns on our tent. Those little scamps.
Later that morning, we investigated into the murder of that annoying child. Not only was he still alive, but all of his limbs were disappointingly intact. Apparently some moisture had gotten into his family's tent, and his sleeping bag had gotten wet. I took this opportunity to instruct Daisy that should her sleeping bag ever get damp, she should respond by informing me rather than screaming bloody murder for 20 minutes. We practiced this skill.
Next year for our annual camping trip, we're renting a house.