Sunday, August 20, 2006

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.

18 comments:

The 4th Sister said...

Mike you are sooooo spoiled!

The girl-next-door said...

You know my idea id camping involves a motorhome...right? What you described is not what I pictured. I'd rent the house too next year Mike.

patsy said...

4th sister says you are quite a guy but i thing you are just a pain. to bad that your vacation wasn't up to your standards. why didn't you just stay home and let everybody have a vacation away from you?

Mike said...

Hi 4th sister, yes, I'll admit that I'm a bit spoiled by the good life (where good equals sleeping in a real bed).

TGND, that sounds pretty good. I like the campfire and nature parts, and the motorhome would get rid of a lot of the parts I don't like.

Hi there Patsy. You know, I do exaggerate a bit in this ol' blog for my own amusement. Although I resent all the preparation and work required to go camping, I mostly enjoy being there, so hopefully I wasn't too much of a pain to have around. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and saying mean things to me.

Leesa said...

I know exactly how you feel. We had a teething infant in the next tent. Lovely. I hardly slept for 4 days.
We brought out own shower and bathroom. So even though it wasn't "home", it was better than sharing with a bunch of scary strangers.

David said...

Regarding #2, I thought that you peed sitting down. The toilets must have been really bad.

Mike said...

Hi Leesa, we camped with two other families, one of whom had a infant. I strategically positioned our tent away from theirs, but it was no use. The entire campground was full of noisy bastards.

David, I'll pee sitting down at home, but in a public restroom, I'll ALWAYS use the urinal.

patsy said...

told 4th sister what i said. i told her after reading a few of your post i thought you like a fuss so i gave you one. the truth is i would not go camping at all. i am old now but i didn't go camping when i was young. i like a bed and creature conforts.

Velvet Sacks said...

First Vermont and then camping -- you ought to have smooth sailing for a while after all that.

I went camping three times in my life. The first time was kind of fun, the second was HORRIBLE -- and because of that it was about 20 years until I went again. The third time was a last-minute, why-the-hell-not kind of deal and I had a really great time. In my limited experience, the enjoyment of camping goes up in inverse proportion to the number of people at the campsite.

Mike said...

Hi Patsy, that's fair. I do enjoy a good fuss every now and then. :)

VS, that's a good theory about camping. I enjoyed it a lot more when it was just me and a buddy camping in remote places.

patsy said...

i like to get a argument going and most people wont come back at me but i thought you would and you didn't fail me so i might try it again just for fun. being retired i get bored.

Mike said...

Patsy, give it your best shot. For your entertainment pleasure, next time I won't go so easy on you.

nrd2 said...

patsy, have you considered volunteer work?

patsy said...

nrd2. hay no one would have me for charity work, told you i like to fuss so where would i go? besides i would want to get paid. Tyson would take me back and i would get paid. even if i get bored i am not THAT bored.

zelda1 said...

All those and more are reasons why I hate to camp. I like to include the no electricity, no running water, and no locked doors as reasons to not camp in a tent in the middle of other nuts who are doing the same. Why, after humankind moved out of caves and learned to control fire and water, well, do we decide to act like cave humans or pioneers or cowboys or other such long time ago people.

Mike said...

Zelda1, oh, I hear you. I think the pleasure comes in when one camps AWAY from all the other people in RVs. Unfortunately, I'm not quite up for that challenge, especially with a dainty 7 year-old girl in tow.

Will said...

Whatever happened to hanging food from trees?

Mike said...

Hey Will, that still happens, but would have been unnecessary at our campsite, had we even just put the food in a cooler or the wooden cabinet attached to the picnic table. We dumb.