I never went to camp. Once, I asked my mother to send me to camp and she stared at me intently and asked with a hint of disdain, "Why would you want to go to camp?" I didn't have an answer and I couldn't explain then what I know now - I wanted to go simply because no one in our family ever had. But, it was not to be so I have never really understood what camp is all about and certainly have never been well versed in camp-speak. I had never heard of Sunday Whites and knew nothing about pins and lanyards and all that...until we signed Miguel up for camp a few months ago. He left this morning and will be gone for two weeks. Packing a kid for two weeks at camp is a monumental task and one that I was dreading. Luisa took control of the situation, however. Before I knew it, clothing was labelled, rain gear was laid out and the new flashlight had batteries. She managed to get all 88 items packed neatly into his backpack. How do I know there were 88 items? Well, there was an Excel spreadsheet of course. My friend Kristin told me this story about her cousin's trip to camp many years ago. He went with a trunk full of clothes and, when he got home, his mother opened it to find it completely empty. He brought nothing home. Miguel is not the most organized person in the world. He doesn't keep track of his things and always ends up losing stuff. As we thought about Kristin's cousin, we started wondering how much Miguel will leave behind at camp and it was then that I had a stroke of brilliance! Why should Luisa and I have all the fun? I thought you might all enjoy playing a little game we are going to call "How Much Stuff Will Miguel Bring Home?" So, here is how it's going to work. You know that Miguel took 88 items to camp, so, you simply have to guess how many items he will bring home and leave your guess in the comments of this post. When he returns, Luisa and I will take inventory of his stuff and compare it against the original list and the commenter who comes closest will win!
Now, winning often implies a prize. I was trying to think of a prize to give away but you must remember that I am but a poor, D-list blogger. I don't make any money off of this blog and it does cost money to run (Hi Luisa! Thanks for bankrollin' me baby! Have I mentioned how hot you look today? Yeah. Well.) So, I was thinking cheap and that is when I started thinking of Carl Kasell. Not that he's cheap. I mean...he might be but I don't know that. Anyway, the prize for winners on NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" is getting Carl Kasell's voice on your answering machine. I thought "Hey! I could do that!" This was very late last night as I struggled to fall asleep and those late night ideas are so rarely good ones. Anyway, I even thought up a couple of messages:
Hello. You've reached the _______________ residence. They are too busy to come to the phone right now and, apparently, too snooty to even record their own voice mail message. They think are so much better than we are. Don't worry though. I am getting back at them for both of us. I am in their kitchen right now drinking all their beer and eating ice cream out of the carton AND, when I'm done, I am not going to recyle the bottles or wash the spoon. That will really show them. Anyway, leave them a message and they'll have someone get back to you. Probably not me though. You know...because of the beer and the ice cream.
Hello. Don't hang up! This really is the ________________ residence. You are probably wondering why some woman who sounds like she's got a bad helium habit recorded the message on your friends' voice mail. It's a long story but - hey! You've got some time, right? Well, your friends are blackmailing me and I have to do whatever they tell me to do. Let's just say that the whole helium thing is the least of my worries. So, here I am...talking to you. It's awkward, isn't it? I mean we don't know each other and I just had to break the news to you that your friends are duplicitous cowards. Damn. That was harsh. What if their parents heard that? Shit. Are you family? Fuck. Just leave a message and pretend that the rest of this never happened.
Yes, these are the things that come to me at night. After an hour of composing voice mail messages, I started thinking about giving away Up Popped A Fox merchandise except that I called it "merch" in my sleepless delirium because I'm a bit more hip when I have insomnia. The trouble is that there is no Up Popped A Fox merchandise...or "merch" for that matter. There will be a prize of some sort but it will be small...like a rock or a Sponge Bob Square Pants golf ball because I have extras. Or, maybe, you will get some dryer lint in the mail. Of course, it would be Official Up Popped A Fox Dryer Lint and would come with a little certificate of authenticity. Anyway...I'm still thinking.
*Edited to Add:
|Item||Number||Packed at home|
|Blue pillow case||1||x|
|Flip flops||1 pair||x|
|Keen sandals||1 pair||x|
|Long sleeved shirts||3||x|
|Sunday Whites||1 set||x|
|Tennis shoes||1 pair||x|