Monday, June 22, 2009

A Moment of Insanity

For some crazy reason,
the local newspaper finally
remembered to put a
KMart sales circular
in my Saturday paper.

Usually it's the one that's missing.

All I ever seem to get is
Rural King, Shoe Stop,
and a booklet of nerdy items
such as lilac elastic-waist pants,
an Eagle On A Nest collectible plate,
and an offer for a half dozen trees
that grow ginormous in just three weeks!

Flipping through the KMart sales,
I was immediately taken back
to several summers ago
when camping was a family ritual
and a refreshing getaway.

Pictures of awesome house-like tents
and coolers
and sleeping bags
and, of course, hot dogs
and S'mores,
made my heart skip a beat for a moment.

For nano-seconds,
I yearned to pitch a tent on the river again.
Build a campfire,
wade in the water,
listen to the crickets and night owls,
lounge in a lawn chair
and chuck all my cares aside.

somewhere inside me
came this huge surge of reality.

A moment of truth.

The candy-coated fantasy
of a starlit night
and snugly tent
and long, sweet afternoons
of stretching out on
a chaise
with a package of Oreos-
suddenly screeched
to a Wake Up You Idiot halt.

I soon remembered the
jumbled puzzle of a tent we owned
and how it usually took
two hours and
five knock-down-drag-out fights
to get it put together.

Then the hour of weed eating
to clear a path
to the hole in the ground
behind the big tree
where we were supposed
to poop and pee for the
entire weekend.

I remembered the sweat
like a thousand ants
rolling down my face,
the mosquitoes
that buzzed in my ears,
the dust and sand
and poison ivy
that lodged between my toes
and filled my nostrils.

I remembered the
"I can't possibly eat another hot dog!"
and "Why is this beer hot?" scenarios.

I recall the
"it's just a coyote"
or "that snake is only a baby"
reassurance I received.

I can still feel the hip bruises
from my air mattress going flat
at 2 a.m.
and the dirt under my fingernails
from stacking firewood
and the residue of melted marshmallows
and fish guts
on my lawn chair.

There is also this very faint
of hillbillies
and coon dogs
and pot holes
and inner tubes
and Shania Twain
singing "Man, I Feel Like a Woman"
over and over
and over again.

I just phoned my local newspaper.
Told them to leave out the KMart
sales pages next week.

And to think I actually
considered camping again!

Whew! What a close call!