Book Report: Volume 2

Last weekend I took some time off from the freelance work to dig into the mountain of library books stacked up next to the couch. I retreated to a comfy spot at my parents' house — Air conditioning: Yay! — and proceeded to laugh my way through Cabin Pressure: One Man's Desperate Attempt to Recapture His Youth as a Camp Counselor by Josh Wolk.

Cabin Presssure — Josh Wolk
At one point I was laughing so hard about the guy accidentally zapping himself with the homemade Taser . . . repeatedly . . . that I almost choked. The author said something about how he doesn't think there will ever be a time when he's not laughing at that story, and I have to agree.

I, too, went to camp for at least a week every summer for about six or seven years, but without inadvertent electric shocks. It was an all-girls church camp, but I still managed to have a good time. There was horseback riding, swimming, archery — all your standards. I still have my riflery medals in my jewelry box at home. It took four summers to figure out that I was left-eyed instead of right-eyed. Once I could aim properly, I zipped through Pro-Marksman, Marksman, and Marksman First Class. I think I have my first Sharpshooter bar, too.

Since it was church camp, you had to memorize a Bible verse for each activity you took that week. The riflery verse was the same every year. I don't remember exactly how it goes, but I came up with enough keywords to search the Bible Gateway and find it in First Corinthians. Oh, and we got to shoot at some melons and stuffed animals once, to see the damage a bullet does. I still have the commemorative bookmark the counselor made for each of us: "I made the fur fly at Ohio Camp Cherith." I was describing all of this to Cathy just now and showing her the bookmark. Her mind boggled at the thought of reciting Bible verses as you shoot a stuffed animal, so I had to explain that it didn't all happen at the same time. And that 1990 was a more innocent time. In his book, Wolk says that his camp no longer offers riflery because they don't want to encourage violence; I don't know if mine still does or not.

One year at my camp they were desperate for kitchen help, so I decided to get a free week of camp by washing dishes. Ugh! Hated it! I think I cried myself to sleep the first two nights, and I rilly, rilly, rilly wanted to quit and go home. But since I'd just have to come back in a few days for my second (paid for) week of camp, I had to suck it up and stick it out. Memories of that week came back as I read Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States.

Dishwasher — Pete Jordan
The author comes off as kind of a shiftless jerk, though. Maybe I'm not enough of a slacker to just up and quit on a whim, or to help myself to several place settings of china before I quit and then mail the dishes to a friend as a gift. (I like to imagine her response as follows: Uhm, thanks . . . I guess?)
I'm definitely not hard-core enough to eat from the Bus Tub Buffet, and especially not to rely on it as my only source of food. (Jordan says he'd try to really fill up on the day before his day off, so he wouldn't have to eat until his next shift. Oy.)

I'm also too much of a pack rat to be able to divest myself of almost of my belongings — retaining only about a Hefty bag's worth — so I can travel light and crash on the floors of random strangers/long-suffering friends. I might be able to get the van/camper and drive around the country, but probably only for about a month at a time. It is somewhat interesting to hear about his different jobs and the people he encounters, so I stuck with it.

Back to the summer camp theme: I'm partway through Not a Happy Camper: A Memoir by Mindy Schneider.

Not a Happy Camper — Mindy Schneider

So far, pretty funny. Nothing as pants-wetting hilarious as the Taser incident, but a couple chuckles. I'll be surprised if the crush on Kenny doesn't end in disaster, but we'll see.

No comments:

Post a Comment