Monday, May 25, 2009

Campfire Tales

I haven't been camping in a long time, but it sure was easy to fall back into the simple groove of it this weekend.

We joined my sister's family and a few of their neighbors for a group camping trip. Once the tent was pitched and the beer was on ice and the kids had run off to play with other kids, Tom and I found ourselves faced with: Utter Serenity. Even the dogs were uncharacteristically relaxed.

My niece's dog, Sieben on the top and our goofy Molly (with our goofy Liv) on the bottom.

How is it that such a rustic environment can feel so much more civilized than the suburbs?

We read, we talked, we ate when we were hungry and slept when we were tired. Schedules didn't apply. Watches were abandoned.

Liv and Shelby chillin'.

There was something about donning that "I don't really give half a damn what my hair looks like today" bandana, too. None of my oft-discussed wardrobe woes mattered there. 'Clean enough' became reasonable criteria.

That right there is pure uncut contentment. (And yeah, Pam and Deb, that would be The Gargoyle - can't thank you enough for THAT recommendation!)

The first campfire started around dinner time. There is no match for the smell of a wood-fire. Eventually I was even able to almost forget about the really big snake they'd seen earlier.

Dinner cooked over the fire.

There were endless ghost stories from the kids.

And of course there was music.

Tom and Lea bringin' the tuneage
(and yeah, that would be a Team Edward shirt on my daughter...)

And then the adults began to talk.

I remember this part well from my teens. We used to camp with a group of my dad's teacher friends and their families. One of those teachers was my English teacher and I still haven't completely lived down the essay I wrote for him which eloquently described campfire conversations about appendectomies and hysterectomies. I felt like, having been a part of those adult discussions, I knew more about hysterectomies than any sixteen year old girl had a right to know. I lamented the fact that no-one worried too much about 'little ears' around the campfire and on the evenings I saw fit to remain on the quiet side I could learn all sorts of things, not all of them age appropriate. I cautioned the adults on the presence of impressionable young 'uns. He shared the essay with the old 'uns (with my permission) and every now and then one of them still brings it up. As I am facing my own hysterectomy, several of those grown-ups from around the fire who are still in my life have reminded me of how lucky I am to have such a broad knowledge base going into it.


So surely the spokesperson for children's right to not hear grown up conversations would, as an adult herself, be extra dilligent about what was said around the campfire where the kids fell in an age range of 3-16, right?

Well, I WOULD HAVE, except...

One of the other mom's was talking about always using anatomically correct terms with her kids.

"We always taught them penis and vagina. We never used cutesie words like Mr. Crotchy."

I lost it. I had a couple few beers in me - it was late - I was uber-relaxed - for whatever reason, this was the funniest thing I'd ever heard.

"Mr. Crotchy? No one calls it Mr. Crotchy! Mr. Crotchy was your only alternative???" I dissolved into that sort of laughter where you become a little concerned that you might forget to breathe. When I did come up for air, I would just repeat, "Mr. Crotchy!" and dissolve all over again.

It doesn't get funnier than that.

Until one of the dads said, "So was it, like, Mr. Crotchy and the Snatchinator?"

Someone shoulda put a fork in me, 'cause I was done.

I think I can confidently vouch for the fact that it is impossible to die laughing, because if it were indeed possible to do so, I'd be writing this post from the great beyond.

I. Lost. My. Shit.

I'd hate to be one of those kids' English teachers next year when THAT shows up in someone's essay...


MaryRC said...

I love death laughter, it lingers for years. Mr. Crotchy??? for real? I'd be responding from the grave as well.

My husband and our friends have some of the most juvenile conversations that we dont allow the juveniles to listen, and when they do they usually leave the room rolling their adult eyeballs.

MiMi said...

Mr. Crotchy had me giggling, but the Snatchinator!!!??? Oh man, I'm gonna try to incorporate that into my day, somehow....of course when no little ears are listening!!
Ya know what my friend calls her little girl's hoo-ha? Her "happy." What do you think about that? I think, um...NOT SO MUCH.
I'm jealous of the book readin', bandana wearin', laughin' until you can't breathe weekend!

Anita said...

That look of you in the chair reading.........such joyous peace!
Mr. Crotchy? Really, that would be a word of choice, I swear I would have wet my pants, because sadly, that muscle is not as in control as it used to be, and I too would fear someone would write about it!
Great stories!

Pam said...

You actually making camping sound like fun. For me, camping is Motel 6. Not my cup of tea. Anyway, I noticed right away you were reading The Gargoyle. What do you think? I couldn't tell if your caption was sarcastic or not. Love the snatchinator! Laugh out loud funny! Glad you had a good weekend!

WhisperingWriter said...

Okay, I'd have giggled at Mr. Crotchy even if I hadn't consumed a lot of bears. I mean, what the crap?? :) It sounds like a name that would be featured on Sex and the City or something. "This is my date. We call him Mr. Crotchy.."

kel said...

Mr Crotchy... hilarious!! I wanna go camping with you!

Alex the Girl said...

Ah, I have tears in my eyes. I can almost imagine your barely snorty beer laden giggle growing into a belly busting laugh. Relaxed beer buzzin laughs are the best.

Housewife Savant said...

I LOVE a laugh like that. Think of the AB work you got.

"Mr. Crotchy"?
If that's as creative as she gets let her have anatomically correct wordage.
Personally, I prefer to call them Parts-That-Must-not-Be-Named.

Your weekend looks like sooooo much fun!

Gibby said...

I haven't had a laugh like that in a while. It feels good, doesn't it? (Although it is hard to keep a straight face at Snatchinator!) We used to go camping when I was a kid and you are so right, adults seem to completely forget about the kids sitting around the fire. I always wondered why my dad started talking louder and louder, and now I know, thanks to growing up and learning how GOOD a beer tastes around a campfire. Just one more, right?

I am so jealous of that pic of you reading. That is the best!

Grand Pooba said...

Oh my gosh those dogs are adorable! Ok, that is hilarious, but I get side tracked by furry children! Speaking of the dogs of course.

Mr. Crotchy?? HA I love it!

mama-face said...

That was great! Talking, eating, laughing, etc., it's all better when camping.

It's always good to learn some new terms too. Funny and Educational; excellent post.

FranticMommy said...

Ha! That's hilarious! Sounds like somethng you find on the bathroom wall during High School. "I love Mr Crotchy"......

Brandy said...

That's hilarious. I've never been camping but now I totally want to go. now. right now.

Kathy B! said...

Hey! It's you!! I've seen you on my blog, but when I click on your picture it doesn't give me a link back here... you turkey!! I came via Gibby and was so surprised to find you... Okay, I've setteld down... got a little excited... doesn't take much :)

This post was hilarious. The snatchinator?! Mr. Crotchy? Good grief. At least you didn't fall into the fire or anything :)

Sir Hook of Warrick aka "David K Wells" said...

Nothing like a Primitive Fire to fire up the primate in all of us!

You should ask Sir Bowie for his Camp Fire Peach Cobbler Recipe that he makes when he does Colonial Reenactments.

Sir Hook the "Mr. Crotchy" of Warrick

Rosa said...

Since I read this post yesterday, I CANNOT get those two names out of my head! Not to mention every variation my twisted mind has cooked up on its own. Mr. Crotchy and The Snatchinator! I mean really.

carma said...

Mr. Crotchy. tee hee hee. Great story!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Thanks for the comment! =DD

You've got a pretty great blog here! Glad I stopped by! XD.


scrappysue said...

sounds like one of OUR campfire chats! just love it - wish i was there!