My dad hated that I was in the Boy Scouts. He said it was a “fascist organization”. He also said that no son of his was going to go marching around, saluting people and wearing a brown uniform. I guess he had a point.
I was in scouts for three years, every year they had a “father/son campout”, but I only went one year. Actually, I went all three years, but the other two I tagged along with my friend Todd Morgan and his dad.
That first year, my father and I spent a long, sleepless night in that tent together. I had never camped out before and I have to say, as a first impression, I wasn’t too enamored of having a big, hard tree root under my back instead of a nice, soft mattress, but that’s just me.
Now I said we both had a sleepless night, but that’s not actually true. My dad would sleep in fifteen minute bursts of loud, horrendous snoring. I believe they call it “sleep apnea” now. The earth would literally shake from the sound. Then he’s go and wake up. I knew he was waking up because he’d make that horrible dry mouth “smacking” noise. You know the one some people get in the morning right as they wake up and the various parts of their mouth stick together and make a sound as they are pulled apart? That one. Every fifteen minutes. Then the snoring would begin again.
So then around five a.m. he wakes up and decides he wants to leave early. He decided to “bribe” me with the prospect of getting breakfast sandwiches at McDonald’s. Little did he know, I wanted to get the hell out of there just as much as he did. But then again, I love bacon, egg and cheese biscuit sandwiches, so I wasn’t about to tell him that.
Like I said, I went camping the next two years with my friend and his dad but it wasn’t much better. I haven’t gone since. The irony of this is that my brother loves this shit. He can sleep on anything. He goes camping all the time. I don’t know if he even has a bed. He has a saying:
Let the earth and the leaves underfoot be my mattress
And the stars and the sky above shall be all I need for a blanket
And this dead beaver I found in the woods shall be my pillow.
Makes you think, huh?