Friday, July 15, 2016

Chapter 6.1: Setting Up Camp

Time to get it up... no, not that, I'm talking about the tent.  It’s so dark out I’d better get the lantern. I could have just turned my headlights on but that’s a little disrespectful to the other campers.  I get the Coleman lantern out which took ten minutes to find,  I put it on the ground and just stare at it.  I know what happened the last time I tried to light it, baa voommmmmm.  Here I go again, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, turn the knob to full, turn the lever to light,


I bring the flint towards the mantles… sparks start flying as I turn the little wheel. The sweat is dripping off my forehead in anticipation,

Baaaa voommmmmmmmmmm flames everywhere.

“CARL, TURN DOWN THE BIG KNOB” a voice says. “God, is that you,” I said. “No you idiot, it’s your Brother in Law. Turn down the big knob!”  Oh yeah, so I start turning down the knob and whalla, light.  “Let there be light, let there be light,” I kept repeating.  It’s a powerful feeling to create light out of darkness. 

So Barry, can you give me a hand setting up the tent.  ‘Which one, left or right,” he replies.  That would have been funny three hours ago but not at 1AM.  “By the way, do you have any extra stakes with you?”  “Extra steaks, didn’t you bring your own food?”  I asked for that answer, no not those kinds of steaks, tent stakes!  “I left all my tent stakes at home and I have no way of staking the tent down.”  “How many do you need” Barry replied?  “Sixteen” I said.  “Sixteen, all I have is two.”  I was hoping he would have at least four, but two is going to have to do. I’ll just find a couple of tree branches to use for one side of the tent.  Just as long as I stake down the corners I should be alright for the night.  Tomorrow I can find a store and buy a couple more. 

The first thing I do is lay down the tarp exactly where I want the tent to be.  Then I throw the tent right in the middle of the tarp.  I start unfolding the tent making sure the door of the tent faces the road.  It’s just a matter of staking down the tent and up it goes.  With this size tent you need at least two people to put it up.  “Barry, Barry, where are you Barry?”  Barry just turned into Houdini, he disappeared.  I better go to the next “B”.  “Bonnie, get over here and help me!”  “Quiet, everyone is sleeping” Bonnie says.  It must be nice to able to sleep, but I got this giant tent to put up.  Grab a pole and let’s get going!  “I’ll grab your pole and rip it off if you don’t stop yelling at me.” Why do woman always have to go there? 

By the way Bonnie where’s your mother sleeping.  “She’s sleeping right next to you dear”.  “You are kidding,” I replied.  “Just don’t sleep on your side” Bonnie added; “she likes to spoon”.  “Only kidding dear, she’s sleeping in Barry’s’ tent”.  “Thank goodness” I said to myself; I didn’t want any coat hangers puncturing my air mattress. 

After a few more minutes of verbal sparring the tent was up and ready.  Did you notice I did not say up and steady?  With only two stakes and two branches holding the tent down the slightest wind could blow it down just like Humpty Dumpty.  I don’t what to wake up with egg all over my face.