Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not a happy camper this week, my friends. She had a splitting headache from 2:00 p.m. until midnight on Monday, broke off half a molar eating dried apricots on Tuesday, muddled through Wednesday and got her paycheck, but has a dinner date with the Top Ten Percent of the student body from Basementia and Newmentia on Thursday. The good news, though, for Mrs. Even Steven, is that both of her young 'uns are in the Top Ten percent of their class and get a free $10 meal, Convention Booth Vendor H is gone for three days, and the end of the school year is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
In fact, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is not a camper at all, though if she was of the camping ilk, she would hitch up her 5th-wheel and high-tail it to Kathy's Kampground, where no doubt she would soon be happy enough. Don't worry, Kathy. Mrs. Hillbilly Mom would not back over your frost-free hydrant, or ask for you to pay her money to camp there. Frontiersman H might even whittle you some gewgaws to barter at your kampground store. He had a most scathingly brilliant idea one time, about making those wooden ducky kid toys that you push with a stick handle and it rolls around flopping its feet made of old tires or some such recyclable, and then taking them when he went camping, and wheeling them around to make kids cry for them, and then he would sell them to the parents. Alas, much like his plan to mine the backyard of the Mansion for copper, this little venture never reached fruition.
My sister and her husband the ex-mayor are a camping bunch. They have a little gang that goes camping together. One time, we drove my mom down to visit them, since she used to camp, but doesn't want to since my dad died. When I saw how this band camped, I knew it wasn't for me. Oh, they all had nice campers, with air conditioning, and TVs and gaming systems, and toilets and showers and kitchens. Wherein lies the problem.
They invited us to stay for dinner. And while the men and kids went off to fish and ride bikes and swim and play whiffleball...the women went to their separate campers and cooked for their potluck supper. I kid you not. My sister's dish was a pot of smoked sausage, cabbage, and potatoes, with a side of cornbread. WTF? Why pack up your kit 'n' caboodle and haul it over hill and dale just to do the same chores you do at home? It's beyooooond me! Stab some weenies with a green stick and torture them over some hot coals. Rip open a bag of chips for the vegetable. Lick that green stick clean and impale some marshmallows, then hold them over the fire until they bloat up and get a charcoal crust. Voila! That's dessert.
Back before I was Ladies Man H's woman, I went camping with some of my Cuba compatriots. Cuba, Missouri. The teachers went out to George and Jane's farm and had a good ol' Woodstocky kind of time, but without the herb. We played volleyball and cards and Trivial Pursuit and BBQed hamburgers and hot dogs and popped many an aluminum top, then retired to tents to sleep it off. No showers, no air conditioning, no 20-course meals, no TV. Three days and two nights with just a port-a-potty, tractor rides, a creek to wash your feet before bed, and some good gossip about the people who weren't there.
Now THAT'S camping!
Note-to-self if you ever do this kind of camping: It's not a good idea to lay in your two-woman tent and make play-by-play small talk about your friend Jim as he staggers around the fire pit poking branches into the coals, because right after your buddy says, "He's so drunk, he's going to fall into the fire and burn up," Jim will sit down on a log, light up a cigarette, and say, "You know, I can hear you b*tches."