Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I'm not dead...yet (part 4)

Last time the Park Ranger had become involved in what was basically a domestic situation with K locked in the bathroom and Nicky talking to him through the door.

Larry, “Okay son, I’m going to unlock the door now.”

Key goes into the lock, lock won’t turn.

Larry, “This is government property, you can’t be holding onto the lock like that. If it breaks your parents have to pay for it.”

Once again, key goes into lock, this time door opens.

I expected the kid to come out kicking and screaming, cursing profanities and hoping everyone would die. What I got instead was a kid in tears with hurt, hate and anger in his eyes. He wouldn’t look at any of us. I hung back while Nicky and Larry got in front of him and started talking about the situation. The kid was non-responsive for the most part until Child Protective Services was mentioned, then he got REALLY animated and asked to talk to Larry alone.

Please keep in mind, this is my vacation! This is the stuff that I’m dealing with for four days!

I’m fuming. How could I not be? I went and did something I never do, Camping, I went out and spent money I didn’t have and what have I gotten for it? A campsite with two adults who should know better, four kids, and Amy who sends out more mixed signals that the President while talking about weapons of mass destruction.

::Deep Breath::

Once Larry is done talking to K, he feels that K and his mom should have some alone time to talk. Yes, this is a good idea…

I go back to my tent and just lay on my air mattress, I’ve got nothing left.

Amy comes in and asks to go for a walk with me, totally cool. So we start walking.

“You okay? You seem upset.” Amy

Folks, how do you answer that?

“A bit. This weekend has gone nothing like I expected, in the slightest. Nevermind following Mel to some place that was prohibited, or the fact that this went from a small camp out to a huge group thing, I’m trying to figure out why we got stuck with Mel and Tanner in our camp cause with them there, there’s never any privacy.”

I think I handled that well.

“I know, I’m sorry. I just felt that because we both have counseling backgrounds that we would be able to handle them better and we have. I know I’ve asked a lot of you but I think you’re handling it great. We’re almost done with the weekend, tomorrow we head back.”


Having gone to bed early the night before and just sitting up and talking to Amy the whole time, it was nice to sleep in.

“Amy?” Tanner, outside my tent.

I hear him in the back of my mind and pay no heed to it.

“Amy? Gabriel?” Tanner.

He called me…shit.


“We’re going to the store, do you need anything?”

We are in the boonies. We are someplace beyond the boonies. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the nearest store, which will charge you $4 for a Snickers bar because they’re the ONLY show in town.

I think about it for a second, “Pack of Camel lights.” Yea I smoke… what?

The kids heard me talk, now they’re up and about.

It’s Mel’s turn to make breakfast. The night before he had mentioned French Toast. I start looking around, we have all of the needed ingredients for that, and eggs to make as a side order…what are they going to the store for?

I head 30 feet away toward the second camp site and I’m greeted with the image of their site, almost totally broken down. They’ve been up for a couple of hours, made their own breakfast and have had enough of Mel and his antics.

These are the people that I enjoyed camping with and they’re ready to leave, Great.

I start saying my goodbyes. Our goodbyes are long and we end up talking for another hour and a half, which is just enough time for Mel to come back.

Remember, running total of this trip: approx $300…

They pull into the campsite and Tanner tosses me a pack of Camel lights.

“Thanks.” Me

“Sure no problem, you owe us five bucks.” Tanner.

Wait, what?

“Dee and Doo, start breaking down the tents we need to pack up and leave.” Me

Amy looks at me at pulls me aside, “Don’t you want to have breakfast first?”


“You want to leave now?”


“Okay then, boys you heard him, let’s break this down.”

As you can obviously see I’m an INCREDIBLY patient person but that last little thing really just nailed it for me. There’s a difference between generous and stupid, I’m falling into that second category incredibly quick.

When we got to camp some of our things were in Mel’s car. Before Joseph and his crew leave I ask them to let me store some stuff in their car instead. I would rather not deal with Mel, period. We break camp in about an hour and head out.

I get lost, spend an hour driving toward the coast instead of toward the city.

Double back.

At the end of it all I learned a valuable lesson, if you’re going to go camping, go dutch.

Since then some other stuff has happened with Amy, but that’s a story for another time.

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