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Inside the Chrome Dome (archive August 2007)

Please refer to the Inside the Chrome Dome main page for columns published in other issues.




 Despite Minor Setbacks, Camping Trip Was Success

Despite the massive publicity buildup, the camping trip with my brothers was for the most part, uneventful.

I, four brothers and my son embarked on our camping excursion for old time’s sake a couple of weekends ago. I wrote about the upcoming trip, and I gave those guys a pretty hard time.

They deserved it.

Cort and Mark showed up with the camper, and I arrived just minutes later. We moved the camper to our site, and then engaged in a debate as to where we would locate it. Some ground was more level than other areas.

After about an hour of debate, we decided to put it really close to the picnic table and fire pit. That would have worked out really well if it weren’t for the location of the electrical hook-up, which was roughly 25 meters farther away than the chord would reach.

They had already leveled the camper, so it was too late to move it.

Then Steve, the oldest of mom’s 10 kids, was the next person to arrive. He brought with him, and I promise this is true, a VHS tape titled “How to start a fire,” and placed it on the picnic table. He then asked, “Did anyone bring a VCR?”

No one had brought a VCR, but the truth is, we didn’t need the fire-starting video tape. I was smart enough to bring a bunch of 20-minute-burning railroad flares that could have started a fire in the city of Atlantis after their water problems arrived. The flares, which could be seen from the international space station, worked wonderfully. And we got the fire going, surprisingly, on just the second flare.

We sat up all night debating everything from global warming to “thinking outside the box”, which has to be the most overused cliché in the history of mankind. We agreed that it’s been overused so much it’s now inside the box.

We fished a little, laughed a lot, and most of what we talked about simply can’t be printed on the pages of this newspaper.

But for those of you keeping score at home, Mark caught the biggest fish. He banked a flathead catfish that weighed roughly four pounds. My son Richard caught one keeper-sized bass and a couple of smaller ones. Steve caught a few bass, and Kenny caught a turtle about the size of a baseball. Cort caught one eight-inch bass, and spent the entire evening making fun of me for not catching any fish.

Surprisingly, there was just one injury. I accidentally sat on a fishing lure that someone (me) had left on a chair.

Despite talking a lot of trash about how inept my city-dwelling brothers would be on this camping trip, it was actually me who didn’t catch any fish and got hooked in the buttocks.

But that was all by design. I didn’t want to embarrass them with my overall outdoorsman superiority.

I think I accomplished that.




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