Friday, October 08, 2004

Grizzly Adams Was an Amateur

Well, I’m going camping tonight. I haven’t been camping for years. The last time I went was in college, we headed out to the coast of Oregon.

That was for a couple days and there were about 15 people on that trip. Tonight it’s just for one night. Just enough time to have the entire Malibu beach find its way into my ears and butt. We’re going to point Mugu. That may sound somewhat familiar to some of you, the only reason I know about it is because it’s where they flew President Regan’s body out of for the funeral in DC (I still can’t figure out why I remember that).

Well, that, and some other friends of ours kept promising that we’d go camping there. That never happened. They’re lame.

Anyway, there’s a Naval Air Base there. I always giggle a little when I hear the name. It sounds like Magoo which reminds me of Mr. Magoo and then I think of the Air Base and picture a bunch of blind old men trying to fly luggage carts. I'm pretty dumb and easily amused.

But Tanya and I realized that we are horribly ill-equipped for camping. We didn’t have sleeping bags or a tent or bug spray or even a desire to camp. It’s strange taking inventory of your things when you go camping. You never want to take anything nice, but at the same time, you don’t want to freeze to death or be uncomfortable. Luckily, our friends are bringing a big tent. That only left us to find old clothes and something more immediate to sleep in.

We’ve got old clothes in spades. Unfortunately, most of mine no longer fit. But I do have some. For years Tanya has been nagging me to throw away my “fat Robb” clothes. And staying true to my pack-rat upbringing, I haven’t thrown any of them away. Sure, Tanya has managed to sneak a few of them into the Salvation Army donation bag, but when I’m toasty warm tonight, she’ll be wishing she had a vintage 1992 XXL sweater to curl up in.

She can’t have mine! Maybe we could share or something.

So clothes are no problem, for me at least. But I’ve never been camping on the beach before. I’m sure it’s cold and probably windy. I’ve seen California camp sites before though. I’m always disturbed by the lack of privacy. I’m used to camping in the woods. When I was a kid we used to go camping in Ohio where there was privacy, lakes, trees, trails, caves and all sorts of other cool things. And in Washington when I was a kid, you could just go out into the forest somewhere and pitch a tent. There was no one around. It was camping.

There’s no such thing anymore. I don’t consider pitching a tent 30 feet from a convenience store to be camping. But that’s just me. In fact, all we’d have to do would be to dig through a couple dumpsters and pee on the neighboring tent, and we’d be playing the “homeless people” game.

I’m taking my guitar, but who knows if I’ll actually play it. I hate playing in front of people. Besides, I’m sure that we’ll be spending the evening listening to the next-door-camper play his latest Usher album or beat his girlfriend in a drunken rage.

Anyway, we dug through our stash of old blankets and linens and concluded that Mickey Mouse sheets just would cut the cold like we’d need them to. So last night we made a 9:15 trek to Target to buy sleeping bags. It’s a shame to buy sleeping bags for just one night, but I’m sure we’ll find a use for them somehow. Really squishy end tables or something. We have two; they’ll match better than our other furniture. And no one else I know has Eddie Bauer end tables.

So, have a good weekend, I hope that we make it through the night. Usually, while camping I’ve only had to worry about raccoons and bears (and one time in Florida an alligator who just ignored the fence! He just ignored it! Jerk Gator). But now this is the first time I’ve ever been camping with the threat of shark attacks and the West Nile Virus.

If I don’t make it back…don’t touch my stuff!

Fun Fact: The new TAM Cartoon is up! It’s a fact.

It’s also a fact that I could get sued for defamation.

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