Monday, June 16, 2003

The Way It Is

This last weekend we, the family unit, joined other family units in a lovely Rocky Mountain campout, my daughter's first. MPC (Most Precious Child) ran around in sheer glee, discovering how truly entertaining sticks and rocks can be when given a chance - a charity not extended to the sticks and rocks to be found lying near our house. Not much of note occurred, not that a happy child (and parents) isn't noteworthy. It just doesn't move the electrons across the web unless James Lileks, our widely acknowledged Flaubert of the web, writes about it.

But, I heard some good stories. Here's one:

One of the guys loves brightly colored sugar bomb cereal. In the distant past as his then new wife and he were in the primary marital adjustment phase, which comes sometime after the honeymoon when not only have the couple abandoned the courtesy typically extended to guests, but have gotten around to delivering "the rules for not driving me absolutely bugfuck", he was about to go shopping in preparation for camping.

She instructed, "Please don't get that variety pack of Lucky Charms and Trix and stuff. I can't stand that stuff. So buy one of those with granola and Total and Raisin Bran, OK?"

Sorting somewhat dispiritedly through the fiber-themed variety packs, trying to find something he enjoyed in amongst the nuts and twigs, lo and behold there was a pack with one box of Froot Loops on the end! Our hero was the personification of Happy Camper.

During the night of the campout, his wife awakened him with some of the worst words you can hear deep in woods in the middle of the night, "What's that?!?! Do you hear that?!?!?"

Alas, there was rustling. Obvious rustling. Not wind blowing through the trees rustling, but "something's out there" rustling. It seemed to be little rustling with no grunting (critter), as opposed to big rustling with grunting (bear). It turned out to be raccoon rusting, but mixed-blessing rustling because the raccoon had gotten into everything. He secured everything, but was bothered a couple times more in the night when the raccoon proved more adept at solving access puzzles than he was at creating them.

In the morning, at first glance it seemed that the raccoon had been finally foiled, so he turned his attention toward rounding up breakfast. He dug out the variety pack, which had been intact after the final twilight raid, and turned it over to discover that the Froot Loops, and only the Froot Loops, were gone. He heard a chatter, and on a stump about 30 feet away, there sat the raccoon with the much anticipated Froot Loop breakfast in his little black claws, munching away.

Larger questions regarding fate and predestination flashed briefly through our hero's mind, he reported, but quickly resigned himself to the fact that he was going to get roughage for breakfast whether he liked it or not. He comforted himself with semi-vicious ruminations of a particular raccoon plagued with cavities for the rest of his furry little life.

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