The Great Outdoors Really Stink!

, , , , , | Related | February 4, 2021

Some years ago, my family and I went on a holiday in the USA, driving down the east coast in an RV from campground to campground and sightseeing on the way. Our RV doesn’t have a bathroom. 

One night, my dad woke up with an urgent need to empty his bladder, decided the bathroom on the other side of the campground was too far away, and went to relieve himself in the bushes next to our RV. Still half-asleep, he barely noticed one particular bush in front of him moving and rustling more than the others… until it started hissing and squeaking at him. Zipper down and ready to go about his business, he looked closer and identified the “bush” he was about to pee on as an angry black-and-white furball, facing him buttward with its tail up in the air and making angry skunk noises. 

My dad froze. The little guy put on a bit of a show, shaking his behind in my dad’s face, but luckily soon got bored and moved on. As soon as it seemed safe, Dad retreated back to the RV and waited with an increasingly impatient bladder for sunrise to safely hurry to the restroom.

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Impatience Will Get You Nowhere Painfully Fast

, , , , , , | Friendly | December 16, 2020

My partner and I decide to go camping this summer; provincial campgrounds are only 50% open right now, and it will be a cheap, safe vacation. We get to our site and there’s a large truck blocking it; the owner is staying at the neighbouring site. He moves it willingly but doesn’t stay at a safe distance before he gets in. 

There’s just our small tent and small car on our site, while their site has a large trailer, a tent, and two large trucks. The morning of our checkout arrives, and as we’re leisurely packing everything up, a woman comes from the other site…

Woman: “We have this site booked for tonight and checkout is 11:00. When are you going to be done?”

Me: “Checkout is 2:00. We’ll be out well before then.”

She huffed and went back to her site, watching us. We’d already planned to spend some time collecting spruce tips before we left, but we may have taken a bit more time.

This story is part of our Best Of December 2020 roundup!

Read the next Best Of December 2020 roundup story!

Read the Best Of December 2020 roundup!

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Should’ve Let Her Eat It

, , , | Friendly | December 7, 2020

Our geography classes in senior year had a couple of big excursions running that parents could opt to send their kids on. The school picked some really awesome places to go, and during the camps, we would get to learn while physically surrounded by the course’s material, win-win.

One year, we went on a week-long trip to Fraser Island and Lady Elliot Island. Lady Elliot is a small island on the Great Barrier Reef, and while it’s only barely long enough for the light planes’ runway, there are heaps of things to do and see. Tourists flock there from around the world, and with a big communal dining hall, we met a lot of interesting people.

One little girl kept popping up randomly multiple times a day as our group was engaging in various activities on the tropical island. We were heading out snorkelling and the little girl went running by and slipped on some leaves. I helped her up and she dashed off without a sound. Leaving the dining hall, I saw her trip up the stairs. Again, I helped her up and asked if she was okay, as she had hit the floor rather hard with her elbow. She didn’t make a sound, but I got a fleeting smile as she dashed away.

The back of the hall had a couple of table tennis setups and our group found ourselves there most afternoons to relax and play a VERY weird version of table tennis. All surfaces were in play, including the people spectating, and this little girl would shyly scoot over to watch. She tripped again and went down into a loose drift of sand, so I plucked her from the sand and helped her dust as much as we could out of her hair. She smiled and grimaced in embarrassment before dashing off again.

These run-ins were adorable and I kind of figured she might be mute since I’d not heard her make a single sound, even when she bit it hard on the concrete one morning.

On our last day at Lady Elliot, we were leaving the dining hall and heading to our cabins to pack for the morning plane when, yet again, I saw this little girl. She was half-hiding behind a pillar and staring at me. Thinking this might be my last time seeing her, I approached, knelt down to her level, and said:

Me: “Hey there, hun. We are all leaving tomorrow. I won’t be around to help you up anymore. Be careful to keep both feet on the ground, yeah?”

And I gave her a big smile.

She grinned back, came out from behind the pillar, and declared, loud enough for everyone in the hall behind us to hear:

Little Girl: “You’re fat!

Then, she sprinted away. My friends laughed; I was in shock. Little brat! And people wonder why I tolerate children but don’t want any of my own.

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Cheesy But Effective

, , , , | Learning | December 5, 2020

We have a school trip to a campground when I am about ten years old. The girls are in two big tents, boys in two big tents, and there are two teachers and two teachers’ assistants in their own tents.

On the first night, we are being typical kids in tents with torches, playing games, trying to scare each other, and calling to the other tents, and the TAs and teachers come in a few times to tell us to go to sleep.

Around midnight, one of the TAs comes in with a box.

TA: “Do you want a midnight feast? Don’t let the others know! Be quiet!”

Us: *Whispering* “Yes!”

TA: “Here, but turn your torches off and be really quiet.”

She handed over a box of cheese sandwiches and, reminding us again to be really quiet, crept out. We all sat there munching our sandwiches and talking in whispers, and when we were done we all pretty much fell asleep straight away. She did this every night of the three-day trip, and we thought we were being SO sneaky!

A few years later, I was chatting with my mum and we were talking about the trip. She was friends with the TA. It turns out that the TA had gone into every tent with a box of sandwiches and the exact same story, and every tent thought they were getting a special treat! Cheese sandwiches were a stroke of genius, stodgy and filling, and after eating a few while sitting quietly we were practically guaranteed to start feeling sleepy.

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Slow And Steady Avoids The Wasps

, , , , | Learning | November 30, 2020

I am six or seven years old. For a few years, I go to a nature camp every summer. I like everything except the hikes, which I still hate later in life.

One day, before a hike:

Counselor: “We found a wasp nest on the trail we’re going to hike today. We’ll give you a warning before we enter that area, and we’ll have to walk past it very quietly.”

Since I’m not crazy about hikes, I always walk towards the back of the group of twenty to thirty campers and counselors. The counselor who is assigned to the back of the group decides that I should be striving to be up front. I am with the group and not holding us back, so each time she bothers me, I politely brush her off. I move up closer to the middle just so she will stop annoying me.

We eventually get to the area with the reported wasp nest and are told to walk slowly and quietly. Most campers are looking up trying to see the nest. Little do they know, they will not be able to see it. One girl at the front is walking normally until she puts her foot down and the ground starts buzzing. She has stepped on the hive. She and the four other people at the front are chased down the rest of the trail by a swarm of angry wasps.

I decide this is the perfect moment to find the counselor who wanted me up front.

Me: *Smugly* “I’m glad I didn’t go up front like you told me to!”

She glared at me but made no comment.

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