Dave and Holly, how old are you? And is camp like your whole job all year or is there other stuff?
Where were you coming from? Is this part of your normal route? How soon before the prank did you notice the prankster? At what point did you realize you were going to be drenched? What do you think drew the prankster’s attention to you? What did the prankster say? What was your response? Were any props displayed? Did you get a good look at him? Did he have any scars, tattoos, or otherwise appealing characteristics? Did he appear to be a boxer, martial artist, magician, or in any other way more dangerous than a normal prankster? Did the prank seem good-natured in nature? Could you see how it’d be funny had it happened to anybody else but you? Do you think the prankster knew the pig’s blood was pig’s blood? What’ve you been scheming up for the ultimate payback? Do you want to go shower off first or come visit the prank trunk now? I’ve got whoopee cushions, itching powder, diuretics, laxatives, Vagasil, fake knives, fake guns, paint guns, stink bombs. I’d offer you some pig’s blood but a kid nabbed up the last of it this afternoon. Take whatever you need, ma’am, and consider me a resource. This is what I do. My role is to make sure rivalries escalate responsibly. And god—seeing you like this, all nasty, coagulating before me— damned if it doesn’t feel like a vocation.
Maybe some rule where everybody has to be nice and talk to you and not move away when you sit by them since it is hard and I am trying.
You’re riding an elevator with a vacantly beautiful woman who pulls a wad of cash from her purse and says to you, “I’m going to use this to purchase a goat, which I will sacrifice to Satan.” Then she gets off the elevator and leaves the purse behind. Do you call out to her and return the purse? Do you remove the “goat money” and then return the purse? Do you keep the purse and the money, then run up her credit cards to be sure and disable her powers as a conduit of darkness? If so, would you only spend the money on donations to worthy charities or might you take a small portion of the money and buy a sandwich? And if that sandwich is a goat sandwich, are you really any better than the Satanist?
What’s the rule on campers soliciting curly locks from loved counselors?
My Face Hurts
It’s so hard to command emotions, Fun Camp! It just is. But we believe, don’t we, that commanding the good ones, like, “I’m having a smiling time in the managed danger of this hot field,” is a shot at actually feeling happy and that commanding the bad ones, like, “I’m hungry,” or “Trees suck,” or “Fire in the building!” is a shot at nothing at all? Unless it’s Oscar season? Put another way: Is fake it ‘til you make it just for job interviews, or for when flossing too? Or still another: Which would win the genuine face pageant: The “everything is good and ends badly” face? The “not getting as much sleep as I’d prefer” face that’s so popular around here? Or is it the one that implies, as the young pop star once declared at the receipt of her own Commander of Bad Feelings award, that this world is bullshit? God, I hope not. How embarrassing for the friendly and what a coup for the sultry. My closest approximation of sultry is pouty, and I never think I’m being pouty when I’m being pouty. How Holly reminds me I’m being pouty is by telling me it’s important to try and enjoy this. This being anything, whatever’s in front of us.
Gabe Durham is the author of FUN CAMP, coming May 31 from Mud Luscious Press. Other writings have appeared in Mid-American Review, DIAGRAM, The Rumpus, and Quarterly West. He lives in Los Angeles. Blog: gatherroundchildren.com / Twitter: @gabedurham