Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Camp Tamawack

Art Krugel of Southfield Michigan writes:

It wasn't real. It couldn't be. There we were, huddled around the floor of our wooden cabin, waiting with raised flashlights and baited breath as the greatest competition of our young lives unfolded: who could come the fastest.

The contest always began the same way. Each warrior would take to his bunk and enter his respective sleeping bag. Lubricants and magazines were permitted but were hardly ever called upon. Silence was requested, but not mandatory and rarely achieved. On the count of three the tugging would begin. And then, like crazed butterflies trying to break free of their cocoons, we would witness the cartoonish outline of this epic struggle. Within minutes, sometimes seconds, a winner would grunt out his victory and a triumphant hand would protrude from their sleeping bag, Whoever said the proof is in the pudding wasn't kidding.

But I still couldn't believe it. Late to the game of self-love, I laughed heartily at these alleged victories. Come on, there's no way that's what you say it is! That's hand lotion! Or vaseline. You guys wouldn't really? Would you?

They would. And they did. Later that year, back at home, I finally discovered the joys of me, a pleasure tempered only by the dark realization that what had occurred that summer was only too real. The following year at camp these competitions were not repeated. Nor spoken of.

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