The Deep Woods—George Davis
I’m no woodsman. I could never make small sticks come alive by rubbing two sticks together. I could not start one with Flint either. And don’t mention erecting a tent on site. It would take me all day to set up that canvas blanket with four tent pegs. However, two weeks ago I agreed to go camping in and around Sagamore Lake in the Eastern town of Cumberland Falls, Maine. How people in their right minds could ever consent to leave the comforts of home to embark on a sojourn into the Maine woods.
“Come on, Edward, I drew you instructions on assembling that tent. It can’t be all that hard to do,” Mavis, my long-time girlfriend, and possible ex after this fiasco shouted.
“I’ve told you time and again. I am not an outdoor kind of person.”
“Okay, Edward. Step aside, let a tent putterupper set up that tent.” She worked only ten minutes, and the portable shelter was up and ready for occupancy. I hate it when Mavis bests me, and it transpires all too often.
Lot #4 was equipped with water and electricity, but Mavis wanted to ‘rough it’ this weekend. I swear she was raised by wolves or something. Even at her home she spends every spring and summer, and part of fall in her backyard swinging in her hammock strung between two red maples.
“Okay, Edward, time for a little lunch.You did bring the hamburg and hotdogs didn’t you?”
“Yes,” I said, passing her the meat. “I want my Hamburg well-done, and my hot dog burned.”
“I know how you like your BBQ, Edward. I’ve been grilling your meals for the past four years.”
“I know. I just wanted to remind you. That’s all.”
“I don’t need to be reminded. I’m not senile.” She said. “Now unwrap the firewood and start the fire.”
“And how do you suppose I should light a fire without matches?”
“I brought a lighter and fuel. That should not be hard to perform. When I said, roughing it. I meant, eating and sleeping in the great outdoors, not living a primitive life, Edward.”
The sun was setting and Mavis and I sat by the campfire toasting marshmallows. I can’t say it was fun. I took small nips while fighting off the entire east coast mosquito network. And you ask me if I like camping. My idea of roughing it is a room in a five-star hotel with room service and a spa.
“Put on some Off, Edward. Those mosquitos are not bothering me.”
I did as she said, though the bloodsuckers were driven away. I still felt the red welts on my arms. Those blotches itched, and I spent most of the rest of the time in my tent scratching.
“Edward, look at that bright moon. Isn’t it beautiful?”
“I guess so. I’ve seen many moons. This one is no different than any I’ve viewed over the years.”
“You are such a fuddy-duddy. I bring you up here to this woodland paradise to enjoy nature. What do you do? You act as if you woke with a dab of Limburger cheese under your nose making everything stink.”
“Not everything, Mavis. I enjoy your company.”
“One would never know it, by the way, you act.”
“I can’t help it if I’m a city boy. The country holds no interest to me. Give me the busy streets, horns honking, children laughing, and the smell of the ocean.”
“You are impossible, Edward Little.”
Sunday night. We are packing to go home. I am in my element. Tent folded, food in cold storage boxes, the campfire doused, and the trunk lid closed over the weekend’s remnant camping articles.
I can’t wait to get home. I’m going to snuggle in my dark-brown leather recliner with the inline vibrator. I’ll turn on the TV, settle down and probably snooze while the evening news blares away. Now that’s what I call good entertainment.
“Are you coming in for a while, Edward? I’ll make some coffee, and I’ve got pound cake in the freezer.” I want to go home. However, since I gave Mavis such a hard time this weekend. I will go in and have coffee with her.
“Can’t you make that cat of yours stop winding around my leg, Mavis. It drives me crazy, and besides. You know I am allergic to animal fur.”
“Oh, Edward. Can’t you just learn to relax? You are so negative, at times I could kick you in the seat of your pants.” I can’t help it if I have allergies, now can I?
Mavis nuked the pound cake and made it soft and warm. I didn’t want to complain, but I like my cake more solid. Mavis is a good cook. She does make the best chop suey on this planet. I love it when she makes that dish. She adds peas, and I love those little pod occupants. They enhance the flavor of the goulash.
“Oh, Edward, by the way. I’m going camping next weekend at Holy Cow Camp Ground up in Bethel. I hope you’ll go with me. If you don’t. I shall go alone, and who knows. There might be other singles up there. They are listed as a favorite website with the owners.” I know she is trying to make me jealous. On the other hand, she just might meet someone up there, and dump me.
“Okay, I’ll go, but I won’t be happy about it, Mavis.”
“I knew you’d go, Edward. I just love it when you play hard to get.”
I spent the whole week dreading Friday evening. That’s when we will leave for camp. It’ll be another lost weekend for me.
“Edward isn’t it grand. This place is in the National Parks news magazine. It is listed as a five-star campground.”
“Yeah, it’s nice, Mavis, really nice,” I said without enthusiasm.
I’ll end this story with a quote from George Carlin. “Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.” It puts my feelings about camping in the right perspective.