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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Holiday Hoopla: Take 3 (See below for parts 1 & 2)

Have you seen Man Vs. Wild? If you have, you can jump ahead a couple of paragraphs. It’s a new program where a man is dumped off in the wilderness to fend for himself. He faces lots of obstacles along the way. In his survival, he must find his own sources of food and water.

Why? I have no clue. I mean, it isn’t like any of his viewing audience is ever going to be in that situation or need to know which bugs and slugs are edible and which are loaded with debilitating, make you shit your pants poison, for cripes sake!

So after accidentally finding the show, I saw this man cut open a fucking camel. Was the camel about to become a new Fox TV special? When Camels Attack! Was he defending himself against the dangerous humptastic beast? No. He was, hmmm… how can I put this so it doesn’t make you regurgitate your breakfast? Okay, if you just ate or are eating right now, skip the rest of this paragraph. He sliced it open to get at the water stored in the animal. He reached his hands into the camel’s hacked up body, scooping out “water” and proceeded to drink it from his cupped hands. Do I need to tell you that I threw up? No it wasn’t just a little throw-up in my mouth, this was projectile, holy shit, all out Exorcist style spin my head right ‘round, baby right ‘round like a record baby, vomit. For the love of all that is good, why?!

As he is eating, drinking, or simply finding his way in a remote location, he is very serious, speaking in a William Shatnerish kind of… pausing for dramatics… way.

How does this relate to part three of my holiday with family? Well, my in-laws don’t really make me feel like I was dropped off in the wilderness to fend for myself. They aren’t nearly that bad, most of them, anyhow. After our two-and-a-half hour behind schedule asses arrived at their house, we saw bodies piling out of the house to greet us. Wow! It was the middle of the night, and they were still awake. My head kept saying, “How do you ditch people who stayed up all night awaiting your arrival? Well, ya silly head, you tell yourself that they really just wanted to see their son/brother!”

It was brilliant. I gave my greeting hugs and kisses. I thanked them for waiting up, and off I went, to sleep… on an air mattress… on the…porch? I was too tired to care.

Although it went from freezing to sweltering on that porch, and I was on puppy patrol all night, I was not Man vs. Wild, but he was there. Oh yes, he was there.

See here’s the deal, my father in-law just kind of exists. He doesn’t say much, mostly because he can’t get a word in edgewise with all of us around. When he does cram a word in, it’s usually funny. Mr. Lane is a lot like his dad. The two of them spent most of the visit hiding in the garage.

Next, my mother in-law is a cooking fool. She would never let HER kids (regular, in-law, step, grand, dog or otherwise) fend for themselves. She whipped up breakfast, lunch and dinner for all 11 of us every day. I have to give my boy, Lane 1 credit. He offered help every time she was in the kitchen… without being asked by me or Mr. Lane. Turns out, he is a pretty good cook too.

My sister in-law is laid back and nothing can phase her. I’m pretty sure the kids could tell her they drank a camel’s water and she would go on with whatever she was doing, only adding, “That’s nice, honey. Go play with your camel now.”

Then there is my brother in-law. He is Man vs. Wild. Not that he is a risk taker, or even at one with nature, but he is about as smart as camel water. He discovered that my in-laws have a metal detector, and that is when the transformation occurred. He went from couch potato, spots watcher to nature guru, treasure hunting, almost rich and famous guy… in two, point two seconds.

So there we were, enjoying the holiday with family out in the hills of Missouri. It’s beautiful there. Deer, elk, moose, black bears, bobcats, mountain lions and grey and red fox roam free, eagles soar over the water. Most of the wild animals do their hunting at dawn and dusk.

Camel Water Boy thought that would be a good time to hunt for treasure with the metal detector.

“You do know there are some dangerous animals out there don’t you?” I asked.

Puffing out his chest, he said, “They aren’t that wild. Come on kids.”

He dragged all of the kids out into the woods. Each had a shovel. Few went willingly. It was very much like the book Holes. “Dig, you little brats!” I’m sure he commanded.

The weather was really cold and really windy and they were out for hours. Upon their empty-handed return, Camel Water Boy said, “I’m setting the alarm clock for 6 and we’ll get started nice and early.” A groan came over the children.

Did they find treasure in the morning? Did they get eaten by wild beasts? Did Man vs. Wild save the children from a ferocious camel attack? Tune in Monday and read part 4 of Holiday Hoopla.

Oh hey, guess what?! Home Fires is three years old. Happy birthday to my blog! Have a great weekend, everyone!