Greetings, kind hearts. I’m writing to you from on the road this week. I never travel far these days without the Mobile Andy Command Unit.
It’s nice to be taking advantage of these modern times where one can have a rather zippy office they can take on the road. Just a tablet computer and a wireless keyboard and you can write poolside at the chic hotel like you’re Ernest Hemingway. Replete with a supply of cool drinks so I can keep composed in this horrid heat.
Why am I on the road you ask and why am I opening this week’s column like I’m a cub reporter from the 1940s? You see, dear readers, I actually agreed to go camping with some friends this weekend. “But Andy” I can hear you asking, “are you trying to tell us that you’ve gone camping and you brought a number of those new fandangled devices with you?” Yes. Yes, I did. I am the jerk who went camping and took a wireless keyboard and an iPad with him. And a Bluetooth speaker. And a solar powered phone charger. And an obscene amount of Astronaut Ice Cream.
“But Andy” I hear you ask again, with a hint of judgement in your voice, “isn’t the idea behind camping to unplug and get back in touch with Mother Nature? To see a world beyond a screen and streaming music?” Why, yes. It’s important to unplug, but I suffer from a strange affliction that requires me to have these devices with me. This affliction is something I like to call “Complete Terror of Being Cut Off from The Outside World, Dear Lord, I May Die this Weekend.”
Normally I spend my mornings on the back deck of my lush estate, Rossdale, while I watch the birds splash alongside my saltwater pool. My manservant, Rhinehart, brings me a fizzy imbibement. He’s a good man that Rhinehart, always at the ready to bring me another ones. “I’m feeling parched, Rhinehart. Bring me another Erwin Baptist Church Lock In!” I’ll shout. You see, these devices help me touch base with Rhinehart, who can’t go camping. Poor devil, he has a horrid allergy to sheet cake, and as we all know the woods around here are just polluted to the gills from the nearby Duncan Hines factory.
So here I am, sitting out in the great wide open on a moderately comfy folding chair. Smelling the fresh air, watching the campfire bristle, and chomping on Astronaut Ice Cream. My Bluetooth speaker is playing a selection of John Coltrane, which is clashing badly with the nearby sing-a- long that’s taking place by the campfire. People are complaining but I pretend I can’t hear them–the music is too loud! *wink*
Yet as I sit here and watch this sight I do see the what people get out of camping. There’s a romanticism to this. Dinner last night was most charming and memorable having it by campfire. Sitting there, looking at the twilight of dusk fill the air around us, using a tennis racquet to fight off a mosquito the size of a toddler with a good vocabulary. The air mattress too was surprisingly comfortable. I only swore five times trying to crawl out of it this morning. But once I had coffee and came to my senses, I did bask in the glow of a morning unlike any I had seen before.
I can honestly say this has been the best camping trip I’ve ever been on. Also, it’s the only camping trip I’ve ever been on. Such a shame it has to end so quickly, but one night is plenty for me. My friends are staying for the whole weekend, where as I have called Rhinehart to come and pick me up in the car. There’s a “Batman” marathon coming on TV tonight, and who am I to deny that? Let’s face it, the call of the bat is much stronger than the call of the wild. See you next week.