So the Long Suffering Husband and Little Professor survived their Boy Scout hiking trip. I didn't go because I don't sleep outside. Also, hiking, bugs and a suspected lack of coffee breaks.
I knew they could do it. Well, I hoped they could do it. I was crossing my fingers a little - and going a lot crazy when I realized they were outside cell service range. However, I showed self-restraint and only texted a dozen or so times and left a handful of voice mails.
Apparently, the Little Professor was convinced he was in eminent danger of dying about 100 feet into the hike, when he realized, yes, he would be expected to carry 17 pounds of camping gear up the side of a mountain; subsist on jerky, granola and dry cereal; and sleep under a tarp tied to a couple of trees.
Actually, he liked making his own meals and putting up his "tent." (I was accused of sending too much food, but there's no groceries in the middle of the primeval forest and I didn't want my boys starving to death.)
He did hate carrying his gear. I told him he should consider it practice for a future dystopia. Some people send their kids to "Hunger Games" camps. Those people are amateurs. In the apocalypse, the "Hunger Games" kids are going to be brawling while the Boy Scouts are throwing up shelters, orienteering and organizing patrols. Forget about the odds being in their favor, the most prepared will survive.
Poor LSH; sleeping on rocks and tree roots didn't agree with him, and he came back bleary-eyed and exhausted. I wanted to ask him if he had enough to eat, but he looked so cranky I didn't quite dare.
They hit a few snags. I'm not saying anyone got lost, but the boys are spending the next five weeks studying orienteering. So there's that. A locksmith had to be called, but only once.
All-in-all, it was successful, but the Professor's backpack had a manufacturing defect, and I had to exchange it.
"Is it empty?" I asked the LSH.
He made an exhausted noise that sounded like "blarghful."
Since I didn't speak Klingon, I asked again.
Since this bag has approximately 72 pockets, I decided it would be prudent to check them myself to make sure some small object didn't get overlooked.
I found eight tent pegs, an emergency whistle, a bar of soap, a fork, a ball cap, a tube of toothpaste, a first aide kit and a spoon.
The LSH and I apparently have very different ideas of what is empty.
We'll have to get on the same page before their canoeing trip next weekend - as soon as I tell him I signed him up for it.
(Wallace-Minger, a resident of Weirton, is the community editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at email@example.com.)