Wednesday, June 18, 2008

As the Canoe Turns: The Eagle Scout

My friend, Kant, wrote a post that reminded me of some of my antics back in my church singles' group days. Inspired, I felt the need to revisit, especially since the season of canoe trips has begun.

Back in the day, I was an organizing little butterfly. One of the things I liked to organize was group canoe trips. The first year I did it, we had a small handful of people (around 12 or so). The second year I did it, the number was between 25-30 people. The next year, I opened up the invite to the church singles in JoCo, and that number exceeded 50. Each year, more and more people would leave their brains at home.

Take Eagle Scout, for example. He was a third generation Eagle Scout. I know this because he reminded us ALL THE TIME. (Someone once said Eagle Scout just stood for "My Mom Did It", but I can't remember who...) To make things even more enlightening, ES served as some sort of "Canoe Counselor" for camp. Which he apparently felt made him the expert canoer on the trip. Throughout the day, he would attempt to offer canoe pointers to anyone he thought needed them, one of which resulted in Kant and her sister's canoe being wrapped around a fallen tree stump in the first turn of the float.

I'm surprised someone didn't lodge an oar up his ass, but it is important to note that by the end of the day, his canoe had tipped over more times than anyone else. And everyone hated him.

Back at camp, it's time to start the campfire. It had rained the night before, so everything was still somewhat soggy, even though it had been hot and sunny all day. Redneck Brother and myself are pretty proficient at the camping game, so we were working to start the fire. ES, in all his infinite Eagle Scout wisdom, decides we are moving too slow for his taste, and produces a can of white fuel. Despite our protests, ES proceeds to douse a generous amount of gas on a giant pile of wood, then pour a small trail leading away from said wood. By this time, everyone is pissed off at him, and we watch as he lights the beginning of the trail-o-gas. Because the nature of this gas is somewhat more volatile than regular gas you get at the pump, it's fumes are also extremely flammable. Aside from a line of fire going across the campsite, the fumes also ignite and travel up ES's legs and shorts, burning all the hair as it went. He screams like a little girl and everyone else fights the urge to breakout in thunderous applause. Disgusted, Redneck Brother takes his matches away calls him a dumbass. ES's little stunt, of which I had to explain to the campsite's owners why there was a big scorch mark on the grass, not only was dangerous, it didn't work.

Later that night, after a dinner of the standard camping fare: hot dogs, chips, beans, roasted marshmallows, ES disappears to his truck and returns with a guitar. Everyone else is looking at each other as if wondering, "What the hell?!" but because this is a group of Mormons, it's more along the lines of, "What the heck?!"

ES tries to play and lead everyone in singing church hymns, which goes over like a lead balloon. Then, he just decides to entertain us by playing and singing himself. Redneck Brother, who has had all he can stomach for one day, tells ES that if he continues to play, the guitar is going to be pitched in the campfire.

Dejected, ES adjourns to his tent. For the remainder of the weekend, he whines that no one likes him. I have no idea why that was.

From what I hear, he found a girl dense enough to marry him. Poor thing.


Jared said...

I don't think I went on that canoe trip, which is a good thing because I can't stand those types of Eagle Scouts, or people for that matter. I'd say a safer bet is that I did go on that trip, but I just ignored the person the entire time, and now can't even remember who it was. All I remember from the trip was taking the giant Ford Excursion with something like 10 people piled in, and Seth reading a Harry Potter during the drive, and then getting hit on the whole time by some girl I've who's name I've long since forgotten. Those were the good old days.

Midtown Miscreant said...

thanks for the laugh. Great story, and I hope that knee gets better.