Tuesday, July 25, 2006

One Dance

When I was 11 my parents shipped me off to sleepaway camp for the first time. I didn't want to go and fought like a bastard about it.

Well, I went.

They sent me during the second half of camp. You used to get a choice if you were a parent. The first four weeks or the second four. The worst thing for a kid was to get dumped into the second four weeks. This was when all the friendships were already made and clicks formed. To enter this world in week five was like being the new kid in school. In other words, it sucked.

But there I was, an 11 year old fat kid in a cabin with five other guys who hated me on first site.

Yes, I said fat kid. I was a bit of a porker in those days. My mother used to drag me down to Sears and buy me Levis in the "Husky" size. Any kid who ever had a slight weight problem will appreciate this size reminder.


They may as well but a bullseye on your ass with a target and a sign that said "pin the tail on lard ass" There was nothing worse than that walk to the young men's section when I was in 5th and 6th grade.

Until.... That summer!

These bastards tortured me from the minute I walked in and didn't let up until I got on the bus to come home. Four weeks of "loser", "homo" and "fag."

I used to lay awake nights thinking of ways to kill these guys. Friday the 13th became a documentary in my mind. The only thing I'd look forward to was the sport sections my father would send me in the mail. However, my father, God love him, is one cheap bastard! He used to send them "3rd class mail" to save a few cents. I'd get sports "updates" weeks after the games happened.

Summer camp is usually a giant hook up! For me it was a giant wet dream. Girls didn't want to talk to, let alone be seen with the fat fag.... You know, the homo loser from cabin six...

But something amazing happened that summer. Because of the "no seconds" policy and general shit menu the camp offered I dropped 20 pounds. I was actually skinny by the end of camp. Right in time for the big end of the year "Camp Formal." A big dance where all the guys stood on one wall and the all the girls stood on the other. You remember those!

Anyway, there was this one girl, Randi, that all the guys wanted and all the girls hated. She was a piece of ass! At least, the best piece of ass I'd seen in my 11 years on earth. The dance was in full swing and the first hour was spent with all the guys having this conversation:

GUY 1: You ask her!

GUY 2: No way, you ask her!

GUY 3: You guys are pussies!

Guy 1: Then you ask her!

GUY 3: No way!

This went on and on and on.... Then, in a moment of clarity, I think to myself... "I'm gonna do it. I'm asking this girl to dance!"

I figured if I could pull this off it would TOTALLY redeem my summer. Me! The fat, homo, loser was going to show these assholes who's got balls! I just needed to pick my spot.... Then it happened, the fast dance songs ended and the slow number came on... "The Flame" by Cheap Trick.... I can still hear it!

I marched right by those three guys, right up to Randi, and asked her to dance.

She said yes!

Now there I am, her hands on my shoulders, my hands on her hips. The junior high slow-dance in full glory. I'm taking the time to look around at all the guys and even the girls watching me in my all my glory. I'm sporting my 11 year old boner proudly as I turn back towards Randi who actually smiles at me!

With a fade to black and title card that says "Produced By: Bob Brush" it was a episode of "The Wonder Years"

"I FUCKING RULE!" I think to myself when all of a sudden it gets very breezy.

I'd been pantsed!

My fucking pants are around my ankles. My 11 year old boner is putting a serious dent in my tightie whiteys and the entire gym is laughing at me! Randi is gone before I can even look up.

Cheap Trick is still playing with cruel, cruel irony

"Watching shadows move across the wall,
I feel so frightened.
I wanna run to you, I wanna call,
But I've been hit by lightening.
Just cant stand up for fallin apart."

Seems with all my weight loss it made me very easy to de-pants!

Randi never came back to the dance and I never saw her again. The next morning we all went home.

Looking back I take pride that the only one who had the balls to ask her to dance was me!


The fat, gay, tightie whitey wearing, pantless loser!

For about two minutes of that entire miserable summer it was all worth it!

For those two minutes....


At 10:36 PM, Blogger Dim said...

I was a husky kid too. Only, I got the Toughskins, not the Levis.

Great story!

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Jenny G said...


At 12:14 AM, Blogger emetic sage said...

summer camp fucking SUCKED! did parents have any idea how much torture they were putting their kids through, or were they just so psyched to get them out of the house for a month?

At 6:31 AM, Blogger Hotwire said...

as dime said, i was a toughskin guy (and they came in so many wonderful colors), but i was a 'slim' but that was a long time ago...

funny post! but i can't help but feel a bit old if you were 11 when 'the flame' came out.

have you ever seen, and i'm sure you have, the move 'meatballs'? you have inspired me to watch this over the weekend.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Debbie said...

That's a great story. Talk about raining on your parade. Poor 11 year old you.

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never been to summer camp!! And oh how I love the wonder years!! too bad about being pantsed!! But at least you had the balls to ask!!


At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BRAVO sir. I applaud you. Fat kids of the world unite!


At 10:28 AM, Blogger March to the Sea said...

ho-lee-shit man..wow.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger rosiegirl said...

I love this story, one of my favotires. Oh, and by the way, I would have danced with you, pants or no pants.

At 11:58 AM, Blogger B. said...

Great story. Huskies and tightey whiteys--a classic combination.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger Jocular Schlemiel said...

The movie Heavyweights comes to mind too. Gotta love Ben Stiller as a lunatic Head of Camp weirdo.

I went to an all boys overnight camp for the second round of 4 weeks. I got into fights constantly. I think I asked the same chick 4 times to dance with me, and i got the same answer "NO"

You and I should visit all the losers that didn't do well in life that tortured us at camp. Who cares if it is juvenile? You got something out of the 4 weeks...I got nothing except an unhealthy amount of exposure to male genitalia other than my own.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Lloyd The Bartender said...

Masterful as always. I'll have to tell you some band camp stories...from getting my neck licked for the first time slowdancing to knocking out my teeth on the tri-tom carrier's cross bar while headbanging. You know all the great drummers did tri's...Tommy Lee...Dave Navarro (he started on drums)...Stephen Perkins...me...

NOW: Guess which one of the four aforementioned tri-tome weilding marching drummers NEVER had a THREEsome in his youthful rock and roll glory years?

I'll bet a burrito lunch you can figure that one out!


At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Pog said...

God! This is a great post but it is painful for me to read. Kids suck, they really do.

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can identify with your experience except I didn't get the time with the girls


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