Friday, July 26, 2013

Operation Non-Participation - an excerpt

I thought you might like to read a portion of Kat's flashback from August, 1988, when she and Michelle go to church camp for the first time:

After the showers, we apply about three layers more makeup than one should really need during a camping expedition. The sun is now fully awake and the other girls in the cabin are starting to scurry about, some shrieking as the cold shower water pierces their skin, others complaining that their clothes are damp. One girl is so sunburned she looks like an angry lobster with a shock of nearly white blonde hair tufting off her bright pink scalp. But Michelle and I are smug, already dressed and busy outlining our plan for circumventing any more group activities.

Our first tactic is vowing to be sickeningly sweet and congenial so as to increase our chances of being allowed to stay together. We know if the staff detects any sign of hostility toward the camp, they will split us up faster than an Indy car can turn a lap at the Speedway.  We fully recognize that our sarcastic tongues render this task nearly impossible, but the rest of our plan relies on us being able to execute this step of Operation Non-Participation flawlessly.

Secondly, we determine that some stuff will require a basic disappearance maneuver. “They can’t possibly count every single one of us all the time. In the bigger group activities, we’ll simply vanish,” Michelle suggests. 

“They’ll never notice," I add.

“Now, for the the smaller things, craft time and the discipleship groups, we’re gonna have to suck that up,” she says. I nod. “It’s the physical stuff we want to avoid. So here’s the deal and part three of our plan: It’s not that we don’t WANT to participate, it’s just that we CAN’T.”

“Oh, of course,” I agree. “We’d be perfectly happy to run around those bases with our legs tied together inside a burlap sack like total idiots, but we’re just unable to make that happen at this juncture.” I sound like a politician.

“I twisted my ankle during Capture the Flag,” Michelle explains, mustering up a disappointed tone and reaching down to rub the side of her leg as if she’s in agonizing pain for effect.

“Yeah, and I have cramps,” I say bluntly. I don’t mind leveraging my double x chromosome and playing the “period card.” Few counselors are going to argue with that, and especially not male ones.

“Excellent!” Michelle grins and links pinkies with me. “United, sister!!!” she decrees and we head up the hill to the mess hall to see if there’s anything edible for breakfast.

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