Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hello Val, Hello Hick...Here I am at Camp Nerdnick

My sixteen-year-old son, Genius, is off to Nerd Camp on Sunday. I call it Nerd Camp, which I think is better than Jackling Intro to Engineering. Because what sixteen-year-old boy wants to be mentioned in the same sentence as Jackling? Not mine, I think.

I made him show me the list of items that he needs to take. The two years he went to basketball camps, he needed bedding and bathing supplies. The Nerd Camp, however, supplies sheets and pillows and pillowcases and towels and washcloths. Maybe they think the nerds won't sleep or clean themselves otherwise. Genius has been wondering if he'll have a roommate. I told him probably, and the two of them will be like Lewis and Gilbert in Revenge of the Nerds. I don't think he was amused.

He trekked down to my basement lair yesterday to pull up the camp item list on my desktop. As we read through it, he snorted over my shoulder. "That's not happening. Uh uh. No way." Even I had to ask what decade this list was composed. The seventies, perhaps?

The first must-have item to draw his scorn was the umbrella. "I am NOT taking an umbrella. That's stupid! I'm not going to be seen with an umbrella." I asked what would happen if it rained. "Then I'll get wet. That's not as bad as carrying an umbrella."

Next bone of contention was the sweater/sweatshirt/jacket recommendation for Missouri's changing weather. I don't know what Unwritten Culture Rule of Sixteen-Year-Old Males this one was breaking, but it struck a nerve.

"You can take one of your hoodies."

"No way!"

"What's wrong with a hoodie? You needed one on vacation last month."

"We were at 14,000 feet! On Pike's Peak!"

"Well, there might be a cold front move in."

"I'll be OK."

The snort came from the suggestion to: Bring your favorite Frisbee, hackey-sack, volleyball, football, or basketball. He was incredulous. "Favorite Frisbee? I can see me walking in there with a Frisbee."

By this morning, he was not so outraged. He was almost able to make light of the situation. I asked if the only person he knows who's going, a girl from a neighboring school district, had mentioned the list. "No."

"You guys can talk about it at supper the first night."

"I need to get my stuff together. I think there's a Frisbee down in the basement."

"But is it your favorite Frisbee?"

"I guess it will have to be. It's my only Frisbee."

"I want you to take that umbrella with the bent metal thing at the top. The red and blue one that has the fabric flapping loose from one of the pointy things when it opens up."

"I'll need to pick out a hoodie."

"I can see it now. You'll get out of the car with your hood up, carrying a Frisbee under your arm, with that umbrella over your shoulder. 'Hey, guys! Anybody wanna play some Frisbee?' "

"That is just wrong."

You don't think I'm causing any long-term psychological damage, do you?


Josh Hoyt said...

Definitely not!! This is so funny I think I will read it again just so I can laugh. Anyways I wanted a more sarcastic remark about my comment on July 5th. I need it to be from Miz manners talking about how much she agrees with me :)

Sioux said...

Didn't anyone tell you? That's your most important job: cause psychological scarring.

Mommy Needs a Xanax said...

He sounds like a cool nerd. I'm totally with him on the umbrella thing. Being wet is not as bad as carrying an umbrella.

Val Thevictorian said...

After a stern talking-to, Miz Manners asked me to relay the following advice to you:

You are so right, Josh. Those waitresses should thank you profusely for contributing to their continued employment. It is quite charitable of you to train your children to toss crackers and breadcrumbs under the table. I've found that a good backhand to the milk glass can prolong employment for weeks, especially in those restaurants with wall-to-wall carpeting. Never let the waitresses forget that they are there to serve you. They are fortunate to get that salary of $2.15 per hour, whether they earn it or not. Tips are just icing on the cake for these greedy golddiggers.

I was off to a good start, when my kindergarten Genius demanded to wear a vest and tie on picture day. "Why don't I just hang a 'kick me' sign on your back while I'm at it?" The little Future Enterpriser looked up at me and said, "Why would you do that?"

Are you kidding me? Umbrellas carry a stigma now? I'm really behind the times. You young whippersnappers are too cool for school. Next thing you know, galoshes and ponchos will be out of style.

Linda O'Connell said...

My grandkids consider hoodies, winter coats.

Tammy said...

Nah, short-term. But all teenagers require some short-term damage. Our sanity depends on it. And your son and my daughter must have attended the same non-preparatory school. I do my motherly duty and buy her umbrellas, but *poof!* Who knows where they go.

Val Thevictorian said...

It's not like I asked him to wear a cardigan or a head scarf. Or a mustard plaster on his chest. Kids these days! Perhaps this explains the fashion statement of shorts and hoodies on days when snow is forecast.

I even tried to goad him by pointing out a rack of umbrellas by the door on Pretty Little Liars. That was not one of my better persuasive speeches.

Josh Hoyt said...

Tell Miz Manners that my ego has just jumped a notch thanks to her agreement. We need to continue our educating of those who just don't understand things as well as we do.

Val Thevictorian said...

Miz Manners finds joy in validating those who share her belief system.