Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Last night's storm reminded me of the time when I was 16 and working at camp in North Georgia. The dishwashers and laundress and I (a simple counselor's aide) were walking around giggling and whispering and trying not to wake the campers because it was about 11:30 at night when a storm blew in suddenly. We weren't ready to part company, but we had a couple of guys from the boys' camp with us, so we all ducked into the men's side of the public restroom cabin.

Well. It was a girls' camp. The men's side of that "public" restroom wasn't really public except on Sunday afternoons when parents visited their daughters.

In any case, while the rain poured just outside the screen door, we soaked and sodden teenagers continued giggling and whispering and trying not to laugh out loud -- which, as anyone can tell you, is particularly difficult when you're sixteen, and we were probably failing miserably, but the cabins all had tin roofs so no one could hear us over the roar of the rain.

And in the middle of this impromptu party, the laundress Heather suddenly intoned importantly: "F! O! W!"

She said it so vehemently, with such fervor, that we all stopped giggling and talking and turned to look at her. Of course, we didn't have to turn far because the men's side of the public restroom was somewhat small, and we were all standing shoulder to shoulder as it was. She sounded like she was quoting a punk rock song. Her voice, the letters themselves, would have been perfectly at home in any early B-52's lyrics. And that's a reasonable commentary on Heather's existence as a whole. She was the only one of us girls who wore thick, black eyeliner all summer long, despite the fact that we only saw the boys after dark and they probably couldn't tell whether any of us were wearing make-up or had touched our curling irons in months.

"F! O! W!" Heather said, and we turned in complete silence to look at her, her thick black eyeliner running down her cheeks from the rain through which we'd just run, and her finger pointing at nothing we could discern.

"Uh, Heather," someone asked, "What?"

At this, Heather spoke, jerking her finger only to punctuate her words, "Frog! On! the WALL!"

Again, we all turned to follow her directive, and yes -- surely enough -- there was a tiny, bright green tree frog on the cheap brown paneling of the men's restroom wall, completely oblivious to the fact that he was so out of place in there.

Hilarity ensued. Someone suggested perhaps the frog just needed to use the urinal. We laughed so hard that our sides hurt. We laughed so hard that we shook the walls and scared the little tree frog to climb higher on the wall, which caused more laughter. We laughed so hard that someone burst out of the screen door and stood out in the rain, guffawing, wiping raindrops and tears from his eyes, and I can still see his silhouette against the light from the dining room on the other side of the knoll.

To this day, when I think of the summer I was 16, what I really think is "F.O.W."

And I need to remember to always look for frogs on the wall -- especially in summer, but even in winter.


At 15/6/05 10:38 PM, Blogger Sherry said...

Are you a writer in real life. MAN.. your story was as vivid as if I had experienced it myself. I was reading with anticipation as to what was going to happen next. Truly, a scene from a novel.

You are a gifted scribe.

At 16/6/05 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FUNNY story!!! Totally reminded me of that time at Bible camp...when we snuck over to the boys' side & stole & jock strap & put it on the flag pole. No frogs though. Very cute story! :-)
Robin :-)

At 16/6/05 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bay you are TOO funny...what a story! Totally sounds like summertime!

At 16/6/05 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story! It makes me want to pack my bags and head to camp, keeping my eyes open for frogs along the way.

At 16/6/05 6:23 PM, Blogger AquariusRises said...

What a great story! I felt like I was right there with everyone, laughing until I cried.

At 16/6/05 6:37 PM, Blogger Gwyn Calvetti said...

Ah, camp memories. I remember them well--thanks for the time traveling, Bay!

At 16/6/05 9:06 PM, Blogger Jennifer Lynn said...

You just positively crack me up!

You had better watch it or the next time in I'm in Maryville TN (don't laugh, because it happens more than I care to admit), I'm going to bring a bottle of sparkling wine and beg you to come meet me. ;-)

At 17/6/05 5:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

love your writing style - consider yourself bookmarked!


Post a Comment

<< Home