Thursday, June 07, 2007


i never got my tenderfoot. i could have gotten my life badge, but i never cared to go to one of those board of reviews. if i recall correctly, the scouting badges went tenderfoot, second class, first class, star, life, and then eagle. if you do anything special after that, the president invites you to washington d.c. to shake your hand or something. from what i've been told, being an eagle scout used to mean something special. this was back when my dad was a kid and kurt russell was whitey, a renegade scout leading his troop against the u.s. military in the disney classic follow me boys. now being an eagle scout means sitting in "the eagle's nest" as a newly inducted eagle realizes he has also just wasted too many hours of his life. if you are real lucky, you get invited into the order of the arrow. it's a secret boy scout club (like al qaida). they make you think that they are sneaking off during summer camp to plant trees and eat oranges. in reality, they are dressing up as indians, giving eachother secret names, using secret handshakes, and making secret oaths to not divulge the great secret - that they had just wasted a lot of time dressing up as indians.

for me, scouting wasn't about handshakes, mottos, badges, and helping old ladies cross the street (if you're an old lady who can't cross the street by yourself, it's time for you do just die). scouting wasn't about learning skills, developing morals, or transforming ourselves into stalwart citizens. scouting was about camping, burning things, and swearing.

oh yeah, and it was also about farting.

camping. this was what scouting was really all about. camping was where burning things, swearing, and farting could go on without the condemning eyes of our parents - parents who believed we were out becoming productive young adults. whether it was the quick one-nighter or the week-long summer camp (managed by a bunch of 16 yr old rejects), camping pretty much followed the same protocol:

-get to the camp site.
-hurry up and fill your tent with friends before you are forced to house russell (he would crap his pants).
-set up tent and begin swearing
-taunt friends who discovered they have an opening for russell.
-start a fire
-begin throwing things into the fire
-dinner (usually chilli)
-throw other things into the fire
-sit around the fire, swearing, telling dirty jokes, and fart
-go to our tents
-play some poker
-swear, talk about girls, and fart.
-eventually fall asleep
-wake up way too early
-start a fire
-throw things into the fire
-breakfast (usually french toast, bacon, and scrambled eggs mixed with cheese)
-realize you have the runs
-be scared to fart because of the runs
-go back to sleep
-lunch (usually some kind of sandwhich)

if it was a one nighter, we would then burn whatever garbage/wood/dead animals/food we had left, and then pee on the fire to put it out, all the while joking and swearing about the stench. if it was more than one night, we would then just repeat the process.

burning things. fire is a scouts best friend. while we were happy to burn anything that was flammable (and still throw in everything that wasn't), a favorite tradition of ours was the burning of russell's underpants.

as i already mentioned, russell crapped his pants. i don't know why he did. nobody really knew. he did it on camps. he did it at school. he did it at church. if there were pants on him, he would crap in them. on one of the first camp outs i can remember, a few of my friends who were stuck with him discovered that their tent stunk worse than the latrines. after some investigation, they discovered a soiled pair of whitey tighties in russell's bag.

when i say 'soiled', i am not referring to a stain or streak. i'm not talking about a smudge. i mean to say that there was a log of poop in those briefs. a log. and not just any log, this was a friggin yule log. in germany some parents would have mistakingly hid their kids' toys in this thing. it was huge.

and of course, it stunk... it was poop afterall.

i wasn't there when they made the discovery. rather, i was by the fire with some friends when i heard a swearing storm heading my direction. dangling from the end of a stick, was a pair of white briefs with the aforementioned log attached. after it was dropped into the fire, we immediately began throwin as many logs (the wooden kind) we could find to incinerate that thing.

and thus began the traditional burning of russell's underpants. sometimes they would be boxers. other times, briefs. but without a doubt, there would always be a log in his unmentionables and a bunch of swearing scouts burning the thing.

swearing. when i was sixteen, a bunch of us decided we weren't going stop swearing. in an effort to achieve this goal, a few of us made a pact to punch eachother for swearing. a simple pact: if you swear you get punched.

the problem was that getting punched hurts. getting hurt makes you swear. swearing gets you punched again. (you can see where this is going). to make it even worse, when a friend punches you it doesn't matter what kind of pact you made, you're going to punch them back. this in turn angers them, causing pain, swearing, and more punches.

needless to say, we decided to drop the pact and just swear when it seemed fit. no point in getting hurt if the utility of pain fails.

farting. it's just fun and funny. and yes, if you put a match to your anus and fart, it will ignite. just be careful not to burn a hole in your shorts.

somewhere in scouting i learned to tie a few knots, but i have since forgotten. the whole knots thing is just a front, a cover and excuse for us to be boys and do what boys do best - camp, burn things, swear, and fart.

1 comment:

  1. ah yes, the infamous burning of russell's undies. Who was that carrying the poo? Was it Mark or Adam? Crazy times. I'm sure there is some psych diagnosis for his condition. Something like 'preferis feces shortis'. Poor guy. As gross and stinky as he was, you can't help but feel bad for the dude. I mean, he did have gordo as his dad.


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