Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Death-Metal Voice

A long time ago, when I was a really young kid (say about 6-7) I was set to go to my first summer camp. Being the oldest child, this was a first-time experience for both me and my parents.

Now, this was a very respectable summer camp. It wasn't like we were going to be living in tents in the still-frozen arctic circle. Despite it's respectability, either I, my parents, or perhaps all of us were a little nervous nervous about how being away for entire week would go.

There was apparently a plan hatched to send an abundant quantity of mail and packages to their first-born at camp. However, since I was only going to be there for a week, there was a narrow window for when to send that mail and have it arrive while I was actually at camp. Apparently my parents decided to err on the side of caution and allow ample time for delivery.

As a result, all these cards and packages arrived at camp before I did. And not just a single package, or a card and package, but more cards and packages then there were days I was going to be at camp.

All of this was, of course, unknown to me until the first day of camp when they did a mail call after lunch. As in, we had just arrived at camp. I don't even think we had gone to the cabins yet, but had been herded in to eat. After going through the various kids who had gotten mail, they paused and held up a gigantic fistful of mail. Then they proceeded to tell the story of how this pile of mail was for just a single person, and even worse had all arrived before he was even at camp. Much laughing ensued.

At this point I had a sinking feeling in my stomach about just who this object of ridicule was going to be. Sure enough, they called me up to the front to get all my mail.

To further add insult to injury, they had some system where you had to do 'something' to get your mail. Somehow I ended up being told to sing 'Born in the USA' by Bruce Springsteen. Except I had never heard the song before, so they told me a bit of the chorus and handed me the mike.

I dutifully sang a few lines, and hoped the humiliation would end there. Unfortunately for me, the holder-of-the-mail decided that I hadn't sung 'low enough' and said that I had to try again, this time singing lower.

By this point, all I wanted to do was crawl in a hole. But, trying to be a good sport I said I would try again.

Good sport or not, I damn well was going to be sure that I wasn't going to have to sing it again due to not having a deep enough voice. So I sang the couple lines in what might best be described as a death-metal voice.

My thoughts were something along the lines of "You wanted low, I'll give you low, now give me my mail and let me go die of shame." Thankfully, They managed to stop laughing just long enough to give me mail and release me from my public humiliation.

When I got back home a week later, I have to admit I wasn't all that gracious about my parent's efforts to remind me I was loved. While I certainly appreciated the mail, it was overshadowed significantly by the debacle that was receiving it.


Brenden said...


Scooter said...

I had a group of cub scouts tie up a conselor in his underwear (to a tree) and left him to yell until the camp nurse showed up to let him loose. No, it wasn't me and I wasn't one of the scouts. I'm just pointing out that it could have been worse.

Steve Eck said...

Scooter, That doesn't sound very nice, but on the other hand the guy was a staff member, not another cub scout...