Friday, August 10, 2012
Q. What equipment will I need to go camping?
A. You need a tent. Tent sizes are measured in units of men, as in "a three-man tent"; this tells you how many men are required to erect the tent if they are all professional tent engineers. Even then, the tent will collapse under unusual weather conditions, such as nightfall. You will also need a hatchet, for the spiders, and a credit card, for the motel.
Q. Where should I go camping?
A. The United States has a spectacular national park system with millions of unspoiled acres where wildlife is protected by federal laws. Avoid these places. You want a commercial facility with a name like "The Stop 'n' Squat Kountry Kamp-ground," where large animals cannot fit through the 6-inch gaps between the Winnebagos.
Q. How much food should I take?
A. A lot. You'll be providing food not only for your family, but also for the entire raccoon community. When I was a boy in rural Armonk, our garbage cans were regularly terrorized by a gang of brilliant criminal raccoons. I recall being awakened at 3 a.m. by loud noises and looking out the window to see, by moonlight, my father, a peace-loving Presbyterian minister, charging around in the bushes, wildly swinging a baseball bat and saying non-Presbyterian words.
Of course, he did not get the raccoons; you NEVER get the raccoons.
Q. What if I get lost?
A. If you don't have a compass, stand very still and listen very carefully, until you hear this sound: "eh-eh-eh." That is Canada. Whatever you do, don't go that way.