Monday, August 16, 2010

Redefining concepts

If journalists can make up words -- which we do all the time -- then I can certainly make up a new definition. Expect this in the first edition of Heidi's Dictionary. Yes, there will be pictures.

camping [kamp-ing]: Going to a campsite, setting up a tent, eating outside, then unexpectedly bailing before midnight and going home.

With the exception of one time that I went camping for work, every time I go camping this always ends up happening. It's happened the last three times, and I've only been four times in my adult life. The first time was a ward campout in college; it barely qualified as camping anyway, and then when it started raining my friend who I came with and I all of a sudden realized that we didn't want to be there -- so we left.
The second time was a year ago; it again started raining (the Toth camping curse: if you camp, the rain will come) and rained hard and cold for a couple of hours. I'd only been out there for a little while while everyone else had been there for one or two days, so when they decided it was going to be miserable staying out there with dry clothes, I was totally OK with jumping ship early.
This weekend, though, I was committed. There was no rain. We had most of the stuff we needed. Rachel and I were going to do it.
Then we got up there and a sign said the campsite was full. We went anyway and found an open first pit and space next to a family reunion. We set up the tent, successfully started a fire, and roasted bratwurst and had tin foil dinners and s'mores. I burned myself a little bit, and the smoke was ridiculously out of control, but we were doing OK.
Until some old guy came over, asked if we were part of his family and said we were poaching on their reserved spot. We apologized and said we could move. He said he thought it wasn't a problem but he wanted us to know.

self-righteous [self-rahy-chuhs]: Pointing out that people are in the wrong simply so they'll know they are wrong and you're right, not because anything is gained from it.

So we stayed and quietly discussed how irritated we were at the guy. Once we'd finished with the food, we packed it all up and took it back to the car, because let's face it, these two city girls did not want nearby bears to have any incentive to come meet us. As we're walking over there, this irate woman comes over and demands to know if we're part of the family, then tells us they paid $350 to reserve this space and just because they weren't using it all didn't mean that we could just come in and use it and her main concern was if we had any food there, since they have lots of little "tenders" running around and they didn't want bears (like we did) and she just wasn't happy with the whole situation. Interspersed with this diatribe were our apologies and our offers to move, which she didn't bother to acknowledge as she continued accusing us of wanting to attract bears to eat what I assume were children, although ...

tender [ten-der]: when used as a noun in a food discussion, little strips of chicken or beef that have been breaded and deep-fried into tempting deliciousness, causing carnivores or omnivores to want to eat them.

We packed up in five minutes and found a better place to watch the meteor shower, interspersing our deep spiritual, philosophical and personal discussion with comments about this woman and that if they'd asked us to move, we would have had no problem with it.
So, good times! Who wants to go camping? We'll be done by midnight.


  1. I think she was saying "tenters." Good try, though :)

  2. I don't think so. She's from Utah, so if she were using a word with a "t" in the middle of it, the word would have come out "tenners."