Friday, February 09, 2007

Look at what I can do

Oh no. The Talker just made me remember something stupid his old man did about 15 years ago.

"Hey dad, watch how fast I can drink this juice". And in one long draw on the straw it was gone. Then he hopped up, ran around the kitchen and asked for more juice, so he could try it "fasterer this time. Maybe we can race."

'Awwww hell no, boy'. The words that wanted to come out. "I don't think so". The daddy speak that I eventually uttered.

A little back story. 15 years ago. Working at a summer camp. The kids and staff all ate at giant tables, family style. Food had to be passed around the table, so that everyone would get their fill. No cafeteria lines here. And at the end of the meal someone, usually one staff member and one camper, had to get all of the dirty dishes and leftovers back to the kitchen. 'Slop tray duty'.

Lots of cabin leaders came up with charts and graphs to make sure every kid took a turn slopping the trays. For some reason, my cabin was never that organized. We usually settled it like the men and boys we were. Impromptu table top competitions broke out at every meal. All good stuff.

Who can burps the loudest.. Ready, set, BUUUUUUUUUUURP. Rock Paper Scissors to the death. Fastest to sing the ABCs. Who can gross out the girl's cabin over there the quickest?

The funny thing, was that it was a badge of honor in our cabin to slop a meal. Everyone else in camp knew that you were the best at whatever idiocy had broken around our table. You win, you heard the cheer "Hey, Hey, Slop Tray! The kitchen is thataway!"

So I challenged the kids to a milk drinking contest. But after slamming the milk you had to run out the door, go around the bell tower and be the first back to the table. A camper upped the ante. First one to win three laps, with a milk to slam in between, is IT.

Ready, set, guzzle!

On the third lap, I was heading around the bell tower as the nearest kid was just coming out of the dining hall. I was about to win! Look at me, everybody, I AM SLOP TRAY. FEAR ME!

Then it happened. I looked back over my shoulder, to pace myself so that the campers would be close enough that I could taunt them with my victory. When all of the sudden a 10 year old flew past me. I poured it on and almost caught him.

But then I barfed on him.

He won slop tray. But I don't think he wanted to win THAT bad.

I don't remember if he actually bussed the table that day. I think he headed to the cabin for a change of clothes and hopefully, a shower. But it was summer camp, so who knows.

I do remember him telling his mom and dad all about it wen they arrived a few days later to pick him up. This was a thing to brag about. He won slop tray. And got barfed on by a counselor, all at once. Yep. That was me. always making it special for the kids.

Sitting at lunch, watching my son jump up after slamming some white cranberry juice and wanting to run around the table, just made me want to hurl. Or maybe challenge him to a juice drinking contest.


Terry said...

I must admit, I had tears in my eyes and milk in my nose by the time I finished laughing about this one!! Hey Hey Slop Tray, the barfing counselor is on his way!!

Mike said...

Hey Hey Slop Tray, the barfing counselor is on his way!!

Now THAT would have made a great title.

I also thought about LOOK OUT, I'M GONNA BARF!

grace said...

You barfed on one of the kids? E-yucky! Now how did the other counselors react when this happened? That's what I want to know!

Angel said...

hahahahahahaha that sounds SOOOOOO responsible. Thanks for the laugh. Isn't it funny how life experience really goes into the advice we give as parents. I had a rather unpleasant experience with a milk shake once and I know how unpleasant milk is to come back up.....ewwww.

Mike said...

You know, I don't remember any of the other counselors helping out. I think I was left to literally clean up my own mess.

And I went a long time after that without drinking any milk.

But I can still stuff a whole cupcake in my mouth and eat it faster than any of you. Another slop tray trick!

Terry said...

Thanks Mike!! I am still laughing over this one and I needed a good laugh. Although it is Dr Pepper now instead of milk coming out of my nose...

Look... No . in DP Yeah Baby!!

Rick said...

I laughed so hard I hurt. Can you say "Too sore for one more"?

I hurled one time after drinking a glass of milk with a ham and cheese sandwich. (Not a prety picture). I didn't drink any milk for over 10 years after that.

MyBestInvest said...

Milk + running + summer = not good.

Great story!

Mike said...


Now you tell me.


I AM 2 sore for 1 more. Thanks for asking.

Though I am a little curious and flattered.

That's what she said.

Long Island Dad said...

No more milk for me thanks... gonna start drinking my java black!
But this is where we get those adult pearls of wisdom for our children:
"Don't do that!"
"Trust me!"