It’s been a small handful of days so far at camp, and everything is going pretty smoothly, the docks and boats are all set up in the lake, cabins are being cleaned, computers are set up… the kids don’t arrive for another five days and it seems like there isn’t all that much left to do.

While all that’s well and good, I’m a little bummed that I haven’t had to clean up anything disgusting this year, which is most certainly not par for the course.  Perhaps that’s due to the fact that my role is essentially Tech Guy/Van Guy, meaning I’m pretty much indoors unless I need to make a supply run.

Which often leads to stuff like the comic you see above.

So I don’t have any nasty story about the last few days, but that sure as heck doesn’t mean that I don’t have any nasty story about a previous pre-camp.  Here goes!

In 2006, I arrived at camp for the first time as a counselor.  Fresh faced and excited, I jumped at the opportunity to help out in any way I can, so when Head Staff asked for a volunteer to clean out the kitchen loading dock, my hand shot right up.

Everything was pretty simple: there were about twenty rubber garbage cans and a dozen or so buckets that needed cleaning out, and there was a hose conveniently placed nearby.  Easy-peasy.

With great skill and finesse, I sprayed down the insides of everything there, eager to finish the job quickly and move on to whatever was next.  Finally, I was down to the last item, a bucket that had its lid stuck.

No problem.  I got a screw driver, pried the stubborn lid off, and…

immediately vomited.

Through tears that were welling up in my eyes, I was able to view exactly what had produced such a foul odor.  Inside the bucket… was a ton of dead rats.  Rats.  Dead ones.  Smelly dead rats.  All together.  In a bucket.  For how long exactly, I did not know.  All existence crumbled around me, and suddenly my whole world was that smell.  That smell, and the mass of dead rats that were now my suddenly reluctant responsibility.

I gathered my bearings, picked up the hellish container, and walked to the dumpster, which was mercifully only 20 feet away.  Holding the bucket over my head, I threw my arms down hard and stopped suddenly… but nothing came out.  Over and over I attempted to free the putrid rodents from their plastic tomb, until eventually they gave way and slowly slid out like cranberry sauce from a can; a perfect, bucket shaped cylinder of rats not unlike a pillar constructed of corpses.

My reward for disposing of the rats?  A lighter bucket coated in the maggots that had been eating away at them.

Ugh, I still get queasy thinking about the rat bucket.

Quick note: I stumbled across this video on youtube which shows discarded storyboards and music from the Lion King of a scene in which Scar attempts to court Nala.  It’s totally awesome and I highly recommend you take the five minutes required to check it out.

Finally, it was Dan’s birthday yesterday, so… Happy Birthday Dan!