Ordinary


The first day of summer camp has come and gone, and as I lay sprawled across my couch, my corpuscular body wheezing pitifully for air, my mind races, recalling the events of the day.  It analyzes and categorizes all of the children i had met that day, organizing them into groups based off of likability and obedience, and yet through all my searching, and despite all of my categorical machinations, I had yet to find the one perfect camper.  I searched high and low, of course I did, but he or she remained as elusive as help at a best buy.

“Is it you?” I would interrogate each and every one of my campers as they came through the door, grabbing them by their shoulders and gently/violently shaking them as a surveyed they terror stricken face.

“Wha-?” they would start to say, right before I suddenly released them.

“Are you the perfect camper?”

“Yes!” They’d always lie, enthusiastically.

“Nah…” I’d say, shaking my head and frowning.  “You talk big, but you’re just ordinary.”

And they were all just that: ordinary.  Well, that’s not entirely fair, many of them were extraordinary in certain aspects: intelligence, drooling, crying, screaming, legos, but they were all ordinary kids.  You take the good with the bad and just roll with the punches.  I’ve found that being able to laugh at annoying things that kids do makes life infinitely easier than if I allowed myself to be annoyed.  For instance, the difference between “Timmy why the hell did you vomit in Rotund’s lunch pail” and “Timmy, you rascal, you vomited in Rotund’s lunch pail!  Ha ha!” can save your brain from a catastrophic implosion.

I’ve seen it happen.  We had a counselor last year named Paige, and she always got upset at all of the impish tricks her kids played.  One day I had by chance walked by her room’s window and saw her yelling at her children.  Her face was beet red, the muscles in her neck clearly outlined as she screamed at the kids.  I must have gasped, for she turned and looked at me, and I was afraid that her eyes were going to pop out of their sockets as her rage increased by a factor of 12.  I could tell that she was going to start screaming at me through the thin glass that separated us when a sudden quizzical calmness came across a face, and for a moment, at least, she was at peace.  And then, suddenly, her head consumed itself.

Paige’s face, moments before the event occurred.

It was over in a flash, almost to fast for the brain to comprehend.  I caught a glance of what appeared to be her head, but it was now shaped like a watermelon, and had a massive black hole in the middle.

“Paige, yah damn fool!” I cried out, banging a fist on the window as the rest of her body was consumed by the mighty gravity well that had once been her brains resting place, “You can’t lose your cool like that!”  She could have saved herself.  She could have just laughed it off, but she instead paid the horrible price of getting mad at a group of first graders: head implosion.  Turns out she was just ordinary too, though her passing was anything but.  Those kids still remember it, too.  Most of them aren’t even allowed to go to art anymore, the pictures they draw are just too… disturbing.

Alas, perhaps any quest for perfection is doomed from the start, for no such thing exists.  Maybe it’s a bad idea to look for perfection anyway, because what happens when you find it?  “Fuck!” you say, licking your fingers clean,”there goes the only perfect french fry in the world!”

“It’s ok, i’ve gone some ordinary ones I can share,” your friend consoles you.  You take a bite, and it tastes like concrete by comparison.

“This tastes like concrete.” You say angrily.  And it would, trust me.  It’s why I kind of wish I would have never had any craft beer or gourmet coffee, because then I could be happy with keystone and maxwell house, but I can’t.  My taste buds hate me when I try, and I don’t blame them.  Once you’ve had the best, everything else is just… ordinary.

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1 Comment

  1. Mrs. Fever does not camp. However, once upon a time (long, long ago) in a faraway place (called Michigan), she taught English (sort of) to secondary education students. Never (not even once!) did she find The Perfect Student. However, she learned to spot Perfect Hellions from forty paces and, using her wiley wit, managed to make it out alive.

    Somewhat.

    Well, okay.

    Mostly.
    ;)

    Reply

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