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post #52
bio: chris

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Previous Posts
On Sting (and other crap)
Things I Say to My Dad, Because (like myself) He Thinks, Irrationally, He's Going to Die Soon
Why Hipstamatic Was Invented
Happy Mother's Day, Y'all
Black Pear Tree (Guest Post from John Darnielle)

Talkin' 'bout Tards
There's been a bit of Tard Talk on the robot chat today, which got me to thinkin' about some of the good ol' times I used to have back at Tard Camp.

Yep, I was a Tard Camp Counselor. Those were good times.

There was this one kid… he was about 9 or 10 years old and really tiny. And scrunchy. If you can imagine taking a 65-year-old man and scrunching him down to about three-and-a-half feet tall, that's what this kid looked like. He sounded like and old man, too. Sounded like he had been smoking cigars and gargling whiskey for forty years. He was surly, too. Liked to hit the other kids. He was always making a mess. When he was especially angry, he'd pee on the furniture just to piss you off.

He couldn't really speak very well, so he'd just kind of grunt all the time. In fact, the only "word" that ever came out of his mouth was "Cabohockchow". I guess "Cabohockchow" isn't a word, exactly. But that's all he ever said. Cabohockchow.

One year he was the first camper to arrive on the first day. He was early (I guess his parents wanted him out of their house as much as possible… they'd forget to pick him up sometimes, too.) so we weren't quite prepared to take on the campers quite yet. He comes running in the door right at me, screaming like a kamikaze samurai. So I turn around to say "Hi! Nice to see you!"

I think I got "Hi" and "nice to" out. Running at full speed and screaming like a 65 year old three-foot-tall retarded ninja, he punched me right in the balls.

And that became his mission in life – The Destruction of My Balls. (Pourin' out the end of my 40 to Letters from Pat) He'd start out with the typical straight-jab to the Johnson. Then he developed an uppercut. When that was no longer interesting for him, he learned a flying shoulder-block and would ram that into my nuts. And then, when he got REALLY good -- if I was paying attention to another camper and had my back turned to him, he'd tap me on the shoulder from behind, and when I turned around he'd smack me in the nut sack with a wiffle bat.

I came up with a song parody all about him. You see, I don't want to give his name away here, but his last name sounded an awful lot like the word "Somethin'". So we made up this little ditty in honor of our favorite ball buster.

(Set to the Tune Of "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield)

"(Name that rhymes with SOMETHIN') ‘s happenin' here
What he says ain't exactly clear
There's a boy with a bat over there

There was more but I can't seem to remember it right now…

We took campers up to the age of 21. And my final year, we had this one kid… Well, he was 21. And huge. He stood about 6'3 and weighed in close to 220 lbs. Yep, he was a horse.

A horse who shat himself a lot.

It didn't matter where, really. Sometimes he'd just be sittin' down, watchin' a movie. Then we'd hear the tell-tale high pitched "uh-oh!" He did it at the mall once. In the pool a few times. On the short bus all the time. (Yeah. We had a short bus.)

I was the only boy who worked at the camp every day, so of course I had to clean this up. Keep in mind, I'm about 16 or 17 here… and I'm wiping the butt of a very large 21-year-old adult. This is not pretty. And man, that kid's intestines were superhuman. He crapped pythons!

Ok, enough of the crap talk.

Now, I have a younger brother who has what the doctors describe as "autistic tendencies". He was born without a Corpus Collosum, which means that the two halves of his brain are not connected. He seems to have adapted well, but the way the synapses fire between the two halves of the brain cause his "tendencies". Technically, he's not retarded because his IQ is through the roof. The kid's freakin' brilliant. And funny and athletic and as friendly as anyone you've ever met. He's a riot. The kid cracks me up.

One day I was home visiting the family, and we were watching Family Feud. (He LOVES game shows.) I forget what the question was, and my brother (in typical fashion) blurted out an answer.

"Sex!" he says to the TV.

Now, no one has ever had "The Sex Talk" with my brother. It's weird, but he's never really shown any sort of sexual interest in anything. I didn't even think he knew what sex was.

So I asked him. "Dave, do you know what Sex is."

"Yes" he turns to me and says.

"Well, what is it?"

"Sex," he tells me, matter-of-factly, "is the opposite of love."

Yep. That's my brother. A chip of the ol' block.

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