We've enjoyed a glorious week here at Camp Nawakwa -- sunny days at the beach, quiet nights by the fire, lots of fun and games... but not every trip to Camp Nawakwa has been so nice, nor as peaceful
In fact, one summer long ago, when prohibition was the law of the land and gangs ruled Chicago, the weather was so stormy, cold and foul that Camp Nawakwa was nearly deserted. Two gangsters from Chicago looking for a secluded spot to hide their ill-gotten loot took advantage of this development, and, together with Sidearm Sally -- one of the gangster's girlfriends -- they showed up here to bury their money.
As lightening flashed across the sky and thunder cackled ominously across the water, Sally, Tongue-tied Tony, and Sally's love Joey Pigeon-Toes set up camp in one of the cabins -- Hemlock, to be exact.
Joey told Sally to stay put and get a midnight snack started while he and Tony set out into the woods to find a hiding place.
"We'll be back in a while, doll," said Joey, "leave a light on for us." Then off they trudged into the deep northwoods, shovels and loot in hand.
An icy, drenching rain began pouring down on the men. Joey Pigeon-Toes lagged far behind his partner in crime, because he was ... well, pigeon-toed. Panting with exertion, Joey called out, "Wait up, Tony," and sat down on a fallen log to eat a salami sandwich.
Tony turned around to wait for his companion, only to find that an enormous bear, drawn by the enticing garlic sausage aroma of Joey's sandwich, was lumbering menacingly toward Joey's log...
We'll pick up the rest of the story next week.
That's not Hemlock Cabin, but it could be. I guess. I'm not sure what that video was all about, but when I Googled "Haunted Cabin," it came up.
ÜberElder and a group of friends formed a "Mystery Club" to uncover the untold secrets of Hemlock Cabin. Here's a brief summary of their findings:
- The light on the screened-in porch turned on and off mysteriously throughout the day and night. (True, but I suspect the camp counselors)
- The ghost has glowing red eyes.
- There was blood spattered on the porch and on the screens of Hemlock Cabins (actually, it was a sloppy painting job; many of the cabins, Hemlock included, were painted a rusty red color).
- His or her initials may or may not have been "B.L.", due to the fact they were carved into a door jamb.
- Hemlock Cabin is dirty and disgusting inside. (True. I saw it myself.)
- While all the other cabins are snapped up and rented, Hemlock remains continually vacant. (It's ugly and named after a poison, after all. And dinky. And stinky.)
Now, this club met every night after dinner until we parents dragged them back to our own clean, well-lit, sanitary cottages. But they had lots of fun, and it was the talk of the camp.
On the last night, Camp Nawakwa held a closing campfire at which every family was encouraged to lead a song or perform a skit or tell a joke or something. Taking inspiration from the Mystery Club, I wrote a skit explaining just how Hemlock Cabin became haunted. Dilf and the girls performed it admirably while I narrated. I will share this piece of brilliance with you tomorrow.
We also missed the Snowmobile Hall of Fame.
I have regrets, people. I'm not sure either of these qualify, but only time will tell.
Wisconsin loves beer. Beer brewing and drinking is so intrinsic to Wisconsin's cultural fabric that even clueless television executives noticed it when they created Laverne and Shirley. Whenever we passed a town that sounded familiar, yet I knew I had never been there, I'd say to Dilf, "Why does [insert town name] sound familar?" And he'd say, "Because [insert beer company name] is brewed there."
I don't recall passing the Hamm's brewery, though. Do they still make Hamm's?
Anyway, the whole beer thing is no big surprise; Wisconsin is/was heavily settled by people of Germanic and Scandinavian descent, no doubt because the landscape and weather closely mimicked that of their homelands. But then I started to think, Germans certainly have the beer making thing in their genetic code, but what about the Scandinavians? I could think of British ales, Czech pilsners, Irish stouts, even Japanese beers. But I couldn't think of one Swedish, Icelandic or Norwegian beer. Danish, yes. But what about those Viking homelands? Where are their great beers?
It turns out that I'm not crazy, for once. Swedes don't brew, and I only found one Norwegian brewing company.
Once again, I have become easily irritated. Why this time? Because Hägar the Horrible is a big fat hairy liar, that's why. They always show him chugging beer with his buddies.
First, Dik Browne misspells his first name, now he tries to foist historical inaccuracies upon us. For shame, Mr. Browne, for shame. Clearly, Hägar the Horrible is full of hot air.
We found out the answer to this question the hard way. The law enforcement officers of Wisconsin do. They lovingly valued our life by giving us a speeding ticket on the way up to Camp Nawakwa.
"If I overlook this traffic violation," reads the little folder encasing our traffic violation, "I would be disregarding the value of your life."
Honestly, it brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it? I have never felt so loved and cared for.
"We don't mean to make life harder for you...", they continue, "Just safer."
That was really nice of them to remind us to be more careful, wasn't it? I guess we'll just be on our way...
What??!! They're making us PAY for LOVE??!! $186??!! I thought prostitution was illegal.
Apparently, not in Wisconsin, if you're wearing a funny hat and stop people on the highway.
Fireworks are legal there, too, in case you're interested.
I don't mind this song, really; but the video is shoddy even by early-eighties standards. It's as if the record company gave Journey, one of the biggest-selling bands at the time, a budget of "fifty bucks and a chick who looks like Billy Idol."
But did guys who weren't in rock bands ever get anywhere dressing like this? No. They were beaten soundly.
This could also fall into the category of Infamous Moments in Chicago History, since the band hails from an area suburb.
Also, thanks to Superstation WGN and the late, great Harry Caray, I've always had a place in my heart for the Cubs. It looked like they might finally "beat the curse" in 2004. I was at a crowded Buffalo Wild Wings in Henderson, NV when this happened:
Poor old Steve Bartman was too busy listening to his K-Tell Hits of the Disco Era cassette to realize what was happening around him, and the rest is history.
Of course, the next batter hit a double-play ball that the shortstop booted, but it's a lot easier to forgive the well-paid professional and blame the hapless dork who, as of 2004, still had a cassette walkman.
This is a first in the series Infamous Moments in Chicago History. It will probably also be the last. That's up to the author of this fine blog.
Hi. My name is Todd from the Death Wore a Feathered Mullet blog. Ubie is on vacation at a nude beach in Mexico, so she asked me to blog sit this week.
Nick is watching her house, so he'll be too busy eating all of her food and leaving stains in her toilet bowl that will NEVER come out. That leaves the blogging duties to me.
Yeah, you can tell who she trusts the most, huh? Nick is put in charge of almost all of her worldly possessions, and I get to watch her blog. Fine.
Oh, why am I apologizing? The blog you all love so much is about to become profane and witless for a few days. Sorry, fuckers.
See what I mean?
We are appalled! Right, Dilf? Dilf? Dilf!!! Stop that!
Yes, we are taking a family vacation.
Not a Disney thrill-ride vacation, nor an exotic island getaway, nor a culturally stimulating journey. This is more of a tire-swing into the lake, ice cream cone and fudge shop, bug-bite, campfire vacation. But we will like it, I am sure.
I will be busy preparing. Beware of imposters.
Yesterday started normally. I helped out at ÜberElder's class picnic, humming Glamorous Life to myself as I carted home all the recyclable garbage to our house, and then it started ... with a phone call from Double Post.
"It" is tales of strange happenings, perhaps omens.
Yesterday Double Post found a nun (or, a woman dressed as a nun) and some Germans in her back yard, trying to catch turtles in her subdivision's retention pond with a net. Then they'd hide behind the trees. Then they'd go back into the pond.
More troubling still, I learned in today's local paper that Foghat is threatening "to rock my town." I am frightened, because from what I understand from Foghat afficianados (including the boy who sat behind me in third grade, Mike Patz, who also ate a lot of paste and had to have his stomach pumped), they ROCK HARD. I don't know if I'm prepared for all of that rocking.
To top it all off, Larry the Cable Guy is wandering around my neighborhood, unfettered and barely supervised.
It's all leading up to something, people.
Something wicked this way comes. I can feel it in my bones.
For those keeping score, we had:
The turtle-chasing lunatics, Foghat and Larry the Cable Guy, as mentioned above;
Dilf's plague and cicada invasion as referenced in the comment section, and now...
A diseased bat fell from the sky in front of Moxie in our backyard. Not a little bat, either. A big, scary bat like the kind that chased Scooby-Doo around all the time. Moxie, being a puppy, barked and tried to get her teeth around it, but couldn't. The thing hissed and squealed. Dilf had to kill it with a shovel.
It took four whacks.
Female inmates at a Swedish prison are fighting against bikini prohibition.
Since bikinis are not standard issue in jail, and inmates are not permitted to wear their civilian clothes, the prisoners consider themselves victims of discrimination, Aftonbladet reports.
"It's a human right," wrote the chairwoman of the council.
Bikinis are very important in Sweden; hence the Swedish Bikini Team, pictured right. They are waiting for other countries to assemble Bikini Teams, so they can ... what does a bikini team do, exactly? Besides sell beer?
Watch him work.
This is also BA.
But he's different.
For one thing, you have to change the newspapers on the bottom of his cage.
B.A. once faithfully served as a bowling alley DJ. He was obligated to play every request he received from the customers. Surprisingly, he admits, "I have a high tolerence for music that annoys most people, like dogs barking Christmas carols and Tiffany and such."
Yet, there is one artist who makes him cringe. And of the cringe-inducing waste vomitted forth from the bowels of this artist, one song in particular sits atop the pinnacle of rotting filth:
It's Meatloaf. More than eight minutes worth, at that. Thankfully, its length allowed B.A. to smoke, eat, AND take a bathroom break, limiting his exposure to it. When you think about it, he may have a claim against his former employer for exposing him to harmful substances.
Except for this catalog. I'll talk about that.
They sell things I didn't think anyone even made anymore. Like strapless one-piece terry rompers. I remember people in the 70's wearing them. I'm guessing maybe slutty old ladies who long for the old days might still wear them.
I remember the lady next door used to wear them. Joey and Mikey's mom. She was Italian and had big hair. Not long, but high. And she had hairy toes and long scary toenails.
Here's the thing: she had big cellulite-y thighs, too. In fact, when I see pictures of people from back then, they don't seem any thinner than people I see now. I keep hearing about how OBESE we all are; well, maybe there are more OBESE people than there used to be, but mommy bodies don't seem any more huge now than they used to be. I think I'm digressing. Am I digressing?
Anyway, Mrs. D. used to wear things like that. But Carol Wright offers so much more than terry tube tops with attached shorts. That catalog has 51 pages of clothing that time has forgotten, like snap-front cotton housedresses and big stripey things called "caftans."
They have menswear, too. In case anyone's interested. Like this vest. I don't really like this vest. I can picture Schneider from One Day at a Time wearing it. He has a classic look. I bet I will see many a gentleman sporting everything from his delightfully touseled hair to his overflowing key chain to his dusty cowboy boots at dozens of fairs this summer. Do they still make Wrangler's for men? Sedgefield jeans for the physical fit?
I grow nostalgic for the 70's every summer, since those were my formative years. By the 80's I was conscious of boys and my developing body and concerned with appearances. But in the 70's, I could wear halters and terry cloth running shorts stained with popsicle drippings and run around barefoot, unconcerned that half my hair was in ponytail holders and the rest was sticking out in frizzy rays from my head. We ran around the neighborhood like a pack of wild dogs.
I miss freedom.
While the P&G Brandsaver section offered the most provocative slogan, "We squeezed out all the sticky," for their Fruit Spritzers lipgloss, I'd like to talk about some new products that help me follow my doctor's orders.
Pillsbury introduced a new line of Reduced Sugar cakes and frostings. I get to make and eat cupcakes again, and save 35 cents to boot! That little guy loves me.
Next, Chromax™ is offering me a $3 savings opportunity to try their blood sugar regulating supplement. Although it hasn't been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Nor did my doctor recommend taking this pill. So maybe I should call her before I take this thing.
Finally, Kraft Handi Snacks will deduct 40 cents from my sugar-free pudding purchase. I like pudding. However, one thing concerns me: I can "find them on my grocer's shelf." Shelf-stable pudding. I think I'll hold out for the Jell-O pudding coupons. Those are refrigerated; that makes me trust them more.
Wait a minute! Kraft owns BOTH of those pudding lines? They have a pudding monopoly! Our pudding supply could be compromised at any moment! Why doesn't somebody DO something?
Finally, this has nothing to do with coupons. It's a present for Dilf. Open it, Dilf! See what I gave you!
I chased Dilf around the store with the hat, making it say, "ANOTHER Weasely. I know just what to do with you...GRIFFINDOR!
Living with me is such a delightful blend of unbridled joy and unbearable embarrassment.
Of course, like every bookseller in the known universe, my little corner of heaven is gearing up for the big release date. If you don't know what or when that is, I don't care to know you.
Of course, not everyone loves Harry Potter like I do. They think it's a subversive plot to convert everyone to Wicca or something. Thankfully, I can read it to my heart's content.
Besides, I've already been coerced into believing in fairies by Peter Pan, and tricked into believing witchcraft is normal by Bewitched, so I come previously corrupted.
No matter what some Christian groups say, I know in my heart of hearts that Harry Potter stands firmly on the side of goodness:
That's enough proof for me.
Location: Chicago Area
If being easily irritated, impatient and rebellious is sexy, then call me MILF -- Übermilf.
So you want more huh?
Perverts, scram. There's nothing for you here.
Now, who wants cupcakes?
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