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Location: Central Michigan, United States

Spent a long career making lots of money for other people. Now it's my turn. _____________________________ Email:

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bug Tails - "Bug Went Camping"

When the seasons caused me to transition my wardrobe for cold winter and spring to one for summer warmth, my anticipation of dedicated outdoor activities heightened. It was time to pull the winter tarps off the boat and the camper, haul them from the back-lot up onto the garage patio, and make them ready for their intended enjoyment of water and woods. Bug, my dog, decided to participate.

Our pop-up/tent camper was first to be readied, but the thing must have been a bit intimidating to Bug when I first brought it to the front of the garage. He approached it with caution, growling deeply in challenge. It didn’t run away, so Bug trotted to it and peed on the tires. One soaking was not enough. He circled the damn thing three times, squirting with each pass.

I cranked the upper tent portion of the unit up then pulled out the beds at each end. I set the “stuff” stored inside the unit onto the garage patio. Bug facilitated the unloading process by jumping on, or nipping at, each item as it was removed. Once the interior was empty of clutter, he bounded inside to sniff-check every crack and corner. That chore completed, he selected a spot in the center of a bed and curled-up for a nap. Bug was ready to go on his first camping trip.

We went camping. Two days later we arrived at our favorite campground and claimed our favorite campsite. My wife staked out Libby and Bug (facility leash rules), then unloaded all of the “go-camping-stuff” from the truck. My job was to position and set up the camper.

All during our preparations of camp, old Libby snoozed in the sun…nothing new about camping for her. Bug, on the other hand, bounced about like a ping pong ball. Good gosh, there were new squirrels, birds, adults, kids, dogs, a cat or two…and a gazillion new trees. “The trees”, Jesus, over the next couple of days Bug would drag me to almost all of them.

Camp ready, we picked up the pooper-scooper, leashed the poopers, then went for the first walk around the campground. Old Libby just plodded along minding and doing her own business. Bug…well, I’m sure you can imagine that picture.

Evening arrived with the campfire snapping and crackling, and ready for cooking. The wife and I each ate two hotdogs. Libby and Bug devoured one each. The wife and Bug had roasted marshmallows for dessert. God, Bug, what a mess!

After a long day we all retired to the camper for bed. My wife and I are bigger than average. I’m a couple of inches over six feet and my wife is almost six foot tall. Libby is a big dog, almost 100 pounds. Add Bug at 30 pounds, and it was a comical shuffle for maneuvering position in the small confines of the pop-up to get ready for bed. Um, there were also the dog’s farts….

A hard struggle later, I was under the covers in the bed into which I must literally crawl. On my stomach reading a western paperback, the wife beside me reading a book of fairy tales, and Bug stretched out on the opposite side of her, I felt and thought it a nice comfortable camping moment. Libby was curled around herself on the floor and directly in front of the porta-potty. That was an issue I’d have to deal with later.

About midnight, my nose bouncing on the pages of my book, I decided to turn out the light and give-in to sleep. I reached across my wife for the switch on the hanging tent-light and apparently disturbed Bug’s sleep. He groaned and rolled over against the canvas side-wall of the bed.

SWOOOOSH!...Bug was gone, disappeared.

THUD!...something hit hard on the ground below---Bug had just fallen through the bottom of the bed’s canvas side wall.

Next, squeals and cries of a dog seemingly being tortured filled the night air! Aw, Shit!

Almost injuring myself, I scrambled out of that small confining space of bed and landed with one foot hard on Libby’s tail. She started yelping!

I succeeded in getting outside just as Bug was getting up on all-four’s. He seemed dazed but not severely wounded. Seconds later my wife and Libby stumbled out of the camper to aid in the rescue. Neighboring campers were rushing over from their late night camp fires. The night security lady arrived on her golf cart.

Bug shook, circled a couple of times the spot where he landed, then trotted over to the nearest tree to cock his leg. Bug was okay.

It being obvious that the dog had survived, everyone’s focus shifted elsewhere…on me. Along with the laughter and finger pointing of my wife and the neighboring campers, the night security lady looked at me, and with a big smile (or smirk), said, “Umm…maybe you’re a little chilly?” I said, “Yes, Ma’am,” and quickly went into the camper.

You see, Bug and I both sleep in the buff.


Blogger Bernita said...

Aw, sweet!
I smiled all the way through.

12:52 PM EDT  
Blogger MissWrite said...

Omg, too funny at the end there. Poor little Bug, what a cutie he is. Thanks for the smile, Erik.

2:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Meander said...

great story! camping is something i have never done in my entire life! now i know what i have been missing...seeing naked campers!

3:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Aw, Bernita, Dear Gal. Thank you.


And you have a very lovely smile, Misswrite. Thank you.


If you love the out-of-doors, Meander, find a way to go camping. Go to camping resorts with good reputations for your first few adventures. Then, visit more primitive areas as you become experienced. You'll experience far more wonderful things than naked campers.

4:21 PM EDT  
Blogger ivan said...

The night the bed fell on my dog?

Helluva story, though I think the opening para just a tad too wordy.

"Summer. Shirtsleeves and shorts weather. It was time..."

Just a suggestion. Editors still seem to think there is a paper shortage and you gotta write tight.

Otherwise hightly entertaining and a good read.

12:10 PM EDT  
Anonymous Ric said...

Good story, Erik.
Sorta a been there/done that thing. Very funny ending.

5:29 PM EDT  
Blogger For The Trees said...

In MY camping story, **I** fell out of the canvas side wall...which is why I stay in motels now.

No, it WASN'T funny!!

5:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Shesawriter said...

That made me giggle. Nice one, Erik. :-)

8:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Thank you. I always appreciate you suggestions to improve my writing. God knows, it sure needs improvement.


Good to see you. Yeah, we've all had similar moments.


"motel camping" is certainl more comfortable, Forrest.

When you fell through the canvas wall, though, I doubt you made as much noise as Bug did.

8:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

Smiles and giggles, Tanya, that was it's job. Thank you for the compliment of it.

8:47 AM EDT  

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