No. It's Not Lemonade.
So I believe I recently mentioned that I was a counselor this past weekend on a Junior High winter retreat and I figure I should say something about that.
You see, as you can probably imagine, I have a hard time seeing myself as being a good counselor. As a reader, you could probably agree with this. I'm forgetful, am frequently easily distracted, occasionally tell an individual to "suck it," and I'm forgetful. The problem is, I only fully realized this while actually on the retreat.
What made me come to this realization was on Saturday night while things were beginning to wind down for the evening. I was in a cabin filled with seventh grade guys. Now, these are good kids. I think. I mean, I figure they'd have to be in comparison to some other youth group out there. But again, if you know me, you know I'm not the most active guy. I think the reason I can do some of the things I do is because I was born without any interest whatsoever in sports. Not only do I not know anything about athletics, I can't even adequately pretend to be interested in athletics. This creates dissonance when I'm in a cabin filled with a bunch of guys who only read ESPN and whose only goals for the rest of middle and high school include lifting more weights. Here's an example of an exchange between me and one of these kids (using a random statistic from Yahoo sports):
Them: "Dude, Allen Iverson had 51 against the Lakers last month. Isn't that insane?!"
Me: "Whose Allen Iverson?"
Them: "Allen Iverson."
Me: "What sport is this?"
Me: "OOOH. THAT Allen Iverson. Is he black?"
Them: "No. You're probably thinking of LeBron James."
Me: "Right. What sport does he play?"
Me: "Oh, yes I definitely know of that sport."
Them: "But you've never heard of LeBron James?"
Me: "It definitely rings a bell."
It definitely didn't. And I definitely didn't understand. But apparently this is all they were interested in. It was lame. I mean, what ever happened to the days when it was cool to talk about stuff like video games? Oh, right... So I mostly just sat back and let them do their thing. This proved to be a bad idea when the counselor I shared the room with took a shower and left the kids only with me as a witness.
It was almost lights out and I was already close to passing out on the bed when one of the kids mentioned they had to pee. With my fellow counselor taking up the bathroom, the kids didn't wait to hear any options I had in mind and ran off into the woods. Still collapsed on the bed, I thought it was only slightly gross and went back to imagining the cabin under attack by zombies. Shortly afterwards, one of the kids returned triumphantly with a Gatorade bottle.
As unpleasant it is for me to write this, let me inform you that being there was far more unsettling.
For you see, the kid very proudly informed the rest of the cabin that the bottle was in fact filled with his own urine.
He also kindly informed everyone how warm it was.
Swallowing the vomit in my mouth, I kindly, and loudly, informed him to get rid of it.
How?! He asked, laughing maniacally.
Never being one for saving the environment, I logically expressed that he should throw it out into the woods where no man would ever tread. This, as one of the other kids noted, would also keep bears away as an added bonus.
Alas, logic could not help them.
As the kid went on to ask if anyone wanted to hold the bottle, I exclaimed, much louder than before, to get it OUT of the cabin.
Again, he asked where.
Yes. I briefly considered illustrating my idea with brute force, but a lifetime of experience has taught me that you don't go anywhere near someone while they are literally holding their own bodily waste. So I restrained myself and said, "I don't care, throw it anywhere!"
It took a couple seconds for the synapses in my brain to flicker the traffic lights and remind me why this was a bad thing to say. And before I could properly process my thoughts, the kid had already burst out the front door with his bottle in hand.
Sitting upright in bed, I waited for someone outside to scream, but there was silence.
It took only a couple seconds for the kid to return. This time bottle-less. And laughing.
"Alright," I said, "where did you throw it?"
"Into the sixth graders cabin!" He laughed.
At least he was honest about it.
"Alright. You're going to apologize." I said, grabbing him by the arm and silently hoping to God the cap on the bottle was still on tight.
I took him up to the sixth grade guys cabin and shoved my kid inside. The apology was unusually straightforward and polite, saying, "I'm sorry for throwing a bottle of pee into your cabin."
The sixth graders replied with blank, confused, stares. "Oh, that's what that was!" One of them said. "It's cool man," another replied, giving him a high five.
This was not the kind of positive reinforcement I was looking for, but still, the kid picked up he bottle, left, and under my orders went out into the woods and rid mankind of it forever.
I suppose I learned a lot of things that night. Such as to never trust children and that ESPN is totally lame. Other than that though I think I'm just as ignorant as before. And in the end isn't that what really matters?
Suck it LeBron James.