Saturday, August 30, 2008

my imaginary life

30 years ago, I knew my destiny. Well… I guess that no 10 year old boy…in the 70s…really knew how his life would pan out.

10 year old TentCamper was (besides all of the shenanigans and altercations at school) quite a happy, fun and outgoing kid. In my neighborhood, I had some very good friends and we (and my 2 brothers and 3 sisters) spent every daylight hour playing games in the woods and out in the neighboring fields.

Besides the normal…get on your BMX bike (or in my case, the yellow Schwin with the big yellow banana seat) and ride over the unstable, plywood, unrealistically angled, ramp secured only by the pile of cut firewood strewn beneath it. Or the use the whole neighborhood for a game of capture the flag…we had our favorite - Vietnam


Vietnam (the rural New Hampshire game) had several differing versions. It really depended on our mood and who was playing. We had the POW version…(the sisters were involved there), where we would capture them, drag them out into the woods, tie them to trees or make cages out of tree branches and twine. The girls really did not like this version too much. Then there was the sniper version, during which we would split into two teams…the snipers and the ‘enemies’. The enemies would be sent to the field across the street and would have to wait 5 minutes to let the snipers get into position in the woods. Please note that the snipers all carried Rural NH versions of M-16s …I think they were called Daisy Pump-Action Pellet Guns. Then the ‘enemies would have to make it through the woods…any way they could…to the clearing on the other side. We also had Booby-Trap Vietnam. You can imagine what this game involved. Watching movies like Rambo, Hamburger Hill, Apocalypse Now, Force 10, etc…we were good. I hated being one of the enemies during this version…kids got HURT. We once, completely by accident, caught my little sister in a snare that hoisted her into the air . she was dangling by one foot about 4 feet in the air for about 2 hours. I got the “wooden Spoon” for that one…My mom did not believe in “The Belt.”

Anyway…I was GOOD! Rarely got snare, never got captured as a POW (mini TentCamper could run like the wind) and only had to have lead pellets removed by mom – and a pair of tweezers on a few occasions. I was convinced that I was going to be in the military. I would have made an exceptional sniper, spy, trap setter, demolition expert (ask my mom about our TV) and I could spot the enemy “miles” away. My cat-like, stealthy, movements and reflexes would make Jason Bourne, Rambo and Jack Bauer collectively cry out of jealousy.

My mother did not allow me to join the Army…she said that the Army would not allow a boy my age…but she would still use it as a threat when we were bad (which for me I’d smile at.) She said that when I turned 18…I could if I still wanted. That was the plan…skate through school til I was 18 and then get on a copter to wherever our military needed me.

After all was said and done…it never happened. By the time I was 18…I was on…”a different” track. Leading to places more like the ‘grey bar motel.’ Every time I started thinking about it…and wanting to join…something would happen in my life that would prohibit my enlisting.

I still think about it to date. Last year I called and emailed our local Marine and Army Recruiters and Reserves to let them know of my dreams…I could hear the chuckle (even through email) when they replied that a 40 year old guy with no training…other than the self taught, rural New Hampshire business…was probably not going to make the cut.

So these days, I would like to give a big shout out to, Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne, Ethan Hawke, Michael Schofield and all of the members of The Unit for bringing my imaginary life to the forefront of my head. I am living my dreams through you!!!!

17 Comments:

Kat said...

I always wanted to be a spy. But more in the intellectual realm rather than the physical. Where I would have failed miserably.

But your games in NH sound amazing. Not that I would have EVER been willing to participate...

T said...

What a great childhood memory. And what traps you guys created! Holy crap... you sister dangled for 2 hours?!?!

Still, many kids don't get to play like that these days, do they?

Rhea said...

I live my dream through ALIAS. The best damn show EVER!

Rhea said...

You guys were serious about your games. WOW. I was laughing at your poor sister dangling upside down in a snare trap. That's impressive! My boys would totally LOVE to play these kinds of games. Love it and pee in their pants with fear too.

Rhea said...

I used to want to be in the CIA.

Rhea said...

and I'm going to harrass your blog with comments now in retaliation to your attack on mine.

hehe

Rhea said...

bring it on, Tent Camper!

Rhea said...

Don't make me call Insane Mama on ya.

Rhea said...

You're gonna be so sick of seeing my pink hat...

Rhea said...

Did you know that your Amy loves my Annie? Yep, uh,huh, Mariah told me so.

Swirl Girl said...

That's the safest fantasy you've told yet.

Swirl Girl said...

That's the safest fantasy you've told yet.

Philly said...

Jack Bauer rocks!

#1

Molly said...

I heart Jason Bourne and could watch all three movies back to back all day long. Wait, is that because I fancy Matt Damon??!

buffalodickdy said...

Well, I was Vietnam era draft bait. They started picking draftees by lotto based on your birthdate. My number was 299, they took guys that year up to about 146.. Never went in.

Rhea said...

I posted about you on my site today!

Christy said...

Okay, you had me at rural NH! I'm from there too...but then I scrolled down and on the post before this one you mention Durham...Durham was NOT rural NH my friend! Ever been to Sanbornton? LOL. Well, maybe Durham was rural in the 70's, I don't know. In 1976, I don't even think I knew there was a Durham, NH though...I think I was too busy living in Nashua and walking to the corner store for my mother & trying to convince them to sell me cigarettes (for her) for food stamps...Ah, fun times.

 

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