October 10, 2012

All’s I’m sayin’ is good riddance

Filed under: 35 Minutes from Home — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

“All’s I’m sayin’ is good riddance.” Roscoe’s words took Samson by surprise. The two of them were winterizing Wildwood Campground, turning off the water and making sure the pipes were empty to prevent freezing. They had locked up the bathrooms when they closed the campground on the first of October, but they hadn’t done the final winterizing until the last possible minute. Even good rangers like Samson and Roscoe procrastinated sometimes.

“Good riddance? He was a great camp host.” In all sincerity, Samson was missing Joey. He had packed up his tiny trailer and headed south to the warmer climate of Arizona back on the first of the month. It had been less than two weeks and Samson felt the loss of his company.

“Good camp hosts don’t air dirty laundry.” Samson was thoroughly confused. “He didn’t do his laundry here. He took it to the Swishy Washy in Emigration.” Roscoe flared an angry look at him and suddenly Samson felt as if he were missing an important piece of the puzzle. Before he could ask about it, however, Roscoe blew up in a boiling red fit of pent up rage.

“I’m not talkin’ ‘bout his clothes, Samson! He was telling the whole world alla ‘bout us! James found ‘im on the Internet and showed it to me.” Samson nodded. He knew about Joey’s blog. It was mostly about teardrop trailer design. He had meant to read it, but schematics and preventing leaking in hatches really didn’t appeal to him.

“What do you mean?” Samson could hardly imagine what Joey could have said on his blog to get Roscoe seething. He could almost see a puff of smoke appearing above the tall ranger’s head. When he finally answered, his anger was still as hot as before. “Alluv us are in it. And he wasn’t just writing about bein’ a camp host. He was writin’ about everythin’ he heard. There’s a whole bunch about you and Kit Kat in there for the whole world to read.”

Samson didn’t reply. His life had been openly online for years now, but the thought of Joey revealing to Kit Kat his deepest feelings before he had a chance to tell her himself made him sick to his stomach. He and Roscoe quietly finished cleaning and draining the bathrooms together. The strange scent of human waste slowly was replaced with the pungent odor of cleaning products and anti-freeze.

By the time they left the last bathroom and locked it up tight, Roscoe was calmer, but Samson had worked himself into a frenzy. The tall ranger watched him as he awkwardly taped the sign on the door informing visitors that the restrooms were closed for the season. Samson could feel the embarrassment grow and the thought of losing Kit Kat before he ever got her made him anxious with worry.

“Now don’t go getting all upset.” Roscoe was trying to calm him down, but Samson tried to deny it. “I’m fine. I’m used to having my personal life on the Internet.” Was it true? Was this any different to him than when Valleywag was hunting him down and telling the world when he got fired from Zerbitz? Telling the world that he was skiing for the Olympics? Suddenly the shame from the past hit him again with renewed vigor. Would he ever be able to do anything right?

“Now yer forehead’s got that red spot on it. Don’t worry none. It’s not like everybody knows about it.” Roscoe was quickly backpedaling, trying to fix what he had broken. Samson raised his hand to his forehead, trying to hide the red mark that must be growing there. Why couldn’t he blush like a normal person? Why did it have to make an ugly red mark on his forehead instead of bright red cheeks?

“Think I’m gonna take the afternoon off.” Samson said, removing his gloves and tossing them haphazardly into the tool box. Tiny snowflakes had started to fall again and they looked like dandruff, cascading down and landing on his shoulders. Roscoe nodded. “Yeah, all’s that’s left is cleanin’ out the fire pits. I can do it myself.” Samson barely heard him, he was rushing home to analyze the depths of Joey’s blog and see what had been said about him.


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