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Camptathalon 2017

The Brain Trust is in the early stages of planning Camptathalon 2018, so there’s no better time to publish the shenanigans from 2017. I used to write these down as soon as we got home, but last year I flaked and didn’t transcribe until January. Then we decided that it was much more fun to remember the summer festivities in the miserable winter weather. So this is the new normal.

Of course, I live in California, so “miserable winter weather” means fifty degrees and occasional rain.

Then again, it’s been 70 this February, whereas last year’s Camptathalon was cold and rainy, so this might be serving the opposite purpose this year. In fact, we couldn’t go to the spot we had originally booked because it was snowed in. After five years of drought, we forgot about that whole “snow” thing. Probably for the best. The plan had been to go to the same campsite two years in a row, which is just wrong. Mother Nature intervened to maintain order in this chaotic world.

I should also note that, since it rained most of the day Friday, much more alcohol was consumed than usual.

You can read about the origins of Camptathalon here, but the tl;dr is that it is an, um, athletic? competitive? um, it’s a contest that takes place over a camping weekend betwixt four to six middle-aged men. We then timestamp everything that is said. Six months later I transcribe said script, with neither comment nor context, and we can all attempt to figure out why the fuck some drunks thought that was funny enough to write down six months ago.

Thursday Night (indeterminate time): Sparky and Tony show up.

Friday:
8:51 Sparky almost sets forest on fire, and he hasn’t even had a beer yet.
8:57 Early bird gets the worm. Dude, it’s almost, 9:00, lazy bird.
9:26 Rick shows up.
10:21 “Let’s do Home Run Derby over the creek.”
“That’s a horrible fucking idea.”100_5438.JPG
10:25 First Homo Moment: Rick and Sparky’s armrests brush up against each other.
10:52 “It’s starting to come. See? That’s a sizeable crack.”
10:58 Sparky reminisces about going to Butt Lake for the first time.
11:19 Chris arrives with Dick Butt. Tony photographs Dick Butt.100_5442.JPG
11:21 CHEESE BALLS!!!

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11:29 First “That’s what she said” of the weekend.
11:32 I paid 50 cents for a romance book by Christine Rimmer. Gonna be pissed if there are no rimjobs in it.
11:33 Hail
11:45 “There’s a flame!”
“Mother Nature blows better than I do.”
12:11 McGyver arrives with more tarps. Rain and hail ensue.100_5446.JPG
13:00 Everyone wants a Bangy Khan!
13:01 Sparky: “It’ll stop raining soon.” Bullshit.
13:03 Sun comes out. “You son of a bitch, Sparky.”
13:18 It would be a perfect day if it stopped raining. Kinda like it would be a perfect date if only she’d give me a blow job.
13:25 Re Donnie Moore: “Apparently he could locate a bullet better than a fastball.”
13:27 “At least we don’t need to worry about bears. They are fucking hibernating right now.”
13:34 Put Dick Butt in the bear locker. Bear might want to look at him before heading to class.
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13:58 Chris tells about something.
14:10 John arrives. Camptathalon may begin.100_5458.JPG
14:15 Hail, round three.
14:31 “What DOESN’T go with a 14-year old Thai whore?”
14:35 Entire kitchen blows over in wind.
14:49 First go thru of 1990 Topps Baseball Card set bought at thrift store.100_5450.JPG
14:59 Hail, Round Four
15:00 “I will see your Otis Nixon and raise you.”
15:12 “Chafing means ‘I Love You.'”
15:20 Where does Tony snore? See where the light touches.”
15:25 Hail, Round Five.
15:35 Official Camptathalon Opening Toast.20170609_152944.jpg
15:48 “I will share this with you because I’ve been drinking all day.”
16:20 First Camptathalon Event: Poker.
16:24 General discussion of point value for Camptathalon events. Reward winner (5 pts, 3, 2, 1, 0) or punish loser (5, 4, 3, 2, 0). Punish loser wins.
17:05 Re: weather. “Oh, it’s going to be fine.” “Fuck you.”
17:30 “I love balls. They’re so wrong, but they’re so good.”
17:37 Sparky “wins” loser libation by being first eliminated from poker. Loser libation is: Mickeys 40. “Don’t worry, I didn’t keep it cold.”100_5460.JPG
18:31 Loser Libation has been vanquished.
18:45 Rick out, John out. Losers start 1-4-24.
20:11 Rick is a cocksucker. 1-4-24, bitches.
20:50 Draft (Stolen from the Poscast): Best President: (Editor’s Note: Our drafts were snake style, so John picked Polk with pick #4 and JFK with Pick #5, Garfield was last pick of draft)
Tony                   Chris       Sparky      Rick           John
T.R.                    Lincoln   Truman   Jefferson   Polk
Wilson               FDR          Ike            Reagan       JFK
Washington    Obama   Madison   Nixon   McKinley
Garfield           Clinton    Taft         Adams   J.Q. Adams

Second draft: Beer
John                                 Rick                        Sparky                        Chris                 Tony
Negro Modelo        Sier Nev Pale        Innis & Gunn            Red Trolley         Fat Tire
Ballast Pt Sculpin   Shiner Bock   Sam Ad Winter Lag.    Boont Amber   Pliney Elder
Hamms Select       Arrogant Bastard       Smithwicks          Wookie Jack       805
Weinhardts     Miller High Life     Scrimshaw      Blackhawk Stout   Sam Ad Boston L

Third draft: Horror movies
Rick                                        John                    Tony              Sparky                  Chris
Friday the 13th                Halloween         Shining     Children of  Corn        Alien
Nightmare/Elm Street   Jaws             Poltergeist         Scream          Cabin in Woods
The Thing                      The Ring           The Grudge       Identity                 1408
Silence of Lambs   House 1,000 Corpses    The Others    Cujo             Donnie Darko

23:05 There’s a lot of 1990 Topps cards around the fire. I don’t think the bears care about 1990 Topps cards.

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Saturday:
7:00 Rick, Sparky awake.
7:09 “Where are my baseball cards?”
7:59 “I made a decision and it was probably a poor one.”
8:00 “On second thought, maybe I did yack last night.”
8:53 We have not seen John yet, but have heard rumors he is alive, so that’s good.
9:10 Breakfast complete. Trips to the shitter on the docket.
9:22 Someone left the lotion by the rimjob book.
9:54 John finally emerges
9:57 Official Motto of 2017 Camptathalon: Many decisions were made, and most were poor.
10:04 Event #2: Chipping
10:20 Standings: Rick – 8, Chris – 7, John – 6, Tony – 4, Sparky – 3
11:04 Mehkong comes out to play. Confidence is high (EDITOR’S NOTE: Chris brought some Thai rice whiskey. Much of it had been drunk Friday night, but not noted).
11:50 Event 3: Home Run Derby
12:05 Worst. Home Run Derby. Ever. First round: two with 0 HR, three with 1. Sparky beats Tony in the “Jack-Off” for last place, three jacks to one.

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12:36 Standings: John, Chris, and Rick – 11, Sparky- 5, Tony – 4
13:26 “It’s all gone downhill.”
13:37 Do we really have to do the fucking butter toss?
(Editor’s Note: Two hour time jump. Naps being taken.)
15:54 Oregon Trail card game: Non-sanctioned Camptathalon event. (Coop played earlier, forgot to timestamp)
16:15 Sparky dies of dysentery
16:20 Chris dies of snake bite.
16:31 Tony dies of snake bite.
16:34 Rick made it to Oregon.
16:35 Adventure Bocce
17:20 Sparky and John engage in a “Toss Off” to determine third place.
17:25 Standings: Rick – 18, Chris – 16, John – 13, Sparky – 12, Tony – 11
17:32 John’s first beer of the day. Don’t call it a comeback!
18:50 Final Event: Cards Against Humanity
19:00 John gets 7th card, finishes Camptathalon with 18.
19:10 Chris gets 7th card, finishes Camptathalon with 20 points. If Rick goes out next, he wins. If not, Chris wins. The tension is high.
19:17 Rick gets 7th card, finishes Camptathalon with 21 points and the victory.
19:18 Sparky finishes with 14 points, Tony with 11.
20:33 Tony yacks. That makes three of the five of us. 60% is passing.

Sunday
Put the wood in the bear locker. In case the bear has woodshop tomorrow.
Cheese Balls 2, Campers 0

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Camptathalon 2015

Last week, I described what Camptathalon is. This year, instead of trying to summarize (and remember) everything that happened after the fact, I decided to bring along a notebook and write down things as they happened. What follows is a transcript. I shall not provide any context. Although I will say that there was no pulled pork. Not sure what the 8:17 comment was in reference to, but we felt it was important enough to write down.

Friday:

2:00 (via walkie talkie between cars): “I forgot the cigars, let’s get some when we get ice.”

2:22 Hell no, we are NOT getting Swisher Sweets.

3:15 (via walkie talkie) “This 5-Hour Energy tastes like Chapstick on an Asshole.”

4:00ish – First campsite full. On to backup site.

4:30ish – Second campsite full. On to super-secret secluded campsite.

5:15 (via walkie talkie): “A virgin would lose her damned hymen on this road.”

5:30ish – Finally arrive at campsite.

5:58 – First missing beer.

6:01 – Beer found in the cab of the truck.

6:25 – Opening ceremony. Toast of Innis & Gunn, unveiling of Camptathalon trophy.

6:56 – Rick asks to borrow Tony’s finger.

7:05 – Breathalyzer instructions: In 30 seconds, put it into your mouth and blow.

7:07 – “You don’t have to blow so hard.”

7:34 – “Just blew a .29. Either the breathalyzer is wrong or I’m clinically dead.”

8:15 – Poker cards flying through the air.

8:17 – “There can never be enough pulled pork.”

9:04 – Premature Mickey’s action. Rick opened the bottle after all in but before the hand was over, still in the game.

9:16 – Rick must now drink the Mickey’s.

9:43 – Rick has ZERO fucks to give.

9:47 – Rick predicted his Blood Alcohol Content correctly. Is still drinking the Mickey’s.

9:51 – An Ace/King is called an Anna Kournikova – it looks really good, but never wins.

9:53 Fartathalon begins with Chris farting in Tony’s face.

9:54 – Stale Oreos are still pretty good.

9:59 – “Cocknose!”

10:00 – Three Rules of Engagement: 1. If she smokes, she fucks. 2. If she’s not up to your standards, lower your standards. 3. No girl is ugly with your balls on her chin.”

10:04 – Should Rule 1 be changed to “If she has a tattoo, she fucks?”

10:11 – Sparky places third in poker.

10:13 – Tony is winning the Fartathalon by leaps and bounds.

10:20 – “The beginning of the Mickey’s was much better than the end of it.”

10:54 – The chip bag is overinflated because of altitude.

10:55 – “Grab it gently. Can I take some chips out of the back door?”

11:15 – Night One over.

Saturday

7:52 – Rick reveals Official Camptathalon socks: Black with gold “BEER” on side)

8:01 – Chris reveals Official Camptathalon T-Shirt (White with red “SHIT” on front)

8:11 – Rick says he needs Tony’s tool (Bottle opener)

8:15 – Rick is glad he didn’t have leakage.

8:16 – First beer of Day Two is cracked open.

8:20 – Breakfast Burritos served

8:56 – Radio turned on. Only station that can be found is playing “Dukes of Hazzard” theme.

10:00 – 2nd Honorary Toast, opening Day Two. Event #2, Slingshot.

10:02 – “I’m feeling tipsy at ten A.M.”

10:30 – Multiple jokes about hitting the can (with the slingshot).

“You hit the can on the bottom.”

“My finger hurts.” “That’s because you’re gripping it too tight.” “That’s not what you said last night.”

10:42 – “It takes every inch of you.”

10:51 – “Let’s play Liar’s Dice to see who gets bottm.”

10:54 – That last fart was a 3.5 on the Shart Potential Scale.

11:00 – Standings after two events: Tony – 6, Chris – 4, Sparky – 1, Rick – 1

12:23 – “Oh, you have salami? I LOVE salami.”

1:00 – Frisbee Golf will replace Chipping because Rick brought his golf club, but no golf balls. Can we chip wiffle balls instead?

1:28 – “I’ll be Nolan Ryan. You can be Robin Ventura.”

2:00 – After Frisbee Golf, Chris – 7, Tony – 7, Sparky – 2, Rick – 1

2:05 – First round of breathalyzer of Day Two

2:30 – Sparky finally enters the Fartathalon.

2:50 – After Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby, Chris – 10, Tony – 8, Sparky – 4, Rick – 1

3:00 – Risk. A non-sanctioned/exhibition Camptathalon event.

3:07 – Bust open the Reese’s peanut butter cup Chips Ahoy cookies.

3:10 – “These cookies are gonna last as long as a virgin on prom night.”

3:23 – Cookies are gone

3:44 – “Did you go swimming in the mountain lake at 8,500 feet?” “Yeah, it’s brisk.”

4:26 – “Three 1’s when attacking Alaska from Kamchatka? Fuck you, Sarah Palin!”

4:50 – Sparky just blew a .00. “Get this man a beer, stat!”

4:54 – Mom jokes are okay, wife jokes are not.

5:26 – Triple aces again, this time Egypt attacking Southern Europe.

5:27 – Just checked the timestamp, we’ve been playing Risk for two and a half hours.

7:30 – After changing/lowering the point target five times, horseshoes are FINALLY over. Standings: Chris – 11, Tony – 8, Sparky – 4, Rick – 2

7:35 – Tri-tip for dinner.

7:50 – Final event is Farkle – if Chris places anywhere other than last, he wins his first Camptathalon.

7:56 – “Touche, asshole.”

7:58 – Wussification imminent.

8:30 – A Sparky Farkle secures a third place Farkle finish for Chris, securing his first Camptathalon victory.

8:31 – Congratulations Chris. Now we can stop recording and timestamping everything.

10:45 – “Hashtag Black Marshmallows Matter.”

Camptathalon

Back in January, I made reference to something called Camptathalon, and said I would re-visit this phenomenon in April. Of course, April rolled around and there was no Camptathalon post. Part of that omission was due to teaching an AP class fourth quarter, which is a tad bit brutal. But the other reason was that Camptathalon itself was pushed back from its original April date to later in the summer.

You see, Camptathalon moves around the calendar each year, much like other hallowed holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas.

(Okay, I’m being told that Christmas falls on the same day every year, so strike that last reference.)

But whereas Easter takes place on the Sunday following the first full moon of Spring, Camptathalon falls on a much more logical weekend – whenever our wives let us out/want us out of the house for the whole weekend.

I imagine the original Easter weekend went the same way.

“Oh gosh, Jesus, you want to do the Last Supper this Thursday? I mean, I’d love to go, but if I don’t get this camel shit shoveled, the old lady’s gonna crucify me… Hey, where are you going, Jesus? Was it something I said?”

Camptathalon officially began three years ago. While there had always been camping trips, some were just the men, some included significant others and/or children. But three years ago, one of my friends had a baby on the way, and the showering of said baby seemed like a perfect time for just the malefolk to get the hell out of Dodge.

Unfortunately, the father-to-be was unable to attend that year, because his wife decided that the father should be attend the baby shower. I’m not sure on which planet someone with a penis should be playing any “guess the poopy” games. But I do know that on this planet, if your third-trimester pregnant wife tells you to come to the baby shower, you come to the fucking baby shower.

And your asshole friends go on the designated camping trip without you. Hey, at least we had the decency to “pour one out for our missing homey.” I’ve also had a friend cancel own his bachelor party in Reno once. Too bad. He missed a great time.

So three years ago, four city slickers met up at a Quick-E-Mart on the way to the foothills. We loaded up on the vital nutritional elements and four basic food groups of any camping trip. You know, chips, jerky, and beer. Wait, that’s only three? Okay, double the beer.

One guy, who swears he’s been camping since the sixties, showed up with only three items: a pillow, a bow and arrow, and a bottle of vodka.

And, lo, Camptathalon was born.

As the name implies, Camptathalon includes some competitive elements. A series of events, running the gamut from moderately athletic all the way to quasi-intellectual.  Each year, there are between 3-7 events, depending on the amount of time or sobriety available. The lineup of events changes slightly from year to year, based on factors like who remembered to bring what sporting good or if the goddamn camp host will let us shoot the goddamn bow and arrow.

Some events take a year or two off, then return. Frisbee golf has made it in twice. The golf club was left at home one year, making chipping difficult. Same story with horseshoes. Totaling our gambling winnings requires the campsite to be within driving distance of Nevada (one Camptathalon was held on Kentucky Derby weekend, another during the Belmont Stakes). Whiffle Ball Home Run Derby almost missed a year, but fortunately, it was one of the years we had to go into Nevada to bet on horses, so we were able to buy a new bat (cheaper than a new golf club).

One event, the pine cone toss for distance, was tried once and will never see the light of Camptathalon day again, after we all tore our hands up. Turns out a pine cone isn’t as smooth and aerodynamic as a football. Did I mention we drink beer?

But a few staple events are always included, year in and year out. On Friday night, after making camp, we unravel the Camptathalon trophy and open and toast the honorary first beer (not the actual first beer, but the honorary one). After this, we engage in a $10 Texas Hold ‘em tournament. This is the Iowa Caucus of Camptathalon weekend. Unlike the Caucus, the loser of the poker tourney doesn’t have to remove himself from the Camptathalon running. However, we have implemented an even harsher punishment than giving up on your dreams of the White House. The loser must consume some horrific alcoholic libation. Last year it was pocket whiskey from a pouch. This year it will be a 40 oz. of Mickey’s left over from my 40th birthday party.

Home run derby has always been included, but as I referenced before, its run has been tenuous, what with the difficult requirement of us remembering both a bat and a ball.

But the one event that always must occur, the one requirement to make an officially sanctioned Camptathalon Trip, is the Butter Toss. What is the Butter Toss, you ask? Well, you see, we take some butter, and… follow me, now… we toss it. For accuracy, not distance, because tossing butter for distance would just be silly. Think of darts, except replace the darts with tablespoon slices of stick butter.

We’re not sure how melty the butter is supposed to be. The originator of the Butter Toss brought only a pillow and vodka to the trip. Much like The Greatest American Hero, he must’ve lost the Butter Toss instruction book. What we do know is that the first time we did it, we purchased the butter on the way to the casino. By the time the gambling was done and we were back at the campsite, the butter had been sitting in a car trunk under the beautiful Nevada summer sky for a few hours. What we removed from the trunk was effectively butter soup. We tried to solidify the slough in the icechest, but the globules we ended up heaving at the front cover of The Economist were still somewhere south of solid.

Ever since Year One, we have intentionally softened the butter. It’s never been as messy as the first time (the type of phrase that might pop up at a Camptathalon), but if a sizeable percentage of the butter isn’t still clinging to your hand and dripping between your fingers after the toss, you ain’t doin’ it right.

Points are awarded for placing in each event (5 points for 1st, 3 points for 2nd, etc.) We keep a running total of the scores as the weekend progresses. Last year, we had a tie at the end, so we played a sudden death cribbage match. Yours truly came from behind with back-to-back 20+-point hands.

The trophy sits in front of the scoreboard for the entire weekend, then goes home with the winner. It is a pine cone that might or might not have been used in Year One’s ill-fated pine cone toss. The wives have bedazzled it a bit over the years, such that it now features ribbons with beer bottle caps that we can write our name on when we win it. Just like the Stanley Cup. When not on display, it now rests in a Wisconsin Lunchbox. Not the drink or the sexual position (look it up if you dare), but an actual lunchbox sporting the Wisconsin Badgers logo. That was my contribution.

My reign as Camptathalon is almost at an end. I bucked one trend by being the first champion to make it through the weekend without puking. Might I make history again by becoming the first repeat champion? And what will be the motto of this year’s Camptathalon?

In a few years, when this event is covered on ESPN and Network TV, this is the point where the sportscaster will say… “We’ll find out. That’s why they play the game.”