Tag Archives: camping

Me Too Fellas

17 Dec
aerial photography of tree surrounded with fogs

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

The radio playing at the camp site segued from a jazzy blues number to NPR public service messages and then the voice of Jon Ritter: “Do catch the next program of Brit Talk with our very special guest .. Robbie Pop.”
“Who?” Moran asked.
“Robbie Pop,” Ritter said, poking at the camp fire.
“Who in the hell is that?” Moran said as he used his foot and his walking stick, Misty Blue, to clear a spot on the forest ground in preparation for his evening exercises.
“Robbie Pop,” Reuther said in an annoying tone.
“Never heard of him,” Moran snorted as he launched into his Royal Canadian jumping jacks.
“Well … he’s our guest on the next show.”
“But what does he do?” Moran asked, stopping from his exercises.
“He’s British,” Ritter said.
“Okay. Fine. But what does he do?”
“He’s British,” Reuther said. “Egads.”
“And I hold a Ph. D. in classical literature,” Moran said. “Again, what does he do?”
Reuther and Ritter looked at each other. They both well knew that his Ph. D. had been earned through an online correspondence course.
“He’s going to come on our show and talk about …” Ritter looked to Reuther for help.
“Brit stuff,” Reuther said.
“Brit stuff. Ha. You guys are pathetic. Can’t you find someone with something interesting to talk about? Who in the hell books your guests? Who is your program director?”
“Er …Annie,” Ritter said.
“Annie. Ha. Cozy arrangement for you Jon.”
“Now look,” Ritter said, pointing a finger at Moran.
“It’s going to be a good show,” Reuther said. “We’ve never had an English fella on our program.”
“Yeah,” Ritter said. “I mean … the show is Brit Talk after all.”
Moran shook his head. “You two have hit a new low. I mean … for the love of God, what was that nonsense you aired last week?”
“You mean … our comedy act?” Ritter said.
“If that’s what you call it,” Moran said.
Reuther and Ritter exchanged looks and then launched into it: A pair of mimes locked in a square glass box, trying to feel their way out.
“Mimes on the radio. How utterly ludicrous.”
“Hey. What’s good for the ratings is good for our show,” Reuther said with a grin.
“You got that right Mike,” Ritter said, grabbing a can of Vienna sausages from out of his backpack.
“For the love of Pete, why don’t you put me on your show?” Moran said, closing his eyes and rocking back on his heels.
“You?” Reuther said.
“Yes me.”
“But what will you have to offer?” Ritter asked.
“Indeed,” Reuther added. “Shall we talk about your history of plagiarism or the student sexual harassment scandals that have followed your academic career?”
Moran leveled a hard gaze at our heroes. He raised Misty Blue and charged.

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The Bargain

6 Sep

Ritter poked at the campfire as he mulled over the question.

“What if I had choice between giving up hiking and rock climbing or spending the rest of my life with Annie Klondike?” He furrowed his brow and looked quizzically at Reuther.

“Right. What would you choose?”

“But that’s absurd,” Ritter said, tossing down his stick.

“Just work with me here Jon,” Reuther said.

“I would never give up hiking and rock climbing. I mean … those are my passions.”:

“Okay,” Reuther said. “I get it. But what if giving them up would mean being with Annie … the gal you’ve long pined for … for the rest of your life.”

“But it’s not going to happen,” Ritter said, throwing up his hands.

“No. You’re right. It’s not going to happen. Unless you believe in magic and such possibilities, no one is going to suddenly appear and offer you such a bargain.”

“Right,” Ritter said.

“Still … what would you choose?”

“Jeepers. You’re not going to let this go. Are you?”

Ritter studied Reuther’s smiling face as his longtime hiking buddy moved closer to the fire, his face lit up crimson from the flames.  He appeared almost otherworldly. Ritter had a fleeting thought that perhaps Reuther was a kind of supernatural being who could indeed make such a thing happen. A chill ran through him that even considering an answer would involve him in a sort of Faustian bargain.

“Well … Reuther said.

“Who do you think will win the World Series this year?” Rutter asked, a nervous lopsided grin crossing his face.

“Jon. C’mon.”

“You c’mon,” Ritter said. “This is just stupid.”

“Maybe,” Reuther said, rocking back on his heels and looking skyward. “Then again …”

Ritter poked some more at the flames. “Well what about you Reuther?”

“What about me?”

“Let’s say you had a chance to have your book be a bestseller and make you a boatload of money, perhaps a movie deal. You even win a Pulitzer. You gain worldwide fame.”

“I … don’t follow Jon,” Reuther said.

“Sure. Let’s say that happens, but only if you agree to spend the rest of your life unplugged, off the grid, in some lonely, one-room cabin in say … Greenland? Cut off from everyone you know and love … forever.”

Ritter watched Reuther consider the question as he chewed on his jerky.

“Interesting proposal Jon.”

“Yeah, it is,” Ritter said with a laugh, jumping to his feet.

He watched his buddy consider it for a few more moments. “I wouldn’t take the deal.”

“Why not?” Ritter said.

“It’s a no-brainer,” Reuther said.

“But you’d have everything you always wanted … a bestselling book, fame, immortality.”

“And no one to enjoy it with.”

“Er … right,” Ritter said.

“So.”

“So what?”

“I guess you’d give up your outdoors pursuits if it meant you’d gain Annie.”

“Never,” Jon said.

“But she’s your dream girl.”

“Dream girl?” Ritter considered the very words. Dream girl? A buxom outdoors gal who piloted prop planes around the Northwest and Canada. A sharpshooter and trapper, who drank her whiskey straight and could more than hold her own with any man. Surely not a gentle lass, and yet …

“She’s promiscuous,” Ritter said.

“And your point is?”

“No … no I wouldn’t even consider such a foolhardy notion of giving up hiking and climbing. Besides, this whole dialogue has been ludicrous.” Rutter got to his feet. “I’m going to bed.” He headed toward his tent.

“Funny isn’t it?”

“What?” Ritter said. With his back to Reuther, he stopped halfway between the now-dying campfire and his tent.

“These gals. They sure do funny things to our heads.”

“They sure do,” Ritter said. “They sure do.”