Well, I survived. I made it through my night in the woods. I did, however, wake up multiple times throughout the night. Because I’m a good dad, I took seriously each time my son woke up and said “Daddy, I’m cold.” My response was to to take one of my blankets and place it over him, instructing him to go back to sleep. My wife’s aunt Lisa, however, relayed to my mother-in-law, Wilma this morning that she heard the funniest thing last night. Apparently she heard my son talking (she thought in his sleep) telling me of his woes in the frigid night air and my response was simply to tell him to go back to sleep. I could see how that might be funny. I could also see how it makes me look like a heartless bastard but we’ll go with funny for now.
Shortly after emerging from my tent (and wondering why anyone would willingly choose to spend the night in one of these things) I made a snap decision. I needed coffee. I can live without many things. Coffee in the morning is not one of them. So Wilma and I took a drive out to the main road just outside the entrance to the state park. We discovered that the convenience store there was not yet open. She remembered that there was another shop a few miles down the road right where the road meets the Interstate. What luck, then, when we realized that the other shop was actually a McDonald’s! We returned to the camp and very quickly discovered that many of the other adults present had awoken in the meantime and that most of them were also coffee drinkers. Feeling a little bad, I decided to take another trip to the Golden Arches. This time, Juan, a fellow camper (related to somebody by marriage) decided he absolutely needed to accompany me. Yeah, I wanted to charge my phone as well, so I understood. As we entered the drive-thru I spoke up, trying to be heard over my two kids in the backseat. “I’d like 8 large coffees.” The voice on the other end replied: “Got it, one large coffee. Any cream or sugar in that?” I spoke louder: “NO, EIGHT large coffees.” She replied: “Alright that’s a large coffee. Anything else?” I yelled: “NO NO NO!!! EIGHT! One more than seven! I need EIGHT large coffees!” She retorted: “Wait, how many?” “8” “OK, anything else?” “Yes, I’d like two small orange juices.” “OK, a large orange juice. Does this complete your order?” I gave up. “Yes.” Juan found the whole thing very amusing.
After returning from the McDonald’s with enough coffee to power an army on the move, Juan and I were passing by the campfire when Lisa and Pat began offering another round of breakfast for those of us who may have missed it the first few go-rounds. Walking by we were privy to the following. “It’s chorizo, you know, some kind of eggs and Mexican sausage or something, anyway it’s good.” But all poor old Juan heard was “Mexican sausage.” This prompted him, in all of his ethnic pride, to shoot back “What did you call me?!” I put my hand on his shoulder and offered my advice. “Take it as a compliment. They used to call me the Irish Banger.”*
*Banger is a Brit/Celt term for sausage.