Click the thumbnail for a big, depressing holiday greeting from Billiam and Bob!
Jun. 26, 1983
Hey Camp Arawak Moms and Dads!
Greetings from Camp Arawak! My name is Mel. I wanted to drop in to say that I and the rest of the staff here are thrilled to have your children visit us for the summer. The magic is in the air as a brand new season dawns on the lush forests of Camp Arawak! I’m writing all of you great Arawak parents to let you know that the first day went off without a hitch!
Now, I know it’s none of my business to pry, but I have to interject something here. I’ve been doing this Camp Directing thing for years now and one thing that always shocks me are the clothes these kids think they can get away with wearing: Butt-hugging shorts that crawl halfway up their thighs, t-shirts hanging off the shoulder and cut so the midriff is exposed.
“You look like a gaggle of common whores!” I screamed at Joey, Todd and Vinnie as they ran past. No harm done, though, I like sharing my Arawak Wisdom with your little guys.
Soon after that I talked to Artie, our AMAZING camp cook who recently came back to us as part of some sort of work release program through the state. Boy! The first day of camp must be exciting for him, too! The look in his eyes as your kids came running off those buses, man oh man!
Once I snapped the big lug out of it, he told me that everything was ready for the first big camp dinner! Dessert tonight is jello fluff! Yum yum!
Camp Director Mel
P.S. – And judging from the first day, I can promise you that our summer season will be 100 percent free of troubled, dangerous loners, unlike some OTHER summer camps I could mention. “Ch-ch-ch-ah-ah-ah.” Know what I mean? Say no more.
My definitive Holiday experience is quiet desperation; a clawing descent into a season that chokes the sun out of the sky at 4 p.m., a season in which I can never ever take my coat off, a season that supercharges everything with static electricity and dry-air nosebleeds. It’s a slow, entropic plod into seasonal affective disorder, promising nothing but wind that flays the skin off my lips and Februaries that last for years. It’s a season where all creation bends to one purpose- beaming the message “Kill Yourself” directly into my brain.
Yeah. Yeah. I know what you’re thinking, “Oooh Gary! That’s so fucking EDGY of you to say that! Oooh ooh! let me hear more of your opinions! ‘Fuck Christmas?’ What next? The Beatles… overrated you say!? Go on!”
But, let’s face it, it’s easier for me to get that out in the open than waiting until, say, December 23rd when I’m drinking straight out of a tureen of eggnog on my lap, in the dark, in front of the television at 3 a.m., and I start crying uncontrollably when Uncle Louis sets Clark Griswold’s tree on fire with a cigar.
And then the kids wake up. And they start crying.
And then mom starts yelling…
Anyway. To the point of this update: nothing brings these feelings on faster than taking my meager paycheck from the box folding factory out to shop for Christmas gifts. If I go to Walmart on Black Friday, I’ll get trampled by a woman with a mustache and a mustard-stained Big Johnson T-shirt. At Radioshack, I’ll hear the sound of honkies shrieking in harmony on cable news about how the liberals are destroying Jesus’ birthday. This will all end in a last-minute dash to Dollar General on the 22nd while the Christmas remix of “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw” plays over the store’s loudspeakers.
Well not this year! I took some initiative! And after two hours or so of flipping slowly through Facebook photo albums of college friends who haven’t talked to me in years, I’m ready to LIVEBLOG MY ONLINE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. SORRY THE FUCKING KEY IS STUCK THIS PIECE OF SHIT IS LIKE SEVEN YEARS OLD AND IT WAS EITHER A NEW LAPTOP OR PAY FOR THEROOT CANAL I WAS PUTTING OFF JESUS FUCKING CHRIST WHY CAN’T ANYTHING WORK AND WHY DOES THE GODDAMN FURNACE SMELL LIKE BURNING DOGHAIR I SWEAR TO GOD I’M GETTINGA FUCKING RAZOR AND
Okay. Fixed it. The key was a little gummy.
I linked the gifty goodies for you, readers.
On nights when I’m kicking back in my apartment, listening to my drunk next door neighbor scream about how he’s going to shoot his roommate with a harpoon gun, I get the urge to go out into town. Nightlife, it’s about the only thing there is to do in Youngstown. Lately, though, some of the bars around here have been promoting events that range from the boring, to the pandering, to the downright shady.
In the interest of reporting the facts, Bob and I went out and brought back some flyers, which showcase the absolute worst examples of Youngstown’s bar scene. Our first find was from some sketchy sports bar…