Plush Hairy Back

There’s a little ice cream shop in Sam Houston’s “hometown” of Huntsville where we’d popped in before, on the tail end of a previous camping trip. There we sat again, but this time we noticed the sign. As you exit the goody shop, it hangs by a window: “Please hurry back.” Though, seeing as how we’d lived in the woods for a couple nights, anything could be anything. It suddenly read: “Plush hairy back.” At least that’s what the dad said — not sure the mom had as much fun with it, but the kids loved it. They kept giggling and repeating “plush hairy back.” I have no idea what the other cold cream consumers thought; no matter, they’d just have to forgive us … we’d been camping.

I have noticed, over the years, a pattern. Day One of camping is full of perpetual anxiety, where one is easily tempted: short fuse, argggh, pack everthing, arggh, go go go, argggh, set up tent, argggh, everything this and everything that, arggh …

Till about bedtime, when one goes, “Ah … this is nice.”

(The young’ns & the monument aren’t really connected. Neither, apparently, is earth to boy.)

No matter how one sleeps that first night, the second day is unlike its predecessor. Entirely. Families who camp may suddenly notice that, Gee … we’re a family. Look at us! There’s time to, well, do … nothing. Though hikes and swimming and meals (and Lord knows those continual walks to the public toilet) hack away at the day … Day Two is worth all the arggh of Day One.

By the 3rd day … you, a parent, might even justify S’mores before breakfast!

You know you’ve been in the Texas heat a bit too long when you go looking for alligators!


Oh, wait. That’s no Blair Witch and we’re no longer in the woods … just Whacky Day at Kindergarten.

Which means school’s almost out …

Which can only mean …

Parents, repeat after me:


But all the happy campers (and I’m sure the teachers) say:

“Plush hairy back.”

(S’mores in the morning not available in all areas.)

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