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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Letter From Camp # 1

This is part of my final project for Creative Writing, it covers my humanities credit for Gen Ed. We were instructed to take two genres and write a ten to twenty page project between the two of them. I chose first person creative fiction and poetry. For my creative fiction section I wrote a series of four letters from the point of view of a thirteen year old who has been sent to fat camp against his will. I wanted it to be a sardonic, nihilistic piece but my teacher said that was too glib and wanted my character to change "for the better" while I agree that helps me to branch out as a writer I still feel that the original idea was more humorous.


Letters From Camp


Letter 1


To my dear Mother and Father,

Hey, family unit! It’s me, your loving first-born son, Billy, writing you all the way from the sunny, lakeside shores of Camp Sacajawea. I wish you could see it, the vast, green foliage settled on a majestic backdrop of rolling mountains and blue sky, all reflected upon the shimmering surface of Lake Whinniepoopoo. It's just as the brochure that I found in your sock drawer described it: “Camp Sacajawea: The perfect place for your plump progeny.”


Everything is going swell so far here at camp. The other kids are super nice . . . all four metric tons of them! I only know this number because the moment we stepped off the bus we were sped away to the “Reflection Room,” a large, mess-hall-like building where a giant cattle scale “reflected” everyone’s current weight. I found the process to be quite interesting because, apparently, in order to weigh us correctly the counselors were instructed to strip us down to our underwear, take our luggage and our money, and then proceeded to take our dignity by giving us all special nicknames; my nickname is “Moobs” a clever conjunction on the term man-boobs.


Once they measured our weight (mine being a hearty 190, which, apparently, is overweight for a 5 foot 5 inch thirteen-year-old) and gave us our nicknames, we were taken to the sleeping quarters. Our bunks are typical of any camp except for one small detail: as a new member to a camp for “weight-challenged individuals,” I find it odd that they didn't think to reinforce the beds. Apparently the golem that had occupied my bunk prior to my camp experience was much heavier than myself. This is, of course, an assumption based off the fact that my bed springs had committed hara-kiri and have left a disemboweled mess of springs and steel. Now when I lay down I sink down to the floor and sleep in my mattress cocoon.


After we unpacked what was left of our belongings, we were introduced to our counselors, who then raided our materials for contraband.


My favorite counselor so far is Head Counselor Chip, a surly ex-Navy Seal with a glass eye. He has helped us “find our fit” through such clever motivational phrases as, “Find your fit.”


When asked about how he lost his eye, Head Counselor Chip popped out the glass peeper already in his head and stated, “I gouged it out so I could get a better look at how much you've let yourselves go.” He chuckled lightly and proceeded to drop the eye into my hand. Hours later, when I awoke in the first aid hutch, I was told that I had blacked out and was informed that the reason my throat hurt was because I had been screaming so loudly.


Well, it seems that dinner time has in fact has come. Counselor Chip has promised us a Southwest blend of beans and no-carb tortillas. He has even donned a festive sombrero to mark the occasion. I’ve also been told that they will serve us dinner tonight in the Reflection Room, with that damnable scale hovering over us like a grim specter of things to come.


Until next time family unit


Sincerely,


Billy


P.S. Fun Camp Fact: Head Counselor Chip has shared a delightful story of how he and his wife had turned a once-dilapidated internment camp into the proud Children’s Weight Management Facility that it is today.


P.P.S. I hope that Cheryl, the sweet sister that she is, is enjoying her graduation present and having a great time in Maui...

4 comments:

Bradimus Prime said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bradimus Prime said...

just finished reading them all and well you know me hate is always more entertaining than growth, in comedy anyway. but i must say i still enjoyed reading and i think you developed billy's character very well. although i would like to see what you originally had in mind.

Neil Hiatt said...

Agreed. The original idea had a few cool scenes. He was going to steal his room mates prozac and start pill popping. Then he was going to over throw the camp, etc. It would have been fun.

Jupiter Family said...

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