I probably spelled the title wrong, but I don’t care. In my office building, we have a little deli/cafe, where I get lunch most days. They have a daily soup and a daily special, but I’m usually uninterested in those and get my usual chicken caesar salad. But today’s special was sloppy joes. I love me some good sloppy joes, so I got a special. It reminded me of the summer I was a camp counselor at a Christian camp near South Lake Tahoe.
Highschool kids can be a squirrelly lot, especially the freshman boys. (These are boys who have just finished the 8th grade and will enter HS in the fall) One such freshman boy had a crush on one of the freshman girls in my cabin, and so I had lots of exposure to his antics during the two weeks of camp. He pulled lots of pranks to get himself noticed, and was a student of the “torment the ones you love” school of thought, and he put dirt down the back of her shirt, hid her towel, spent more time trying to creep up and scare her during the night games than he did playing the games, and one night at dinner, he pulled the old “loosen the cap on the salt” trick.
Well, my poor girl did not like this boy back, but was too polite to whop him one and tell him to leave her the hell alone. Every time he did something, I heard about it, either from her, or from one of the other counselors (usually his), and everyone was heartily sick of it by sloppy joe night. When my girls and I got up to get our food, he slipped over from his table and loosened the top of our salt shaker. It just so happened that I was the unlucky one that got salt dumped all over my dinner. All eyes at my table turned to him at his table, and his counselor just looked at me and grimaced.
He wasn’t a bad kid. He was just fond of taking things a little too far, and no amount of reprimands seemed to be helping. I actually would have found the stunt funny if a) it wasn’t completely unoriginal and b) this was not the 537th prank I had had to endure from this kid in less than 10 days. So I simply picked up my plate, walked over to his table, picked up his freshly served and therefore as-yet-untouched plate, and plunked my very, very, very salty sloppy joe in front of him with a “bon appetite”.
He thought I was kidding. I so wasn’t, and neither was his counselor. We both watched while he poked the thing with his fork, glancing around him in the now silent dining hall. But we weren’t backing down- he was going to eat it. We let him have plenty of water, and we let him scrape off as much of the salt off the surface as he could, but that sloppy joe was all he was getting to eat until it was gone. I’ll admit it, it was mean, and I did feel kinda bad about it, but we made our point. (and we did make him a peant butter sandwich after he puked and wasn’t too keen on the idea of eating another sloppy joe).
His counselor and I both got reprimanded by the camp director after the kid called his mom and the mom called the camp, but the reprimand was more of an “okay guys, don’t do that again, okay?” since the camp director was pretty much on our side in the whole thing. The kid, other than puking, was none the worse for wear, and the whole camp benefitted because he learned his lesson and actually apologized to my girl. Once he stopped tormenting her, she decided she actually liked him back and we had a little bit of a camp romance on our hands.

3 thoughts on “Reminiscing

  1. David

    Great story. I am glad you stood up for your girl and that you guys made him eat that salty burger.
    I hate little punks like that, and their parents too for letting them be that way.

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