Summer Camp Cheerful–Attitude Adjustment for Adults

By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes

Inspired by the HAMAS and UN summer camps in Gaza, we are asking, “Why should Palestinians have all the fun? For that matter, why should kids have all the fun?”

Summer should be a time for fun and relaxation for everyone, but we all know people who do their best to prevent any fun or relaxation from occurring. Camp Cheerful is the answer.

image by U.S. Navy

image by U.S. Navy

Situated in a Caribbean location of incomparable beauty and perfect climatic ambiance at the eastern tip of Cuba, with swimming and diving opportunities in Guantanamo Bay, Camp Cheerful is the perfect getaway for those fun-challenged individuals in your life.

So stop for a moment and think. Who has taken a head start on ruining your summer? Is it a hard-drinking relative? A thoughtless, annoying neighbor with three barking dogs? Perhaps there’s someone in your professional life who doesn’t even wait until summer to spread the agony of her own miserable existence, insisting on sharing the “joy” with everyone around her. Camp Cheerful is just the place to send them to ensure happiness this summer–for you.

All campers will be cheerfully greeted by our Certified Happiness Specialists. We’ve recruited some of the finest soldiers and marines with experience in great vacation resorts like Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, and East Los Angeles. These healthy and enthusiastic men and women are well prepared to assist our campers in achieving life-altering experiences.

Camp Cheerful Happiness Specialists at Play image by GySgt Michael Walker, US Marine Corps

Camp Cheerful Happiness Specialists at Play
image by GySgt Michael Walker
US Marine Corps

For your summer enjoyment, all campers’ activities will be live-streamed on the Internet. Our Certified Happiness Specialists have prepared several thrilling activities guaranteed to keep our campers busy all summer long. We’ve updated some of the more traditional, boring summer camp activities to make them far more interesting, and we’ve created a few completely original activities, as well.

After enjoying a morning of rigorous exercise and fasting, the campers will be treated to a thrilling round of bobbing for apples. To make this game a little easier for tired campers, we’ve attached a five pound diving weight to each apple, allowing the apple to settle conveniently at the bottom of the five foot barrel. Our loving camp staff will assist each camper in entering the barrel after securing their wrists with the lanyards the campers wove themselves in arts & crafts class. What could be more cheer-inducing and fulfilling than using their own handiwork in such a practical application?

Feeling more cheerful already, aren't you?

Feeling more cheerful already, aren’t you?

Many children have memories of the humiliation caused by their failure to ever hit the target on the archery range in summer camp. To avoid that emotional distress, our campers will reverse roles and will act as targets as our staff demonstrates proper archery technique. For safety, each arrow tip will be replaced with steel blunts, and campers will be required to remove all eye wear.

And what summer camp would be complete without a broad array of aquatic activities? Like any good summer camp, we stress safety first. Campers will learn important water survival techniques, such as how to use chicken blood on their swimming trunks as a shark repellant, how to safely tread water for four hours over sharp coral reefs, and how to spend a long day of swimming in the bright Caribbean sun without relying on the crutch of sunscreen. And don’t worry. No life vests allowed!

Camp Cheerful Swimmer getting more cheerful all the time.

Camp Cheerful Swimmer getting more cheerful all the time.

After a scrumptious lunch of cold gruel and a thirst-quenching draught of water from the local sacred spring of Baca Podrida (translation “Rotting Cow”), the staff will choose the Distinguished Camper of the Day, who will then serve as the star in a thrilling round of Pin the Tail on the Jackass. Given the larger size of some of the campers’ rear ends, the players will be allowed to use nail guns, rather than thumb tacks, to ensure the firm placement of the tails.

Most campers look forward to horseback riding as part of their summer camp activities. In spite of the lack of horses in Guantanamo, we have no intention of disappointing our campers. So we’ll be saddling up the campers for competitive steeplechase exercises. To help encourage those young foals to do their best in clearing those quicksand bogs and barbed wire fences, the “horse” that finishes last will be subjected to an extra round of Pin the Tail on the Jackass.

During our evening campfire time, campers will learn thrilling new songs that they will likely remember the rest of their lives. We’ve contracted with some of the world’s leading songwriters (us) to come up with unique songs that our campers will cherish for a lifetime. A Hundred Broken Bottles of Beer On My Head; Row, Row, Row Your Boat Across the River Styx; I Wanna Go Home (But They’ll Kill Me If I Try), and the trademark Camp Cheerful Song, If You’re Happy When You Suffer, Clap Your Hands.

Please notify us now of who you’re intending to send to Camp Cheerful this year, and we will reserve our special 3’ x 7’ dog kennels luxury suites for their vacation pleasure. Enroll your camper today!

Who would you like to send to Camp Cheerful this year and why?

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Fun Stuff We Found on Pearl Street

By Piper Bayard

Last week, I had the pleasure of a visit with historical fiction author and publishing attorney Susan Spann. So what did we do? Well, we went shooting, of course, but we also made a stop at Boulder, Colorado’s home of the funky and eccentric. We fit right in. Here are a few things we found at the Pearl Street Mall.

First off, a hat. Don’t tell Best Selling Author Kristen Lamb. It’s her Christmas present. 🙂

Then we came across Fifty Shade of Bacon.

And in case you want a pickle with your bacon . . .

After all of this Bacon Spotting activity, Susan was left with a Frozen Smile.

We also found kitchen gadgets with uses we could not discern.

Me and Gene Simmons, right?

Fifty Shades of Pastry?

And we thought cat hair was useless once it fell off the cat.

An interesting conjunction of cookbooks.

And here’s Susan, embracing the spirit of Pearl Street. Watch for her debut novel, a ninja historical fiction mystery, due out July 16, 2013.

What fun things have you found on vacation?

All the best to all of you for enjoying your surroundings.

 

Things I Learned on Vancouver Island

By Piper Bayard

That’s it. I’m in love with Canada. Genuinely a land of Northern efficiency and Southern hospitality.

We spent most of the past two weeks on Vancouver Island, in Victoria and on the shore outside of Sooke. The full moon reflecting off the Strait of Juan de Fuca was worth the trip in itself. The best of both civilization and the wild in a land where vast tracts of mountain forest drop straight down to the sea.

I learned many things in this place where earth, sky and water converge.

This calls for a list.

Things I Learned on Vancouver Island

  1. It takes approximately 39 hours for Americans to add “eh” to their vocabularies.
  2. Poutine (French fries with gravy and cheese curds) is a food group.
  3. Residents of the Vancouver Island coast have driveways so steep you could use them to teach raccoons to climb trees.
  4. The ocean can transform from surreally perfect glass to “Oh, hell! How’d I end up on Deadliest Catch?” in approximately 30 minutes.
  5. The waves of an incoming tide will mesmerize you like online games and, like online games, can leave you wondering where you put the last five hours of your life.
  6. Seeing a killer whale up close in the wild is worth every bit of the sandblasting rain you endure to get to it.
  7. A fifteen pound halibut can win two throws out of three against a six foot woman.
  8. Snorkeling in Victoria Harbor is an excellent argument for snorkeling in the Caribbean.
  9. The friendly common greeting and farewell of Canadian island children is to moon arriving and departing guests as the ferry passes.
  10. Canadians do not consider it friendly for ferry passengers to moon the children in return.
Overall, it was a pocket of time with my family so precious that a part of me will always live there. Click on the tab Vancouver Island 2012 above for a few of my favorite photos. And yes. It was overcast most of the time, but that didn’t bother this desert refugee one bit.

Have you ever been to The Great White North? What fun and interesting things have you learned in your travels?

I’m happy to say that HOLMES IS BACK! We will be publishing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while we work on our spy thriller, Blood Truffles, so keep an eye out for more current events, history, and side-stitching sarcasm.

All the best to all of you for a week of beautiful moons.

New Strategy for Domestic Bliss

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

Last year, an immigration officer in the UK found a cheap, creative way to get rid of his wife. He used his position to put her on a terrorist watch list while she was away on vacation in Pakistan. She was stuck there three years. Then, the immigration officer applied for a promotion, and, while vetting him for the new position, his superiors discovered what he had done.

While we find his behavior reprehensible, this does suggest a solution to the high crime rates in America while boosting the American economy. We call it our Club Penitentiary Program.

Recidivist criminals are a problem for all countries, and the US is no exception. You’ve heard of the “three strikes and you’re out” policy that some states have for their felons? We think the “out” part should be more literal. Let’s reward the tenacity of these outlaws by offering them all-expense-paid vacations to the Axis of Evil country of their choosing.

Our research indicates that, for the paltry sum of $1500/tourist, we can charter our own flight and transport these vacation-starved inmates in bulk. Here’s how it works.

As each of these fun-loving American tourists boards the bus at the penitentiary for the trip to the airport, his or her name will be added to the Dept. of Homeland Security terrorist database. This will prevent them from ever returning to the United States.

As they board the plane, our friendly Attica guards professional flight crews will dose them with strong sedatives. We know that sounds expensive, but no worries! We will recycle unused medications from nursing home patients who pass away leaving behind their unused pills.

We have not included a doctor or pharmacologist in the budget. However, we have hired a convicted crack dealer who was saved by religion just before his parole board meeting, and we believe he’ll get each traveler the right medication and dosage most of the time. In any event, we’ll make sure the passengers get what they need to be on their best behavior for the duration of the flight.

Here’s what a Club Pen jaunt to Korea would look like. Upon their arrival in Seoul, our South Korean allies will transfer the unconscious inmates excited tourists to North Korean bound buses. Each reveler will receive a hot, flat South Korean beer and the necessary South Korean documentation to become citizens of North Korea.

For enticement to accept the offer, we will give each traveler $500 cash to spend as he or she sees fit at his vacation destination. Also, in exchange for South Korea’s quiet assistance, we will reimburse that country $200/inmate.

If the South Koreans should refuse to cooperate, with one or two phone calls, we can get the Chinese to do it for half that.  Although, with the Chinese option, we can’t guarantee the safe arrival of the travelers in North Korea.

We know what you’re thinking. Every responsible American’s first question is, “Where do we get the money for this outstanding program?”

Consider that the average annual cost for incarcerating a violent offender in the US is about $27k per year. Spending two or three grand to say Adios! to these rather interesting and adventurous folks would generate a savings of $25k per inmate the first year, alone. And just think what the taxpayers will save over the course of a life sentence!

This is win/win for everyone. Psychopaths get what they want, which is out of prison. Communities win by not having these violent offenders in their neighborhoods. The taxpayers win by realizing tremendous savings. South Korea wins by picking up sorely needed cash and finally enjoying the opportunity to do something for us for a change after years of suffering the humiliation of existing only at the grace of the American defense budget. And even the North Koreans win. Compared to the oligarchy that controls North Korea now, these new visitors will bring an infusion of cash and ideas, and a higher level of morality than their current leadership has ever demonstrated.

What politicians or other dangerous criminals would you nominate for a Club Pen gift certificate?

All the best to all of you for a week of staying off the watch list.