I peeked into the girls’ room. They were both still asleep despite the ear splitting sounds of Bananarama singing ‘Cruel Summer’ on Radio Acorn.
“Girls! Wake up. It’s time to get ready for breakfast!” I shouted over the music. They barely stirred. I left the door open so they would get the full effect of the blaring music.
“It’s a cruel, cruel summer.
Leaving me here on my own.
It’s a cruel, cruel summer.
Now you’re gone.”
I entered my room and found my son face down and spread eagle on his bunk. He raised his head and opened his eyes just as the xylophone solo was in full force.
“Noooo,” he said weakly and turned his head towards the wall.
“I’m not a big xylophone fan either, little man!” I agreed. He didn’t respond.
I mentally shrugged. They could go down to breakfast in their jammies with their bedhead or skip it all together. I didn’t really care. It was camp, after all.
No time to waste, I figured, as I looked around our untidy room. I got to it. I gathered the cars and rocks into little piles and safely stored them under the bunk bed. I pulled the laundry off of the make-shift laundry line, folded it, organized the clothing and put it all away. I took the laundry line down and hung it on the wall hook. The carpet definitely needed a vacuuming. I had seen a vacuum in the hall closet and wondered if anyone would be able to hear it over the music? The Beastie Boys were singing ‘Intergalactic’. Probably not.
“Jazz and A.W.O.L, that’s our team.
Step inside the party, disrupt the whole scene.
When it comes to beats, well, I’m a fiend.
I like my sugar with coffee and cream.”
I found the vacuum cleaner in the closet and rolled into my room. It noticed was held together in various places by duct tape. I plugged it in and flicked the switch and paused to listen. I couldn’t detect the sound of the motor over the music. Wow!
I zig-zagged the vacuum around the room with an amused smile. I ran it over the small pile of sand that my son had managed to smuggle into our room in his bathing suit. Nothing happened. I ran the vacuum over it again. Nothing. I flipped over the vacuum head and waved my hand underneath it. No suction. I turned it off and opened the lid to check out the bag. It was bursting it was so full! Gross!
I managed to find a vacuum bag in the closet. I gingerly removed the old one. It weighed about eight pounds! I tried not to inhale as I carefully took it into the bathroom and placed it into the garbage can. I put the new vacuum bag in there and turned on the vacuum again. Still no suction. Ugh!
I disconnected the hose the vacuum and saw that it was completely plugged with dust, sand, hair and maybe some toenails. I grimaced and stuck out my tongue. “Oh geeeeez,” I thought as I realized I was going to have to deal with this. This was probably worse then a ‘code brown’ at the hospital.
I grabbed a pencil from the bedside table and poked into the obstruction, pulling out small bits. Something was really stuck in there! I remembered that I had seen a yard stick in the camp office. I ran across the hall, into the deserted office, grabbed it and hustled back to my room. I poked the yard stick into the end of the hose and got it about a quarter of the way down before I hit the blockage. I forced the yard stick further into the hose with all my strength. Debris started to fall out the bottom of the hose in small, satisfying plumps. Suddenly it all gave way. The yard stick forced over a foot of debris out onto my floor. A plume of dust rose from the pile. There in the midst of the pile of dust and debris was a white sport sock and a dental retainer!
“Ewwww!” I said out loud, completely disgusted as I bent over the still smoking deposit.
“Ewwww!” I heard a voice behind me. I turned to look over my shoulder to discover Erik dressed in drag.
“Oooooh! What do we have here? Eww!” Dave poked his head around the corner to look into my room and saw the disaster. He was also dressed in drag.
“I could ask you the same thing!” I said as I gazed at the two of them wide-eyed. Erik was wearing a long fuchsia pink gown with a plunging neck line that exposed his hairy chest. He had a plastic tiara perched on a messy blonde wig that sported a twig tangled in it. Dave was wearing a short, heavily sequined black dress that nicely displayed his muscular, hairy legs. He had an equally messy black bob wig that sat askew on his head. He had managed to shove his toes into a pair of black heels that slapped the ground as he stepped.
“We are the wake up crew. Ready for the grand ball! Ta daaaaaa!” The two counselors sang in falsetto voices in unison.
“Very nice ladies!” I said as I giggled at the two ‘ugly sisters’. “I guess that makes me Cinderella then!” I said as I waved towards the pile on the floor. “Do you know anyone that missing a retainer?” I asked as I bent down and scooped it up with the pencil and held it out the Erik and Dave. They looked at each other.
“Yaaaaaasssss! Remember? Jessie lost her retainer!” Erik said to Dave.
“Oh ya! I remember that.” Dave responded nodding his head. His wig threatened to fall off.
“Jessie? Do I know a Jessie?” I asked. I guessed we could scrub her retainer really well or maybe soak it before she used it again.
“Probably not, Miss Anne. She didn’t come back to camp.”
“Do you mean to tell me that this retainer has been stuck in this vacuum for over a year?”
“Probably more then that cuz she hasn’t been back here for two summers.” Erik responded. Dave nodded in agreement.
“So, I’m guessing that the vacuum bag hasn’t been emptied in a long while?” I mentally gagged as I considered the two year old toe nails in the mound.
“What’s a vacuum bag?” Dave asked.
I opened my mouth to speak, but just closed it.