Sunday, August 23, 2009

Salt Spring Island 17th Annual AA Rally - The Tents

Laura and I had our motorcycle tent. It's a one and a half man tent. Laura's 4 foot 11 inches and I'm 6 feet. We manage. We put up our tent in the afternoon. The guys arrived late.
Now Brian was in the military and he's tented alot. Putting up his 4 man tent in the dark wasn't even a challenge for him. Laura, Andrew and I, however had a wholly different experience trying to put up the 10 man tent. Things only began to progress when Brian joined us and to everyone's amazement we had the Coleman Taj Mahal tent of tents erected with red and white fly correctly placed after much rotation in a rising wind.
Meanwhile the other Bill hadn't quite grasped this whole idea of tenting. He's more at home in a 5 star hotel or board room. 2 years ago when we all attended that Salt Spring Rally he set up his tent without a fly. The fly is the covering that modern tents have which is a separate tarp that serves as a roof over the net ceiling of the main tent. This allows air to circulate and keeps rain out. Bill awoke from a dream that someone was pissing on him and found himself lying unprotected in the late night downpouring rain. In the morning the sun came out and he was able to dry his sleeping bag and clothing out. I lent him a spare fly I had. Everything was dry but he forgot to close the tent door while we were in town. The afternoon rain came at a slant and soak everything in his tent a second time. Not one to be put off by minor setbacks Bill even weathered the laughter of his friends that arose whenever anyone mentioned the word 'fly' around him.
This year Bill forgot his fly again. This only became apparent when having set up the 10 man test against all odds we looked to see what was holding up Bill. His tent was up minus the fly but he'd begun to inflate a gargantuan bodello mattress that filled his entire tent making it a Michelan balloon that threatened to lift off.
"There's no room for you to sleep in there," Brian offered helpfully.
"If you're trying to get a girlfriend, a mattress like that is sending all the wrong signals. Girls like guys to be a tad more subtle," someone else helpfully added.
The 10 man tent had been for communal gathering but it became evident that it was going to have to house the mattress. Bill and Andrew would share the tent.
Bill deflated his immense mattress and moved it to the ten man tent. He began inflating it again with the help of Andrew. This became known as the 'longest blow job'. Brian, Laura and I were holding our guts laughing at Andrew and Bill and the commentary between them. Andrew insisted he would sleep on the floor of the tent after that.
In the morning we saw that tents and campers were everywhere overflowing from the main field that surrounded the Farmer's Institute on Rainbow Road. It would be the largest ever Salt Spring Island AA Rally.

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