Saturday, August 29, 2009

Beach Vacationing: Bring Your Own Toilet

If you've ever wondered where all those Canadian drivers are going, the answer is:

Hell, if they don't change their ways.

And the other answer is: Old Orchard Beach.

I recently studied the appeal of the OOB experience by taking my family down there. I was determined to capture every detail of the experience in my column so I could write off all the expenses.

Day 1: We arrived at Wild Acres Majestic Corporate Resort Campground of Relaxing Bliss and managed, by requesting no water or electricity, to get one of the few camp sites actually surrounded by trees.

Pitching the tent took several hours. We had stopped at L.L. Bean, where my wife found a massive "Eureka Copper Canyon" that had accidentally been mispriced $100 in our favor. She lugged it around for 45 minutes while I made my way through the maze of parking lots. When I finally got there, I told her we didn't need a tent that gargantuan, even if it did have an upstairs apartment that we could rent out.

In matters of shopping, I don't often get my way. It was probably best that we had the extra space, anyway, because we tend to over-pack, and by "over-pack," I mean we could have roto-tilled part of our campsite in case we felt the sudden urge to plant a garden.

Day 2: A day at the beach, re-applying SPF-60 sunscreen every 15 minutes and wondering why everyone except me was hairless from the neck down, was just what the doctor ordered after listening all night to slamming doors and the repetitive bass rhythm of French techno music from somewhere on the other side of the campground. Campground Etiquette Rule Number One: Everyone wants to hear your fabulous collection of music. "Quiet Hours" begin at 11 p.m., so feel free to be as obnoxious as possible the rest of the time.

Day 3: Our four-year-old daughter and her new friend ran around naked for a few minutes while adults attempted to coax them into bathing suits and clean up from breakfast at the same time. A campground worker came by on his little golf cart and told us this was not acceptable. Moments later, at the campground pool, dozens of sexually mature humanoids, including plenty of young teenagers (and one old lady who looked like a bronzed Jabba-the-Hut) strutted around in less clothing than it would take to cover the genitals of a dragonfly. Where were the decency police then? Hm?

Day 4: We visited the downtown shops. From about 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., my wife spent 11 hours trying on bathing suits, asking me which ones were most flattering while I rolled my eyes and stared at my watch. I kept telling her that I was biased toward any suit that revealed more of her yummy curvaceous body, so maybe she should ask somebody else, but she is a stubborn woman, and was having none of it. Later, I set out to find the perfect pair of swim trunks that would make me look like one of those young, muscular surfers we saw down by the pier. This took me about five minutes.

Day 5: Does a HealthGard (TM) paper toilet seat cover really offer any significant protection in a campground toilet stall with slimy floors and hundreds of repressed sexual desires carved into the toilet paper dispenser?

If only we had packed our own composting toilet like my wife suggested.


Anonymous said...

I avoid OOB like the plague for fear that one of my loved ones may contract some sort of plague there. Plus, those pier seagulls are vicious.

Jason C said...

Bill's Pizza, la biere, et les Quebecois. Vous me manquez, OOB! Got to re-visit it again this summer for the first time in a while, myself. Funny post.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure when the campground worker said "This is not acceptable", he/she was referring to the 4-year-olds? The rototiller and the aforementioned body hair come to mind.