SFX, May 26, 2012

Filene Center at Wolf Trap

Vienna, VA


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GK: It's the end of May, kids, school is winding down, and it's time to start thinking about summer camp.

It's important to pack wisely. Your parents do not know everything you need so pack your bags yourself. Your parents chose this camp based on colorful brochures which are full of lies. The counselors at this camp are a bunch of liberal arts majors (FN COOL GUY MURMURS) who have zero wilderness experience, no lifesaving skills, they're busy blogging and writing songs (FN COOL SINGING: Why am I here, why is my life a dead end, where did you go and leave me) so you are on your own. Make sure to bring a bug bomb and I don't mean bug spray, I mean a bug bomb (EXPLOSION), and the only good defense against snakes ----- forget about snakebite kits ----- bring a pistol, a .357 Magnum (GUNSHOT) and bring a pair of inflatable shorts, the kind that when you pull the ripcord (SFX) they turn into a huge airbag ---- that can save your life if you fall into quicksand (KID FALLS IN QUICKSAND)----- look at this----- a kid sinking in quicksand (SFX) and thank goodness he's got inflatable shorts (SFX)

------ and also bring a waterproof cellphone with a GPS so you won't get lost. (SFX. FN VOICE: In one-point-five miles turn left at the big tree and follow the path down the hill to the lake).

GK: There's lots of stuff your parents aren't going to send to camp with you, you've got to think of this yourself. They'll send useless things like stationary to write home on. Get real. Nobody does that. You can text them if you like.

(TAPPING OF KEYS)

FN: Today we learned what to do when you are caught in quicksand because tomorrow we go for a 20-mile-hike through the swamp. But I have my inflatable shorts so I will be okay. I heart camp, smiley face, monkey face, LOL, BRB, ROTFL.

GK: Your parents will send Band-Aids and wet wipes and a sketch pad (SFX) and a jaw harp (SFX), but what you need at camp is a chainsaw. Why? Because of the Swamp Sucker (STING) a half-salamander half wolverine who creeps around in the woods, making sucking sounds. (SFX), Bring a chainsaw. You never know when you might need it.

Like on solo adventure night. (CRICKETS, CRUNCHING THROUGH UNDERBRUSH) You're making your way through the swamp with your GPS (FN VOICE: In 200 yards, turn left at the landslide and crawl under the python hanging from the dead limb.) and there is the dead limb with the python on it and you've got your chainsaw ready (SFX) you can cut that baby down and nail that python (GUNSHOT) and get on your way. But ---- wait---- your GPS runs out of juice.

(FN VOICE SLOWING DEEPER: In one-half mile, you will come to the.......) and you're without a cellphone and your inflatable shorts have sprung a leak (SSSSS) and they won't inflate and the bug bombs are gone----- and your .357 Magnum is jammed (SFX) ----- and that's when you see him (SWAMP SUCKER). The swamp sucker------ behind that tree. (SWAMP SUCKER). (THREATENING SWAMP NOISES)

GK: He's coming closer and closer. (SFX) He opens his mouth and you see his sharp teeth. And his tongue darting in and out. (SFX)

(WHIMPERS) (SWAMP SUCKER)

GK: There's nowhere to hide. You need your chainsaw (SFX). It's going to be bloody. It's going to be a big gory mess. It's going to be disgusting. So we're going to return you to our studios now for a musical interlude while we do this.

(ORGAN: WHISPERING HOPE. CHORUS ENDS)

(ABRUPT SWITCH IN: CHAINSAW, SWAMP SUCKER SCREAMING) (CUT)

GK: Sorry, back to our studios.

(ORGAN. END)

(ABRUPT. DRIPPING. SWAMP SUCKER HISSING)

GK: Sorry we've got to clean up here.

(ORGAN. END)

GK: Your parents have no idea what summer camp is going to be like. The people who run summer camps all listen to public radio. Think of the public radio listeners you know. Are these people you'd trust to lead you through wilderness infested with enemies? I didn't think so. Pack your own duffel bag, kids. And good luck.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

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