Tag Archives: Daniel Rahe

Chuy and Friends by Daniel Rahe

authorimageIt was clear the instant they drove into the campground that this would not be the kind of camping adventure warmly recalled years later. The site itself was faultless — a shady valley divided by a creek that emptied into a mountain lake. For the two young couples crammed into a Subaru that would still smell like a new car if not for the can of beer that had spilled on the carpet, who had driven across the entirety of a state to be here, a dream was about to be dashed. And what a beautiful dream: old friends huddled beside a popping-hot fire under the stars, drinking from a small bar lovingly packed into an old Samsonite briefcase — a night of karaoke without a soundtrack, half-true stories, shit-shooting, blowing off steam. Laughing. When do we ever laugh as hard as we do when we are camping and drinking?

They’d been camping many times before. But the crowd of absolute hellions gathered at Kitt Creek Campground was something straight out of a nightmare — the kind of kids who run around mostly naked, carrying burning fire logs over their heads while screaming in horrid redneck accents about video game heroes. The kind who drop trou and piss right outside their own tent’s entrance. The kind who have been around so much second-hand smoke, they speak with a rasp before puberty. There were eight such creatures sojourning at the tent site directly beside Jake, Amy, Warren, and Tess’s reservation. Making matters far, far worse, the horde was accompanied by a Great Dane restrained only by a makeshift corral of baby-gates and chicken wire. They soon learned his name was Chuy, and when Chuy barked, the valley seemed to throb with echoes. Two apparently impotent supervisory adults slouched over a table and talked animatedly about the merits of romaine lettuce over iceberg lettuce.

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