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Camping in Style, and Sugar Belle Gets Served

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 00:00 Jennifer Devore
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Frasier DRIVING with Martin, Daphne, Niles and Eddie

Niles and I thought this would be quite the soulful replenishment. Sleeping under the stars, cooking on an open fire, communing with Mother Nature, eeking out an existence just as the Snohomish Indians must have done a hundred years ago.

Oh, yeah. I'm sure the chief and his warriors all piled into the Range Rover when the fish counts dropped and toddled over to the next inlet, grabbing some Peet's Coffee on the way.

What's that thing around your neck, Dr. Crane?

Oh, this? This, is a turkey whistle.

You mean a turkey call?

Really, Dad. How simple do you think I am? Why would I want to call a turkey to our campsite?


Support group?

This is to ward off any wild turkeys lurking near the site. I just blow this ...

Niles BLOWS into the turkey call, much to everyone's irritation.

NILES (continuing)
... and off they scamper. Apparently, they carry rabies and fleas.

Of course. How silly of me. Did the salesman at Bob's Camping World tell you that?

Yes, actually. He was rather helpful. He also warned us about a creature called a night crawler. He said if one bit us we must suck the blood from the wound, then drown the wound and the beast in a cheap merlot.

Got it right here.

Niles RAISES a bottle.

Well, Niles couldn't bring himself to buy a cheap merlot. But, it is an Arizona wine.

Niles and Frasier laugh heartily.
The above is an excerpt from a spec script I wrote years ago when Frasier was in production. I copied the above-content to make a point: even the prissiest of Pollys can camp! See, I was called out recently by my very dear, very beloved sister-in-law. We'll call her Sugar Belle. Whether or not she recalls, Sugar Belle called me out publicly at a recent, family get-together. She stated very matter-of-factly over a cocktail we call the Speed Freak (Grey Goose and Starbucks White Chocolate Doubleshot) that there was no way I could cut it, camping. Like, real camping and hiking. In fact, as the Speed Freaks multiplied, she challeneged me specifically to a hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I say, "Bring it on, Sugar Belle!" (Just not in triple digit-heat!) I do believe a wager is in order, though. You think about it. I'll wait.
Photo: JSDevore
See, I dig camping, hiking, sport and such. Tuolumne Meadows Yosemite is as familiar to me as is South Coast Plaza. Yours truly was even a geology major in college ... for like a second. I then learned I may have to spend a lot of time in grad school researching in the Mojave Desert. Ick. I loathe the sun and I loathe dirty hands. That was the end of that. I ended up studying PoliSci and French. Turned out there was a great market for that! Needless to say, despite the dirt -that's what Swiss hiking gloves are for- Sugar Belle called out the wrong Polly Prissy Pants!

True, I may prefer a National Park to just pitching a tent hither and thither; I like a clean lavvy, cheerful, Disney rangers and smooth, shaded, spacious sites. I like a secluded campsite, but I need it within screaming-distance of other campers in case of bears, serial killers, Bigfoot or hippies. I also prefer a gift shop nearby where I can buy a new piece of amber jewelry to commemorate the trip. I also do not prefer, but require, wine, Guinness, camembert and a baguette, my mini, camping espresso maker and my green, Speckleware demitasses. My camping togs might be old, holey, trashed Ralph Lauren pieces and vintage Boy Scouts shirts; my hiking shoes might be vintage Italian climbing boots. Still, that doesn't mean I can't scale the terrifyingly steep face of Mount Lambert (done that), live on Nature Valley granola bars (peanut butter flavor!) and Cup o' Noodles, take a cat bath or wash my hair utilizing the baby powder-and-braids method for a week.
Sugar Belle, it's time for a friendly wager. It's on, Princess Sami!

Update: 10 December 2012
As of this week, the Grand Canyon hike is officially set in stone; although, ironically, it seems Princess Sami has yet to respond to this challenge, verbally, casually, written or otherwise. Though, we have shared more than a few Grey Goose Cape Cods since I first scribed this friendly challenge. I shall, nevertheless, be tromping up and down the Canyon this coming February with my Viking, a fave hippie pal and said-hippie's young microcosms. The Italian, red-laced, hiking boots (as seen above) have yet another adventure at hand! Join us, Sami my love, won't you? I love you, man!!!

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