One of the worst packing experiences I have ever had was when I was going for a church camp in my first few years here in Melbourne. I had gone through my mental checklist methodically - 'Towels, underwear, toiletries, shirts for wearing out, shirts for sleeping in...' and packed my suitcase initially, but just realised that it wasn't big enough so I transported everything over to a bigger knapsack.
We took a bus to the campsite about two hours away from civilisation, and laughed and joked along the way. Soon, we poured out of the bus and dropped our luggages off at our respective cabins and got changed for the first event of the day - icebreakers and games. We had a great time, and I was in my element - getting everyone laughing, taunting the opposition, playing the fool.
I had worked up quite a sweat and felt really good about being there as I returned to my cabin with my other bunkmates to shower and change before dinner. I sat astride my backpack, mocking my friends good-naturedly as I rummaged around and pulled out my toiletries, my towel, my shirt, my trackpants, my underwear...my underwear....*grunt*... my underw....
It was then I broke out in a cold sweat. I went through my knapsack with the fervency of a United States customs officer, frisking it up and down, looking in every pouch and orifice possible before the truth hit me squarely in the groin.
I had forgotten to transfer my underwear from the small suitcase to the bigger knapsack.
Now how shall I put into words how I feel?
It was a mixture of when Frodo witnessed Gandalf falling to his death, when Luke found out who his father was, when Manchester United fans found out Sir Alex Ferguson was retiring, when you've poured out that bowl of cereal, and then open the fridge to find that there is no milk.
If I could have sunk to my knees and cried out a dramatic protracted 'NOOOOOOO!' I would have. Or maybe I did, because my bunkmates had to lift me up again, slap me a few times and ask me what was wrong before I sheepishly replied 'Urm, nothing. Nothing what. Everything's okay.'
And so I went to the shower, my shuffling feet betraying my ruminating mind. This church camp had suddenly turned into the Worst. Camp. Ever.
I was going through the motions of showering myself and looking up at my solitary (slightly used) underwear hanging woefully up on the shower door next to my towel when I tried to come up with a plan of how to maximise my single underwear use.
Now, I have four days of the camp to last, so if I wore it normally on the first day, back-to-front on the second day, inside out on the third day, inside out and back-to-front on the fourth day, I should just be able to manage, I thought to myself, as I pulled my towel down to dry myself....
And that's when my only underwear dropped to the wet shower floor.
*sinks to his knees* NOOOOOOOO!
Now, it was the really the Worst. Camp. Ever.
I almost dived into the shower floor tiles trying to rescue my precious briefs (or in this case, brief). I picked it up as quickly as I could, but not quick enough, apparently - a wet patch had developed around half the underwear. At this point, I despaired even for life itself and wondered how long I could stay hidden in the showers before someone noticed I was missing.
I dried my underwear as best as I could by swinging it around for a few minutes and I *eew* slowly *yuck* put *urrgh* it *oh, man* back *gross* on.
Urrgh, I still shudder at the thought of wet underwear against my skin.
Anyway, I noisily squelched my way back to my cabin, and into the arms of my understanding bunkmates, who I confided to with the earnestness of a inconsolable child who had just lost his puppy.
They looked at me with great kindness in their eyes - and proceeded to laugh their asses off at me while rubbing their own stock of clean underwear mockingly against their faces (Ooh, can you feel that Heng Khuen? Feels so... clean. And dry.)
Okay, so they weren't that bad, but they certainly did laugh really hard at me before offering to help me out with my predicament.
My pastor was informed, and he rang some guys who were driving up to the camp later that night to bring in some disposable underwears.
After having laughed until he held his sides for a good five minutes, of course.
And so salvation came in the form of some Made in China disposable underwears that night from my friends (amidst a bit more chuckling and ribbing) and I could finally heave a sigh of relief and enjoy the church camp properly once more.
|In case you needed a visual aid |
to go with this story.
It goes without saying that I am
far better looking, of course.
The disposable underwears were like, how shall we say, really sheer. It was made of a gossamer thin paper material with two holes in it to put your feet through. It was like wearing a shower cap around your ass instead of on your head. I was worried every time that I ran in it, that I would somehow spark off a fire in my pants from my thighs rubbing against this potentially flammable material.
But I was grateful, nonetheless. At least I didn't have to survive on one semi-wet underwear for the whole camp.
Or no underwear for that matter.
Now that would have made me really popular and potentially made it the Best. Church. Camp. Ever.
Did I mention I hate packing?