Sunday, January 4, 2009

My buddy, Wilbur

It started last Memorial Day on a family campout.

Wilbur, his older brother, and his dad drove up and staked out our campsite for the weekend in an undeveloped campground in the Sierra Nat'l Forest. Later that night, the BF and I drove up to meet them.
The BF and I huddled around the fire with Wilbur and his dad while we waited for Wilbur's grandpa, uncles and cousins to arrive in the dead of night. Wilbur's 10 year old brother had already gone to bed, but emerged from the tent after a bit and wandered into the woods holding nothing but a small handheld computer game glowing a soft blue in the night. As he walked by us on his return trip he stopped to give us a lengthy-- and unsolicited-- explanation of how he was using his computer game as a flashlight, then he disappeared inside the tent again.

Wilbur was sitting on a small campchair holding his marshmallow-roasting stick in the fire. As soon as his brother was out of sight, he looked up at us and in a concerned 4-year-old voice stated simply, "do you think he's stupid?"

Let me assure you, beer is not something you want coming out of your nose! I know this because that is what I was drinking when Wilbur said that. I can also provide you with two other people who can testify to my no-beer-through-the-nose statement, because that is also what the BF and Wilbur's dad were drinking.

The BF and I have enjoyed relaying that story for nearly a year now but, as it turns out, that kid is full of em!

Wilburism #2:

His next perfect delivery was only a month later on a day trip, 4 wheelin in the same area.
It had been a long day, as the trail we had wanted to run was still closed from winter snow, then the BF's battery went dead and there was a delay while we ran down to Shaver to replace it. With 2 bored kids and some disappointed adults, we decided to just go ahead and run a familiar trail and call it a day.

The 10 year old was bored stiff from sitting in his dad's Jeep all morning and not doing anything or going anywhere, so he decided to get out of the Jeep and run along side of the vehicles through most of the trail.

No big deal, seeing as how most of the time we were crawling along slow enough that he could outrun us anyway.

But somewhere along the way, something went horribly wrong. The kids' dad decided to play a prank on the older one and left him behind on the trail on foot, while Dad decided to drive ahead. Of course, Dad expected the kid to freak out and come running up the trail. Admit defeat, get in the Jeep and shut up. But that's not what the kid did.

No no. The kid figured that he'd been left and that we expected him to meet up with us at the fire lookout on the top of the hill... so he set off walking up the hill! Except the BF and I didn't know this was going on! We turn around and drive back down the trail once we discover our buddy isn't behind us anymore. Only to find him out of the Jeep, wandering around, calling the older kid's name.

Once we were filled in on the situation, naturally, we panicked. Which is really saying something considering that the BF once described our buddy with the Jeep as being so laid back that he'd "known Jell-o that was more uptight."

It was decided that the BF and I would stay put at the spot where the kid was last seen, while Wilbur and his dad took the Jeep back to civilization to get help in an attempt to find the missing kid before nightfall...and before we had to tell his mother that we'd lost her oldest son.

After several hours of feeling helpless and frustrated, we got a scratchy call on the radio letting us know that the kid had been found. By the time the BF and I carefully descended the 4X4 trail (you don't want something going wrong when there's only one of you) and met up with the kids and their dad we were wiped out. It was just after 8 p.m. and we were still 2 hours from home.

The two vehicles followed each other home in the dark. As we pulled into our hometown the BF and I decided to stop at Applebee's for a late dinner, since we were exhausted from a long, stressful day. Our buddy and the kids followed us.

There we were, what a sight! Three exhausted, filthy grownups in our 30's all dressed for a day in the mountains, with 2 kids who didn't look much better, amidst a restaraunt full of people dressed in their Saturday night finest, getting their drink on and looking for a good time.

Of course, the Kid is wired after his adventure! So while we wait for our food to be delivered, he excitedly recounts his day. It's exhausting just to listen to him. All happy and excited about having a big adventure: he just took off walking up the hill, figuring he was supposed to meet us at the top. When we got there, he waited for us until he figured we weren't coming. So he asked some people if they could help him out and they put him in their car and were on their way to a ranger station when the rangers met them in route and said they were looking for a kid. Everyone figured it out fast enough, and the rangers delivered said kid back to his dad. Meanwhile...Wilbur got to ride in a fire truck!

So there we are, slumped in our chairs at the end of the story when Wilbur looks up at the BF and me: in his white shirt which is filthy, with a missing front tooth (it got pulled), dirt smeared across his face, and a big hole in his hair where he decided to give himself a haircut and asks us quite earnestly: "How come you guys don't have kids?"

Wilburism #3:

The next time we saw Wilbur's uncles we were telling them these stories, when Uncle J filled us in on another one.

Thing is, Wilbur's mom and dad aren't together any longer. Mom went back to live with her folks and Wilbur in particular had a little adjustment issue getting used to the situation. During this time, Wilbur's uncles (dad's family) took him camping.

Uncle J started to walk away from the group in order to use the local bathroom tree, when Wilbur asked him where he was going. Well, as uncles tend to do, Uncle J didn't provide a straght answer, instead he said ominously, "I'm going to see the Devil!"

Wilbur's trademark deadpan response? "You're going to O'ma and O'pa's house?"

YIKES! That one's more of one of those you have to know everyone involved jokes, but it was hella funny none-the-less.

Wilburism #4:

This latest Friday we were all out having pizza. Since the boys aren't actually family, we didn't spend Christmas with them. But of course we got them presents! The boys got to unwrap their presents at the pizza parlor and immediately pulled out and started playing with the Army men and tanks that the BF picked out for them.

There were some squabbles, as siblings do, with Older Brother accusing Wilbur of doing things all wrong and trying to take his men from him. When, after already suffering through a few such accusations, one more "Give me that! You're doing it wrong!" from Older Brother illicited a quite plaintiff, "You knew that when you married me!" from Wilbur.

Where did he get THAT?

Hopefully these stories translate at least half as well in blog form as they were in real life. This kid is pure comedic genius and I wanted to make sure I wrote down his best material before we all forget it.