Monday, June 19, 2006

The Camp Nazi

You know the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld? The guy you have to follow the rules just-so for or else he'll refuse to serve you some of his famous, delicious soup (he's a real guy, by the name of Al Yeganeh). Well, over the weekend, the kerpupples and I encountered the Camp Nazi.

I have to admit, Camp Nazi had a strike against him to begin with because we arrived to discover that Jefferson County has a complete fire ban in place. No campfires. Camping just isn't quite the same without a campfire. And as Camp Nazi (official title "camp host") broke the news that the penalty for violating the ban is a $5000 fine and 6 months in jail, our grumpiness over not being able to roast hotdogs and tell campfire ghost stories no doubt extended to him too.

This lame-ass campground also has a leash policy. Dogs must be on leashes at all times. Now, our kerpupples love to camp. And they do tend to wander a bit. But they are friendly, and socialized, and come back (usually) when we call them. It's the freakin' woods. If there's anywhere we should be able to let dogs roam free, it's there. And I always marvel at those who want to take their vicious, unsocialized dogs camping with them. Bear protection, I guess?

We ignored the rule and left them off-leash. For the most part they behaved, though Camp Nazi did scold us once. But then Mr. Kerpupple exacerbated the situation by running up to a camper walking his Weimeraner and doing his whole establish dominance routine. The other dog did not take to it well. But as dogs do, they worked it out, and there was no foul other than likely angering Weimeraner's owner.

Later that day, the spousal unit and I retired to the tent for a late afternoon nap. Our friend James, his brother, and some friends were cooking at the adjacent campsite, and the kerpupples know James well, so I trusted leaving them outside the tent while we snoozed. All was well, until I am jolted awake to the sound of "You leash those dogs NOW or you are OUT OF HERE!!!!!" screamed in our general direction from 5 or so campsites away. I sheepishly scrambled out to get the dogs on a leash - they were at the edge of the campsites we had rented. The guy kept on and on and rubbed James the wrong way, so James screamed back at him to leave us alone. Camp Nazi bellowed that he RUNS this place, effectively pissing on us and all our belongings.

Shortly following, I went on a walk around the campground to check out the other campers. Weimeraner owner and family were nearby, and they didn't look like very friendly campers. Pooch was nowhere in sight, probably locked away in their popup. Another dog owner had their dogs (one a big scary looking pit-bull/boxer type mix) chained up as well. I attempted to skirt around Camp Nazi's site (clearly the dude lived there in his battered RV and ancient Wagoneer), but he approached me. "Sorry I had to yell", to which my mind raced, "had to? Somebody forced you?" CN goes on to say that he'd received complaints from other campers. Weimeraner owning bastard! I confirmed I understood he was doing his job and that the kerpupples were now leashed. Then CN goes on to say how James is about to get booted for yelling at him. That "This is MY home," and that he clearly didn't appreciate being spoken to that way. His home? Excuse me? He doesn't pay for that forest. It's his workplace, not his home.

Moral of the story? Watch out for guys who live that solitary of a life. They probably do not play well with others.


Uncle Jim said...

Contact your Uncle Jim on this. I know a ton of great campsites that are for one FREE, and B don't have campground host. So if you want to run around naked with your dogs in tow, go for it.

Slave to the dogs said...

Thanks Jim - we'll keep that in mind! Naked camping...that sounds, er, prickly.... :-)

Uncle Jim said...

Good one!