We had known about it since last night, but there really wasn’t much time to attend to it until now. Each cabin had been given these instructions. It had to be 5 minutes long. It had to include the chaperon. It had to have a girl as a boy or a boy as a girl (depending on the cabins). It had to have a foreign language in it.
No, no it was not.
Worse, the teachers had told them it would be marked.
What the hell?
But it wasn’t my place to argue. In fact, I wasn’t sure what my role was supposed to be. Was I supposed to make sure the boys got the skit done? Was I supposed to help them? You know, use my vast experience with skit creation? Was I just supposed to sit back and let them sink or swim?
I chose something in between – I just tried to keep them focused. At least at the start. It took only a few minutes to come up with an idea, one everyone agreed upon. I have to say, that was a huge surprise. HUGE. I imagined hours of wackier and wackier ideas. But once they had a winner, I jumped on it and said, that’s the one!
TBH, it made absolutely no sense to me – having something to do with a guy called Billy Mays and selling an amazing new shoe – but oh how they all laughed and rolled around. That’s how I knew it was a winner even if all I could do was stand there, blinking and looking old and very confused (something I do very well.)
When they came back from supper, one of them offered to play the girl part and the next 30 minutes was a giggle-fest as they all worked on how a girl walked, talked and dressed. Sure, it was fun, but we now only had 90 minutes left.
I was about to step in, again to get them to FOCUS!!!, but as it turned out, one of them stepped up and took control. *The Oldest* had had enough. He wasn’t going to get a bad mark, by God, and began to write the skit. He assigned roles, listened to ideas, and made sure they all kept focused when they got too giggly.
It was like herding cats. But gradually a skit began to take shape.
I can’t tell you how impressed I was. For the same boy who didn’t even want to come to camp to take charge and produce, write, and direct a skit… well, wow, just wow.
By the time supper rolled around, the outline of the skit was ready and written. All that remained was the rehearsal. They managed to find about 15 minutes after supper and jobs to get a quick rehearsal in. Timing of who would come on the stage when was worked out. Who said what was finalized.
The Oldest had given himself the lead role, that of this Billy Mays character. He had a spiel about how great the shoes were and why anyone would want to buy them.
And it was….
And I didn’t even know half of the references.
I was given the role of announcer. Or introducer. I wrote out my own part and knew full-well it was 50/50 that I would remember any of it. No matter, I knew what I had to say.
“Welcome to the Home Shopping Network. We’re very excited to have with us Billy Mays, the inventor of non-stick underwear and doggie slider burgers. With him is his lovely assistant Goldilocks, who (up until about an hour ago) used to be a man. So please put your hands together and give Billy Mays a warm welcome.”
Oh sure, I was nervous, but I know what to do. Never speak to a room-full of people. Speak to one or two people in that room.
Then *The Oldest* took over, with Goldilocks assisting him and the other boys acting as angry customers. The crowd laughed and laughed.
Even when *The Oldest* forgot some of his lines, it only made it better when he got back on track. I managed to rush off the stage and get a video of the whole thing, but modern ethics dictate that I not post it. It’s too bad, because you know what? It was a great skit.
It wasn’t 5 minutes long, though, as that would have been a disaster (like an SNL skit that was funny for 30 seconds and then they’d go on and on and on and on.) It took about 90 seconds and that was enough. It was a hit!
The other kids all did a fine job on their skits, some better than others, and all of the chaperons did their part. In fact, most did far more than me, actively participating in the kids’ plays.
When it was done, The *Oldest* did something you don’t often see. He smiled. Like he’d done something good. No, something amazing. I was so, so proud of him.
Other kids congratulated him, his teacher went out of his way to say what a great job he’d done, and I so wished his mom, AKA The-prettiest-girl-in-the-world, could have been there. She would have been so proud as well.
The boys took a long time to get to sleep that night, even after the deadly ‘night walk’ that I had to do without a flashlight. They were so pumped that they’d done so well. They replayed the highlights over and over, laughing all the time.
Thus ended the best day at camp.
All that remained was something in the morning. A mystery event.
(And just for clarification, *The Oldest* is the name of our oldest boy that I use when writing this blog to protect his secret identity)
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Until the next blog, here is an SNL skit.