Two extraordinary visitors, seven camp chairs

Categories: Outdoors

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I want to tell you about two extraordinary visitors to the Recession Vacation Research Laboratory. One of them wore short shorts. The other was half-nude. They both said they had tracked us down after having seen us on the evening news.

Let me introduce you:

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This is Charlene, she arrived at dusk with a pack of Kingstons and a joke book--"To break the ice, darling" was what she said to my wife Laurel, who met her at the gate.

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And this is Cedric, who was already seated and reading dispatches from the Royal Army in Bombay when I emerged from my tent that morning, shielding my eyes from the morning sun and expecting only to find a smoldering fire. "I'm knackered but delighted," he said, popping up and extending a hand with ferocious velocity.

They wanted to smoke and sip tea. Mostly though, they wanted to try our camp chairs. We let them of course. Here's what happened...*

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Cabela Deluxe Camp Rocker, $40

Cedric: (Winking at Charlene) Why, if my eyeball estimate is worth a damn, we could share this thing.

Charlene: Not on your life, Safari Sam.

Cedric: This, my dear, is not the hat of some Wall Street adventurer. In Bombay, a British man such as myself dressed as I am commands respect, for he is known to have seen the world--dispatched to be the eyes of the Queen herself.

Charlene: Charmed, I'm sure.

Cedric: Right then. Alone I shall sit.

Charlene: (Laughing) Your feet don't touch the ground! This is a comedy show.

Cedric: Quiet you! This is a chair made for an elephant. My adventures have made me thin. A man several times my girth could find comfort in this chair. All others beware.

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Travel Chair Bodywrap, $43

Charlene: If you need me, I'll be enjoying a smoke in this lime-colored thing.

Cedric: (Struggling to hop out of the rocker) Fine idea, may I offer you a light?

Charlene: Declined. Thanks. (Pauses) Well now, I could settle here in this chair for a good long time if not for the hovering Brit. It's upright, but not oppressively so. Go on, Sam, try the next chair--I'm going to lounge here for a moment.

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GCI Outdoor Everywhere Chair, $40

Cedric: Dearest, I think you've mistaken fashionably sassy for rudeness. Never mind that, I'll continue my assessment. (Lowers himself slowly into the chair with a groan) Well now, I might have well just purchased a hectare of dirt and reserved a bottom's worth for sitting.

Charlene: Plus, I can see down your shorts--are those the Queen's jewels? A light packer, this one.

Cedric: Goodness girl, it's not half the show you're giving. Kindly turn away while I complete my assessment. Ahem. Perhaps I do have a good word here. I feel supported. And I often wish I could sit comfortable on the ground and not sully my trousers.

Charlene: (Rolling her eyes) Moving along!

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GCI Outdoor Wilderness Recliner, $40

Cedric: Moving along indeed. This one is perhaps kin to the last? Indeed. But it sits higher, and with arm rests. Dignified.

Charlene: Indeed.

Cedric: Is this jungle wood? Is this a British product? Probably not. At any rate. I like it. A good sit, as my father would say.

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GCI Outdoor Little Titan, $30

Charlene: This is darling! A child's chair.

Cedric: Young Cedric would like this very much. Could I take it home to him for a sit?

Me: No.

Charlene: (Stomping a foot on the seat of the chair). All this stomping and it won't budge.

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Kelsyus Recline Backpack Outdoor Chair, $30

Cedric: Good lord this chair is atrocious.

Charlene: You've not even tried it!

Cedric: Princess, if it does to my backside what it is doing to my eyes...I've no need to submit myself to this awful receptacle. And it's made of netting! Give it to the poor fishermen at the pier--surely they could find a use for it.

Charlene: (Sighing, then sitting in the chair). My stars! This is fabulous. May I be frank?

Cedric: As I have, so I hope you shall be.

Charlene: This contraption cradles my tush like no camp chair ever has.

Cedric: It's resolved then! The princess has spoken.

Charlene: I'm no more a princess than you are an explorer, dear. Look at that costume! Let me guess, Oxford?

Cedric: (Clearing his throat, then pointing at the Big Bubba chair) Would you look at this wondrous thing!

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Travel Chair Big Bubba, $40

Cedric: (Sitting) A built-in ottoman! There's a joke I tell that always gets a laugh back home. I want to open a store, it'll sell ottomans only. We'll call it the Ottoman Empire!

Charlene: Get up, I've had my eye on this one. (Sitting) This is tops. This is camping.

Cedric: We agree!

Charlene: Coincidence only--and an unfortunate one at that.

Cedric: Oh button up!

* Okay. Look. We reviewed the chairs ourselves. But do you really want that? The comments of Charlene and Cedric were adapted from the feedback of RVRL volunteers and reflect the general mood of the group.

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