All She Wrote: Dispatches from Camp Funhole

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Camp Funhole 2014 008

by Nicole Crews

Hello Muddah, hello Fadduh,

I am drinking

Piña Coladas.

Camp is very

Entertaining.

Brad is mooning while the orb above is waning.

There is sand

In all our crevasses

Frank says that’s what happens when you show your asses.

Mother: Where exactly is this Camp Funhole that you keep talking about Nicole? Is it at the lake? The coast?

Me: Camp Funhole is really a state of mind mother — mostly the state of the minds of Frank, Brad and Nicole.

Mother: It sounds more like a state of emergency.

It’s a nickel past one when I paddle my Volvo into Southport during high lunar tide and the air is as spicy as a low-country boil. I’ve been driving non-stop like a meth head in order to make lunch with the boys and I’ve got a bucketful of coffee in my gullet that’s been plotting its exit strategy since Rockingham. As I round the bend to the restaurant, I eyeball the queue of salmon-hued, espadrille-shoed hairspray holder-on-ers outside of the ladies room. I decide to opt for the outhouse that serves as the men’s room just as a crew of leathery lads in offshore visors cut from dock to door.

I know these boys. I mean I don’t know these particular boys but I worked for a boating magazine for seven years and spent about as much time on Carolina center-consoles as I did behind computer monitors.

“Don’t worry,” I say as I push past them into the head, “I can zip it and flip it as fast as you can.”

I find Frankenbrad barside, each with a Torpedo in their fist and the fire of the first day of vacation in their eyes. We grab a yacht basin-adjacent table and they both scramble to the starboard side.

Me: Was it something I said? Do I smell like roadkill or something?

Brad: No, we just can’t look in the direction of the man with no nose.

Frank: Yeah, Brad made eye contact.

Me: This sounds like some sort of Sicilian proverb. ‘Never look into the eye of the man with no nose.’

Brad: Or a Bond villain.

Me: Cheers boys! And thank you for having me!

It’s island time, so post-pescaterian pigout we line up our rigs and make a leisurely transition from Provision Company to provision gathering. Frank — who emailed all guests a play-by-play menu plan weeks before — doesn’t mess around. By way of a choice farmer stand we amass peaches, tomatoes, okra and local cinnamon chutney. At the fish market we poke and prod. We’re more efficient at the beer store — and it’s off to Camp Funhole by the Sea.

Me: What kind of fish did we finally decide upon?

Frank: Halibut, but I considered the golden tile.

Me: Isn’t that what you finish your golden shower with?

Finally, the last of the screen doors slam — like the beginning of a Sam Shepard play — and we’ve arrived. It’s the advent of a three-dog night with Labs Zeus and Rex and Golden Dios ready for a little beach time. We adjust our gear, don our sunset cocktail suits and head out.

Me: How did we come up with Camp Funhole anyway? I don’t remember.

Brad: Remember you and I were in that little cabin of a wood-paneled room and we were lying across from each other on opposite twin beds. And you said, ‘I feel like I’m at camp.’

And I said, ‘Camp Funhole!’

Me: Haha! That’s right. We were as shellacked as ships in a bottle.

The weekend brings guests from near and far, and considering the burgeoning number of happy campers we decide it’s time to add merchandise to the Funhole repertoire. White tees with Sharpie-inscribed logos are discussed. Yachtie dress whites are debated. Golf shirts are tossed. We finally decide upon sailor hats to match my long-ago acquired captain’s hat. Four stores along the Oak Island corridor later we emerge with not only our sailor hats, but a slew of lids to top off happy hour and dinner hour shenanigans.

Me: So it seems Camp Funhole is turning into drama camp with all of our costumery.

Frank: Would you have it any other way?

Me: Not really.

Brad: Cheers!

Frank: And bon appetit!