A common activity at my summer camps is to have a secret friend...a bit like Secret Santa, but...not. You leave anonymous notes and gifts and it's all warm and fuzzy. (Blech, right? But there's usually chocolate involved, so it's not all bad.) At the end, when everyone reveals their secret friends, you sit in a circle and sing a cute little song and you hug and it's all well and good. Except that by "cute" I mean that it's super high on the annoying scale and it stays in your head for-freaking-ever.
Well. This summer was different. Oh sure, we did the activity and the notes and the singing. But to combat the saccharine activity, our staff planned a separate adult activity: Hate-O.
How can I describe Hate-O? I suppose secret enemy does it best.
This? Was an activity I could get behind.
Let me tell you--my camp friends EXCELLED at Hate-O. There were dead bugs left on pillows, voodoo dolls created, stalker notes written, and angry songs performed. Personal property was ruthlessly kidnapped. Each day brought new horrible little surprises.
What did my Hate-O do?
It started slowly. A "you suck" in my mailbox. "You're too old for this" on my pillow. Then, these tiny notes were everywhere. Multiple times each day. It was a barrage of notes intended to chip away at my self-esteem. (It takes more than that, Hate-O! I've been rejected by people I've never even met.) Some highlights?
The one about my "embarrassing drinking problem" delivered to me by a camper. (Accessory to the crime? Eh, I won't blame the kid too much.) The "you suck" covered entirely in clear tape and floating in my Nalgene. "I don't miss you at all" found back at home, tucked into my suitcase--long after the game had ended! And the best? The one suggesting I take a shower...which was thrown down my dress during a dance party. (Apparently a group effort...well played, you sneaky bastards.)
It was quite the campaign. That right there? That's dedication. I'm impressed.
This isn't all heartwarming, though. Despite the efforts of my Hate-O, the worst thing I was subjected to...wasn't even meant for me. I was INADVERTENTLY HATE-OED. How, you ask?
Well fine, I'll tell you.
I was going about my business, checking my paper Hate-O mailbox. From across the room, A asked if I would check hers. I stuck my hand into the envelope, expecting to find a note. Instead, I made contact with something slimy. Squishy. I quickly pulled my hand away, horrified. Figuring it was something juvenile, like chewed up food, I washed my hands in disgust.
Later in the day, we were all sitting in our meeting. A remembered her gift and our director volunteered to retrieve it. She stuck a pencil in to fish the grossness out.
CAUTION: What follows, dear readers, is maybe the grossest thing to ever happen in front of me. (And I sat next to a guy while he peed into beer cans once. That's a story for another day, though.)
YES, THAT IS A SLUG. A LIVE FREAKING SLUG. It popped its little disgusting head out, all "Hey guys...what's up?" I reacted gracefully. You know, just what you'd expect from me. With a hissy fit, rant, and just a hint of nausea. I TOUCHED THAT. It's probably crawling around the German forests with my fingerprints on it, for the love of God!