Be Prepared

(Husband and wife enter wearing large backpacks)

STEVE:
Well it's a good thing we packed light. I wouldn't have wanted to load everything that other guy had. He looked like he was on a month long expedition.

ELLEN:
It was sure nice of him to give us a ride to the phone booth.

STEVE:
Yeah, I had no idea the spare was flat.

ELLEN:
Well don't worry, we didn't lose that much time; we'll still get there before dark.

STEVE:
I can't wait to get to the campsite, and sleep out under the stars…

ELLEN:
Didn't you bring the tent?

STEVE:
With the kind of weather we've been having? No way. We don't need it.

ELLEN:
Gee Honey, what about these clouds?

STEVE:
Relax, the weatherman said it would be fine this weekend. Besides we didn't want to burden ourselves with a bunch of excess weight to carry.

ELLEN:
Well maybe you're right.

STEVE:
Of course I'm right. This is what traveling light is all about. Not bringing a bunch of needless stuff. Just the essentials. Hey look, we're just about there.

ELLEN:
Good thing. I'm starving, and my legs are just about worn out.

STEVE:
Well I warned you about being prepared for this. You were going to get your legs in back packing shape. Preparation is vital to make it on a trip like this.

ELLEN:
(A little irritated) I'm okay. Is this it?

STEVE:
This is the place.

ELLEN:
It doesn't look like much. Isn't there even a restroom?

STEVE:
I thought you wanted to get away from it all.

ELLEN:
I thought there'd at least be a bathroom somewhere nearby.

STEVE:
I think there's a portapotty down the trail about a hundred yards.

ELLEN:
(Makes face) Yuck! I guess maybe I can hold it.

STEVE:
Gee Honey, you seemed so excited about going back packing. I thought you were prepared for what it was going to be like.

ELLEN:
Okay, okay so I'm not Sheena of the jungle. I'll be fine Mr. Prepared.

STEVE:
Good. Now here's a good spot for the sleeping bags and look we can make the fire ring right here, and…

ELLEN:
Hey look, isn't that the guy we saw earlier? The guy with the heavy load.

STEVE:
(Looks where she is pointing and waves) Yeah that's him. Look at all that gear. I'm glad I didn't have to work that hard to get here. This is supposed to be a time to relax.

ELLEN:
Wow look at that tent he's got.

STEVE:
Well we're going to enjoy going to sleep under the stars, and waking up to blue sky.

ELLEN:
Looks kind of cloudy to me…

STEVE:
Just a little overcast. It'll blow away, just wait. C'mon let's get set up. You got the can of soup?

ELLEN:
I've got it right here. You got the can opener?

STEVE:
Can opener.

ELLEN:
Can opener. You know the thing that we turn the crank of to open cans of food with?

STEVE:
Uh, how bout we have some fresh fruit and vegies tonight? I'll start the fire and we can bake up those potatoes we brought. Then In the morning you'll wake up to the smell of bacon frying over an open fire.

ELLEN:
Sounds good.

STEVE:
Then we can go fishing and catch our dinner.

ELLEN:
Fishing?

STEVE:
Yeah.

ELLEN:
Why do we have to go fishing? Didn't we bring food?

STEVE:
Yeah we brought food, but fishing is a good test to see if we're prepared to make it in the wilderness.

ELLEN:
Hey look, that guy has a big tarp in front of his tent, and a little fold up stool. That actually looks comfortable.

STEVE:
But look; look at this big rock. See we didn't have to carry extra weight, and we still get to sit.

ELLEN:
Oh yeah I'll bet that's comfy.

STEVE:
Y'know Ellen, It seems you just aren't prepared for the more rugged conditions out here.

ELLEN:
Look, I'll handle it. How about if you just start a fire for us so we can bake the potatoes.

STEVE:
Good Idea. (Begins to search backpack and then pockets. Appears to be panicking.)

ELLEN:
Steve? Don't tell me you…

STEVE:
(Facing the other camper) Uh excuse me friend, do you happen to have some extra matches? I seem to have dropped mine somewhere along the trail.

ELLEN:
Yeah, right.

STEVE:
(To other camper) Thanks, I'll be right over. (SFX: Thunder, rain Steve looks up in dismay while Ellen pulls raincoat and umbrella out of backpack.)

ELLEN:
What's wrong Steve, weren't you prepared for this? Where's your rain gear?

STEVE:
But they said it was going to be good weather.

Copyright © 1999 by Robert J. Lee

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