Barney's Back, And He Intruded on My Camping Trip

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I was minding my own business. Chopping some fire wood, throwing the frisbee, playing a little ladder golf, cracking peanuts, the usual.  The kids - Russ and Amber's two boys; Brian and Jenny's daughter; and my minion, Chloe - also minded their buisness.  The business of bouncing balls, jumping on the air mattresses in the tent, stacking sticks, and jumping off of tree stumps.

Every one of us enjoyed the July afternoon in our own way under the tall pines of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest along some rarely traveled dirt road.  This was just a simple one-nighter to get the kids out and to get we adults together.

In her typical you-won't-see-this-coming style, Chloe started asking for "Mawney moonic" by repeating those two words over and over until it turns to a crying wail.  Of all things, way out here far from our iPods and DVD players, something reminded her of Barney songs and wanted to hear some straight off the CD.  Man, that kid . . . I've got no idea what's on her mind.

"Are your kids still into Barney?" I asked Russ and Amber.

Their eyes got wide, and Amber shook her head with such a vigor as to be saying to me, "SHHHHHH, don't bring it up.  They've totally forgotten." It's frightening as a parent to think oh geez, what will come of my life if I have to revert back to allowing Barney in my house.

Brooke jumped to Barney's defense.  "He's not that bad, Mark.  At least he teaches kids to have manners and kids like him."

But I've caught her on more than one occasion, perhaps while she's scrubbing dishes and Chloe's watching a Barney show, mocking Baby Bop's squealing voice or that half-singing talking thing Barney does when he goes, "Everyone is special!" Yep, we've all mocked that one.

And I crap-you-not . . . Pardon me, but is there a better way to say it other than I that?  Even Mark Twain once said, "Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer."

Anyway, I was crapping-you-not. This is serious.  For some reason I used the phrase "Just imagine" to preface "what life would be like if our kids called the shots all the time about the music we listen to."  Yep, just imagine.  Is it twinkling in your head right now, pushing its way to the frontal lobe?

You hate me now, don't you?  It's stuck in your head.  Right.  Well, same thing here.  So we adults hanging around that campfire must have all hopped on the same unseen wavelength because without anyone even saying a thing, planning or suggesting, every adult voice burst forth and tuned in by belting it out and swaying back and forth, hands in the air,

Just imagine!
Just imagine!
Just imaaaaagine
all the things that we
could be!

Imagine all the places we could go
and see
Imagination's fun for you and me!


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