As you all easily deciphered from the title of this update, I spent the last few weeks leading Sprout trips to Maine, Toronto, and the Poconos. The first trip I went on was to Maine and it was quite memorable to say the least. If I had to give the trip a word for the week, inquisitive would finish a close second to irritation. This group of 7 men and 2 women joined forces to annoy us leaders to an unimaginable extent. Questions, questions, questions. I swear I felt like Alex Trebek after spending 30 minutes in the van. It’s as though all the clients feared losing points for not speaking in the form of a question.
“What time are we eating lunch? Where are we eating dinner? What year is this van? What roads do we take to get to Maine? What is on the menu for dinner? Where were you born? Why? Why are hamburgers so good? Is there a pool at the hotel? How deep is it? What number spf sunscreen did you bring? How many brothers and sisters do you have? Are there boats in Maine? Are there trains in Maine? How much does a candy
bar cost in Wisconsin?” This amount of inquiries would come from only 1 or 2 of the clients in under a minute (literally). Once one of them got into an interrogation rhythm, it sparked all the others to test my trivia knowledge and patience at the same time.
We definitely had some unique personalities on this vacation (and a few of them shared the same body). There was one client who spoke to himself. This is somewhat common amongst some participants, but not like this guy. He was extremely loud and spoke very clearly as he turned his head and reminded himself (and everyone within 50 meters) of the Bar Mitzvah he had to attend on July 3rd. Not only did this voice in his head that he frequently conferred with remind him of important dates, but apparently it also scolded him. One day when getting out of the van, he farted rather loudly. He immediately turned his head and screamed, “David, if you do that again, you will be spending the rest of the day in the van. I mean it David. You think it’s funny? I’m not joking around.”
Accompanying David and (well… the other David),
was a guy who had a little trouble showing any expression. He looked and sounded a bit like a constipated, disgruntled army drill sergeant that had an obsession with trains. When he came to my door claiming something was wrong with his toilet but it was ok because he already told the hotel staff, I didn’t think it was an emergency. I asked if I should come and check on it and he said, “I do believe that it is alright sir. No big problem sir.” Having done enough Sprout trips to know better than to rely on this type of information, I decided to check it out. When I opened the room door, the river of water and umm…. debris was already rushing towards me. I kicked off my shoes and squished my way through the soaked carpet and sprinted to the toilet to turn off the water. It wasn’t until I reached the toilet did I realize that one of the squishes wasn’t just the wet carpet. You know that ‘oh shit’ feeling when you are walking through someone’s yard and you are in denial about what is now seeping in between your toes? Yea… not a fun
feeling. Anyways, the room was flooded and I spent the next hour scrubbing my feet while my co-leaders helped the guys move.
It was also on this trip to Maine that I first experimented with water sports. Let me tell you, golden showers just don’t do it for me but I forgot to tell the client who I was helping shower. It was just my arms though and well… I just don’t wanna talk about it anymore.
My next trip, to Toronto, was a fairly routine sprout trip. Way too much driving of a 15-passenger van. Our hotel wasn’t the best because the neighborhood had more porn shops than restaurants. Some of our activities included seeing the affect of tax breaks and budget cut’s first hand at the Ontario Science Center, enjoying lengthy lines with nothing worthwhile at the end at the CN Tower, and watching animals in their natural habitat at the Toronto Zoo. What could be better than watching rhinos staring at a cage as they ponder their existence or monkeys hump plastic toys or a lion who chooses to lay down in the sun for a rest (not that the chain around his ankle had
anything to do with his decision)? I did learn something rather important though: Never, under any circumstances, let a female German Co-leader who hasn’t seen any movie advertisements choose the film for the group to enjoy. If you don’t listen to my advice, you may find yourself experiencing the gut wrenchingly intense pain that is sitting through an hour and a half of “Material Girls.” The best part of the movie was the end when you realized that the pain wasn’t permanent, but there is still quite a bit of guilt for supporting the creation of such a horrible cinematic calamity.
Now I will admit that sometimes Sprout groups are interesting in public, but it never ceases to amaze me how stupid other people are. When we sit down at a restaurant and a waitress comes up to me and asks if we are going to need silverware, I wonder whether I should check to see if she got the memo that mentally disabled people actually never use forks and knives… dumbass. Do you ask everyone that comes if they want silverware? Treat my group with respect and I will clean up when they smear shit all over the
bathroom… treat us poorly and I might have to think it over a little.
On the trip back from Toronto, I had an interesting experience in one of the rest areas. We were in a bit of a hurry so I asked the participants to go quickly and come right back to the van so we could get back on the road as soon as possible. The clients don’t always listen to this request, but this time one of them did. In fact, he wanted to hurry up so badly that he decided to take his penis out and have it ready for the moment he arrived at the urinal. The people sitting at McDonalds and Starbucks enjoyed their Big Macs and grande mocha lattes with a side of disgust as he raced past their table with his joystick in his hand.
My last trip was to a resort in the Poconos. With gaudy décor, ridiculously bad shows, and that annoying guy who is supposed to make old ladies feel better about themselves, the resort was essentially a Cruise that stayed in one place. It was nice because all our meals and most of our activities were right
there at the resort. We did go on a trolley ride near the Delaware Water Gap. The burnt out driver’s monotone voice flooded the trolley and we all drowned in misery and useless facts. It was a blast.
This weekend has been nice because I had 2 days off to sleep and recover. Of course I woke up at 7 in the morning out of habit anyways. I leave tomorrow for Club Sprout which is the Sprout camp that I enjoyed so much last year. It won’t be a cakewalk this year though… sprout is giving me a group of 10 slow paced clients. Let the diaper changing and shower assistance fun begin!
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