Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah

Article excerpt

It's summer camp time, which means it's also time for kids and parents to brush up on the fine art of letter writing.

When I went to summer camp, back around the time of the Gadsden Purchase, the counselors insisted we write daily letters home. The thinking behind this, I presume, was that if we wrote enough letters, something positive would eventually slip in. ("Dear Mom and Dad: Things are looking up. The health department guy came out today and said that last night's mystery meat was not the cause of the salmonella outbreak. Also, the river fire is just about out and we should be able to resume swimming class by the weekend.")

In order to appear that they are writing something positive, summer campers have developed a code. If you, the parent, can't interpret the code, you will think that your child is having the time of his life when, in reality, the kid is suffering the tortures of the damned. Here is a sample letter home, along with its decoded translation:

"Dear Mom and Dad (Translation: "Dear Occupants"):

"So much has happened I hardly know where to begin! (This letter will be padded so it appears longer.) The first thing they did was assign us to cabins. (These things make Abe Lincoln's birthplace look like the Trump Plaza.) I'm staying in cabin number two, down by the lake. (Swamp.) We drew straws and I got an upper bunk! (I actually drew a lower bunk, but Joey Costello threatened to beat me up if I didn't move.)

"After we unpacked our stuff and made our beds (My cabin mates got a big kick out of my Smurfs sheets. Thanks a lot, Mom.), we were introduced to our counselor (tormentor). His name is Randy and he seems like a real (wad of cheese) nice guy. Randy said he's here to (annoy) help us and make sure that our stay at Camp Muckitymuck is (a living hell) as pleasant and enjoyable as it can possibly be. …

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