Ever since I left school I’ve always had a little bit of a problem dealing with the fact that I no longer have an extended long summer holiday, free for all the camping holidays my big, Camping Ninja heart desires. I’m all for seeing other people enjoy their time off, but I can’t help feeling cheated when I can’t be out there camping myself too. 20 days holiday a year is just not enough. So, as it is a secret diary, I confess that I pulled a sickie today so that I could go camping.
Of course there are many, many times through history when dishonesty has backfired, and it looks like this is another example to add to the list. An entire morning of camping bliss soon became an afternoon plagued with misadventure, as Perpetua Bondenbaum-Smith (pronounced Smythe) and Clarissa Darcy from work pulled up and parked up at the tent across the field from me. Disaster! What were the chances of that happening? Admittedly it served me right, but this incredibly bad luck made me tent bound for the rest of the day.
I watched them from the window of my tent, unable to leave and wondering if they would ever go away. Like a fugitive on the run I hid, secluded in the shelter of my tent, as I couldn’t under any circumstances allow them to see me.
Hours passed by on my stakeout. Surely enough was enough by now. But was it safe to come out I wondered?
It was definitely about time I left the tent and it was no use hiding forever. I’m a brave ninja and despite actually being frightened of Perpetua and Clarissa seeing me there, I had a few ninja tricks up my sleeve for occasions like this.
I would disguise myself in a carefully crafted foliage and camping accessories camouflage.
I snuck out of the tent and plucked bits off the bushes and took leaves off the nearest tree. A Rambo style leaf look with a sleeping bag liner wrapped over my head, and a wooden spoon tucked up the sleeve of each arm made the perfect disguise. Surely no one would recognise me now, I thought. I considered going a step further to make sure, but concluded that under no circumstances was there any need to wear socks with my Crocs!
I threw a Frisbee in the opposite direction to create a distraction, and then slinked my way across the grass over towards the field exit.
An especially brisk walk was making my obviously long wooden spoon arms swing about all over the place and I began to worry that my new style might make me look a tad suspicious.
I was almost there. About 3 more long, stretched footsteps and I would have been in the next field. Then catastrophe struck!
Two, all too familiar heads turned my way. I stopped, frozen in my tracks, with my long wooden spoon arms quivering.
Oh no. They had completely and utterly seen, and recognised me.
‘Camping Ninja, is that you?’ came a loud booming voice. It was the same loud booming voice that grates on me when I’m in the office at work and to make matters worse, the body that belonged to the loud booming voice was ambling across the field towards me, followed by the second scariest work colleague you’d least want to see if you’d pulled a sickie, Clarissa.
I couldn’t quite believe it was really happening. But the situation was too desperate even to be a nightmare.
‘Oh gosh, what on earth are you wearing?’ asked Perpetua. ‘What the dickens is that attire you adorn camping ninja?’ blithered the other one. I really had no idea of what she said actually meant, but I guessed that it was also a question about my outfit.
‘Fancy dress’ I replied, with a novelty cough for effect. ‘I’m on my way to a fancy dress engagement’ I muttered and in the same breath, before either of them had a chance to mention anything about me not being at work, I was gone. ‘Achoo, achoo, achoooooooo’ I pretended to sneeze, legging it across the field and into the woods behind them as fast as my ninja legs could carry me.
I didn’t dare to stop running for three hours. And the worst thing of all was that if only I’d used the brown paper bag from the mushrooms I’d bought earlier, to put over my head instead, I was sure they wouldn’t have recognised me at all. Or perhaps if I had gone for the socks with Crocs option, then I’d be safe.
I waved my long wooden spoon arms in the air and shuddered at the thought of how I would try to explain this one to my boss when I get back to work next week. Although perhaps it was conceivable. I had a terrible cold. Non-stop coughing and sneezing meant that I couldn’t possibly have gone into work, so for the health and safety of others at work, I quarantined myself in a solitary tent at a campsite. I dressed in an unusual outfit so no one would approach me… The leaves around my head were a known herbal medicine for cold and flu symptoms and the wooden spoons were… hmmm… the wooden spoons were said to bring good health in ancient ninja black magic… and I was throwing a Frisbee… as a physical metaphor to try to banish myself of all the cold germs…
… well any excuse would be worth a try at least I thought!