Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Friday Poem.
I like going camping.
But I don’t like the almost symbiotic stress that always comes with each and every camping trip my family go. Every time we set off in a happy, and excited mood which lasts roughly up to the point when we have to set the tent etc. up.
This poem is about one particular cause of stress, that we still haven’t managed to get right – in spite of having the same difficulties on concurrent camping weekends.
A new airbed we sought, and one for camping was bought
T’was a double – velour top and sumptuously deep.
With electric plug at one end, for compressed air to send
as itself it inflates – which is sweet.
Now, in tents it is true; plug sockets are few –
I suppose that is part of the charm.
But I’m no camping chump – I had purchased a pump;
Double-action – to save aches in our arms.
The bed was high-tech, and the air intake spec
was “Inflate” (obviously), “Lock”, or “Deflate”.
All set on a dial, so choice wouldn’t be a trial –
A dial, that I would soon come to hate.
One fine weekend last March, we at last had the chance
to take the air-bed on its first trial run.
The instructions were easy; setting up would be breezy
Which was bound to make camp sleeping fun.
We unpacked it with haste, for success we could taste
in anticipation of sumptuous reclining.
My family couldn’t wait, so as I pumped at a rate
They just stood there, mouth open, admiring.
As I pumped up and down, air was forced ‘cross the ground.
To the bed through a tube it was rushing.
But to my shock and surprise, the bed failed to rise
and the sight of its limpness was crushing.
“Patience” I said, “It’s a very large bed –
to inflate it will be time-consuming”
And with a confident grin, my pumping again did begin
But inside, I was secretly fuming.
With a fury I pumped, and my heart it did thump
as sweat poured in torrents down my face.
Every breath out was snorted, and my face was contorted
but the damn bed – it wouldn’t inflate.
Tired and exhausted, to help I resorted –
With my family, we pumped as a team.
My fingers were twisted, and my palms hot and blistered
Which is the first time since I was a teen.
I was hurt and perplexed – and in no little way vexed
as to the reasons our efforts weren’t fruitful.
The minutes ticked by, but the bed wouldn’t rise
And I was ready to give it a boot-full.
The bed lay there limp – though you could have inflated a blimp
With the amount of air pumping we had mustered.
I now held a grudge – though the bed wouldn’t budge
But just lay there flat, like a bastard.
I checked my equipment, offended – which at my age is recommended –
But found it to be working and true.
I could not understand, why the bed failed to expand
And I just didn’t know what to do.
Then, with a simple smile my son said, “the dial
Is only used for electric inflating.
And though your efforts were great, with the dial on ‘Inflate’
Air was just passing through and escaping.”
With that he turned the dial back to ‘Lock’, and with speed that did shock
Had the airbed inflated perfectly.
Trembling with rage and fatigue, I admit I did jealously seethe
At the bed now inflated correctly.
But in the wisdom of youth, I did learn a great truth:
impatience doth man’s best hopes hamper.
And as I look back now, I make this new vow;
Next time, I’m buying a Camper!