Saturday, July 11, 2009

The hosts from hell

He had little warning of what was about to occur. He had been awake since 3AM, and he was fatigued. He had driven 3 hours to get to his destination. His knees, which rarely gave him a day off, were barking at him. He had stopped once along the route to stretch his legs, but it did little. Now, as he pulled into the driveway and began to unload the car, all he wanted to do was rest. His wish would not be fulfilled.

You see, he had signed up to visit the hosts from hell. It was going to be like he was back at summer camp. Each hour would bring a new activity, another reason why sitting and reading the paper or watching television was an unacceptable option. He would long for the comfort of home and the chance to do absolutely nothing.

"It's great to see you. Thanks so much for coming to visit. Put your bags down. You must be hungry. Let's walk into town and we can get some lunch". Before he even had a chance to take a painkiller, he was off on the decathalon of mandated fun. The walk downtown was a little less than a mile. He smiled and tried to hide the limp. He didn't want to offend his hosts.

He hoped that after lunch he could catch a quick nap. As he finished the last bite of food, this hope was extinguished. He would be walking back up the big hill, and changing into his suit for the afternoon's swim. As his hostess advised that the water was great, and she began her half mile journey back and forth, back and forth, ending up where she began, he gingerly entered the pool. Thirty minutes later he emerged, praying that milk and cookies and afternoon rest was next on the schedule.

"We just got this kayak. It is less than a mile to the lake. Have you ever been kayaking? I think you will love it." His suit was still wet as he entered the car. Soon he would be undertaking a brand new experience. It was the inability to exit a kayak. He felt like a turtle turned on its back. How was he ever going to get his aching legs out of this contraption? He had managed to paddle across the lake without incident and was rather proud of himself for having survived, and even feeling a little athletic in navigating these waters. That all disappeared as he waited to be extricated.

Finally, back on dry land and out of the cocoon, he practically fell into the car. It was now nearing dinner time and he was sure he was safe. "Hurry up, we are walking to the restaurant downtown". Didn't these people ever slow down?

The pretense of enjoyment at yet another journey by foot was almost impossible. The limp was now very pronounced. Each step sent another reminder of age and the need for a soft place to rest his weary head. While dinner was really exceptional, all he could think about was the journey back up the hill at the end of the meal. He wondered whether there were any cab companies in the area.

One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. That was the mantra as he faced what now looked like the Himalayas that confronted him. He wondered if his knees were locking up on him. He could barely speak. Ever so slowly, the destination got closer. Finally, he stumbled up the stairs and into the apartment, almost crying with relief. It was only Friday night.


Anonymous said...

I think I know these people!

Robert said...

I don't know what you are talking about.

I guess I need that disclaimer that you find after these bad made for TV movies that "the characters portrayed herein are purely fictional. Any resemblance to actual human beings (like Jo and me) is mere coincidence and may not be used against them in a court of law" (or some variation thereof)