There are so many things I enjoy about summer. For one, since I am a teacher, I get to be a bum for several months. That’s always nice. I love waking up in the morning to the sound of a mockingbird. I love corn on the cob and watermelon. And right up there on my list of summer favorites is sitting by a campfire. It’s so relaxing and peaceful. But, it always brings back thoughts of how hard I worked while attending campfires when I was young.
No, people didn’t make me lug firewood and pile it in a heap or throw gasoline on the logs or anything like that. It wasn’t that kind of work, although making a kid throw gasoline on logs and light it would be a bit unsafe, don’t you think? No, I worked hard and long avoiding the usual campfire expectations: eating s’mores.
Now, you are probably wondering what the hell is wrong with me. S’mores are a part of America, just like baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie (Or in my case, pumpkin pie). But, before I get started on why I worked so hard trying to avoid eating s’mores, let me explain what those are for my foreign readers. Yes, I have foreign readers and they may have no idea what the hell I’m talking about. Even some of my regular readers will be surprised how s’mores were invented.
The very first printed record of the s’more recipe was in 1927 in a girl scout’s manual entitled, “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.” I would like to offer my account of how this went down.
Once upon a time, many many years ago in a national park somewhere in the dark, ominous woods, a girl scout troup was settling by a campfire after a long day of earning a badge for being bitten by a snake. Those girls were not able to participate in that night’s campfire. Anyway, some of the girls were hungry because all they had to eat that day were wild berries and grasshoppers. So, they brought some of their food stash that was delivered from their loved ones from home.
For example, one of the girls had a bag of marshmallows. One girl had a Hershey chocolate bar, and one had a sleeve of graham crackers. The fourth girl, who the others were frightened of because she was a bit off, sat holding some sticks that were whittled down to sharp points at the end. Her knife was sitting on her lap.
Separately, their food items sort of sucked.
“All I have is a bag of marshmallows.”
“Well, that’s better than what my mother sent. I have stupid graham crackers and that’s all.”
“I have a lot of chocolate,” said the plump girl (you could say that back then).
They all then looked over at the fourth girl, who was still whittling.
The girls looked around at each other and one girl offered the others some of her marshmallows. Soon, they were all trading their items. The odd girl scout, who I will call Cheryl, promptly shoved her marshmallow onto her stick.
“Look, my marshmallow has been impaled.” Cheryl smiled, while the others moved their camp chairs further away from her. Cheryl then stuck her marshmallow on a stick into the fire, because she was also a practicing arsonist. One more fire and she would be kicked out of the girl scouts. She didn’t care. She wanted to watch the marshmallow turn into a raging goo. Yes, raging.
“Golly gee, Cheryl!” (Girl scout lingo)
Cheryl took the hot blackened mess off of her stick and shoved it into her mouth. “O-M-G! (Yes, Cheryl was a visionary with her lingo.) This is really good.”
The other girls began putting their marshmallows on the borrowed whittled sticks and another girl laughed, “Hey, let’s make a marshmallow sandwich with my crackers.”
Soon, they were eating marshmallow sandwiches. The plump girl secretly put a piece of chocolate on top of the graham cracker and then put her gooey marshmallow on top, followed by the top graham cracker.
“Yummy in my tummy!” she exclaimed.
Soon, they were eating this concoction and could not get enough of them.
The next night, after a long day of working on their “poison ivy” girl scout badge, all of the itching girl scouts clad from head to toe in calamine lotion were able to sit by the campfire. The four girls shared their new goo on a cracker.
“S’more please,” yelled the little girl scout with a speech impediment. (It happens).
Next thing, you know, s’mores have been invented. Sadly, the four girls weren’t able to see how popular their invention became across America because Cheryl threw gasoline on the weakened fire the very next night.
Stay tuned for part 2 of my s’more avoidance campfire story.
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