Becca Briscoe is an author, humorist and retired local government bureaucrat. You can read more of her work on her blog, Deep Thoughts from the Shallow End.
I was not raised in a Vacationing Family. We had a swimming pool in my high school years, and then later, we kept a sailboat on Lake Wawasee. So our summer travel consisted of walking out into the backyard or a half-hour commute to the lake.
That is not to say I have never traveled. I went to Monterey, Calif., for my honeymoon, and once I attended a funeral in Dadesville, Ala. It pains me to say that the funeral proved to be more fun than the honeymoon.
Many of my friends have recently been telling me about their plans for the summer travel season: Disney Land, The Grand Canyon, Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Estes Park, Colo., seem to be hotspots. This got me to thinking, “If I was planning a vacation, where would I like to go and what would I like to do?” I consulted Google to research the possibilities and began with the key word, “Fantasy Camps.”
Of course I had heard of football and baseball camps, as well as car racing and space camp, but I was shocked at the amount of special interest vacations that are available. There is a railroad operations-themed experience, a spend a week in a lighthouse vacation and the opportunity to help sail a tall ship. One might opt for a canoeing excursion of the Artic or a cruise on a working cargo freighter for $75 per day. If those don't appeal to you, might I suggest CSI Camp or spending a few days resting in a haunted castle in Scotland?
Still didn't see anything appealing? Well, try one of these that Alison Nastasi from Flavorwire wrote about:
Gnome Countryside: Go camping and hiking while learning about the folklore of these “little people.”
Izu Islands in Japan: The island sits on top of an active volcano, forcing vacationers to carry a gas mask with them at all times. Now doesn't that sound lovely?
Visit the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: For a mere $10,000, you can travel by boat to the site of the “garbage patch,” which is famous for its high concentration of plastic waste, chemical sludge and debris trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre ( a swirling pattern of oceanic currents). Vacationers help operate a Trawl that hauls big heaps of junk offshore. This one sounds like a gas mask might come in handy also. How much family fun would that be?
The aforementioned vacation opportunities are proof positive that some people will spend their hard earned money on any weird offering out there. They also gave me the idea that I could develop a local theme vacation that could possibly make a healthy profit.
Two weeks ago I was hospitalized with shingles and a heart attack. My roommate was the wife of a slacker husband and the mother of two unmotivated adult children who still live in her basement. The entire family sat vigil at her bedside arguing, cussing and helping her whine about the accommodations and staff. She phoned every friend and extended family member in the tri-state area to recite the litany of her symptoms, her vital signs and the state of her “regularity.”
The curtain wall between our beds proved to be quite ineffective as a sound barrier. Consequently, I also got hammered with all the gory details of her confinement. After listening to it for three days, I was thoroughly convinced that she was more of a hypochondriac than anything else.
So why not start a Fantasy Camp for hypochondriacs? The hospital could dedicate four to six rooms on a floor for people who really, really want to be sick but can't achieve it on their own merit. You check in, designate what dreaded disease you would like to be “pretend” treated for and start your three days of being fussed over and worried about by friends and family. Doctors would give you only sugar pills while all the time telling you that you do, indeed, have the most severe case of (fill in the blank) that has ever been recorded in medical history. Since yours would be the most extreme case, the hospital could charge the most extreme prices. It seems like a win-win situation. I just bet you could even bill Obamacare for it and the bureaucrats would never catch it.
Keep watching this space for future details about spending a week at the... Michiana HypoHospital...where you can be the sicko you've always dreamed of.
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