No Good Ever Comes of a Clubhouse

“Good” is a relative term. Stick Chick had a cool clubhouse once. It lasted for a full 48 hours, and then it was gone.

It happened in the woods behind the junior high school football stadium. There, every weekday morning, she hung out with the cool kids before catching the bus.

By comparison, she was extremely naïve. But she, for a set of complex reasons, had no alternative friends at the time.

Okay, there was one non-functional alternative. She could have ignored them all, left them in the woods, gone around to the front of the school and waited alone—friendless and out of place for the bus to the high school to arrive. But that would only have had them all show up at the last moment, laughing and teasing her for being a wuss every day for the remainder of the year.

That was more than she could handle and still face them again every afternoon. So it was that she fell in with the little pod of smokers and early morning beer sippers.

One particular morning, when the weather was less than stellar, they all got an idea to make a ramshackle clubhouse there if for no other reason than to stay out of the rain lest it douse their morning smokes. They all scavenged finding bits of logs, shreds of old plastic bags, and anything else that might serve as cover. The booty was mediocre.

But then, to their great delight, two of the boys discovered a cache of what they assumed were trashed, wooden planks, painted gray with stenciled, construction-yellow numbers on them, stacked behind the new metal bleachers.

Stick Chick could not believe their luck and pitched in to help them drag probably 20 planks into the woods. Never before had the group come together so well as a team as when they erected the perfect clubhouse of precisely cut walls ready-made for the opportunity.

So excited they were at their find, that they nearly missed the bus, all boarding breathless at the 11th hour.

That afternoon, they rushed to get back onto the buses and into the woods to revel in the newly erected clubhouse. Such joy there was in the simplistic coolness of the place. There had been enough lumber for four walls and a fairly solid roof. Together they had solved logistical challenges to make a doorway of sorts and a lookout, having carefully considered the possibility that anyone approaching could easily see the clubhouse before those inside would be aware of their presence. They understood the importance if they wished to continue their illicit activities inside.

They all agreed to come early the next morning to help gather covering for it so that it would blend in better to the surrounding woods. The plan to create camouflage was met with enthusiasm, though not much talent. An excited morning passed as did an afternoon before the troops headed home. Day three awaited them.

That late May morning, after heavy overnight showers, the early heat made the whole day sticky and uncomfortable. The clouds were thick and a light mist hung low and dingy. Nevertheless, the group excitedly headed to the clubhouse anxious to avoid the light rain. As they entered the woods, pine needles stuck to their shoes and stinging nettles buzzed, just awakening.

So it came as a shock to find the clubhouse gone. Not one stitch of lumber, just a heap of scattered brush that had been used as camouflage and a note nailed to a tree trunk.

Clubhouse Note

No…no good ever comes of a clubhouse.

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