John's Journal...

Deer Camp Clowns Make Great Memories for any Hunting Club

Day 4: The Mystery of the Awfulest-Tasting Drinking Water at Deer Hunting Camp

Editor’s Note: Every hunting club I’ve ever belonged to has had a camp clown – the guy each person in the club can tell at least one funny story about and always smile when he mentions the man’s name. Fortunately I’ve hunted with and shared great memories with some of the world’s best deer camp clowns. Space won’t allow me to mention them all, but here’s a few.

Click for Larger ViewMy father W.A. Phillips, Sr., earned the title of the master of hunting-club clowns. Small in stature but tall in his reputation for telling wild tales and playing jokes, Pop had a reputation as a master storyteller. We’d belonged to a particular hunting club for a number of years, when the club had a few vacancies and brought-in some new members. That club had off-flavor well water. The water really had nothing wrong with it; it just tasted bad. So, most of the time we brought bottled water with us for cooking and drinking. Click for Larger ViewBut when we had some new members join our club one year, no one told them to beware of the water or how awful it tasted, similar to rotten eggs. During bow season, when everyone had scouted in the 90-degree weather, they all came back to camp tired, hot and thirsty. The newcomers reached camp last, and Pop and I sat on the front porch in rocking chairs and spoke to them. Then they went straight to the refrigerator, got some ice and came-out with big glasses of water. As soon as they sat down, they took big drinks of the water they’d gotten from the faucets in the kitchen, but started spitting the water out immediately and proclaimed, “That’s the awfulest-tasting water I’ve ever drank! What in the world is wrong with that water?”

Click for larger ViewMy dad never broke a smile as he began to spin his yarn. “When we first built the camp and were looking for a place to dig the well and put in the pump, we found that the closest water to the surface was about 12-yards behind the camp. So, that’s where we dug the well and put in the pump. Well, we already had the pump put in and the well dug when people got tired of using the outhouse and decided we needed to have a septic tank and also use the well water to flush the toilet. We put the septic tank directly behind the pump. We’d already run the waterline from the pump to the house and didn’t want to re-do the piping from the pump to the house or use extra pipe to go around the septic tank. So, we had a septic tank built with a large groove in either side. Then the pipe from the well could run through the septic tank. We filled-in the groove with concrete, so that the septic tank wouldn’t leak. About a year or two later, we all noticed that the water really had a strange taste to it. So, that’s the reason we bring-in bottled water to cook with and drink. I don’t really think the septic tank stuff has gotten into the pump water, but we’ve all noticed that it tastes a little funny. So, we’ve decided not to drink it. That little bit that you guys drank probably won’t hurt you.”

Click for Larger ViewI said, “Excuse me fellows, I’ve got to go to the bathroom.” I couldn’t keep myself from breaking-out into laughter looking at the faces of the two men who had just drank water that they thought had come out of the club’s septic tank. Too embarrassed to say anything to anyone else in camp about what Pop had told them, they didn’t breathe a word about what had happened. Pop waited until the next week to tell them that we hadn’t run the pipes through the septic tank, and that the camp had off-flavored water, which tasted bad like sulfur, but didn’t contain contaminants.

Tomorrow: Where Did Outdoor Writer J. Wayne Fears Put Deer Stomach Content?

Check back each day this week for more about "Deer Camp Clowns Make Great Memories for any Hunting Club "

Day 1: A Deer Hunting Club Member Develops a New Purpose for the Dog Collar to Keep a Hunter from Getting Lost
Day 2: Outdoor Writer J. Wayne Fears and His Icy-Cold Revenge on a Coon Hunt
Day 3: The Case of the Purple-Poop White-Tailed Buck
Day 4: The Mystery of the Awfulest-Tasting Drinking Water at Deer Hunting Camp
Day 5: Where Did Outdoor Writer J. Wayne Fears Put Deer Stomach Content?

ALL CONTENT PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. Content theft, either printed or electronic is a federal offense.


Entry 630, Day 4