Tagged: Fiction

Camping is in Tents

How I picture a meeting between the CEO’s of four of the largest tent manufacturers would go:

CEO 1 (an upcoming small business owner and relative newcomer to the market): Hey guys- I have an idea. I’m thinking about adding a couple inches to the tent bag so that our tents easily fit inside.

(Silence and confused looks, with one dirty look and a gasp of disbelief. CEO’s 2, 3, and 4 all start speaking at once):

CEO 2: Whoa, whoa, whoa…

CEO 3: Slow down there, young lady…

CEO 4: Wait, so you want the tent to just slide right in?

CEO 1: Yes, well maybe with one or two shakes. But yes, it would be plenty big enough to just pop right in there.

CEO 3, visibly disgusted: Clearly you don’t understand the reason for a tent bag.

CEO 1: I mean, isn’t it to hold the tent? And the tent accessories?

CEO 2, rolling her eyes: But if you make the bag big enough to easily fit the tent, how are our customers supposed to spend 30 excruciating minutes crying out to Almighty God for help as they desperately try to pack up their camping equipment in hopes that this time the tent will fit on the first try?

CEO 4: Yeah, what about that?!

CEO 3: Right, and if it’s easy to fit the tent into the bag, how can we ensure that furiously cramming an oversized tent into an undersized bag would be a hauntingly terrible experience, requiring at least two irritated and exhausted fools to argue bitterly with each over which ineffective strategy they should try next?

CEO 4: Mmm hmm. Yeah. Yeah!

CEO 3: The bag. It’s more than just a container for the tent. It represents something bigger. By being smaller. Than the tent.

CEO 1: But it’s a bag. For a tent.

CEO 3, smiling condescendingly: Oh, sweetheart. It’s more than that. It’s a metaphor for life. By making the bag so small that packing the tent consistently proves to be an infuriating process that can take upwards of 30 minutes and that invariably leaves people fumbling and exasperated, panting for breath and on the thin edge of a full mental breakdown, we are teaching a valuable life lesson.

CEO 1: What’s that?

CEO 3: That there is no point. To life.

CEO 1: Wait, so…

CEO 2: No, you wait. For decades we’ve been destroying friendships, ruining family vacations, and causing serious marital discord through the mass production of bags too small for the tents they are supposed to carry: so small that packing them presents a significant challenge for even the most experienced of campers. It’s practically a past time. Campers plan on breaking down the tents being pure misery and anguish of soul. What makes you think you can come in with your “newfangled ideas” and just make bags that fit tents easily?

CEO 1: So you purposely make the bags so small as to ensure that trying to repack the tent strips the customer of not just their sense of dignity, worth, and pride, but it also strips them of their will to live? Well, and of the desire to go camping ever again?

All: Yes!

CEO 1: But what if we made the bags just a little bit bigger…

(All at once)

CEO 3: Sacrilege!

CEO 4, covering his ears and pressing his eyes closed: La-La-La-La-La!!! I can’t hear you!!!

CEO 2: I’m not going to listen to any more of this horse manure.

They all walk off angrily, determined to continue making the bags that hold tents inexplicably much smaller than they need to be.


This was inspired by preparations for our first family camping trip, which we would ask that you pray for, if you have a minute. With our neurologically diverse family, vacations can be very challenging. Thanks, everyone!