• Jonathan Shayfer

The Yes/No Campsite


I was hiking and camping with my friend Nicki in the Peak District. We were at a walker's and rock-climber's perfect camp site outside of the large village of Hathersage, famous for allegedly being the birthplace of larger than life Merry Man, 'Little John'. The site did not allow for caravans and such like, only tents, so it had a cozy, community feel to the place.

After a long day traversing hills and valleys, we hit the sack at a reasonable hour. Sometime after, past midnight, we were awoken by the sound of the young couple near to us making free and rather exuberant with their mutual longing and having a somewhat noisy time of it. Tents are thinly made and many sounds of human endeavour leave little to the imagination. The Derbyshire night was pierced with "Yes! Yes! Yes!" for what seemed an eternity. Much as I admired the fellow's stamina, I wished he would just conclude his carnal business and let us all get some sleep. Eventually, job done and we all settled back down.

We returned to the campsite another summer and, once again, prepared for restful slumber. At around two o' clock in the morning, the air was struck through with the plaintive cries of a man screaming "No! No! No!" This was followed by the just about audible sound of his girlfriend shushing him down, "hey, it's OK baby, it's alright..."

The formerly happy campers were in no mood to be sympathetic, nightmare or not. Some cold laughter was heard from other tents. One wag shouted out "I'm a celebrity. Get me out of here!" I imitated the guy's fearful voice fairly well and exclaimed "No! No! No! We've forgotten the bloody tea bags!"

The following morning, all the guys at the sinks in the washroom were eyeing each other suspiciously trying to spot a man who looked like he'd been through his own version of hell.

Nicki later remarked that after the Yes's and the No's, next time we'd be woken by someone shouting "Maybe!"

[NOTE: The cover picture is an American camp site in which your neighbours can't even be seen let alone heard]




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