Thursday, August 9, 2007
So yesterday that big storm blew through the Northeast. It was so powerful it caused a tornado in S.I. and Brooklyn and at least one death in NYC as well. It also caused us at Crossroads to lose all electric power from about 4 AM Wednesday morning until about 5:15 PM. So we had some interesting times. Many of the campers (and thus the counselors too) were up when the storm first hit around 3:30 AM, and many didn't get back to sleep any time soon. It was a long day!
Unfortunately, the kitchen lost some of its refrigeration as a result, and there were some mangos that Dave the cook had been saving but had gone bad. apparently there was a sign on them but the many of the counselors - all of them, actually - were tired from the early morning and didn't see the sign. Those mangos got eaten by the counselors! Now in this area of the state there's a mold floating around that reacts oddly with mangos, since they are not native to this area. Eaten mangos with this mold on them can cause really strange sysmptoms that vary widely. Some people develop a fear of grass. Others can get really very very tired, or think they are animals or something, such as ducks or moose (meese?) or worse. Occasionally, it's even been observed that victims will only respond to certain stimuli, such as speaking only from Bible verses or in other languages such as Czeck. Universal symptoms include a fear of loud noises and of being touched, and a loss of motor control causing the victims to be unable to open doors.
As it turns out, our poor counselors were afflicted with many of these symptoms last night. Many of the campers were understandably concerned, since the symptoms got really bad after dinner. Jonathan our camp director explained to the campers that the only known cure - he confirmed it on the Internet, of course - is to immerse victims in bleach or chlorine, because that instantly kills the mold. I was called in to help console some of the campers who were getting quite upset. Severla of the campers suggested the pool, which maybe had enough chlorine in it to kill the mold. We all thought that was the best approach, so I was able to watch each cabin go find their counselor, deep in the throes of mango Madness, and try to get them, without touching them or yelling loudly, to the pool. The various symptoms made it difficult for some of the cabins to communicate effectively, but eventually all the counselors were urged to get to the pool and go into it.
Thank God, everyone made a full recovery! Of course, none of the counselors remembered anything of their ordeals, and so each cabin had to tell them, to much disbelief and incredulity indeed!