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On Hucking and Other Matters

By PCD (Peter C. Doom)
Alton Almanac July 28, 1973

Many of you are aware of the three traditional dangers to camp. Their reiteration is an annual event at pre-season counselor's meetings. (For those of you who do not know, they are fire, water, and diseases). But to this trio of horrors must be added a fourth, far more insidious and undermining to mental health. It is, of course, HUCKING. How does one define hucking? It is easier to give examples of it than find a cast-iron definition. The best thing to do is relate an anecdote part of which the reader might be aware of. The Cain and Abel Story from the book of Genesis. We know Cain slew Abel. The BIBLE tells us that Cain did his dastardly deed due to the fact he was jealous of Abel's success with G-d. However, an obtuse, oblique, esoteric and generally little known scholar from the fourteenth century Palestine uncovered the true story. It seems that Cain was a decent farmer after all and his offerings were quite acceptable. But Abel, who being a sheep-man, kept telling Cain "My offerings are better than yours." or "look how nice my sheep look" or "see how the Lord likes my cattle." On and on Abel hucked Cain - "get a better box for your radishes" or My goat's milk is fantastic, better than your tacky old lettuce." Cain put up with this crap for year. One day in summer, Abel said "your garden is still rocky, Cain see how nice my pasture is." Cain exploded. He usually took hucking with equanimity but it was hotter than a head wave on the bleachers. Cain picked up a big rock and killed Abel with a blow that was given power of adrenalin that only being hucked could provide. Cain smashed Abel's kopf with a fury and shouted "You SOB - you'll never huck me again, never, never etc. etc." And out of the Garden he went to the East of Eden.

Some hucking is repetitive. Like Brecker trying to get people to pay attention to him saying "nobody cares what I think." After the fourth time within one minute of hearing this the best way to handle it is to walk away. If he really gets going like he wants, he'll huck you about a detailed daily account of his work experiences between January 1968 and April 1972. The only thing to do is hide in your car or smash his nose. The latter rarely works because he like it.

Then there's not so big Jeff Greenfield. No-one who is close to Jeffrey, and to know him is to love him, can fail to share in his pride over his accomplishment. A discussion with Jeffrey on his diet is not close to a huck -- but while eating breakfast after being awake for ten minutes Jeff comes up and out of a clear blue sky says, "I ate one Special K and the white of a boiled egg." That's a HUCK!

Bobby Kraft says - "The corral field is being used by ABC. The stadium is wet, the slope is muddy. I saw a volleyball on the junior diamond. NOP is always late. I left a sock in your car from the night we did laundry. Do I have to be on the 1's and 5's again this year?" And he does it in one breath -- you know you've been HUCKED well and by a master.

Camp wouldn't really exist without hucking. You don't even need coordination to do it. (They even do it on the waterfront). Peter hucks and is duly hucked in return. He gets hucked about all kinds of things; the food, the weather, the program, trip days; he in return can do a job himself! On the program, the weather, trip days; the Rush, and the equality of all mankind, all noble and just hucks.

You see, hucking can, like atomic energy, be used to the betterment or the detriment of camp. When used with discretion and selectivity it can perform untold wonders or at least worthwhile accomplishments; used indiscriminately it makes monsters out of the mild mannered potential killers out of pacifists.