The Stinky Kid by Kevin Myrick


You remember the stinky kid at camp when you were young? I was that kid at Space Camp, the summer after my fourth grade year. I thought I was hot shit in my blue NASA flight suit and my Space Camp t-shirt. I had aviator sunglasses too. It was the best time of my life.

The other kids didn’t like me that much; I believe I got stuck in mission control because I was young and smelly. No one said a word to me about it.

It wasn’t like I was the stinky kid on purpose: I’d forgotten my lock combination and I was embarrassed, so I didn’t tell a soul. I was young and had never been in an environment with group showers. Showers were a private thing; I went in once at the camp and told myself I wouldn’t go back. I still feel weird about showering in campgrounds and at the beach.

When we graduated at the end of the seven days of going through “real astronaut training,” there was a graduation ceremony where everyone got silver wings and a certificate. Afterward when I met up with my aunt and grandparents, they were astonished to learn I hadn’t bathed in a week. The family still laughs at this story.

Somewhere packed away with other mementos of a life that is long gone, my mother has it all saved – the suit, the wings, the certificate. All I have are my memories of being the stinky kid.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “The Stinky Kid by Kevin Myrick

  1. What we learn at summer camp is rarely what we’re supposed to learn. Well done.

    • But it was still the best time of your life, even as the stinky kid. :) Nice little piece of nostalgia.

      • Matt Potter

        A slice of Americana … but nicely reaches out to most people’s (and kids’) experience, the shower-sharing and embarrassment and bodies …

        “I got stuck in mission control because I was young and smelly” – it doesn’t get much more basic – and funny – than that! Well done.

  2. Evoked memories of my own camp misadventures. you touched on lots of universal kid angst — the showers, the ostracism, the competition. excellent slice o’ life. Peace…

  3. Pingback: Week #13 – Space Camp « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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