Camp Shack is back on track this deer season

Forrest Johnson

Words to live by at Camp Shack:

Regulate your intake so the outcome isn’t disastrous.

Those simple words have gotten the shack economy back on the right track. Everyone has a job at the shack again but it took painful and radical changes to break old habits.   

Regulate your intake so the outcome isn’t disastrous.

The Shack Deficit Commission, appointed by the Exalted Shack Master and overseen by the National Union of Friendly Americans (NUFA), recommended those words as a warning. 

“Fail to act now and the NUFA Stimulus Plan put in place last year could crumble under the weight of its own optimism.” 

In other words, there had to be more substance to the smiles. There could be no more hollow slogans. There had to be real productivity in the shack economy, industrial productivity. Junk rum bonds, venison derivative schemes and fleeing our shores for cheap labor in third world deer shacks had led to wild profits and profligate spending by the wealthier shack communities but the trail systems and wider hunting shack infrastructure was in shambles.

The Shack Health Care Plan, a very hearty plan, was under attack by free market forces for failing to allow private insurers a chance to bid on contracts.     

The NUFA Stimulus Plan, a very happy plan, was under attack from the New Conservative Neanderthal Party for being too generous with free drink coupons and providing subsidized transportation between deer shacks for a nickel a ride. And when a compromise was reached between the Exalted Shack Master and the Board of Governors of NUFA to dismantle the Shack Financial District, well, let’s just say that the showdown had begun between the visionaries and the old guard.

The deficit commission warned that the balloon that had become the shack economy was nearing the breaking point. Cheap labor, cheap bullets and cheap imports had gnawed a hole in the basic foundation of the usually nimble economy.

“Eventually all jobs will be lost to cheaper and cheaper products and services. A living wage must be maintained and the dismantling of the middle class shacks will ultimately spell doom for the entire system unless the desired result is a return to feudalism. There are times when popular opinion can’t control the destiny of shack culture. Regulate your intake so the outcome isn’t disastrous.”

Those words had hung above the main bar at the Camp Shack Lounge in the Great Hall for decades.

The deficit commission met daily in the lounge.

“It was like being hit by a meteor,” said the Exalted Shack Master, an alternate to the commission and an honorary bartender emeritus. “The fiscal and social world of the shacks was collapsing around us in the midst of perceived prosperity and the message was right in front of us all that time. We had grown complacent to the fact that we were living an illusion. We had been willing to give up our own way of life for cheap products and the bottom line. Well, the bottom line was empty. The bottom line had no soul. The bottom line had no shack mentality at its core. We were destroying our way of life as we lived it up to the hilt. We had outsourced the operations of The Machine That Runs The World, arguably our best invention. Without it, plain and simple, the world ceases to function and we trusted that in the hands of foreign contractors all in the name of profits. The Deer Stand Catapults were made in China. Our rum came from Thailand of all places. Even our line of Impersonator Footwear, you know, the boots that can make you sound like a deer or a ballet dancer, they were made on an island in the Straights of Malaysia. It took a week for the comptroller to find it on the map. For crying out loud our patented deer stand stilts were being made in a sweat shop in country that had no deer. Such reckless capitalism and myopic consumerism had to stop and it has. Our factories are up and running, the trail crews are back on the job and we don’t keep our sins buried in a can out back any longer.”

Our vociferously honest salesmen got back to work immediately. 

Do you need an escalator for your deer stand? We have several models, all hand-made in America. We still have a small number of deer stand elevators left, manufactured right here in Minnesota, but our product engineers found there were far too many cables, pulleys and motors to make them practical for usage deep in the wilderness where many of our customers hunt. The escalators have proven themselves effortlessly in both below zero weather when the sun is low in the sky and bucks are in rut and on those gentle, warm summer days when you might simply want to go sit in a tree. 

Our Camp Shack economy is bouncing back with living wage jobs and shack health care provided by our leisurely trained medical staff. No they’re not necessarily doctors but they’ve performed many successful field operations and can stitch up a face or replace an organ or a limb with the best of them.

The Shack Marching Band will play for your holiday party or funeral and we do provide scrip and will barter with those who may be off the grid in more ways than one.

No more hollow slogans.

Every guest will be assigned a personal bartender.

Regulate your intake so the outcome isn’t disastrous.