Tag Archives: belching

Belching and Wet Spots: The Boys Scouts This Ain’t

AMR contributor Richard Rodriguez offered a pretty good account of what can only be described as an epic camping trip from nearly 30 years ago, but there are some salient details he overlooked that I want to add or clarify based on my hazy memory of this adventure.

As I recall, Rich was in charge of getting the tent.

And as I recall, the manufacturer’s instructions recommended pitching the tent, wetting it down with a hose and letting it dry to help activate some kind of waterproofing.

And as I recall, Rich did not do that.

So when the rains came down, down, down like in “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day,” the tent leaked worse than Edward Snowden.

The result was there were numerous wet spots that rendered parts of the tent inhospitable.

But that was not the end of it:

As I recall, John somehow got his hands on beer and ice cream and proceeded to fumigate the tent with a green fog that damn near gassed us the way an exterminator would if he were trying to rid a house of termites. (Picture the faux extermination scenes from “Breaking Bad.”)

Pedro and I ended up sleeping in Rich’s Dad’s station wagon because the tent was already overcrowded and did I mention that parts of the sleeping area were also now wet?

That Pedro and I were relegated to the car meant the two biggest guys in our group would be in the most confined space.

I do not remember which of us ended up sprawled across the front seats and contending with the steering wheel, but I do clearly recall that we needed chiropractors in the morning!

Of all of us, I think I was the only former Boy Scout and the one with the most experience outdoors and with camping.

But you would have had no idea of that based on the way I was behaving.

I was petrified/obsessed with raccoons that were foraging in a nearby garbage can. Every five minutes, I would poke my head out of the tent with a flashlight like some crazed movie usher to see what they were doing.

As Rich noted, there was a steel-cage belching contest that I recall Gary winning on the strength of a masterful performance, which featured quantity, volume and endurance.

Though I finished that weekend dethroned as a title-holding belcher, I went home with many great memories of this trip!
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Camping in the Catskills: A Trip to Remember

By AMR contributor Richard Rodriguez 


I came across some photos of the About Men Radio crew back in the day when we were young and crazy and camping in the Catskills in New York.

Of course we were just a bunch of New York City boys spending a weekend in the mountains, so out of place and not ready to take on nature and the elements.

It was July 1986. I am not sure how many of us had actually been camping before, but we were ready to have a male bonding weekend in the woods.

We loaded up two vehicles with a tent, gear, food, drinks, and surely stuff we didn’t need. Our destination was Woodland Valley Campground.

Campsite secured, we went about trying to set-up camp.

We hadn’t even gotten the tent up and John had already dipped into the beer stash.

So much for his help.

Finally the tent was up, and we cooked up some BBQ. Good times ensued.

Got through the first night fine, and in the morning we took to the trails and headed up the mountain.

Then the rain hit, and it didn’t stop. We tried to find shelter under rock overhangs but we couldn’t go on and we headed back to camp.

It started to rain hard and steady. The other campers were leaving in droves, but we refused to give up, and the people leaving actually gave us all their firewood!

We were stacked and actually had enough to keep a fire burning for practically the whole weekend non-stop.

Unsure of what to do as the rain continued to fall, some of the crew ventured to the nearest town and convenience store and returned with some much needed supplies: porno magazines of almost every variety.

This collection of adult entertainment became a legendary stash that survived our camping excursion and was passed around to each of us at one point or another for a number of years.

Not sure where this collection is today…

The rain did finally stop, and we continued to enjoy the outdoors.

The highlight of our shenanigans was a belching contest between Chris and Gary.

camping 12
Chris and Gary engage in a belch-off while Pedro keeps score. Gary was reaching so far into his gut that his stomach hurt, as depicted here. And Chris was rocking that camo cap! WTF?!

It was an epic battle between two belchers extraordinaire, and I can’t remember the final outcome, but it was a roaring good time that capped our crazy weekend that made a great impression on our friendship for years to come.

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Peter Potamus Had Nothing On Us

Some guys show off their prowess through feats of athleticism (how fast they can run or drive a baseball).

Some guys parade their prowess by what car they drive (muscle or luxury sports cars).

And some guys measure their value by the quantity and type of women they’ve dated (platinum blondes or twins).

Here at About Men Radio, we quantify our worth by how long and loud we can burp.

This proud tradition has long roots that trace their way back to our days as kids in the Bronx playing softball at a rutted dust bowl of a baseball field at St. Raymond’s Boys High School (the alma mater for most of us).

Many a blistering hot summer day was whiled away with Pedro hitting fly balls, Rich and John playing infield and me playing outfield.

The entire outfield.

With my long legs and nervous energy, I could cover a fair piece of territory. Except when I couldn’t.

I’d be out there – my arms moving sideways like I was swimming to ward everyone off – staring up into the sun and calling out: “I got it! I GOT it! I GOT IT!”

And then the ball would pathetically land at my feet and I would call out: “I DON’T got it!”

Anyway, playing softball those hot summer afternoons meant building up a serious thirst. So usually around 2 or 3 p.m., we’d pool our money together and two of us would be delegated to go to Jarob’s, a bodega about a 20-minute walk away, to buy soda and juice.

What would follow upon the return of the errand boys would be a chugfest of epic proportions. Incredibly, I’d swig some 32- or 64-ounce bottle of soda and the judging would commence.

Belches were measured on volume, duration, frequency and creativity (could you recite the alphabet or speak out a sentence?)

Points were deducted if you strained or if it sounded like you were bringing up bile.

For a long while, I was pretty comfortably a champ or at least a serious contender. That is, until Gary joined our merry band.

To look at him, you would never think that Gary was a powerhouse competitor.

Smaller in stature than Pedro and I and with a disarmingly quiet demeanor, Gary can launch burps that are reminiscent of the Hippo Hurricane Holler of our childhood cartoons.

Poker-faced and unflinching, Gary would turn his head to you. Then, like a ventriloquist’s doll, his jaw would drop open as if on hinges, and let loose with such a gut-rumbler that your hair would be tousled from the blowback.

On every score – volume, sustainability, depth – Gary has proven an enduring champ and impossible to dethrone. I’ve pulled muscles trying to compete with him.

While I’ve still got game, I bow to talent greater than mine.

And if this has you going: “Yeeeeeew! This is disgusting!”

Let me remind you: Better this is all coming from the attic than the basement.