By Duane Scott Cerny

Camp Greenwich Village

Announcer: “Attention. Were you or a loved one working or visiting Camp Greenwich Village between 1954 and a week ago last Thursday? If so, you may be entitled to insignificant compensation that’s hardly worth mentioning. Perhaps even a valueless Pokemon card.

What’s left of the federal government has set aside some $75 to be divided between anyone exposed to the ironic, and often confusing, nature of Camp Greenwich Village. If you were unwittingly exposed to unnatural pithiness, overexaggerated reality, or artifice so contrived that air was released by either end of your anatomy, we want to know!

Just answer a few of these simple questions:

  1. Have you ever stumbled home late one night only to later realize you were a lagging participant at the end of an LGBTQ+ parade?
  2. Have you found yourself reciting famous lines from Turner Classic diva films—‘I am big! It’s the pictures that got small!’ while trying to buy discount photo frames at Target?
  3. Would you define campas more of an acquired taste or an aftertaste?
  4. While reading Susan Sontag’s Notes on Camp,’ have you ever envisioned yourself as a butterfly pinned to a bulletin board shaped like a pork chop?
  5. Do you feel melancholy over sheet music from obscure Off-Broadway show tunes that are unavailable, even on anal retentive collector sites like S&M.Swing.com?

If you answered ‘Yes,’ ‘Maybe,’ or ‘I wasn’t home that day’ to any of these questions, you may be eligible for negligible compensation of questionable value as stated above. Let’s examine today’s unresponsive candidates.”

Subject No. 1: “My name is Rusty Peen, and I need this money. I once passed out in Camp Greenwich Village atop that weird children’s statue in Bleecker Park. The next morning, I awoke to find I’d dropped a third testicle. I’m not complaining, and neither are my many lady friends, if you catch my socially transmitted metaphors, dude.”

Announcer: “Thanks, Rusty. We’ll micro-emboss your application on a tetanus shot applicator and get back to you as soon as the CDC get their hazmat suits back from the dry cleaners.”

Subject No. 2., Anonymous Woman, West 4th Street (crying): “I spent last summer at Camp Greenwich Village and came home to Vermont only to discover I could live openly as a phrenologist’s model. But Camp Greenwich Village accepted me. Plus, there are so many openings there, mostly in people’s heads.”

Announcer: “That’s exactly what we’re talking about, you lumpy-headed lady who lives above the adult latex and THC colonic emporium on 4th. You are, perhaps, entitled to compensation … and a free makeover at Greenwich Village’s One Touch of Glamour. As their slogan guarantees, Visit us once, and consider yourself touched.

Subject No. 3, Tourist: “I spent my honeymoon at Camp Greenwich Village, and I’ve since developed a large and aggressively growing sea creature wriggling out of my chest. My husband has abandoned me, and I’ve now been forced to update my Grindr profile: ‘Hot dad and parasitic sea monster seeks committed seaway three-way. No twinks or shellfish allergies, please.’”

Announcer: “Okay, this guy deserves compensation. And maybe some cocktail sauce.”

Sea Monster: “Hey, I had a great time at Camp Greenwich Village. Met a seafood sampler of hot, friendly, campy people … and they were all delicious!”

Announcer: “Disclaimer #1: Sorry! No sea monster claims. We’ve been forced to cast much shorter nets since that messy Loch Ness Nessie debacle.”

The Fine Print: This offer is not valid in the State of New York City for reasons obvious to anyone not living here. Proof of Camp Greenwich Village exposure will be conducted via blood and/or urine tests (sorry, Rusty Peen), and compensation will be issued after all federal, state and local taxes have been deducted, plus commensurate legal fees, court costs, filing and photocopying expenses, parking and lunch deductions with two-cocktail minimums, plus tips.

Update: Disclaimer #2: It has been determined that Camp Greenwich Village is contaminated with so much new money, the old money now considers their assets a solid rather than liquid. However, if they wish, the nouveau riche may walk on virtual water while live-streaming the fluidity of their wealth on better decorating platforms that aren’t shoes.

Duane Scott Cerny is a humorist, baby booming vintage dealer, and the author of the best-selling memoirs Vintage Confidential and Selling Dead People’s Things. He resides in Chicago, the West Village, and on uncomfortable seating at LGA. http://www.SellingDeadPeoplesThings.com