We did rouse the beast, and he did rally like some kind of rockstar after that first day of slumber--and for the remainder of the week he kept us all laughing our asses off with these quick-witted smartass comments that made you snort your beer.
He poses here in his kindergarten riding picture.
Fortunately for Chew, he had some help along the way and Night One those helpers were kind enough to help set up his tent for its maiden night of use. By 3 a.m. we were all snug in our beds; sweating bullets on our respective air mattresses atop the plateau of a town they call Missouri Valley when the wind started howling and the rains started rolling in. Most of us in "Tent City" peeled our sweaty asses from our air mattresses and pulled out the rain flies. But not Chew and not his neighbor Ben. While Ben deleriously stumbled around camp singing some Robert Earl Keen tune, Keri made sense of things in their tent and took care of business. Chew, on the other hand very efficiently and with MacGyver-like speed rolled up and put away his entire tent.
No one knows for sure where Sickles, Chew's tent buddy was at this point but we later found him in the garage like he'd ascended straight from the clouds down onto some air mattress that just happened to be there...surrounded by 60 bikes. Ben sang his way back into his own dry tent and low and behold, Chew wound up in Lindie's and my tent. A two man tent now made for three...where Chew spent his first night of Ragbrai 2008: snuggled up with two single chicks. We are proud to report that he took full advantage by spooning Lindie's toes, his body entirely off the air mattress and his face smashed into the side of the tent.