The Kernville Horror Part 1

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People often come up to me and say, “Hey, Eric!” Being the quick-witted, fast-thinking humorist that I am, I deftly respond, “What?” Then they say, “Eric, what have you been doing with your summer?” I tell them to read my column and they’ll find out, which usually confuses them, since most people don’t think I can even read, let alone write. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been doing: being eaten alive by bugs, bumping into rocks, and drowning.

It seems that on July 5, four of my friends and I were kidnapped by my father and a man they call “Brett” and taken up to the Kern River, which is located between the cities of Kernville, Lake Isabella, and Wofford Heights, all three of which are the only places I know of that actually have negative populations. While there, we endured all kinds of cruel punishment and torture, and I feel it is my duty to recount our experiences to you, the uncaring public. That is precisely what I will do in this special two-part report. And away we go.

At about 6:30 a.m., we arrived at the campground, where we met a man named Brent Ferguson, who supposedly owns the river rafting company that would be taking us and attempting to kill us. Brent’s wife and their four sons and daughters were there, too, because he is afraid that they will run off to Rio if he leaves them home alone.

(It was Brent’s second oldest daughter, by the way, who ordered me to expose the whole affair. She is to receive every ounce of blame for all this.)

Also at the campground were two guides named Steve, whose sole responsibility appeared to be eating, and Eric, whose legs were the approximate size of steroid-injected redwoods.

The Ferguson girls’ boyfriends, Brian and Jon, neither of whom seems to own a shirt, were also hanging around. They had been up there with a group a few days before and had conveniently missed their rides home, so they had no choice but to spend a few days in the wilderness with their girlfriends. Tough break.

Upon our arrival, we were fed a type of burrito-esque breakfast consisting of tortillas, eggs, and the remains of some small woodland creature. Our first thought was, and I quote, “Ewwwwwwwww!”, but it was actually quite good. The guides, I noticed, ate Frosted Flakes.

After breakfast, we bathed in Sunblock #412, which actually makes you more pale than you were before, and headed for the river. The Kern River, I’m told, comes from glaciers, which is strange, since I didn’t see any on the way there.Before we could do anything, we had to put on our lifejackets. We were told that if we were to fall out of the boat without a lifejacket, we would almost assuredly be dragged downstream by the powerful current and eventually be dashed against some rocks and drown, whereas, if we fell out with the lifejacket, we would be dashed against rocks, but we wouldn’t drown.

We were also given paddles, not to be confused with oars. Whenever someone called it an “oar” (as in, “Hey! You just put my eye out with your ‘oar’!”), Eric the Guide from Hell would call them names and push them out of the boat.They told us to never let go of the paddles, even if we fall out, because, simply put, the paddles are far more important and useful than we are. If we did lose our paddles, they said they would cut off our lifejackets and watch us drown, screaming with laughter all the while.

Ha ha ha! I’m only kidding! They said nothing of the kind! Not once did they say they would laugh! Ha ha ha!

We did eventually get on the river, but I seem to be out of room, so you’ll have to wait till next week to read about it.

I know. You’ll count the minutes.

The folks referred to by name in this column and the next one were flattered and amused by their portrayals, though I can't imagine why.


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