The Spice Boys

By Katherine Tylevich

I was born into the business: the Burel’s are camp counselors. It’s what we do. It’s what we’ve done for decades upon decades. I was born a leader, a lover of adventure. I was also born a twin. “And the ‘rentoids named us Cilantro and Paprika-“

Yes, Cilantro. Now, if you’d please excuse me.

“Because we’re a powerhouse of spicy personalities, right Paprika?”

Cilantro, this is my autobiography. Please, butt out!

“Paprika, you know me well enough to guess I’d rather head out! To the lake, that is! To show my campers a thing or two about the joys of canoeing. Cuz that’s how we do in this fam. What what? Give us some water, a life jacket and you’ve got two happy-sure, we were campers once, but now we’re couns-“

Get out of here, Cilantro! This is my time to shine!

“Well, go ahead, Paps! Ain’t no way you’ll shine as bright as the sun during second session, though! And thank gosh almighty, too, or else I’d have to wear my 42 SPF sunscreen around my own bro, bra!”

I said, get the hell out of here, dildo.

“Wrong spice!”


“You just called me dill, right?”

I believe I actually said dildo.

“What’s that?”

Look it up. Now where was I?

“Wowee, well according to merriam-webster online that ‘word’ is quite a scorcher! You’re giving my self-esteem a burn like high noon in the Sahara!”


“Looks like I may need to whip out my 42 Sourpuss Protection Factor. Ey, Sourpuss?”

Looks like I may need to whip out my .32 Magnum.

“Yikes! We’re not playing Grand Theft Auto here, Paprika, and your verbal jousting was poor taste to the max! Not even I can laugh at the threat of violence, and I’ve got a sense of humor as huge as the Peeps Republic of China! Hhhhhhh-Hhhhhh-see? Can’t get an ‘a’ between those ‘h’s,’ primary evidence that your word-play was both inappropriate and uncalled for! What kind of example are you setting for the campers anyway, camper?”

Okay, Cilantro. You make a good point. Children are the future. Now, if you please.

“I beg to differ, Paprika. Children are the present, in every sense of the word. And we should treat them as the timely gifts they are. The way you’re acting, Paps, our campers think they’re Mazda Miati when you really wanted a Beemer. ‘Honk honk!’ you’re saying to them! ‘Get out of my way, inferior vehicles of laughter and youthful wholesomeness!’ Sometimes, bra, you gotta put yourself on time-out and ask ‘what kind of message am I frickin’ sending?’ A little me-time works wonders when it comes to us-time. I know, bro. I’ve done a lot of soul-searching in my short time on this crazy blue orb.”

Shut your damn face, Cilantro! You’re making me look bad in my own story of my life! You’re always ruining everything and pushing me to lose control in front of everybody!

“Zounders flounders! Dukes and gounders! You’re as fiery as your name suggests! Calm down, same-aged bra, or I’ll have to write you up for unnecessary moodiness! We’re friends of feelings at Camp Burel, you know that, but Grumplestilskens are not allowed on the grounds! What what? It’s in the rule book! We revised it ourselves!”

That’s fine, Cilantro. I’m-I’m done. I’m fucking done. It’s all yours, asshole. The autobiography is all yours. Enjoy. Enjoy. It’s yours now. You’ve taken over every other part of my life, so now have this one, too. Here. Take it.

” “

Aren’t you gonna say anything?

” “

What the hell, dude? So when I tell you to talk you suddenly shut your mouth? Is that all it takes?

” “

What is this, the silent treatment? Have we reverted back to childhood here, Cilantro?

“It seems we have, Paprikaka.”

Oh good God, Cilantro. Grow up.

“You’re like the pot calling an identical pot black, Paprika. Grow up yourself.