Informant: Mary McGeagh is my 15 year old younger sister. She is now a freshman in High School and attending Catholic school her entire life. She is an avid volleyball player and enjoys spending time with friends and going to the beach. She lives with my parents in Pacific Palisades, California and has since she was born. She comes from Irish, German, Jewish, and Swedish roots but mainly was exposed to the cultures of the Irish, Catholics, and Jewish people. She attended a summer camp from the age of 5 to the age of 12 that has many interesting folk tales and traditions. The camp is pretty much run off of its lore and it is what makes it so unique. She carries the lore of St. Matthews Day Camp to this day.
Mary said that a skit is commonly ran on stage in front of everybody and is called the “Invisible Bench,” And it goes like this:
“1 Person squats as if he was sitting on and invisible bench. Then a group of campers come up to him/her and asks what they are doing. The camper replies, “Sitting on the invisible bench, come join!” so the join and proceed to squat as if they were sitting on the bench. This occurrence happens over ad over until there is one camper left and the ‘bench’ is full. The remaining camper walks up and asks what the group is doing. The group answers as such. Then, that camper who asked the question says, “But the invisible bench is over there.” And proceeds to point off into the distance. After this, the campers who are squatting, look down and fall to the ground because they are not sitting on anything.”
This Skit has been performed for almost 50 years and is an integral part of the folklore of the camp. It is a simple way to make campers laugh, even if they know the end result. It is not known where the skit originated from, but it has been a skit for a long time and is something that all campers in history of the camp have been exposed too at least once.
This skit is very funny and plays off the irony of the initial situation that there is such thing as an invisible bench. Of course, there is no such thing, but this is what makes the performance so funny. It is a performance that contributes to the overall morale and spirit of the camp. It is random and goofy and makes little sense, but that is why it has lasted so long. It holds the aspect of irony that does not limit to age groups. All people can understand it, and all people find it funny or at least clever.