For further proof that T.I.‘s family is no different from my family or any other, for the first few minutes of the premiere episode of season two, the man spends time begging his children to stop playing their video games and on their phones and go outside for some fresh air.
He’s not very successful at it, unfortunately, so he calls a family meeting.
“Why are we having a meeting?” the kids ask.
“That’s the point of a meeting, to find out why you’re having a meeting,” T.I. tells them. He sounds like he was born to play a high-powered executive, that’s the best description of a meeting that I’ve ever heard.
“What is the problem with you guys? You are wastin’ a perfectly sunny summer day!” he tells his technology-loving children, and then offers to take suggestions as to what else they could be doing with their day. Major proves to have the best idea when he suggests they go camping.
“Do black people camp?” Deyjah asks.
“Martin Luther King fought for your right to go camping, just like anybody else!” T.I. tells her. “That settles it, we going camping!”
The kids (and Tiny) are all in a tailspin because they don’t really do camping. “What am I gonna wipe my butt with?” is King’s main concern. T.I. lays the ground rules for the camping trip and they include “no Skyping, tweefing, no Instagramming.” But then, how will anyone know where they are??
Tip sets out to buy the camping supplies, which it turns out, he has none of to begin with. He buys up tents, sleeping bags, cooking gear, flashlights, and everything someone who has never camped before could use. Over at the grocery story, it’s Tiny’s job to buy the necessary sustenance to last them the duration of the camping trip, which in her mind consists of “alcohol, snacks, um…and what else?”
Even though T.I.’s set down the rules about “no phones, no iPods, no gaming devices” allowed on the camping trip, and says it’s going to be “just us and the wilderness.” And he doesn’t trust for a second that his kids are obeying that. “These kids are masters of deception,” he explains.
“As you all already may know, I am no stranger to the search and seizure procedure,” he explains, which is why he feels free to dig into the knapsacks and luggage of all of his children to make sure they’re not holding contraband. But they are. Each and every one of them, including his own mother.
“That’s mine, that’s for me to read my book!” she tells him when he pulls out our e-reader’s charger. “I got a Bible for you,” Tip says. The guy has an answer for everything.
The one person who is least excited for this trip is Tiny. Not only would she prefer that her campground be located with a Four Seasons, but she hates bugs, especially lethal spiders, she thinks the lake is full of body parts (“I’m disgusted that they wanna be in this filthy water!”),
and she refuses to go to the bathroom in anything but an actual toilet. I mean, what a diva right?
“Building a tent mansion, it should be easy,” T.I. says, even though he refused the camping expert’s help at the outdoor store. So…famous last words then, right? “Leave it to me to get all the way to the campsite to figure out I should have taken the clerk up on that offer to show me how to build this tent, man!”
“It’s only been a few hours and the kids have already forgotten about their electronics,” the proud father says when he notices his children actually having fun in the wilderness. So Tip decides to test their mettle by asking the kids what they’d do if they happened to come across a scary woodland creature like a bear, wolf, or fox. “Put a stick on fire and hit ‘im!” King says while flexing.
“Why don’t we just run in the van?” Domani asks. That’s not the answer Tip wants from the young men in his brood though, he’s trying to teach them to save the women. Here’s where everyone starts to freak out thinking that every twig that snaps or leaf that rustles is a black bear poised to attack. “I got them right where I want them. Scared as hell.”
That’s when the scary growls from deep within the woods start to get noticed. The men leap up to investigate, to Tiny’s horror. “They are doing what white people do in the movies. They’re running to the killer.” And that’s when the black bear attacks.
He chases the family all the way to the van until they realize it’s just Snake in a bear costume.
“Well. It looks like the girls did what they’re supposed to, headed for cover. And the men did what the girls were supposed to, too. I guess we’re just gonna have to work on that a little bit,” Tip says. But overall, he says “I am extremely proud of this experience.”
No phones, no laptops, no electronics, and no one even noticed. But now it’s time to head back to civilization.