We met some interesting people in our 18 years as fulltime RVers running a business on the road. Most have been nice, but some have been, shall we say, interesting? Challenging? Unique?
Early in our fulltime adventure we had signs on our truck that said Gypsy Journal RV Travel Newspaper. Once, we were approached by a fellow who was parked next to us in a short Trek motorhome, asking what the Gypsy Journal was. I gave him a copy and invited him inside. Now folks, I always thought I was a reasonably intelligent man. Maybe not Mensa material, but I have some schooling, I’ve owned a few businesses, and had written a couple of books by then. But I had no idea just how stupid I was until I met this guy. Fortunately, he was happy to tell me.
He wasn’t inside our rig for a minute before he demanded to know why I used a desktop computer, because “everybody” knew laptops were the way to go. I explained that I spend hours a day writing and appreciate the full size keyboard and a big screen, but he wasn’t having any of that. Laptops were the only way to go. I told him I did have a Toshiba laptop, too. As it turns out, that was another failing on my part, because “everybody” knew Macs were the only way to go. Then he rather harshly criticized my choice of camera, the fact that we had such a big motorhome when if we had a Trek we wouldn’t need to tow a dinghy, and a number of other things I was doing all wrong. This tirade went on for several minutes and I was about to shoot myself to spare the world from my sorry presence when he turned to Miss Terry and asked, “Why are you with someone like this when there are men like me out there?” I think I was on the floor in the fetal position by then, but as I recall, Terry told him the reason she was with someone like me was because there were men like him out there, as she pointed him out the door.
Another time we were at an Escapees campground when we met a couple from England who were touring the country. They wanted to see our motorhome, since RVs in Europe are much smaller. Again, our hospitality was met by an attack. Not just on us, but on Americans in general. They were appalled at how wasteful we all are; our cars, RVs, and houses are all way too big, we’re crude, we’re spoiled, we’re lazy and we’re rude. Not at all like Europeans. I pointed out that they were in my motorhome in my country flapping their lips, and maybe they might be the rude ones. I don’t think I convinced them.
And then there’s the older couple I met in a campground who wanted a free subscription to the paper and a copy of our Free Campgrounds guide because they’re retired and on a fixed income. I told them that I wish somebody would fix my income, because it’s broken and never covers all of the bills people keep sending me. They said I had no idea how hard it was for them to make it on just $2,700 a month, and if their RV and car weren’t paid for they’d be in a real bind. Really? $2,700 a month and they can’t make it? I could live pretty comfortably on that without a car or RV payment. How about you?
Of course, they’re not all bad. We were parked in a WalMart somewhere in the Midwest once when Terry noticed a car stopped near us and an elderly lady staring at our motorhome. She drove off, and a few minutes later came back and just sat there. I’ve never met a stranger, so I went outside to ask if she needed anything, and she told me she was just fascinated by “campers” even though she had never been in one. She asked me a few questions about it, so I invited her inside for a tour. What a delightful lady!
She gushed over how nice it was, and was fascinated that we had two televisions, a microwave, refrigerator, a complete kitchen, a bedroom, and even a bathroom. Then Terry showed her the washer/dryer combo and she just couldn’t believe it. We chatted for a while and she loved hearing about all of our travels.
Eventually she thanked us for our hospitality and started to leave, then stopped in the doorway and said, “Can I ask you a personal question?” I said sure, and she asked, “Where does the poop go? When you flush the toilet, does it just fall out in the street?” I explained that we were self-contained and had holding tanks for our waste, which then led to a tour of the outside of the motorhome and an explanation of its plumbing system. She left happily informed about all things RV, including where the poop goes.
When we were teaching at Life on Wheels we met many wonderful people, including an older couple who sat in on many of our classes on the RV lifestyle. At the end of the last class on the last day, I opened the floor for questions and the wife asked if she could ask us a personal one. Sure, why not? I know where the poop goes. But she had a different question. “When you’re in an RV park and you’re parked close to the neighbors on both sides, when you’re making love, does it shake the RV so that everybody can tell what you’re doing?” she asked.
Folks, I looked that lovely mid-70s lady right in the eye and told her, “It does if you’re doing it right!”
Congratulations Jenny Johnson, winner of our drawing for an autographed copy of Big Lake Wedding, the fifteenth book in my Big Lake mystery series. We had 103 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.
Thought For The Day – Lost time is never found again.