I’m going to start this post by saying that it has absolutely NOTHING to do with cruising or living on a sailboat. I was just looking for a story to help me shake the writing cobwebs. I won’t promise a good story, or even good writing, but I will promise that you will laugh at the overall story. If you don’t, you can come down here and I will buy you a free beer!
Ok, lets start with some background to set the stage. If you knew us before we went cruising, you will know that we enjoyed RVing. If you didn’t know us, then guess what? We enjoyed RVing, duh.
Not only did we enjoy RVing, but much of our family enjoyed it as well and we often spent weekends “camping” somewhere together. However, understand that when I say RVing, I don’t mean a “Pikey caravan for me ma”. No, we RVed in style and up until recently no one in our group had an RV shorter than 30 feet. As you can imagine, hauling a behemoth half the length of your house creates some storage challenges in between the weekends “camping”. Some of us had to come up with innovative solutions for parking and storage, and some of us were just lucky. My parents happened to be lucky and owned a 3 acre lot, 3 miles outside of town that made storing their behemoth a relatively easy task.
Frankly, most RV owners would think their setup was perfect. They have a long gravel driveway (to the far left of their land) that leads through about 1/3 of the property before you get to the house. To the right of the driveway, and directly in front of the house is mostly grass. There are a couple of big trees, but its essentially a 1 acre chunk of grass in front of the house. The driveway then continues up past to the left of the house and ends about 2/3 into the property. The piece of driveway that continues behind their house is where they park the RV. It just a short walk across the grass behind their house and makes for easy loading. Years ago Dad, Ryan and myself even installed a 30 amp power plug so the RV can run all the amenities with ease. That RV sitting out back is like a mini apartment with power, water, AC, heating, fridge, freezer, beds!
Now picturing the description above, imagine a big window in the front of the house that looks out over the front acre of lawn. It’s the perfect place that one would drink a morning coffee, while working on crossword and enjoy the sunrise. Something my parents did (and still do) pretty much every day. However, this particular day was a little different. It was late autumn and the hoarfrost was thick on the grass, twinkling as the sun rose slowly. My dad was enjoying his coffee and looking out the big window when he spotted a strange “twinkle” that didn’t look like frost on the grass. He looked closely as it was hidden partially behind a tree. It took him a few minutes of observation before he was sure it was something foreign. In fact, in those few minutes of observation, he spotted more anomalies in the twinkling frost. He put down his morning ritual and began dressing, wondering what the hell was laying in the grass. Once dressed, he headed down stairs into the garage, and then out onto the lawn. He heads directly to the first spot where he is sure there is something and quickly finds what can only be described as a “Plastic Bullet”.
WTF are these, he thinks (I know some readers will know what these are, but he had no idea). Of course there is not just one of these, there is a trail that he is able to follow and it eventually leads to a backpack. The backpack contains various items, but what is more interesting is that the trail of dropped items seems to lead towards the back of the house. He heads back to the house and yells up at my mom that he thinks someone broke into the trailer. Now before she could respond, or his rational brain could override the stupid brain (remember no coffee yet), he makes a beeline back out to the RV sitting in the back. He stomps up the metal stairs, grabs the latch and pulls the RV door open……. Now let me set the scene.
Sure as shit, there is some young dude sleeping on the couch right in front of the RV door. He has removed his shoes and placed them neatly to the side of the door. He found the blanket draped over the couch and is curled up nicely in deep sleep. The sweet smell of ethanol is heavily in the air.
As you an imagine, the conversation that happened in the next few minutes is a little hazy but went something like this.
Ted – “Hey (VERY LOUD), what the fuck are you doing here?”
Visitor – “What, uh, what, oh ow, head hurts….. Sorry, sorry”
Ted – “No really what the fuck are you doing here?”
Visitor – “Uh, I don’t know. Where am I? I was cold. I don’t know how I got here”
Ted – “ You are in my trailer, on my property”
Visitor – “Sorry, I was very drunk and cold, I must have found this place and went to sleep”.
Ted – “Jesus.. Why did you pick here.. Get your shoes on and come inside the house. We need to figure out what to do with you.”
Visitor – “Uh, ok, are you gonna call the cops”
Ted – “I don’t know… My wife is going to be pissed”
Teddy waits for the young guy compose himself, grab his shoes, and then leads him up to the house. Just as my dad said, my mom is PISSED and begins peppering this inebriated young fellow with question after question. Of course someone that was drunk enough to crash in some unknown RV while shedding items, just a few hours ago is no match for her questions and barely stammered his first name out. Eventually my dad stops the questions and asks the kid where he was going. The kid admits that he was at a party somewhere, got super drunk and was walking back to the city. He was way too drunk, got super cold (it was probably –5C that night) and looked for a place to sleep, apologizing the whole time. My mom, who was still super pissed, said “Ok, then grab your shit and get going, the city is that way!, Don’t ever COME BACK!” *stabs an angry finger in the general direction of the city*. Without a word, the kid grabs his items, stuffs them back into his backpack, slips on his shoes, opens the front door and starts walking in the indicated direction.
I still laugh when I think about it, but my mom only let him walk to the end of the road (about 100M) before she told my dad to go pick him up and drive him home. By that time my dad already had his shoes on and was looking for the car keys. He picked the young fella up and drove him to a destination of his choice in almost complete silence. The only words spoke were.
“I’m really sorry!”
“Yup, I know!” (Teddy had been there)
Now I know there will be people who read this story and will immediately see how it could have gone so different. Yes, those items found on the lawn are “Snap Caps”. Usually used in training trigger control on a firearm. It would be a safe assumption that someone carrying those would at least know their way around a firearm. Hell, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume they are packing. LOL, or it could just be some snot nosed teen who stole some items from their parents to make them look cool at a party! I have no idea why this young man had snap caps on him, but I still snigger a little thinking of him bragging about his IPSC training to some young filly.
To me, what makes this story awesome is how it has become legend in our family. I can only imagine that there is a group of 20 somethings, somewhere that share this same legend, but from the other side. That snot nosed kid is still regaling his friends with the story of how he slept in someones RV, avoided getting killed by the angry old lady, then had them drive him home! To you, my friend, I give a bow!