Sunday, August 14, 2016

Running An Asylum, Or A Campground

Growing up in a seasonal campground, I have answered the phone since I was about 8 and knew the "no tents allowed" refrain way before I understood town by-laws.  The town says no, so we don't push it.

Though we must lose a TON of money every summer having to turn away tenters.  It seems every other phone call is for a tent.  And they are absolutely shocked that we don't have tent sites.  Like it's a personal affront to them.

Everyone else can have a tent, but I chose you to be the unlucky one who can't come.

And then they ask if there's anywhere nearby that does.  I have a serious issue sending business elsewhere, even if it's because I can't service them myself, and thanks to google, I don't have to.  I just tell them to google tents sites on Cape Cod and they'll find something.  They don't usually like that answer but it's just as easy as me spelling something for them and giving them a number.  Plus, who has a pen and paper handy to take down that information anymore?

Some are persistent, so I give them the two state parks which  are equally nowhere near ours.  And then they yell at me that it's so far from where they want to be.

Then fork over the cash for a pricey hotel room or house, like everyone else.

My parents were away recently, and the calls were forwarded to my house.  So, I had the privilege of answering calls, pretty much at any hour, for a week or so.  11pm to ask for a campsite?  Sure.  Arguing with me at 9:30pm because we don't allow you in?  Why not.

Remember when I said I've been answering the phone my entire life?  I thought I'd heard it all.  Like, seriously, how many more ways can a person ask to reserve a site?

And then I got this call:


Umm, yeah, hi, umm how much would it be if I brung my own tent?

I should have just hung up there because seriously "if I brung my own tent???"

But, out of sheer curiosity, I hung on to see what would come next.

And because I needed some blog fodder.

We don't have tent sites.

Oh, ok, but what if I brung my own?

Yeah, we don't have tent sites.

Ok, but how much is it to stay in a tent.

We don't have tent sites.  Like, umm, we don't allow them..  NO TENTS.

looooooooooong pause....Oh, ok.  Are there any places that do?

No, not that I know of.  Hee hee.  Like not in the entire world.  There are no places that allow tents.

And then there was a couple who rents this swanky house in the summer because we live in such an idyllic place, and they stay in their motorhome.  They didn't have a tent, so it should have been smooth sailing.  They just wanted to stay for the night and since they have a house in Swanksterville, I said it was fine.

We don't usually allow locals because they aren't usually renting out swanky houses.  They are usually going from winter to summer to winter rental and it's not pretty.   They load up the Clampett mobile and everyone and the dog moves in the for the summer and they end up taking over way more than their one site allows and it's just a headache.

And we just aren't that kind of place.  Two weeks and then it's au revoir until next year.  We are a seasonal vacation destination, not a residential trailer park.

But Swanksterville is too pricey for me to even enter the town so I knew this was no winter rental situation and when she drove in, she had a lovely motorhome that was exactly what I pictured one needs to own if one comes from Swanksterville.

She pulled in all cheery and I could see a million things jammed into this motorhome, clothes hanging all over the place.  I got a little nervous.  Maybe she was an imposter.  She wasn't swanky, she just lied to get in!

Who am I kidding, we are not that much of a hot commodity.

Out popped a tiny woman with crazy white hair, in her one piece bathing suit.  Who runs around in just a bathing suit?  Excuse me, who drives a motorhome around in a one piece bathing suit.  It's just bizarre.  There are rules for bathing suits.  If you're in the beach parking lot, driving the one mile home from the parking lot, walking the one mile to the beach, then parading around in your bathing suit is fine.

You do not go to the store in your bathing suit, you don't clean your house for renters and then drive 8 miles in your motorhome in your bathing suit and for God's sake, you don't ever get into any argument with someone while you're in just your bathing suit.  Not that it's every happened to me, but I think you would be about as vulnerable in your bathing suit as you would be if you were naked.

It would have been funny if she'd started arguing with me, though.

So, out she popped and her first words as she looked around the driveway were Oh, Harry isn't here yet, huh?

Not that I know of....  Harry is a.......

Man.  Driving a white Volvo.  Oh, he does this.  He gets lost.  He's such a scatterbrain.  He doesn't follow directions.

She kept looking around like Harry was hiding his Volvo under one of the trucks or behind a building.

So, he's not here.  Oh dear.

I felt like I was reading a novel.  A breezy summer beach read where the main characters are airheads who have too much money and run around in bathing suits and do ditzy things like get lost on an island.

Meanwhile she kept sticking her fingers along the legs of her suit to try to straighten it out like you do when you first get out of the water.  Except it was loose enough to almost be hanging so no adjustments were necessary.  But she kept tugging at it looking less and less sure of what was happening.

She was small enough that I was towering over her, which says a lot.

I encouraged her to come in and register and let's get this circus underway.  As she frolicked up the brick walkway, I realized she was completely empty handed which meant she had no way to pay because Harry must hold the purse strings.

Harry who is blindly driving around wondering where his wife went with their swanky motorhome filled with everything the renters wouldn't be allowed to use in their house this week.

All the tugging on that bathing suit wasn't producing the jackpot she needed.

She came in and registered but of course, had to confess, that Harry must be going to the bank and she couldn't pay right now but she would come up first thing tomorrow.

Fine, or even when Harry gets here tonight, I suggested.  No response.

As she skipped back down the walkway, she reminded me  Harry drives a white Volvo and he would probably drive through a few times looking for the place.

Can't wait.  I'll catch him on the 3rd or 4th round.

But my week was made when I got this phone call:


Oh hi, (very boisterous accent, very loud, already thinks he owns the place) yeah, I'd like to book a site for tonight for a large SUV and a boat.

Did he just say BOAT?  He wants to park his BOAT in a trailer park?  Has the heat already gotten to my brain?

Oh, sorry, you need to have a trailer or motorhome.

Oh, that's ok, I can just stay in my large SUV.

Oh, no, sorry, you can't.

Why?  I can't park my boat there like a a trailer and stay in my large SUV?


No, seriously, why can't I do that?

Because this isn't a marina.

But, really, I can 't stay there?  You're seriously telling ME that I can't pay you to park my boat and my large SUV in your campground?  Why? (his teachers must have LOVED his unending questions)

Yes,  Robert DeNiro, I am telling YOU that you can't stay.  See, you have a large SUV.  If it was a small SUV and a boat, no problem.

Because you have to have a shower and a toilet inside your motorhome or trailer.

Ooooooooooh, cool, I get it.  Thanks.

Camping brings out the most peculiar side of humanity and every summer, I get to witness it first hand!

Linking here:

1 comment:

  1. Love your story. Never a dull moment. Keeps live interesting. Thanks so much for sharing at Funtastic Friday.


I love comments almost as much as I love summer. I reply to all comments except those ridiculous anonymous comments offering me dirty deeds and real estate. When you leave your comment, please make sure your own settings will allow me to reply to you. Nothing makes me sadder than replying to your comments and then realizing it’s going to the no-reply@blogger address!