Crazy times these days. I’m camping at the Swinomish Casino. Why, you ask? Good question!
First, I’m really enjoying the grass. Really … really enjoying the grass!
Yes, the marine layer rolled in last night, accounting for the fog. But look at the orb of glow around me. What’s up with that? Dad’s had a few problems with his phone since yesterday morning. See, I was in the backyard performing my morning constitutional, and as I finished, my Dad leaned over to look at my freshly deposited output and promptly dropped his phone on top of it. Dad cursed, uttering a word that is all-too-predictable at times when humans drop electronic devices upon freshly deposited output.
Since that moment, his camera hasn’t worked optimally. He said something about the camera being good for (make up your own word here, I’m not allowed to yield a profane utterance folks).
Anyhow, when we started our trip, way back in May, Mom had a sore tooth. Remember – she stopped in Madison to have it looked at? Was told it was cracked, remember? Was told to “limp home with it”? Yup, I remember. Well, she got an appointment with her local dentist – for August 4. But she couldn’t wait that long, so she visited on July 25. She had a crown put on the tooth.
Turns out that a crown bottles up infection. Bottled-up infection has nowhere to go, so it tries to blow the crown off the tooth. Turns out that Mom needed a root canal. Turns out that her dentist doesn’t perform root canals. Turns out he refers root canals off-island. So an appointment was made, off island … August 4. Mom’s dentist performed a partial root canal, relieving pressure, then sent Mom home with 22 kilos of pain killers and assorted antibiotics.
Mom waited patiently … six days, in fact, to get off island to get a root canal. Her face swelled. Her patience contracted. When August 4 arrived, Mom eagerly prepared to leave just after sunrise, on the 8:05am ferry.
Well, that became a problem. See, on the evening of August 3, that very ferry blew an engine, drifted, belched smoke, and literally began to imitate the Titanic. Heck, they made every passenger go to the main deck, and made every human passenger wear a life jacket. I heard from a reputable source that there were no life jackets for pups. Are you kidding me? Pups were apparently left to fend for themselves – dog paddlin’ their way across Rosario Strait. Geez.
Well, that was the ferry scheduled for the 8:05 trip on August 4. So that trip was cancelled. And all 144 cars that were supposed to be on that ferry had to be redistributed to other departures later in the day … departures that were already scheduled to be full. Mom would miss her root canal appointment. The last thing Mom could afford to miss was her root canal appointment.
So Mom rescheduled to August 5 – no choice. Dad left the house after 10am, and got a slip from the ferry worker promising a spot on the 3:45pm ferry. Then, Dad called for RV reservations – he got the last spot at Swinomish Casino – the last spot!
All was good, comparatively speaking.
We arrived at Swinomish Casino around 5:45pm. We were promised site #1, and we told management to expect late check-in. We gave a credit card, to guarantee the spot. So you can imagine our surprise when we pulled up to site #1 and found another RV in the site. A couple, a man with a cane and loyal spouse, were setting up. Mom walked over to the folks, and said “we reserved this site”. No response. Dad parked the RV on the road, and walked in to the casino, where Dad was informed that he did, in fact, have a reservation for site #1. Dad informed management that site #1 was occupied. Management informed Dad that the site should not be occupied. Dad pointed out the window, and illustrated to Management that the site was, indeed, occupied. Management asked a large man, a LARGE man, to go outside and ask the interlopers to move their rig out of site #1. The LARGE man, and I mean LARGE MAN said “I don’t do the RV park“. Oh. So Management (a petite and chipper woman, no more than 95 pounds) walked out to site #1, and informed the couple that they would have to vacate site #1. Management re-entered the casino, and told Dad that there would not be a problem. Dad completed his reservation, and walked outside, making progress toward site #1.
Upon arriving at site #1, Dad informed Mom that we did have a reservation for site #1, and that the couple needed to leave.
Leaving would be a problem, for the simple reason that the man with a cane pulled up a folding chair next to the black water hose, and appeared very comfortable. Dad strolled over to the man with a cane, and stated that Management told the man to leave. Following this declaration, the man issued a statement:
- “It is not your fault that I am here.“
I was sitting in the car, and when I heard that, I thought to myself, “duh”.
The man with a cane continued:
- “If the casino didn’t want us in this spot, they should have marked it with a ‘reserved’ sign. They did not do that. Given that the casino failed to label the site, I am going to empty my black water tank, then I am going to fill up my fresh water tank, and you are going to have to just sit here and wait for me. You are going to have to exhibit some patience.“
The man with a cane turned away from Dad, and retreated somewhere deep within the recesses of his own mind.
This is the part of the story where Mom and Dad decided to not exhibit any patience whatsoever.
Dad walked over to the RV, started it up, and drove all the way around the campground at speeds close to 200mph. Some in attendance thought Dad ably drafted behind a Toyota Tundra for a portion of the 33 second trip around the campground, though others felt that the high-banked turns on the gravel roadway enhanced Dad’s ability to make corners. Dad, for reasons only known to him, parked the RV right behind site #1, a mere five feet behind the RV squatting in site #1. This position blocked the road, meaning that nobody could get around the campground until the squatter, the man with the cane and his loyal wife, decided to move their RV out of site #1.
Mom, sensing an opportunity to provide a “unified front” on this important issue, drove me and the car to the side of site #1, removed me from the car, and then sat myself and Mom at the picnic table, just feet from the RV of the man with a cane and his loyal wife. When the loyal wife offered a bewildered look at Mom, Mom simply stated that it was too hot for me to sit in the car, so both Mom and I would be sitting at the picnic table, feet from the front door of the RV possessed by the man with a cane and his loyal wife, until the RV possessed by the man with a cane and his loyal wife exited site #1.
I sensed an old-fashioned brew-ha-ha in the making.
A red pickup truck tried to circle the campground. Of course, the red pickup truck could not circle the campground, because Dad had blocked the road. The driver of the red pickup truck looked frustrated. For whatever reason, it was this amplification of frustration, courtesy of the driver of the red pickup truck, that motivated the man with a cane to stand up from his folding chair, query his loyal wife for help, and then disassemble the connections.
In other words, the man with a cane elected to eschew his prior recommendation of “having patience”.
The black water hose and fresh water hose were both disconnected … disconnected so fast that one might think the man with a cane was not actually draining anything or filling anything. The man with a cane put his equipment away, put his folding chair away, and entered his rig. His loyal wife went around the back of the rig to check things one last time, then, in stern fashion, pointed at Dad, waved her finger at him, and mouthed the words “NO” to Dad.
Nobody is quite sure what the loyal wife of the man with a cane meant by her enthusiastic proclamation. Her actions, to this day, remain a mystery.
The RV that was squatting in site #1, owned by the man with a cane and his loyal wife, drove out of site #1, and parked for free in the main parking lot of the casino.
The residents of site #2 would later tell us that the man with a cane cursed our good name on numerous occasions, behaved in an otherwise cantankerous fashion, and possessed an unsatisfying personality. The woman residing at site #2 told Dad that she thought a “domestic situation” was about to unravel.
That was our August 4.
At 7:30am today (August 5), Mom finally had her root canal. Full of infection, pain radiating through the right half of her head, and face swelling reminiscent of the days when Mohammad Ali employed his fabled “rope-a-dope” strategy, Mom spent the rest of the day recuperating in the comfort provided by site #1.
Tomorrow, we drive to Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle. There, I get to meet with my cardiologist. I cannot wait to dazzle my cardiologist with my exceptionally healthy condition!