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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on October 15th, 2008, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 9, Issue 31 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 9, Issue 31

The Ty-D-Bol Man on wheels

This motorhome has a defect: It came with a toilet

By ROB KRIDER

It’s all Michael Phelps’ fault. While watching hours and hours of the Olympics, waiting to see if he won 175 gold medals in one event, I was subjected to repeat commercials of RV sales and motorhome dealership closeouts. They said that there has never been a better time than right now to buy an RV. Never ever? Who could pass that up? After the closing ceremonies, it was official: Phelps picked up his medals, and I picked up a used RV.

Did I buy the motorhome because I love camping so much? Nope. Did I buy the motorhome because I like to travel? Not really. So why did I get one? Because a motorhome is just one big gadget. And I, like most men, adore gadgets. My motorhome is like a Swiss Army knife on wheels. Stuff slides out here, there’s a secret compartment there, another section folds down to make a bed where there was a table, and—best of all—it can make waffles. As soon as I stepped in it and flicked some switches, I was sold.

Then I actually camped in it. I found that the motorhome is actually a lot of work. I was hoping to use the motorhome to get away from home, and the chores that await me there. Chores like cleaning the toilet. Oh wait, the motorhome needs that done. Chores like dishes. Oh wait, the motorhome has dishes that need washing. Then I found that the motorhome requires even more chores than my house—like time to change the brakes. RV doesn’t stand for “recreational vehicle,” it means “ridiculous venture.”

I took a loan out to buy the motorhome, but I made one major mistake. I didn’t include in the loan enough money to actually put gas in the 50-gallon tank. I’m no math wiz, but 50 gallons at $4 per gallon is somewhere between $200 and like a million dollars. Two hundred bucks could fetch a pretty nice room on the coast (during the week, off season, anyway) and somebody else cleans the toilet.

Sure, gas is expensive, and the motorhome needs to be cleaned a lot, but the good news was it would give me the opportunity to spend quality time with my family. A road trip to break in the motorhome—which we appropriately named Phelps—was planned.

Here is the fantastic part about the motorhome. Husbands, fathers, dudes, you are going to like this: absolutely no stopping.

“Dad, I have to pee.”

“Go pee in the bathroom.”

“Dad, I’m thirsty.”

“Get something out of the fridge.”

“Dad, I’m tired.”

“Lie down and take a nap in the bed.”

I drove for six hours without stopping once—a new personal family record. Once I arrived at my destination, I pushed all the cool buttons and switches on my Swiss Army knife RV, and it opened into our new home away from home. I cranked up some Bob Marley on the outdoor radio (yes, I got that option) and sat in my folding chair and enjoyed the sunset.

As the sun was setting, my wife, whom I love, ruined the moment when she announced, “The black water tank is full!” For those of you not familiar with RVing, let me enlighten you with some important RV lingo. “Black water” is poo-poo water. I thought the toilet in the RV was magical, but it turns out there is just a large ugly tank under the motorhome filled with human waste. Yuck. And yes, that would be my job to empty the black water. My family was quickly teaching me to stop while on a road trip. They fixed my wagon, literally.

So I flicked all the switches again, transforming Phelps back into a mobile unit, and headed to a dumping station. This is where I had the wonderful opportunity to run a tube from my motorhome into a stinking hole in the ground where other families on vacation dumped their waste. I would like to take this opportunity to make this disclaimer: I don’t really enjoy poo. I celebrated the day my children stopped wearing diapers. I don’t have a large dog in my backyard because of the one simple fact that I don’t want to pick up dog piles. For me, there has to be more to life than cleaning up feces.

Regardless of my religious views on crap, I was still squatting down under the motorhome, pulling levers and valves and allowing gallons of “black water” to run into the ground. The smell was so rotten and filthy that I considered lighting Phelps on fire and leaving it for the insurance company just so I would never have to empty the black tank again. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a forest and could imagine the headlines: “Man burns down forest in attempt to avoid dumping motorhome tank.” The only thing I could hope for during my arson trial is that the 12 jurors would all be men who had emptied a black tank once in their lives.

“Your Honor, we, the jury, find this man not guilty based on reasons of sanitary.”

Once I was done emptying the black tank, I used as much soap and water as possible trying to clean every inch of my body, which just resulted in me filling up the motorhome’s gray tank (that’s the sink/shower water tank, for you non-RVers). I brought Phelps back to the campsite and announced to the family, “That was the last time anyone will ever use the toilet in the motorhome.”

Then, to make sure everyone was clear about the new rule, I duct taped the toilet lid shut.

Even though Rob doesn’t have a dog to clean up after, his neighbor is kind enough to allow his dog to come over to Rob’s lawn to leave No. 2s.




Weekly Poll
Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

Yes—the water from the proposed area can't serve as drinking water.
No—oil containments could still pollute usable groundwater.
Additional oil and gas projects can create more jobs.
We need to move away from oil and gas and look at renewable energy projects.

| Poll Results