Monday, 04 June 2012
Hold the Mayo
By Nancy Leitz
We've probably driven a half million miles around this country in the more than 60 years we have been married and I've always wanted to try out a big RV instead of the small car we've always traveled in.
I was always envious as those gigantic Rvs whizzed past us with names like Grand Caravan and Tour Master brilliantly painted on their sides, and with a picture of Road Runner hanging onto his hat and suitcase as they flew by leaving us in the dust of their enormity.
How they blew by us, probably guessing that we were secretly admiring their girth and convenience although I would never give them the satisfaction of even glancing in their direction as they overtook us.
Many times I suggested to Roy that we try to borrow or rent an RV just to see what it would be like to drive around the highways and byways of America in our own super-large, self-contained motor home.
Oh, the thrill of passing those poor unfortunates in their subcompacts and thumbing our noses at the Holiday Inn Express (Take that, HIE, and you, too, Motel 6. you can turn that light off now.) We will be sleeping in our own queen size bed in our very own Winnebego tonight, thank you very much!
But, folks, don't get your hopes up. So far it has never happened and after the experience we had on Route 41N in Indiana, I don't think I ever will have the thrill of taking a shower or making a pot of coffee in my own motor home.
Here's what happened that day on our way to Chicago from Florida.
We had just passed through West Lafayette, Indiana, the home of Purdue University and were busy reminiscing about the contests that had always been held there for the apprentices in Roy's Union.
It was quite an achievement to be selected to compete at that great school of technology and engineering and we were talking about that and also about the fact that 22 graduates of Purdue had gone on to become astronauts including Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, and Eugene Cernan, the latest man to walk on the moon.
As we were cruising along talking about Purdue, we were overtaken by a huge RV and as I glanced in the side window (breaking my own rule about not gawking at them), I could see the lady of the "House" standing in her nice little kitchen frying bacon.
Can you believe it? I was so jealous. I could not stop talking about her. "Imagine that, Roy," I said. "If we had a nice big motor home like that, I could be fixing you a nice, juicy bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich instead of the Dollar Menu hamburger you'll get at McDonald's if we ever find one."
I didn't stop talking about her frying bacon for 10 minutes. I didn't mention the Mickey D's Fries because they are really good.
By this time, we are approaching the town of Kentland where Route 24 comes through and we see that there is a backup of traffic ahead and wonder what the tie up is. Then we hear the sirens and two fire engines and the chief in his bright red car pull around us and tear up Route 41.
We are held up there for about 20 minutes and when we finally are slowly creeping ahead we pass the cause of the excitement. There it is, the RV, burnt to a crisp, smoldering and melting before our eyes.
Yes, and poor old Road Runner is scorched almost beyond recognition and his little tail feathers are lying alongside of his hat and his suitcase in the gulley which is full of the water used to extinguish the blaze by the firefighters. The Winnebago is a goner. Done!
And there they are! The proud owners of the RV sitting on the side of the road. Their pride and joy motor home has been reduced to a cinder and, so it shouldn't be a total loss, they are eating their BLT's on plain white bread (their toaster is totaled) and they have no Mayo. She is scrolling through her cell phone looking for Geico's phone number. The cute little Gecko is nowhere to be found.
We move ahead, as ordered, and in a few minutes come to a Motel 6 with the lights on, just for us, and a McDonald's next door. We pull the little Ford in and get a room for the night.
As the Dalai Lama once said, “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck."
I know, I know. But I really DO want to try my hand at that bacon.
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