Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bad News First

I was all excited to write a post about our fireworks display, complete with pictures........... I didn't get to see much of it, though. I spent my time dealing with an idiot.

I spent the day preparing for the celebration we had decided to treat our campers to. Love of my life and Pat, the methodical genius, went off with over $500 to spend on fireworks. They were a little giddy with their mission. They were also provided with a short list of items needed to prepare our dinner. They forgot two things and I improvised with my recipe, but they remembered the Bomb Pop popsicles for the children, so all was forgiven.

As I was setting up the free popcorn and popsicles, I noticed the message light blinking with 7 calls. The phone rang as I debated listening to them. One of my campers was calling to tell me that some unattended children were setting off fireworks at their site as she walked back to her camper. One of the sparks hit her on her leg. She wasn't in need of medical attention, but that was beside the point.

I am now torn between my duties of campground party hostess and campground rule enforcer. I can't call my husband who is loading and lighting fireworks....don't want to distract him while he is dealing with something dangerous. Another complaint comes up and I turn over the popcorn and popsicles to her. Another camper is holding the huge bouquet of helium balloons for the children that I was going to distribute and I am off to speak to the evil doer.

When asked all week if I was going to allow fireworks on individual sites I answered NO. It is a safety issue. Not only are their lots of children to consider, but these 5th wheels and motor homes and travel trailers are not cheap. Most all of them have rubber roofs that would sustain damage if the debris from the fireworks were to land on them while still lit. When this is explained in a reasonable fashion most people get it. This is why we put on a display for the pleasure of everyone. The fireworks are discharged on the far side of the park, with the pond as a buffer between that and the audience. Most all the campers donate money to the fund for fireworks and are happy to have someone else handle the display.

The idiot in question came into my office early yesterday and handed me $300 for the display and said that he had invited some of his friends to come over to enjoy the fireworks. I thanked him and told him that they were welcome to come............ So, you would think that he had an understanding of the rules. He had asked me earlier in the week where he could take his son to see fireworks and I had explained that we did not allow fireworks on sites and that we were planning an event.

His child, who will be referred to as the cloud of destruction, is nine. Idiot is a single parent and cloud of destruction is a mouthy little snot. Seems that cloud of destruction and a slew of his young friends all under the age of ten were playing with Roman candles aimed at vehicles and smoke bombs....UNATTENDED BY AN ADULT. While the little snot was throwing smoke bombs at folks walking, Idiots other guests began their very own fireworks display right there at the site. There are rigs to the left, rigs to the right, in front and behind. I can hear them, but remember my ears still aren't right and I am a little disoriented by the sound. I just know that they are not coming from the right direction.

I catch a ride on a golf cart and go forth to do my dastardly deed. I approach the picnic table where a very young woman (girl?) and another man are sitting. I don't see the Idiot, so I ask where he is. He is sitting at end of the table in a very low chair chewing away with that fine glaze of drunkenness in his eyes as he stares at me. I remind him of the conversation we had regarding fireworks at camp sites and wait for a response. Nothing, he just continues to stare at me, sort of starting to annoy me. I almost ask him how old he is and if he has lost the ability to speak, but ask him, "What part of the rules did you not understand?". Nothing, no response. No longer sort of annoyed, I am full blown pissed off. The three adults(?) are simply staring at me, so I tell him that if he has trouble with the rules and chooses to disregard them I will have no problem whatsoever in kicking him out (none of the nice terminology like "you will be asked to leave").

His friend finally looks up and says, "It was my fault, I did just one, then I put it up." This is really pissing me off and I tell him I witnessed more than one myself. I feel like I am talking to children who are trying to lie their way out of the situation. I leave. So much for kicking back and watching the show along with everyone, now my dinner is churning in my belly and I am so frustrated that I want to scream. I sit down in my wet from the rain chair and tell Deb about Idiot and even take a couple of pictures of the fireworks.

Suddenly Idiot is looming large in my sight and motioning me over saying that we need to talk. I swear to you I thought he was going to apologize about the behaviour of his guests and child. Instead he lights into me telling me that I had no right to talk to him "that way"! What? It seems that he felt that he was not responsible for the actions of the guests he had...... he was inside cooking. I look at Idiot in disbelief. "Your site, your guests, your responsibility." He says, in response, "You can't hold me responsible, I wasn't outside, I was inside cooking." I simply repeat my previous statement as I think of all the mothers who would love to hear that excuse! I have to repeat it three more times as I realize his alcohol soaked brain is having a time out. Finally he tells me again that I have "no right" and I tell him that I own the park and that gives me all the right I need. He tells me that he will fix that and that he will be leaving. Fine with me and I tell him that he should leave as soon as possible. He takes another long slurp of his "beverage" and tells me that he wants a refund. I tell him there will be no refund and that if any damages have been incurred by his stupidity I will be charging him for them. He then tells me that he is going to go take care of those folks that complained about him right now. "No, you will not approach any of my guests, if you do, I will have the sheriff remove you." "Well you might as well go call him now." was his slurred response.

He didn't approach anyone and I have the feeling that he is a big talker. Suffice it to say that he ruined my evening. When the fireworks magicians re-appeared from the other side of the pond I told them about my run-in. Love of my life down played the incident so much that I spent a sleepless night second guessing myself. I hate to be the enforcer and I suppose that I could have shown more diplomacy in handling the matter................ A man would no doubt have done a better job in getting through to this guy (where was Bob, the undertaker with his larger than life authority when I needed him?..........what am I thinking, he would have been on the other side of the pond with his two cronies had he been here!).

I was happy to see Idiot pull out this morning. Any doubts I had about the way I handled the situation are gone. The woman who had gotten burned last night came in because she felt guilty that I was losing revenue. I assured her that she was right in reporting him to me and that I will have no trouble renting that site to another pipeline family. All was confirmed for me as individuals told me how happy they were that he had left with his cloud of destruction. I feel vindicated.


ellen abbott said...

Never second guess yourself. The guy was an ass and an idiot. Of course he was responsible. I'd have done the same.

Pat said...

I honestly don't know how you do it - run the campground I mean. I'm sure the majority of the people that come to your place are nice, but then you have those few jerks like this guy that you have to deal with. While I was reading your post, my stomach was tying up in knots; I was getting so nervous! I hate CAMPING near these kind of people, let along having to DEAL with them as owner/customer. YUK! Kudos to you - you were in the right. I, myself, would have called the Sheriff right away, after crawling out from under the table.

lovelyprism said...

LOL I'm with Pat! I would have called the sheriff and had him removed and hidden somewhere until after he was gone. And how could anyone downplay that if they weren't even there?!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

A complete eejit. You did right. God knows how you keep sane.

meggie said...

So glad you got rid of him. What a nasty piece of work, & raising another, just the same.