Tomorrow is the big event. I have balloons for the kids. Free popcorn in patriotic bags and free rocket Popsicles. The flags are flying and the banners are hung. The picnic tables are freshly painted and have been distributed. The grass is mowed. I remembered toilet tissue for the bathrooms. What did I forget. Ketchup? No. Buns? No. Something isn't right, there is something missing. Water. Cold bottled water. Told Drew to get it when he ran in to town to make copies of the brochure and buy the buns. Forgot it. Went back for more paint....forgot it again. Pat and Deb are on a mission now.
All is at the ready and the clouds are gathering. Looks like a storm may hit just about the time I would expect arrivals. I guess I will just sit here and reminisce............... We acquired the campground in July, so it was the next year before we experienced a whole season. I had come up with a way to take the reservations and create a chart to keep track of everything so that a minimal amount of mistakes were made. I was so proud of myself and was really busy patting myself on the back. Love of my life had already been banned from the office and had been told not to take reservations before consulting my chart. For some reason he wanted to give the same site number to two or even three rigs.........
Memorial Day arrived and I had my handy dandy chart with the names of all those reservations and the date of arrival. I was so organized and sure that nothing would go awry. All the arrivals save one were in their designated sites and I waited for them.
A young woman sticks her head in the door to announce "The Clampetts (this is the name I chose for the clan) are here." I say, "You need to register and pay......". "She already paid and we ain't stayin' but one night." she replies and she shuts the door. I was a little put out since she was messing up my little system, "You are in site 18!" I shout out the door and she looks at me like I have grown horns and says that she already knew this..........
I went to bed. It was after 10 pm when I closed the office door and I was tired, but secure in the knowledge that all was right in my world. I had the credit card # on file for that last arrival and I would run it the next day. I knew that she had requested the entire 3 day weekend, but I knew I could rent it to an overnighter. Drifting off to sleep I dream of a ringing phone, no, the phone is ringing. I don't make it to the phone. The message is from the late arrival. They "ain't got no electric". I rouse the sleeping one and tell him to go to site 18. He comes back to bed and tells me that the site # is 14. I tell him that he is wrong........I have a chart and I know where I put them!
My reservation for site 14 arrives the next morning. These are nice people who have camped here before and have requested this site. They register and pay, we chat and off they go to the requested site only to find that it is occupied............. But, I have a chart and the chart indicates otherwise. I did not factor in the idiot quotient. I call my husband and admit that he was right about the late night site # and tell him to have the clan move to the correct site. Then I back up and tell him that I was informed that they were planning to vacate anyway and it was past check-out time. They refuse to move and say that they never intended to stay only one night. I am incensed and tell husband that they must come to the office and register or leave.
The real reservation is a good guy and takes the site that's left....my chart is all wrong now! The head of the clan arrives in my office after numerous visits to the site. I hand the toothless man with long white hair pulled into a ratty ponytail the registration form. "What do I do?" he asks. Many thoughts rambled through my mind as a reply but I simply told him to fill in the information. He looked dumbstruck and said, "I can't" and walked out saying "she" would come up. "She" arrived also lacking teeth. I am assuming that hygiene, dental or otherwise, is not a priority for these folk. She could, however, read and write. We had a lengthy discussion about the number of people camping at the site and although she haggled with me, I won. You cannot claim child status forever. Just because the person is your child doesn't mean they get the child rate after the age of 14 here at my park. I ran the credit card and for the three night stay it was less than $75.
The clan consisted of Ma and Pa, a grown son and his whatever, a grown daughter and a child of what looked to be anywhere between 8 and 14. He was probably closer to 14 than 8, but he possessed the innocence of a young child and was eager to share family information. He was the only one who went anywhere on foot. The rest drove this rattletrap van up to the store at least twice a day to peruse the content and then buy a very small purchase, usually a bag of ice. This was a very busy weekend and I never left the store (no doubt a good thing). We had decided to bundle the firewood that we had cut ourselves and I was keeping it stacked in bundles right outside the door to the store. I guess it was on Sunday that my stack was low again and I called Drew to tell him we would need more wood bundled. He called me back to ask if I had sold the loose wood to anyone. I hadn't and was asking my work camper at the time if she or her husband may have sold any to anyone. This conversation prompted the youngest member of the clan to exclaim, "Ya'll got lots of firewood! We done hauled us out two truckloads!"
"What, you did WHAT?" I want to strangle his innocent neck! "We didn't know we couldn't." I am losing it as I shout to him that what they have done is known as stealing and of course you can't simply take what doesn't belong to you. I realize that I am talking to the wrong person, but he is there, right there. I send love of my life to the now infamous campsite to demand the money for the wood. He comes back empty handed because they tell him they don't have any money.
We later learn from other campers that they flushed rocks down the toilets in the men's bathroom and were quite entertaining to those camping alongside them with their various antics that included "Ma" "sucking face" with one of her offspring. I am not sorry I missed that. Their water heater was apparently not working and "Pa" attempted to repair it resulting in a small explosion that left his face soot covered with 'only the whites of his eyes' showing. I opined at some point that I thought Ma and Pa to be siblings. Love of my life said, "Kathy. they are married." I told him that I was aware of that and still thought them to be siblings..... and I also thought that their parents were related by blood. He told me that I was mean as he laughed, but admitted that I could be right.
I was never so happy to see a rig pull out of my park. Later as I added up all the losses and repairs I came to the conclusion that we would have come out better had we paid for them to stay elsewhere. You never know what you might get when you take that reservation by phone. Oh, and the chart has been modified.