November 23, 2016
There is nothing like dumping and flushing the black tank while having coffee in the morning. When I finished, I did the dishes, and drove to the park’s office to pay for the next four nights at my new site. The woman in the office told me I didn't have to move. Really? I was on the waiting list for a cancellation which would have allowed me to stay put, but no one had called me. Then I looked on the counter and saw that my name had been scratched off the waiting list. I checked my phone to see if I had missed the call, but there was nothing.
I was glad I hadn't completely decamped before I went to the office. The woman then told me I was paid through tonight and that I owed for three more nights. Really? When I checked in, I had two reservations: one for three nights with a full hook-up, and one for four nights with water and electric only. I paid for the first reservation and was told to pay for the second reservation today. I expressed my confusion over the balance, but I didn't belabor the argument. I checked my first receipt against the second one and the amounts for the stays were the same, save the credit on the first for the deposit. I don't like to cheat people, but these people are running such a messy operation that I didn’t have the energy to straighten them out.
I drove by my parents' old house in the Ansonborough section of Charleston, then I toured around South Battery before parking and going to lunch at Magnolia's. I sat at the bar, and the bartender asked, "How are you?" I replied, "I am well, thank you. How are you?" He said, "I am well, also." Good man. I HATE "I'm doing good." Really? What good are you doing? Volunteering at an animal shelter? I HATE "No problem," as a response to a request within the purview of someone's job. Gee, I'm glad it's not a problem for you to get me a glass of wine on your wines-by-the-glass list when you ask me what I'd like to drink. I HATE "Have a good one." One what? What the fuck does that mean? Does it mean "day?" Gee, “day” and “one” are both three letter, one syllable words, so what is the point in the substitution? And, is saying “night” and “morning” such is a burden? When Jean and I were in Utah we would occasionally chat with other trekkers. I would always say, "Enjoy your day," as a closure to our conversations with them. It takes so little effort to speak English correctly and to be thoughtfully polite. Its absence is like letting a door go in someone's face.
The crab bisque was the best soup I've ever had. I hadn't finished my glass of sauvignon blanc when I needed to leave to feed the meter, so I gave the bartender my credit card and said I'd be back in a few minutes. He said he wouldn't let anyone drink my wine. Good man.
I had washed the outside of the rental car's windows before I left this morning, only to realize that the real filth was on the inside of the windows. The front windshield had been sprayed with cleaner, but it was never wiped. (The worker probably got a personal text which interrupted his task.) I mentioned the condition of the car to the “shoe” agent who also drove me back to the RV park. He thanked me for the comments, saying that most people are afraid to give feedback. Move to New York or Boston: you'll get feedback before, during and after the rental (or, even without the rental). I told him that every car I've rented this year has been dirty.
There has been a travel trailer to my left since I arrived. Initially, there were two small cars parked at either end of it (neither of which could pull the trailer), and three women of generationally different ages have come and gone from it. One of the cars went away, and I haven't seen "grandma" since it departed. This morning, a man arrived in a pick-up truck. He and the "daughter" left before I did, and now he and the "mom" just returned. The two mutts seem to be indifferent to everything, including my dogs barking at them through the dinette window.
Speaking of dogs, I have cable TV here. I haven't had cable for a long time, so I’ve been watching FX and other movie channels. Last night, a couple of ASPCA commercials aired while I was watching an unremarkable movie. I HATE those commercials because I cannot bear the thought of animals or children being mistreated. I bawled during both of them, and I became a monthly supporter after the second. I could never go to a shelter, work as a veterinarian, or otherwise expose myself to animals which may have been mistreated. I admire the people who take in and care for those animals, but the best I can do is give money. I'll turn off the TV the next time I see one of those ads.
The news remains obsessed with how the Trump administration is shaping itself. The breadth of people Trump has summoned to interview for various cabinet positions is hearteningly reminiscent of Team of Rivals. That Trump is also backing down from some of his more extreme campaign proclamations is heartening. That Trump told people to "Stop it," regarding racist behavior is heartening. When I was reading Alexander Hamilton at Magnolia’s, I read Chernow’s quote of Hamilton regarding his reaction to the lawless behavior of mobs early in the Revolution:
"In times of such commotion as the present, while the passions of men are worked up to an uncommon pitch, there is great danger of fatal extremes. The same state of the passions which fits the multitude, who have not a sufficient stock of reason and knowledge to guide them, for opposition to tyranny and oppression, very naturally leads them to a contempt and disregard of all authority. The due medium is hardly to be found among the more intelligent. It is almost impossible among the unthinking populace. When the minds of these are loosened from their attachment to ancient establishments and courses, they seem to grow giddy and are apt more or less to run into anarchy."
Hamilton's words are a cautionary tale for today, not just for the racist foment Trump stirred (and now may not be able to control), but also for the Clinton protesters who engaged in everything other than civil disobedience.
My “Trillby” loafers arrived this afternoon. They fit: that is no surprise. They have a little faux metal emblem on the heel which is distasteful, but I can ignore it. My problem with the shoes is that the left shoe has a scar on the top and the right shoe has been worn on carpeting. How do I know, you ask? The leather around the toe of the right shoe has degraded, but there is no wear-and-tear on the rubber sole. This is either a mixed pair of “damaged” shoes, or someone with only one foot wore the right shoe around her house. No humans work for Amazon, so one cannot call and discuss such problems. If these shoes were current, I'd return them and buy another pair, but Amazon says there are only three pair left in stock (and I fear getting either the right scratched or the left carpet-worn shoe in exchange). I will keep the better left and right of the two pairs, and return the damaged pair.
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Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.