“I am going slow.” I bark, reducing my speed from seven miles per hour to three.
“You’re making me nervous.”
“I’m doing the best I can, there are cars trying to get around me.”
“They can wait.”
“I’m not yelling, I’m nervous.”
And so it goes.
We are heading out for our first road trip since buying a 36 foot fifth wheel. On the sales lot, the “coach” held the promise of serenity. Dark shiny polished wood, faux tile floors, luxurious leather recliners and a king sized pillow top mattress. Clearly this was designed to remedy whatever 21st Century malady ails you. Visions of quiet morning sunrises with freshly brewed coffee swim in your head as you sign the bundle of documents needed to take possession. The week and a half needed to install a hitch capable of towing 20,000 pounds (and the propane generator I insisted on to “camp” in style when there are no 50 amp services available) seem to drag on forever.
And finally the day arrives.
“Good afternoon sir, how may I help you?”
“I’m here to pick up my trailer.” I proudly beam, feeling this should impress the pudgy acne faced boy, who must have been told to expect us (we did receive our Good Sam Elite Membership cards just days before…)
“So, you have already completed orientation?” He asks, clearly more amused than impressed.
“Uh, no…” tumbles my sheepish response.
And for the next two hours we are guided through switches, control panels, gadgets, hoses, and “Never, do this - before you do that’s”.
“Can we still return this?”
The mechanic chuckles as if he has heard this many times before. “Ah, you’ll get used to it. This stuff is easy.”
I swallow my plea to reconsider.
And before you know it, the truck is attached and we are heading out of the lot. Which naturally has VERY wide driveways to accommodate idiots (like me) who have been driving 6 foot vehicles at high speeds for thirty years and suddenly believe they can manage the equivalent of a semi-truck.
My confidence does not increase when I look in my extended rear view mirrors and see two mechanic’s leaning into to one another and watching me. I can only presume that they have placed a wager on how long it will be before they see me in the collision repair center.
I will NEVER forget my first left hand turn. Neither will the lady in the Honda I almost ran over.
But alas, we got our “rig” to its assigned spot in the storage lot and rush home to choke down a muscle relaxant with a shot of tequila.