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  Humor stories > Funny stories : RV Show Means

RV Show Means

Funny stories Rating : 4.36, 14 votes. Reviews : 0 [add review]
Much like the two kids in the opening of the famed Dr. Seuss book The Cat in the Hat, my wife and I were staring down the doldrums of another Mid-Michigan, drippy gray half snow/half rainy day. We were lamenting the fact that summer wasn’t anywhere near and the only thing to entertain us was wondering if we’d have to shovel the slush or if we could get away with letting it melt away. It was then that we heard those glorious words booming from the TV with all the clarity of a Sunday morning sermon – “FAMILY RV SHOW - THIS WEEKEND ONLY”. My ears perked up – was it that time of year? Could it be true - was the RV circus in town?
Now I’ve been to enough hunting/camping/fishing/boating/RV shows to know that they are primarily all the same. They come in the dead of the season, bringing with them shiny pristine hunting/camping/fishing/boating/RV tools, toys, and accessories all for your easy and convenient purchase. I am well aware that these are designed solely to get me to spend my hard earned Monday thru Friday money; which was okay because I was ready to spend!
Knowing that I’d need approval from our household finance department prior to going to any outdoors show, I approached the subject with caution. Let’s just say I set a precedent and I learned my lesson. A while ago I bought one little living room accessory without her approval – a $350 deer antler table lamp. I also added a few mounted singing fish to complete the ensemble. I thought they would be the perfect “Welcome to our Home”. I apparently was wrong.
So after hearing this commercial I turned to my wife and slightly muttered “We could go to that”; silently knowing that not only were we going, but I was going to bring the family Brinks truck with me. She turned back to me – with the same glint, and might I add dollar signs in her eyes – and said “Yeah…we can go to camper show”. My three year old heard us and started jumping up and down, repeating in his little voice “GOOOOD idea Dad, goooood idea! I go to the camp show!” My toddler daughter heard the commotion and joined the dancing fun. So that was that, we decided that we were going to the show. After all we wouldn’t want to disappoint the children right?
We are a camping family and this extravaganza was meant for us. We gathered the troops and headed out to the show. At first I thought that I’d made a mistake as there weren’t but two cars in front of the pavilion. Then I realized that I had gone into what was now the valet parking area. Normal folks were parked in the free parking area in the lot “over yonder” but for $5 I could pull into this front area and have the car attended to by a valet. I’d never in my life done valet parking. Normally I don’t go to places that require that service and usually my truck isn’t the type of vehicle those places are real excited about showing off.
Today would be different. This was my world and I was feeling like I was the King of RV-a-Ramalot. I felt smug, perhaps even slightly haughty as I pulled up to the curb. I reached back for my wallet and thought this was my kingdom, and these were my people, my kin, my brethren. Out of my glory came one small problem. In most kingdoms the king doesn’t actually have any power - the Queen does. The Queen of RV-a-Ramalot began to extol her power, and explained that “We are not paying to park, that sign said free parking, and by golly we will use the free parking. We’ll just walk across the parking lot like everyone else does. It’s not that cold and rainy out! Now pull up to the curb and drop us off so we can wait for you inside.”
When I finally made my way into the show it was glorious and all I hoped for. There were big ones, small ones, pop-up ones, folding ones, fifth wheels, and even a bus so big that Dolly Parton would think it was tacky. It was great and I was in heaven. We started down the first row, because even though there aren’t signs or directions, everyone moves the same way, counter-clockwise. I don’t know why and it doesn’t matter where the entrance is, everyone always goes counter-clockwise.
The first aisle was what I call “brochure-land”. Every campground within a five hour drive was there and they all wanted to hand me stuff. That would have been okay but even the King of RV-a-Ramalot can’t hold a kid’s hand, a sippy cup and a read a pamphlet about “The Perils of Poison Ivy” at the same time. The sales people were ruthless too - they’d do anything to get you to stop at their booth. I could win a motorcycle, have a free calendar, get my picture taken with a creepy stuffed raccoon or win a new truck (I signed us both up for that one). My personal favorite was an invitation to come to an all woman weekend river rafting trip. For women, by women, just women only. I just looked at these two booth women completely stunned. They told me it was for my wife who was obviously too busy to sign herself up. Confused, I looked for my wife who was now a few booths ahead of me chasing my son out of the $50 a ticket pontoon raffle. My daughter was limping along behind her, crying and missing a shoe.
I grabbed my daughter and her shoe while my wife got our son and we continued on. Though people were staring at us and our screaming flailing children this was routine and all very normal to us. We ended up reconvening and stopping at the Camp Happy Heart and their “Wheel of Candy”.
The gimmick here was to spin to win free camping. Most of the slots on the wheel were for candy or glowing bracelets. I REALLY wanted the free camping – I love all things that are free of course. That came as part of the parenthood package.
My daughter, of course, spun and landed on the prize slot marked “glow bracelet”. She did not want the glow bracelet, she wanted the candy. This perky college intern girl leaned over to my daughter handing her a little purple bracelet. My daughter threw it to the ground and pointed at the sugar bin (speech was not necessary at this point). Then my little pint size princess began to SCREAM. I pleaded with Miss Delta Gamma for a sucker (who’d think I’d bargain so hard for a Dum Dum??). My son up to this point had been quietly watching the entire exchange – now wanted his sucker too so he just helped himself and trotted off to the trailers.
Growing up, we were tent campers. My parents could turn two tents into a military base camp in a matter of minutes. As I got older I realized that I didn’t like sleeping on the ground nor did I like being wet. I wanted a camper so my wife and I bought a used pop-up. Having something simple served us well, and always suited our needs. Walking through the show I realized just how little it met my suddenly growing needs. The new campers were amazing. The pop-ups had furnaces, air conditioning and couches. The fifth wheels had crown molding, fireplaces, full bathrooms and big screen TV’s. I walked into one that not only had a bigger living room than my house, it also had two bathrooms and a loft bedroom. I saw kitchens with islands and slide outs that became detached servants quarters. There was one camper that stood out above all of them though – the Megabus.
This Megabus was forty feet long and came with ceramic tile flooring in the both of its entryways. A full kitchen included a double sided fridge and ice maker accessory. It had a 60” Plasma TV and four different slideouts. The bathroom had a jet tub and yet another little TV in the corner. Lastly, the entire rig was trimmed in Sicilian Cherry. I don’t know why Sicilian Cherry trim is better than normal Cherry but the salesman said so and I believed him. I felt bad for the salesman - sort of. This was the last trailer in the show and we’d seen enough. The kids were jumping on every squishy surface and were absolutely out of control. This guy was talking to my wife and I as if we were actually going to buy this bus. We both nodded dutifully to him as appropriate when, suddenly we were blown out by the sounds Elvis Presley over the airwaves. My daughter had figured out how to turn on the radio and speaker PA system at the same time. Not missing a beat the salesguy shouts to us “DID I MENTION IT HAS A 30 SPEAKER OVERHEAD SYSTEM?” For my own entertainment I asked him what the price was - and it was five times my annual salary – or only $159 dollars a month for 144 months, with a small balloon payment at the end of the term.
He had to be expecting it when we kindly broke the news that we weren’t going to buy the Megabus. Honestly, our kids had no business even being in the same room as the Sicilian Cherry! He didn’t seem to understand that we were there to think about campfires, marshmallows and sticky summer nights at the lake. That’s why we came to the show in the first place - to remind us that summer is coming. That’s why anyone goes to hunting/camping/boating/fishing/RV shows; to stoke the fever just long enough to get us to Summer. That is the true fun of these shows; they allow us to wish and dream. At the end of the day as my son dragged his little feet to the car I asked him if he liked the camper show. He replied “Gooood idea Dad. Good idea”. Yes. Yes, it was.

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