So apparently we didn’t know we were among royalty.
((Phillip was doing our last load of laundry on the last Sunday morning before we rolled out of town. He was just folding the last of our clothes when two people came into the laundry room and promptly caused quite a scene.
This is the story, as told by Phillip.))
… So I was folding the last of our clothes when two people walked in dressed like they had just bought the entire Armani line of camping clothes. The woman came in with some sort of reflective Oscar red carpet on the moon jacket, leather pants, and leather boots with studs on the heels (possibly previously owned by Gene Simmons of KISS), followed by a guy who looked like he had fallen off a catwalk into an Eastern Mountain Sports and hit every branch on the way down with his Amex black card. At this point I was fully convinced that they were aliens trying to infiltrate the RV world, but could only receive the E! channel in preparation for the invasion – or possibly they were just Italian. Parked outside was their gleaming, clearly brand new, half-million dollar RV rig – New York tags – just saying. The only way this could have been more fitting was if the tags were Miami tags, which they don’t even make, or if the NY tag said like, CMP4LYF, or RUGG3D.
They took a quick look around the laundry room and walked over to the office. I didn’t think much of it, until they came back in with the KOA staff member in tow.
“But it says it right there…” the woman was protesting. She was referring to one of the quaint decorative signs on the wall that said “Wash and Fold – .50 cents”
After several seconds, and at least one glance in my direction, probably to make sure I wasn’t filming her for these people’s hidden camera show, she managed to say, “Oh, no. We don’t do that here. (Also, let’s just stop right here and point out that .50 cents is a criminally low amount to expect for any service outside of an attendant handing you a paper towel in the airport bathroom, and even then you’re a dick for not giving him a dollar.)
“Then why is there a sign?” the woman questioned. At this juncture, I should point out there was another sign with a cartoon mouse that said something to the effect of “Laundry Mouse,” and plenty of other kitschy signs a la your garden variety “Home Sweet Home” Cracker Barrel decoration – and just my two cents, but I’d be much more interested in a Laundry Mouse if I was dumb enough to take every sign literally. She then said something so amazing, “This is false advertising.”
The poor girl stood there silent – probably thinking “I could just put my head in this washing machine and let the cold, swirling, lavender scented water give me sweet release from this cruel joke that life is playing on me, but then I’d die in this god forsaken canary yellow polo shirt that my mother is all too keen to remind me every day is completely unflattering to my figure and WHY DON’T YOU TAKE ANOTHER VALIUM AND LET ME LIVE MY LIFE, GOD MOM!”
But instead, she handled it with the aplomb of every seasoned service employee in a similar situation, and with Kindergarten teacher voice – “Well, I’m pretty certain that this is not a service we offer, unfortunately, but I can talk to someone about it if you’d like.”
For the first time the man spoke and requested to speak to a manager about the inconvenience, and blah blah truffle Gwyneth Paltrow blah.
Okay. So at this point, I had a few options – I could have just walked out and folded myself into some lotus pose muttering om namah shivaya over and over again until I had crazy long curly fingernails (my knowledge of yogis is admittedly limited to the Guinness Book of World Records) – I could have gone straight Shia LaBeouf and thrown all the laundry in the air, climbed on a dryer in my underwear yelling and crying then yelling some more until I was cast in several major movies while the world only gets one Daniel Day Lewis vehicle every 5 years because LIFE IS TOTALLY FAIR, RIGHT? or I could act swiftly to help all involved. It’s like Ghandi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” He also said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” and “Hold onto your butts.” A lot of people don’t know that. Read a book, I can’t spoon feed you all the world’s knowledge, god.
With Ghandi as my guide I did what any responsible citizen would have done – I offered to show them how to do laundry, imparting on them that it is something every adult should know how to do, and that with a little practice even the most novice person, with a couple quarters, can clean clothes like those crazy NASA scientists we used to hear so much about before all their funding went to bullets, the Kardashians, or whoever makes Hummers… thanks Obama.
The couple, who I’m sure later when telling this story would say “I just… can’t… even…” followed by a inordinately long pause – stood aghast and the woman said “I know how to do laundry, thankyouverymuch.”
“But you don’t know how to differentiate between decorations and advertisements?”
Now I dig that people mistake things for different things all the time. One time I accidentally bought Diet Dr. Pepper instead of regular Dr. Pepper and despite what Pepsi would have you believe, they do not taste “just like” each other. Buncha fascists is what they are, lying corn syrup sympathizers. Wake up, sheeple. But the point is, this idea that if a person makes a mistake that the blame must lie somewhere else is so prevalent today and it drives me like, Japanese game show level crazy. Because they can’t derive from context clues that a laundry service doesn’t exist they feel entitled to take time from someone else’s day to what? – have the sign taken down? to hear some sort of apology? An apology that would ring with all the sincerity of a single person at a wedding’s congratulation – “Ohmygod, yeah, great, you love each other so much, you’re not dead inside – get fucked. Both of you.” It’s ridiculous and both parties know it – like the electoral college amiright, you guys?
RV folk (a term I’m now coining) are by and large, a welcoming – if not slightly Lynchian, people. We are no exception. You’re a cute old couple with a border collie and just want to sit under an awning and complain about the young mixed race couple with the pit bull? Well hello, nice to meet you neighbor. You’re a single, pony tailed man with enormous scars on your face who speaks in a whisper whisper YELL cadence and wants to talk solely about UFO’s? Well, hello, nice to meet you – no that’s close enough – no really, close enough… I’m sick, yeah yeah, I’ve got a cold, the flu, avian pneumonia, really fighting something here COUGH. But there is a reasonable expectation of being, at least relatively decent to each other – whether that comes in the form of a nod and a wave to other people in a “yeah, it’s weird we live in a box on wheels just like you” or bringing over a 6 pack to the strange man who moved his rusted Dodge Dart so you could fit into your camping space – or in this case with a bit of snarky social justice that could make you feel like Walker, Texas Ranger, it is a community worth protecting.
After the couple, who I can only guess were off to be extras in an LMFAO video, left – the campground employee came back and thanked me for helping. Then she leaned in and whispered to me, “We actually do have a wash and fold service, and it really is only fifty cents.” No, no – I’m kidding. But wouldn’t that be M Knight Shymalan level incredible?
In conclusion, this is no call to action. Where sometimes I think the whole world would be a better place if people were told when they were being entitled jerks, that could create some entitled jerk behavior. Inception! BRAAAAAHHMM! But if you come through stuntin on the KOA girl, you need to get served – hot and fresh – and then drop it like it’s hot, hashtag yo (is this the correct usage?).