RV Having Fun Yet?

photo of a large RV


Historical Museum at Fort Missoula


(SENIOR WIRE) Aging is the politically correct way of saying “becoming an old fart.” Here are three ways of knowing you are becoming one.

You are on a first-name basis with your pharmacist. “Hi George. I am here to pick up this month’s meds for my stiff knees, my sore wrists, my back pain, my dry mouth, my low blood pressure, and my high cholesterol. Oh, and did my doctor call in a prescription for my toe fungus?”

You and your spouse do not quite hear what each other says. “Dear, would you like a tea?” She responds, “No thanks honey, I don’t have to pee.”

You and your spouse decide it is time to throw caution to the wind and drive clear across the country in a recreational vehicle THAT IS AS LONG AS THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA!

Well, wouldn’t you know it, but a month ago my wife Jan casually mentioned, “Gary, have you ever thought of renting an RV and driving through the Rocky Mountains all the way to Seattle?”

My response to Jan—“That would scare the bejeebers out of our friends!”—fell on deaf ears. So, I screamed, “ARE YOU FRIGGIN’ NUTS?”

Last week I carefully inched the RV out of the garage. I was a nervous wreck. My head swiveled back and forth between the oversized backup mirrors mounted on the doors, to see how much room I had. That is when it happened.

SMACK! I hoped I hit a bike hanging on the wall in the garage. But no. Horror of horrors—one of those mammoth mirrors whacked Jan standing in the driveway and knocked her to the pavement.

We are just getting going. Minutes later I was gripping the steering wheel, my head scrunched up, touching the inside of the windshield. I had to guess how much room I had as I slowly inched the RV underneath the overhead canopy at the urgent care center where I drove Jan to be treated for her abrasions.

That is when it happened. WHACK! I hoped it was nothing major. But no. Horror of horrors—I smacked the “CAUTION LOW CLEARANCE” sign and bent it all to hell! At least it was not Jan.

An hour later with a clean bill of health for Jan—and a stern warning from the physician, “Do you really know what you are in for driving an RV?”—we are cruising along a busy highway.

“Gary, the sign says ‘CAUTION. LOW OVERHEAD AHEAD. CLEARANCE 11′ 4″—how high is this RV?”

Fifteen minutes later—with Jan and I leaning out through the windows—we inch the RV underneath the underpass. Motorists blast their horns as they pass!

“Gary, please keep your hands on the steering wheel. Don’t give them the finger!”

As nighttime nears, we reach where we will camp overnight to enjoy the great outdoors: a Walmart parking lot. We need to park this mammoth motorhome, so Jan steps down from the RV and instantly becomes a screaming spouse.

Flailing her arms she hollers, “Okay, Gary you can begin to back up now.” Then she adds, “WATCH OUT FOR THE LIGHT STANDARD!” I cannot see her because she is standing at the rear bumper—in my blind spot!

Screaming spouse hollers more commands—now everyone in the Walmart parking lot is watching.


For an eternity, I inch the RV backwards at the speed of a melting glacier in the Rockies.

 Jan stretches her arms three feet apart—which is my signal that I have 2 inches between the RV and the light standard!

That is when it happens. At a decibel level equal to a Led Zeppelin concert, she lets out a bloodcurdling scream: “STOP! STOP!! STOP NOW!”

I could not take it anymore. I pull myself together and reply calmly, “Jan, if you think you can do any better, the steering wheel is all yours.”

I am in a cold sweat. Jan is at my side comforting me. “Gary, are you all right? It is the middle of the night. I think you were having a dream.”

“No, Dear, it was a nightmare!” MSN

Always a chuckle, often laugh out loud, Gary Chalk nails how it is ‘Living Retired.’  Contact: [email protected].

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