created memory in Charles Giddings
The summer of 2001, June or July I don’t recall now, we decided to take a two week vacation to tour Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We all knew this would probably be our last big trip since my fathers kidneys were beginning their steady decline, talk of dialysis was looming in the near future. Our first stop was Yogi Bear Park near Indian River Michigan. If I remember correctly the trip to the park went without any major events or malfunctions. We spent a few days basking in the sun and fine sand that proliferated the park. When it came time to leave, my father says to me “I’m going to show you how to empty the holding tanks, that way there you’ll know how to do it if you were to ever take the motor home“. He diligently instructed me as to which is the black water and which is the gray water outlets and informs me that the gray water is to be emptied last so it will wash away any undesirable debris left lingering from the black water. “First thing we need to do is make sure the outlet values are closed Matt” he says. So he poked and he pushed and he pulled and he fiddled some more until he finally says “there, I think their closed now“. Are you sure? I replied. “We’ll find out” he answers.
With that said he points to the cap and tells me “the next thing you need do is remove that cap so we can hook the hose to the outlet“. Nervously I grasp the cap. I say nervously because my father has been known for not quite hitting the nail on the head, in other words it was entirely possible that he had the valves OPEN, not closed as they should be. Who knows, I may remove the cap and get splattered by dirty dish water or worse, black water! Ewwwwwww I thought to myself. Upon grasping the cap I took a deep breath and twisted. My worst fears at the current moment had just come true. There I am with the cap twisted off in my hand covering the bottom half of the outlet and BOTH gray and black water spewing and spraying in every conceivable direction, plus three! I’m covered up to at least my elbow’s within seconds of unleashing the nastiest of nasty’s from the filthy bowels of the motor home. Toughly disgusted I drop the cap, jump back away from the splattering filth and let the rest empty onto the drive and down the drain.
There I stood, fuming mad and covered in excrement from the past two days. I send my father a piercing glare as if to say I’m so fucking mad at you right now! He stands there with a slightly puzzled look on his face, nasty’s dripping from his arms and hands, shrugs his shoulders then says nonchalantly “huh, looks like they were open…” as if it were merely water that has just drenched us. I then proceed to hose him down with the non-potable water after which he heads for the second vehicle of our two vehicle caravan to get the hand sanitizer. Don’t worry, I made him go to the restroom to cleanup properly. Roughly an hour after we started this “10 minute escapade” I’m finished cleaning the area that we so quickly soiled. By now there are several campers “patiently” waiting for their turn to wrestle the underbellies of they portable home away from home.
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