Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cheney Washington-Bettered by a Bitter Bitch

This is a wee saga about "life" on the road, when one is dependent, to a large extent, on the kindness of strangers.  In recognition of the more graphics-oriented on my list, I am sending a second "lite" email with photos.
This post comes with a T-rating for "Text" intensive.

As a result of this experience, I now hate Jellystone parks as much as KOA's.

One is truly marooned when one finds themselves in the Montana bush without satellite TV during the American Idol Finale!  I am a dedicated Idol fan.

With shock, I calculated that the night of the final performances would land us in a boondock site between two mountains and satellite reception would be impossible.  So, we decided to stay an extra day at our full service campground outside of Butte.  As only bad luck would have it, we were unable to get a satellite signal at our RV site, despite the fact that we had stayed there on every previous cross-country trip over the last 5 years and never NOT received a signal!  But, as Frank explained, one hump on yonder mountain could hide our precious line-of-sight.  

So, as only a devoted spouse would do, Frank had me crawl into the RV basement for the spare dish, tripod and cable so he could set up the manual dish and receive programming.  BadaBing--a signal!  Yippee---I got my popcorn, diet soda and fuzzy slippers and settled in for a great 2 hour Idol!  Then, without warning, another RV pulls into the spot directly in line with our satellite dish causing the signal to go out and in and out etc...  So, even though I had satellite, I had a less-than-satisfactory "Idol" viewing experience.

The following day, Frank agreed to travel an extra long day to get to our next serviced campground and skip the boondock spot so I could watch the Part 2 Results Idol show.  What a guy!   It was with relief that we pulled into Yogi Bear Jellystone Park in Cheney, WA.  

It was lush with every shade of evergreen flora and fragrant with piney smells--quite attractive but a satellite would NEVER find us through the dense forest!  On check-in, I learned that my reservation service had mistakenly misrepresented the size of our rig, so I sweetly informed the nice lady at the front desk about the correct size and requested one of the pullthru sites which were in a clearing and appeared to be satellite-capable.  

She looked over her snooty pignose and prissily stated that she would "have" to put us in a back-in site (despite the fact that the park was half empty on a Wednesday at 4PM).  She is one of those rare people I instantly want to bitchslap and, I commented what a huge job waited for her later that day when hordes of campers arrived to fill the park!  She then lied through her teeth and informed me that people were arriving early to "beat the rain" forecast for the Memorial Day weekend.   I asked her if the site she "had" to put me on had cable and instant phone (for those not familiar with the term, it is having full phone service inside your coach so you can make and receive calls and slowly navigate the internet on dialup) and she replied that it did.

On approach up the steep hill, the site did not look big enough for us and even if our rig could maneuver into it, there was no room for the caddy and car.   We paced off the site and decided to try rather than confront the office bitch who had assigned this loser site to us.  The site was "terraced" up a hill with trees and boulders at the edges and steeply graded on one side so there was no room for driver error.  It was surrounded by permanent residents who had cars, trucks, bicycles and "stuff" scattered everywhere--an eyesore.  

Difficult to access AND unsightly.  Possibly the least attractive RV site we have ever seen.  We began to hum the theme tune from Sanford and Son to each other through our walkie talkies while  I mentally bitchslapped the office lady.  With extreme difficulty and a group of campers watching and probably making bets, Frank deftly maneuvered the Muthaship's "10 lb butt into the 5 lb pair of panties".

Knowing what kind of a mood I was in, Frank then feverishly tried to get the cable to give us a TV picture in time for the "Idol" show.  No signal on cable.  Satellite was impossible even on a tripod; we were in deep forest blackout.  The phone didn't work.  

Frank thought our rig must have a wiring problem; perhaps some connections came loose.  He began  troubleshooting all the wiring, tearing apart our entertainment center equipment, inspecting and testing wires.  He asked neighbors if THEY had any problems, wanting to be certain we had double checked our end before we complained to the creepy campground lady.  

Then, we saw a cable truck ride by and figured that he was there to fix the cable, so we decided to do the best we could with antenna.  That didn't explain the telephone problem but we decided to buy a new phone line the next day, since one of our connector thingys was broken.  

Had a really lousy Idol viewing experience on the antenna and my favorite contestant didn't win.   Sue is wearing a very dark mood.

Next day, we went to Radio Shack and bought new phone line.  Still no phone service....NOW it was time to complain!  

I marched with righteous conviction to the office and asked to see the Check-In Bitch.  She emerged and listened to my tale of woe.  She explained that they had "changed over" their cable provider the day before, which explained the cable TV problem.  Ok thanks for the heads-up, Bitch.  The phone--well--she disappeared into the inner sanctum of her office and handed me a torn-off sheet of paper with a phone number and mumbled  "It'll work now."  I asked her if she had just activated the line and she said "Yes".  I asked her if she remembered me checking in yesterday and asking about the phone and she said "Yes-sorry!"

I  knew at that moment that I had been "Bettered by a Bitter Bitch". One of the unfortunate realities of traveling is that many RV campground owners/managers get burned out dealing with the public and one hopes that they have the good sense to retire their positions sooner rather than later.  In this case, the old cow was way past due for pasturing.

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