Who IS that Crazy Driver? Oh … It’s My Dad

I think it’s only fair to warn you: My parents have purchased an
RV. Oh, maybe you think you don’t need to be frightened by this.
After all, tons of soon-to-be-retired people rush out and purchase
one.
I think it’s only fair to warn you: My parents have purchased an RV. Oh, maybe you think you don’t need to be frightened by this. After all, tons of soon-to-be-retired people rush out and purchase one.

But I can’t drive. Well, I can. The state of California, for some reason, allows me out on the road. But that doesn’t mean I’m any good at it. And studies indicate that the ability to drive may be inherited. And my parents are planning to travel the country in a 40-foot house.

Are you scared yet?

OK, then let me tell you this. When my dad brought the behemoth home on Saturday, it took him an hour to park it. And my mother and Junior guided him – which should strike fear in the heart of anyone. But the accomplishment my dad was most proud of was that only five drivers flipped him the bird during the 20-minute freeway drive from the RV lot to his house.

You must be scared by now. I know I am.

Personally, I enjoy homes that don’t move. Maybe it’s just me, but I like knowing that a layer of cement and wood is anchoring me to the ground I’m sitting on. I don’t want a house that has to stop for a red light.

But my parents – well, my dad – believe that having a home on wheels will be fun. Dad thinks he’s off to the next

great adventure, seeing America with his own private bathroom tagging along.

Now I wouldn’t have a problem with this – if I hadn’t grown up traveling with Dad. The man has never met a map that he used. Oh, he BOUGHT tons of them. But he never once looked at them. Dad thought that was part of the adventure. Sometimes we ended up at our destination. Sometimes we ended up clear across the country.

And don’t ask Mom for help, either. Mom doesn’t read maps. She reads road signs. She’s particularly fond of the ones that advertise malls. Not that there’s anything wrong with a little shopping, mind you. But the problem is that Mom’s a little nearsighted. And by the time she actually is able to read the sign, the exit is usually RIGHT THERE. So, Dad has to wrench the car over and cut off several drivers in order to get off the freeway.

Can you imagine Dad doing that in a motor home? Just the thought scares the heck out of me. And they want to take Junior with them next summer. In fact, they want to take my sister’s kids too. Which opens up a whole new can of worms.

You see, as comfy as the RV seems to be, it has a couch with three sets of seatbelts on it. And once my father is out on the road, he stops for nothing. The man has a bladder the size of the Grand Canyon. He can go for hours without rest stops. And he will have three children on one couch directly behind his seat.

Is he insane? Has he forgotten the road trips of my youth? My sisters had the audacity to breathe the same air I did, which ticked me off. And my youngest sister would constantly poke my middle sister. And my middle sister would whine about potty breaks and whose potato-chip bag contained more chips.

And this would go on from the Central Valley to Yellowstone National Park. Assuming we made it to Yellowstone, of course. One year we ended up at Mount Rushmore, which made a nice change, although the shopping malls just weren’t up to Mom’s usual standards.

And even if Dad is right and the kids don’t battle and bicker across the country, there’s always that parking thing. Can you imagine being comfortable and asleep in your nice, tidy RV, and then having Dad take an hour to park next to you – while simultaneously listening to the sounds of three grandchildren running around like wild animals arguing over who gets to tell Papi to turn left?

So, please – in the next three months, be kind to any older gentlemen you see driving an RV over Pacheco Pass. If he suddenly cuts you off to get to the Gilroy Premium Outlets, don’t flip him off. It’s only my dad, making practice runs before his big summer trip from hell with the grandkids.

I just hope none of you plan to go to Yellowstone, or Mount Rushmore, this summer.

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