Smiles, language barrier, and poop. Oh my.

A couple of days ago we found ourselves strolling through a local mall with the littlest grandboy. Malls have become pretty desolate, but there were quite a few mall-walkers utilizing the space on that day. As we were standing next to the little children’s carousel, a mall-walker woman looked our way and I smiled and greeted her. She started to walk on by then turned to speak to me. “Thank you for smiling. I’ve smiled at everyone in this place today and you’re the first one to return my smile.” I told her I understood what she was talking about and thanked her for her smile, too. She patted my shoulder and said “God bless you,” as she walked away.

Then we traveled on to Walmart for a quick stop. After paying in self-checkout we walked past a recently vacated full service checkout stand and I noticed a bag that was left in the bagging area with a package of toilet paper in it. Have you ever gotten home from a shopping trip just to realize that one of your bags didn’t make it home? Of course you have. Wow it’s so frustrating. And toilet paper? The levels of infuriation could be monumental depending on the timing of when you realize your TP is still at the store. “The toilet paper holder is empty!!! Ugh!!”

A few steps ahead of this forgotten grocery bag I saw a woman and her young son pushing their shopping cart toward the exit. So in an attempt to see if the mystery TP belonged to her, I caught up with her and said “Are you missing a grocery bag with toilet paper in it? There’s one at the checkout lane back there.” She smiled at me and shrugged her shoulders then turned to her son and spoke in Spanish to him and he shrugged his shoulders. Clearly a language barrier.

But seriously, I wanted to help this woman out. My Spanish vocabulary includes about 16 words, including taco, burrito, chihuahua…. yeah I’m not fluent in Spanish. I stood there for a bit and tried to determine how to visually act out the words “toilet paper”. Uh. Nope. Not even in Walmart, where you see all sorts of marginal behavior. She was listening and watching and waiting and finally I said the one Spanish word I knew that might maybe possibly ring a bell. “Banos?” Another smile, another shaking of the head. Oh well. I tried.

The forgotten toilet paper was certainly a potential pooptastrophe in the forecast.

But pooptastrophies happen sometimes.

A couple years ago we took a lovely camping trip to our favorite camping spot right next to Marion Lake. The hubby spent a lot of the daytime inside the camper working remotely with his laptop and shiny new cellphone. So new he hadn’t bought a protective cover yet. He worked, and I did whatever I wanted to. Of course.

On the final day of our stay he had a short day of work with a few meetings. I had immersed myself in a book, sitting outdoors enjoying the perfect weather and stellar view. At some point hubby opened the RV door and said, “I think I’m done working for the day so I’m going to go ahead and clean out the waste tanks really well since this is our last trip of the season.”

Sounded like a great plan to me. Just leave me alone while I read.

Our RV has two gray tanks that hold waste water from the two sinks and the shower. And the black tank which holds the sewage stuff from the toilet. There is a hookup on the outside of the camper where you connect a hose to add a little water to the black tank for thorough cleaning. On this particular day, hubby decided to run extra water in there for an extra thorough clean. He said, “Hey, I’m going to let the water run into the black tank for about 5 minutes but I just got a work call that I must answer. Can you keep watch on the time?”

Can I keep watch on the time? Of course I can. And I returned to my book.

It was a really good book and like I said, I was immersed. So naturally I lost track of time.

Until there was an incredibly loud startling explosive sound that caused me to throw my Kindle down and bolt out of the chair just as DeWayne came running out the RV door screaming “turn the water off turn the water off”.

Old folks can only move so fast but one of us, I don’t remember which one, probably the Mr, managed to shut down the water. And we stood there, wondering just exactly what had happened. All the while knowing it wasn’t going to be pretty.

We stared underneath the camper and didn’t really see any damage. Except. The material covering the underbelly had developed an eerie sag. Uh oh.

As the sag worsened DeWayne squatted down underneath the camper and as gently as possible removed one of the screws holding up the underbelly cover so he could just peek in there and see what he could see. The screw hadn’t even been fully removed when a flood of unsavory liquid came pouring out.

DeWayne jumped back right away and we stood there watching the brown waterfall. I like waterfalls. Brown chunky ones? Not so much.

It was a pooptastrophe of epic proportions.

After the flood stopped the decision was made to take the cover completely off and assess the damage. Okay. I’ll watch, Mr.

DeWayne slid on his back underneath the camper on the gravel surface and proceeded to undo all the screws. The black tank had developed a leak. No surprise, huh? And it had become so heavy it broke the supports and dropped completely down from its intended location. Happy Day. Like a surgeon unable to “get it all”, he put it all back together and slid back out from under the camper.

Then he stood up to call the RV repair shop to make an appointment. Except. His shiny brand new phone had been in his pants pocket as he slid on the gravel surface. It was shattered and non-functional. Wow.

Good times. We really knew how to end our camping season with a bang, huh? For the record, repairs were made and a new phone was purchased, accompanied by a tremendous amount of cash leaving our bank account to do so. Oh well.

Camping makes us smile. Maybe not on that particular day. But now, two years later we smile. Why not? Just another camping story. And perhaps, a lesson learned. Yes, I know…. I should have put the book down.

We still camp here. And we still smile. But we do not ever ever leave the water running in the sewer clean out anymore.

Just in case you’d like another poop story you should read this one if you’ve not read it already. *** https://simplyb.blog/2018/03/23/liquids-and-solids-undoubtedly-gas-too-adventures-in-grandparenting-chapter-2/

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