Sunday, August 28, 2016

An Otherwise Shitty Weekend

It was definitely a shitty weekend. The valve on my black water sewage holding tank had closed shut. No one would fix it in situ because of the heat and tourist season.  Because of an obvious design flaw when these valves crap out, if they crap out in the closed position ,there is no way to get the crap out in the normal way. Further, when the old valve is to be removed, there is necessarily going to be some spillage before the new valve can be installed.
My friend Tom had siphoned out the tank through toilet itself.  This procedure caused an evacuation of our sweet neighbour next to us. Who would have known she had a severe respiratory condition?One whiff and apparently she turned purple and blue wheezing,choking and coughing. Tom was very apologetic. The ambulance crew was friendly enough.  That was just a whiff portend of the future.  Birds flying over died in flight  but suddenly came alive again on the ground as zombie birds that attacked  children and small animals.  The park management hinted that it would be best if l solved my leakage problem elsewhere.  There are no "Depends" for RV’s.
The last time I moved the RV was a couple of years ago when I caused such damage that it was in the shop a couple of months.  I love my Keystone Energy RV and felt such guilt for catching her slide on that nasty cement wall as I turned just a little too tightly around that very inconsiderate corner.
When we hit the highway, naturally there were high winds.  The trailer began fishtailing just like my first trailer did before it did that 360 turn  on the freeway taking us with it  before flopping over dead in the ditch and pulling my new Ranger truck into the grave with it .  Laura had been screaming "We're going to die! We're going to die!" and I hadn't thought so since I'd crashed other vehicles at higher speeds and lived through those.  Laura wasn't nearly as experienced with high speed crashing before she met me but that trailer truck event really moved her along.
Both trailer and truck were write offs . I was very thankful for having bought the best insurance.  It turned out that the second hand trailer had  been sold to me with a faulty brake system and I was exonerated for once.  That's when I began buying trailers from Travelhome and have ever been thankful. When this trailer began fish tailing I slowed right down happy that the brakes were working at very least.
I pulled into Travel Home RV in Abbotsford.   As is my normal response,  I was considering trading the trailer in for a 5th wheel.  Thankfully they had no fifth wheel toy hauler in stock.  I might have stayed married in the past if there'd been no trade ins in stock.
What they did have and suggested was a better hitch.  Again I might have stayed married one of the times if some one had suggested such an original idea.  Keeps the wife. Get a better hitch!. They really are the best at Travel Home.   For less than a $1000 I had a 4th way state of the art hitch for a much heavier trailer installed while we waited.  What a difference!  No more fish tailing and no more lurching.  No more shame about having overloaded my trailer either.
Heading up to the Coquahalla is when the truck died. It didn't suddenly die.  It just suddenly lost power.  An evil wrench icon in the Hal computer communication window flashed on saying the truck was now in the possession of the truck safety police and would only 'limp' home.   It did this once before and it was a manufacturer gasget glych in this model and year of F350 Fords. The dealer was terrific and rebuilt the engine all on warranty. The truck'sbeen a trooper for the last 50,000 km until it’s been kibitzing about these last couple of weekends. Tom volunteered  to take it to a Diesel sub-specialist who charges more than neuro surgeons. It was supposed to be perfect after they do a mechanic's voodoo dance and replaced a random part of the turbo charger.   I asked Tom if he'd checked whether the fellow voted Justin Trudeau before letting him work on my very conservative Harley Davidson edition truck.
At 60 km/hr  we made it almost to Princeton, way out  in the boonies.  We pulled off the highway at  a place where it looked like others had been dumping a variety of shit. We hoped our discharge would be minor..  The tank was sucked clean but apparently, according to the instructions, you’re not supposed to leave your valve open  for long sits because solid collects and the wet  flows over.  We thought there might be some kind of crystalline science fiction monster lurking still.
Tom got under the truck. He’d come equipped with overalls but I noticed he used my wrenches. I didn’t mind.  I was literally catatonic with the thought of reacquaintance with my own shit of perhaps 2 years previous.  What would we  say to each other? What was the etiquette? I shone the light on matter.  There were only 2 nuts that needed removing, not a particularly reassuring thought.
Tom opened the pipe and yes there was a gushing moment, that adolescent instant of blushing release. It wasn’t a whole lot in terms of sludge but the odour was noteworthy.  The paint on the RV peeled and nearby trees wilted.  Squirrels developed rasping voices.
While Tom was swiftly putting in the new valve,  more birds fell from the sky.  Much to our amazement little creatures and insects descended en mass on the  discrete effluence, this purified treated and conditioned human waste.  I’d added all manner of enzyme and  RV treatment to it  hoping that might help appease the pouting valve..  These little creatures r began instantly consuming this exotic substance and instead of dying took on hulk like Lilliputian appearance of Olympic Russian athletes,  their little bodies steroidally swelling before our eyes.
We both washed. excessively, after the event. I had only been in splash range but no amount of soap and water seemed enough.  I was glad for the shower.  I did shit in the now functional toilet. I very much enjoyed this important throne moment in the privacy of my home. If I was Justin Trudeau I suppose I would have taken a selfie but the thought never crossed my mind.
Neither of us had much appetite after the experience.  We did feed Gilbert well if only to discourage him from his French tendency to ‘mange de merde’.  Half poodle, half cocker spaniel, we blame his rude behaviours on the French side of his nature.
That night with the RV generator supplying electricity we watched a black and white film of the Tobruk defence in WWII starring a very young Richard Burton.  Tom and I felt that in our own way we had brought the RV through a long and shitty siege and prevailed despite overwhelming odds.
 It was great to awake in the wilderness having my very own toilet to relieve myself at, no longer fearing overflow.
Tom, of course, got to use the facilities too but Gilbert was left to the outdoors.  As a connoisseur of butts we thought the previous night’s experience with the RV  would have raised his appreciation for the Keystone Energy, in his doggie mind.
Given the trip was downhill the truck engine gave little trouble on the way home. Tom amazingly parked the RV without doing major damage. I really thought that was very good of him.  He’s planning on getting the truck back to the guys to find out why it was still acting so shitty.
Now that he's gone, I think I’ll just sit on the throne.  It's not that I need to go but it feels so good.
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