Monday, September 11, 2006

I like to call it people watching, but it's really just snooping.

I took Katie and her friend Monique camping this weekend. That's Mo-neek, emphasis on the Mo. It was a lot of fun, as they entertained themselves and I got to sit around and do nothing, which is something I'm rather accomplished at.

While sitting at the picnic table, enjoying the cool breeze and the cloudy weather, I started watching the older couple in the space next to mine. They weren't old, just older. I stared shamelessly through my sunglasses and out from under the brim of my hat.

They were scared.

I noticed them first because of how they were dressed. They left for a walk not long after we arrived. He was wearing slacks and a three-button, short sleeve knit shirt. For camping. Slacks! Trousers! Dress pants. She was similarly and constrictively clothed.

When they returned from their walk, I studied their RV. It was a small motorhome, pulled directly into the space - not backed in. This meant the door and the un-deployed awning all faced away from their campsite. Away from the picnic table and fire ring. Away from the path down to the creek. That's nothing too unusual. I can't back a vehicle very well either. But...

When the got to their door, the man pulled out a jangly key ring and unlocked the door. They went inside and shut both doors behind them. Nothing stirred, not even a mouse, for a long while.

When they finally did open the door and came out, both were carrying covered dishes. Supper had been cooked inside. On a stove. In an oven. Not outside on an open flame or even a gas grill. That's not a big deal, I understand that's one reason people buy RVs - fire cooking isn't for everyone. But...

The man held the door for his wife. She stepped out and walked around to the other side of the RV to get to the picnic table. He tarried a second or two longer. He took out the jangly keyring and locked the door.

They never cautioned a glance in my direction, that I know of. My nosiness was not returned or possibly not even noticed. They walked with their heads down, eyes low. I considered going over and speaking to them. Perhaps it would ease their mind, knowing that the scruffy tent dwellers next door were generally law-abiding and good natured. But...

The can of chili I had opened for supper (Frito Pie!) spewed all over the front of my shirt. My legs and feet were speckled with mud from a short walk down what is usually a dry stream bed. My eyes were bloodshot and watery from wearing my contacts too long. My hair was shooting out from under my hat in every conceivable direction. I decided I wouldn't do much to quiesce their fears at that point. Immediately after supper they entombed themselves again. I didn't see them the rest of the evening.

The next morning I walked past their campsite. There was no sign of human habitation. I guess maybe they deeply subscribe to the "leave only footprints" admonition. The RV was there, but nothing else. No hiking stick, no bag of charcoal, no firewood, no lawn chairs, no hat, not even a string of lights or a dog leash. No dog, either. Nothing.

I kept watching. It was surely as much fun as daytime TV. About 10:00 a.m. the door opened and they emerged with cereal bowls in hand. They scurried over to the picnic table, having first locked their door. They ate in what I suppose was silence, staring at the table, barely noticing their surroundings. A short while later I sat watching as they unplugged the motorhome and drove skittishly away.

I sighed, and got up off of my lounge chair. I grabbed a coke out of the cooler and made sure the kids weren't around. Then I poured the leftover bacon grease on the fire and watched it leap and sputter. Fear is sad. Play with fire instead.




Katie and Monique enjoy (?) some ice cream on the way home.

12 comments:

Patti said...

You're my kinda girl!

annie said...

Ya think maybe you scared them, Spooky??

annie said...

You sure do know how to tell a good story Rach. I loved this one (but I still think maybe you scared those poor old folks).

WV = blepax

bill said...

Interesting. You didn't happen to notice the license plate did you?

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Maybe they had dead bodies inside?!?!?!

I love the pic!

SpookyRach said...

Yeah, I did Bill. I was "curious". It was a texas plate, but I don't remember the number. Anyone you know?

Yankee, Transferred said...

The Attorney and I are taking our kids plus 2 camping this weekend. But not RV camping, tent camping.
I'm sure we'll scare a ton of people.

little david said...

You see, the thing is, they had to be gone. It established the alibi. People saw them leave, you watched them in the daylight. But where did they go at night, hmmm? Maybe to that dusty Toyota Corolla off the main road leading to the campground, and from there . . .? Well, just keep your eye on the news, that's what I say.

SpookyRach said...

OOOOHHHHHH! That's it! That's why the jangly, attention getting keyring. That's why the incongruous clothing. Yesssss. Its all making sense now. I do remember the Corolla - stopped at one of the trail heads at the top of the canyon...

Hee hee!

ppolarbear said...

Katie doesn't look any too sure about that ice cream. I think you've scared her.

Preacher Mom said...

I love to snoop - em, I mean people-watch, too. Haven't seen any characters like these lately, though.

What was in that ice cream anyway??!!

SpookyRach said...

Ha ha! I'm not use to dealing with the delay on the dinky little digital camera. I promise, they were smiling a mere second before this!