Propane in the Neck

By Katiedid Langrock

August 15, 2020 5 min read

"How's it going?" my mom texts.

"Great! I think we've finally got this thing figured out!"

The next day: Huh. Why aren't the stabilizer jacks going down?

"How's it going?" my mom texts.

"Great! I think we've finally got this thing figured out!"

The next day: impromptu jumping jacks as we skip and hop out of the way of the sewage hose, which has unhooked and is spilling at our feet.

"How's it going?" my mom texts.

"Great! I think we've finally got this thing figured out!"

The next day: What's the weird cracking sound when we put the sides out?

"How's it going?" my mom texts.

"Great! I think we've finally got this thing figured out!"

Kids: "Why is my milk warm and lumpy?"

I can't be sure, but I don't think my mom's texts are the cause of our constant struggles. Then again, she does make a very convincing witch every Halloween.

Jumping into living in an RV full time is a humbling experience. The learning curve is steep — and often steeped in knowledge of the dirty and disgusting nature. I won't disturb you with the tales of potty clog trials, but let's just say that I lost a broom in the effort.

"How's it going?" my mom texted yesterday.

"Great! I think we've finally got this thing figured out! Turns out the stove didn't start because we ran out of propane. Off to fill her up!"

"Great!" she texted back. "Seems easy enough!"

We packed up our campsite. Put the chairs away, brought in the laundry, unhooked the electricity and unfastened the cellphone signal booster. We had to move quickly because the rain was coming soon and we wanted to get our propane tank filled and be back at our campsite before it poured down on us. Love's, where the RV dealer had told us to go for such things, was only a six-minute drive away. This will be a breeze.

The skies were quickly darkening when we got there, but the process could not have been easier. I told the lady with Emma Thompson eyes and forehead (we're all in masks, so I can't speak to her nose and mouth) that we were newbies, and she said no problem. She would hook up the tank for us. Wonderful news.

My husband pulled the RV around. Emma Thompson Eyes took the propane tank out of the cage. And I watched expectantly, curious how the large tank would somehow fit into the small holding container. That's when everyone paused.

"Oh!" said Emma Thompson Eyes. "I need to give you a refund, hon. I don't know how to hook this up."

"Oh!" said my husband.

"Oh!" said I. "Do you know where we should go for a propane fill?"

Emma Thompson Eyes said we should go to the local RV repair shop, about 4 miles down the road. There was now lightning in the indigo skies, but at least we knew where we were going, and surely the process couldn't take that long.

When we arrived at the local RV repair shop, they said their tank was empty. We could, of course, go to the Petro and fill her up there. The Petro had been next to the Love's.

We drove back the 4 miles, and I said to my husband, "At least the rain has held out."

We parked the RV in front of the tank just as the sky cracked open and a waterfall poured out. My husband ran in to tell them we needed assistance. He came back looking as if he had been swallowed by a river. Then there was trouble filling the tank. The whole ordeal took us three hours.

"What do you do all day?" my mom often texts. I usually can't think of the answer. A million little things that take longer than they should. I guess the truest response to her question would be, "Learn." Learn the hard way.

Learn the jacks weren't going down because of air pockets. Learn you have to screw in the sewage hose so it doesn't come undone. Learn to check for items that have fallen into the space where the sides go out. Learn the fridge has to be checked to make sure it's connecting to the electricity so the milk doesn't get warm and lumpy.

"How's it going?" my mom texted this morning.

"Great! I think we've finally got this thing figured out!"

Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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