We knew it was the perfect trailer for us the second we saw it. Sharron had been looking at trailers for years. I had been looking for at least ten minutes.
The trailer was a used Arctic Fox, about twenty-two feet long, with a nice interior that had a lot of upgraded features. Even though we both knew that it was the one, we were both afraid to say it. So we coquettishly skirted the issue and agreed to look around at a few other dealers.
The first of these dealers had trailers made of aluminum foil by an especially skilled origami craftsman. The second dealer appeared to be run and operated by one man, who, we later determined, was able to keep his business alive by bullying people into buying what he had on the lot. After he showed us a bunch of trailers that cost twice as much as the Arctic Fox, but with half the features, we told him that we just weren't interested.
"Do you mind if I ask why you're not interested?" he said.
I immediately recognized this for the trap it was. Whenever a telemarketer or a salesman asks you "why," there's only one reason. They want to argue with you. With telemarketers, I usually just hang up. We tried to think of a more adult way to deal with the situation. Sharron settled on sticking out her tongue. I said, "Neiner, neiner, you big fat doofus. We're not buying from you!" And then we turned and ran.
(Editor's note: The author has taken certain liberties with this story in order to make it funnier.)
Back in the truck, we both admitted that we were in love with the Arctic Fox we had seen earlier, and we went back to purchase it.
Buying the trailer went smoothly, except, as can be expected, during the finance part. As any car buyer can attest, it is during financing that the greedy corporate weasel aspect of any motorized vehicle company comes to the foreground. We were lucky enough to be paying cash for the trailer, but there are always the add-on fees such as extended warranties and, in this case, the towing package, that get you. Still, we were having too much fun to notice.
For example, the bank insisted that instead of making one large payment, we had to split it up half and half between our two credit cards from the same account—$5000 on each. The finance guy, trying to be funny, said "Whose card do you want to put what $5000 on?"
We caught on immediately. "I want him to put $5000 on his card," Sharron said.
"No. no," I countered. "I want Sharron to put $5000 on her card."
"No you," Sharron said to me.
"No you," I answered.
The finance guy waited until we were through with our little game.
(Editor's note: this part is not fictional. Bruce and Sharron really act like this.)
When the time came to actually charge the cards, one of them went through, but the other didn't. This meant we had to call the bank and sort it all out, which we did, but as I think back on it, it was a missed opportunity.
Instead, I should have said, "See Sharron, I should have used your card."
Then she could have answered, "And I should have used yours."
We could have gone for another five minutes, while the finance guy, with a strained look on his face, thought about a possible career change.
In the end, we got out of the finance office relatively unscathed, but we were told that there were certain items we needed to have for camping. We were given a list and sent off to the parts department. On a shopping spree that makes one's blood boil with the sheer excitement of it all, we purchased a septic hose, a regular hose, a water pressure controller for the hose, special toilet paper, chemicals for treating wastewater, blocks for the tires, a rug to keep the dust down, covers for the steps leading into the trailer, extra fuses, grease for the hitch, and a battery charger. The finance guy came over and, with an evil smile, wrote up a loan so that we could afford it all.
Soon we were ready to roll, and we glided away from the dealer with our new trailer in tow.
"Where are we going to park this?" Sharron asked.
"I have no idea," I said.
We found a storage space the next day. There we learned that every single person we had ever talked to about a trailer had lied to us. They all said that when you park a trailer, all you have to do is to turn the wheel in the opposite direction of where you want the trailer to go. "If you want it to go left," they said, "then turn the wheel to the right." What they didn't explain is that for this to work, the trailer and the truck have to be lined up to begin with. If not, then the rule is different. Then the rule is that if you turn the steering wheel to the left, the trailer will jackknife, and if you turn the wheel to the right, the trailer will jackknife.
It actually took us more time to park the trailer than it did to buy it. But don't worry; I'm getting the hang of it. I can now figure out how park the trailer with nothing more than a protractor, a compass, and a sextant. Look for my upcoming book, How to Park Your Trailer Using the Stars as Your Guide. Please buy extra copies because we need the money to pay for gas and campsites. If not, we're going to have to keep on staying in our favorite spot.
Where's that? you ask. Super Storage. We love it there.
(Editor's note: none of the editor's notes were really from the editor. Go figure.)