Road to nowhere

By Mir
January 26, 2013

Is there anything better than a Saturday? We can sleep in! We have the whole day to do… whatever! But if you are Otto, the only thing that’s better than a random Saturday is the Saturday when the Camper and RV show is in town. Woooooo!

Um. What? You don’t get all excited for the Camper and RV show? It’s EXCITING!

[Full disclosure: It is not terribly (read: at all) exciting to me. But it is VERY exciting to Otto, and generally the kids enjoy it as well. Fancy campers have a variety of interesting things inside of them, and that’s in addition to the number of small spaces where one determined Monkey-child might wedge himself and then holler “I BET YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE I AM!” Also, it’s an entire expo thing, which means there’s food. And one of the booths there sells CAKE! A slice is as big as a child’s head. I know some children who really enjoy cake. Me, I really enjoy Otto. I don’t think I’d ever, say, head to the Camper and RV show all on my own, but I am happy to go to make Otto happy, and also because he is adorable when he sees something he finds intriguing.]

So! We got up! We ate breakfast! We made ourselves presentable and then we got in the car and headed Atlantaward. “How long will it take to get there?” asked Monkey.

“About an hour,” answered Otto, and that’s when the ominous, foreshadowing music would’ve started up, if only we hadn’t been busy listening to “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!”

It’s a beautiful day, today. The drive was pleasant. It wasn’t until we started getting close that things seemed to be… well… taking longer than they should. We finally made it to our highway exist and sat on the ramp for—I am NOT exaggerating this part—SIX cycles of the light before we actually made it off the highway.

“Huh,” said Otto. “I wonder what’s going on? I hope this isn’t traffic for the camping show.” And then we laughed—OH HOW WE LAUGHED—because, c’mon now. Surely not. It’s just a camping show, not a rock concert. As we sat there waiting, I noticed flashing lights in the distance.

“Look, there’s cop cars. Probably there’s an accident up there.” Otto nodded. We continued inching our way forward.

Well, guess what. Not an accident! Just lots of cop cars to direct traffic… around the camping show entrance. Huh. We’ve been going to this show for years and neither of us could recall seeing any sort of extra traffic guidance or anything. Weird.

We finally made it through and turned into the giant parking lot, only to see that there was a thick crowd of people waiting to get into the hall, and the line wound all the way around the (giant) building, AND the line wasn’t moving. Ohhhhh. Crap.

Otto has been talking about going to the camping show for WEEKS. And Otto took one look at that line and said, “Yeah, no. I don’t think this is a good idea. I think we’re not going to the show.”

By this time we’d been in the car for nearly two hours. And just yesterday Monkey had Very Exciting Plans which were canceled at the last minute because his friends ended up being sick, so I braced for hellfire and brimstone and wailing about how he never! ever! gets to do what he thought he was going to do. And while I braced I suggested we go eat lunch at our favorite Atlanta diner, while we were in the neighborhood.

“Oh, YUM,” said Monkey. “That’s a good idea!” And that was the extent of his crushing disappointment. Sure, I was surprised, but I am not in the habit of looking gift horses in the mouth. We just went with it, and went all the way to letting him have french toast and bacon for lunch, because why not? That is JUST LIKE going to the camper show.

No, it was Otto who was disappointed, and that was sad, because the fact of the matter is that Otto asks for very little, and he had really REALLY been looking forward to going to the show. We have no idea why it was so crowded this year, either. It seems unlikely that in this economy there’s suddenly a huge demand for campers. Maybe word got out about the cake? I think that must be it.

So we had lunch and headed home, stopping once at a TJ Maxx, because yes, we have a local TJ Maxx, but this was a different one, and I need some black pants, and maybe THIS OTHER ONE will have different stuff. Spoiler: I did not find any pants there. I did, however, pretend to become very interested in whatever rack of clothing was closest to me every single time Monkey said, “ARE YOU DONE YET?” It never got old to watch him do a whole-body “UUUUUUUUGH” every time he thought that maybe we were never leaving. Oh, you thought you were going to look at cool campers and eat cake, today? SURPRISE! PANTS SHOPPING!!

Then we came home. And then I got back in the car and went to do MORE pants shopping, because, you know, I hadn’t found any pants. I went to three different stores and tried on TWENTY-THREE more pairs of pants, and I bought none of them. Because none of them fit right. Because I am apparently some sort of grotesque alien. Because when you skip the Camper and RV show, BAD THINGS HAPPEN.

By the time Otto was texting to me ask if I was lost, the sun was setting and I had managed to accomplish exactly nothing for the whole damn day. So I came home and made dinner, because at least that felt like I was doing something meaningful. (Licorice assured me that it was very meaningful. She also assured me that it would be MORE meaningful if I scraped my plate directly into her mouth.)

In conclusion: I would like my Saturday back. In lieu of that, please remit a camper more expensive than our house for Otto to explore, and a pair of black pants for me that don’t make my thighs look like rotting sausages fit. I really didn’t think that was so much to ask for, but today disagreed.


  1. Otto

    First, I get my one cold of the year. Then, there’s a mile-long line of people to get into the camper show.

    I hate 2013.


  2. Jen

    Ooh, Otto, better burn some sage dude.

  3. Katherine

    You could have spent all days with teens and tweens at a Lego robotics tournament. You were even in the general vicinity I’m guessing. Monkey might have enjoyed that. It was fairly interesting until they made us sit in a hot, crowded ballroom for over an hour waiting for the judges to finish deciding on awards (and in the meantime listening to said teens scream, by the “wisdom” of the organizers). It was 8:30 by the time my teen and I made it home for dinner. And we left at o dark thirty (7am). I want my Sat back too…

  4. Korinthia Klein

    You know, any day without vomit is not half bad. (Sorry about the camper show and the pants.)

  5. Little Bird

    Just imagine what the crush of people must have been like in there! The bumping, the jostling. As someone with sensory issues, I’d have been jittery in five minutes! I very much dislike crowds. What you ended up doing sounds so much better!

  6. addy

    Well, poop! That’s no fun. Hubbing gets all a tither over camper and RV shows too. Blehhh…..

  7. Brenda

    I kept waiting for the punch line to be that Otto had the wrong week and it was some big music festival or something. Because otherwise why the traffic? Bummer that your Saturday did not turn out as expected.

  8. Heide

    The Camper and RV show was in Kansas City last weekend and I may know the reason for the crowd……”Twiggy the water skiing squirrel”. I mean seriously that isn’t something you see ……ever.

  9. Janet

    I am unaware of any Camper Shows within driving distance and am grateful for my obliviousness. Pants shopping, long lines, and any kind of camping give me virtual hives.

  10. My Kids Mom

    You write like a Seinfeld episode. Somehow Nothing Happening becomes Interesting Stuff to Read. Sorry Atlanta failed you yesterday.

    btw, RV became TV in the 2nd paragraph

  11. ste

    I’m a pear. And sometimes I feel like nothing ever fits. But I did find a pair of black pants at Target that don’t totally suck. They were Fit 4, I believe. And I did have to hem them but they’re working decently.

  12. Peg

    Time to take Otto to an RV dealership to kick some tires and make like you’re in the market for some retirement options. :-). As spring approaches, check the websites for RV rallies. Walking through the campground/fairgrounds, you’ll find lots of friendly folk just waiting to talk your ears off. Be sure to bring something to take notes.

    Oh yeah.. Bake cake, hide in trunk, pull over for a roadside treat.

  13. CuriousCat

    I, too, would like to know what all those people were doing there? I mean, what was so special this year that caused those kind of lines?

    Now, I expect to never sleep in a tent again in my life. However, I do think it would be cool to find a vintage 1963 trailer (the year I was born) and rehab it back to its original glory. I can just see me and my little dog cruising the parks and byways, pulling into nice campsite, setting up the trailer, attaching the awning (of course it HAS an awning), situating the chairs, etc under the awning and knoshing with my fellow campers. I’m not clear yet whether I would decorate in a retro 1960’s theme or go with a cute, cottage-y theme. These are the things I ponder when life is grim.

    I’m with Peg. Find that man a RV/Camper show somewhere and restore 2013 to its potential.

  14. Chickadee

    We have a camper! Just walk in and out a bunch of times, and then go eat some cake. It will be EXACTLY THE SAME.

  15. TC

    This blog post is unacceptable. I NEED TO KNOW WHY THERE WAS SUCH A LONG LINE. Google, please! Make some phone calls. Enquiring minds NEED to know!

  16. Heidi

    Yes, but wasn’t Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me fun?

  17. Jen B

    I like Chickadee’s answer ;)

  18. Chris

    Chickadee made me laugh (and I also want to know why there was such a long line!!!)

  19. Rachel

    Hahaha! I <3 Chickadee's comment!

  20. Christine in Los Angeles

    Aaaaw, the long line was mostly your readers, waiting to meet Otto (and Monkey and you), but mainly for Otto.

    I too love RVs – travelling around is fun, and housekeeping is almost nonexistent, what could be better.

    Otto, better luck next year.

    God bless, Christine

  21. Jomama

    On the pants. Maybe it’s time to buy pants that almost fit, and are just a bit big someplace. If there is extra room, you can have it removed by a tailor. Yes, I know, it can seem silly sometimes to spend $20 to get pants that were only $20 fitted, but how much is your whole Saturday worth to you? Or take a pair that fits well, pick out some fabric, and then find that tailor and ask them to make you some. It would be worth the time you save driving around and trying on clothes (like you, I also hate clothes shopping!). And really, a couple of good pairs of black pants that fit you well, and you could be done shopping for a whole ‘nuther year!

  22. Kate

    I wonder if they were also selling guns … I hear that’s the hot ticket these days and folks are panicking that they won’t be able to buy them anymore.
    Just a thought. I live in LA (the one in CA) and it’s been on the news.

  23. Brigitte

    Maybe there’s a whole world of big RV camper guest-celebrities that we were unaware of out there.

  24. Victoria

    Chickie is awesome. I LUV her sense of humor. Maybe some guest posts???

  25. aem2

    When Clinton and Stacey are telling women who can’t find pants that fit their hips, thighs, *and* waists that *everyone* has this problem, I start screaming at the TV that maybe, then, the people who make the pants should start making pants that fit. This is why I’m not allowed to watch What Not to Wear anymore.

    I second the tailor comments. Note: if the gap is more than an inch, they will not be able to take it in properly. Ask me how I know. This is why I have to sew my own pants. (BTW, if you are a pear and sew and haven’t heard of Thurlow trousers by Sewaholic, they are amazing and designed to fit us!)

    And Chickie is full of awesomesauce.

  26. Amy

    Have you tried New York and Company? I have a weird to fit body (long legs, short torso, etc) and I’ve had good luck with their pants. They aren’t super expensive either :-).

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