The first rule in a survival situation is: don’t panic. I told myself this as I watched the sun shining on my wet skin. Beads of perspiration ran down my neck and pooled maddeningly in my eyes. I leaned back and tried to slow my breathing. There I was, heat index of 110 degrees, surrounded by sand, nothing to drink … rrr rrr rrr rrr, the damn truck still wouldn’t start.

I pictured myself in the Serengeti, 20 pounds thinner and wearing one of those cute little khaki safari outfits. Hey, it’s my fantasy. The illusion would have been perfect if not for the throngs of happy beach-goers, public toilets, and cold showers only a few feet away.

The problem is that my husband can fix practically anything, which means that he won’t ask for help until our bleached bones are discovered by a local Boy Scout troop; maybe not even then.

By now I knew the drill.

  • Kick the tires
  • Raise the hood
  • Swear
  • Crank the engine
  • Repeat

Apparently, the only cure for a vapor lock is time. I’ve cleaned the attic in August, been cooped up for eight hours with six teenage girls in a mini-van, survived hot flashes and night sweats, and had my parents walk in on me and my boyfriend in the bathtub. I can take the heat.

Even so, about an hour into the exercise I considered secretly calling AAA while my sweetie was swearing at the engine, or stripping down to stand under the outdoor shower until the police came to haul me away to an air conditioned jail cell. The latter would probably bring faster results, with the added bonus of free publicity in the local paper’s crime beat.

Finally, the truck turned over and we were able to return to our nice air-conditioned motorhome … just in time for my husband to try to replace a fan belt on the RV using only twine, pocket lint, and leftover hot dog buns.

While I was picturing myself on the Serengeti, he was reliving episodes of MacGyver. I guess we all need our fantasies. My next one will involve an igloo and tap-dancing penguins. A greater chance of hypothermia, but no risk of public nudity.

14 thoughts on “Stranded

  1. Karla, that was hilarious! Maybe it’s time to get a new truck…and I want to hear more about when your parents walked in on you and you beau in the bathtub!

    • Karla was always the “good” child. So when mom and dad discovered that she wasn’t the virginal angel they thought she was….

  2. Thanks for the morning laugh:)
    I’m very impressed that your husband can fix an RV without duct tape. I thought every MacGyver wannabe had to use a roll of duct tape. but I’m confused by “throngs of happy beachgoers” if it’s 110 degrees! Are you people completely crazy down south?!! I stay safe within the cool walls of my air conditioned home if the temps rise above 85. If it was me, I’d definitely be standing naked beneath the public shower, probably deliriously quoting shakespeare.

  3. That was hilarious, Karla. Just be thankful that you were stranded with your hubby and not your parents, as I was once.

    Never again…

  4. Dang truck. Why’d it have to finally turn over? I was all ready for an upcoming ‘public nudity’ blog post. Only you could make it an adventure…..and hilarious! Love it. Love it. Enjoy the rest of your vacay, my friend!

  5. Brings back memories of my dad who could fix anything and made us wait. We didn’t have an RV though-a big yellow car we called the Grey Poupon Mobile. Yes, we took it to France and broke down in the Alps. I think he used a piece of garden hose to repair it! LOL.

    • Grandpa could fix his truck with baling twine and bubble gum and our dad inherited it. If one nail was good, six were better. When grandpa got interested in rock collecting he put a box on the front of his truck for rocks. Unfortunately it left the truck front heavy. so he had to load the back of the truck with the same weight of rocks. He didn’t mind, but grandma sighed alot.

  6. Ya know, Karla, one of the best aspects of your writing (beyond or behind the consistent humor) is the rhythm and flow of your words–near flawless 🙂

  7. It could have been worse. Your husband could have caught you in the bathtub with your boyfriend.

  8. Oh, Karla, that brings back some memories…and I’m not talking about good ones. I’ve got more than one vapor lock in my memory banks….

  9. You do realize that now you have to tell the story of your parents walking in on you in the tub with the boyfriend, right?

    • We had left our clothes in my bedroom, so I was wrapped in a towel as Brian stood in the bathroom. “Karla, get me my pants.”

  10. How I love the heat! But not when these things happen. No fun at all, and your husband having to work in it – I feel sorry for both of you. Ah, but the memories will last.

  11. Hahahahahahahahahaha. That was awesome. I know shit about fixing cars. I know, what kind of man am I? I can change oil, batteries, or bulbs (and that sounded kind of perverted). That’s it. I yell and swear at everything else.

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