Let’s Lighten Up

 Posted by at 1:09 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 252023

Note: This is a repost of a blog from 2020 that I thought we could all enjoy.

There is so much doom and gloom in the world today and everybody seems to be uptight, angry, and frustrated with the way things are going. So I thought today we would just lighten things up a little bit and maybe I’ll give you a chuckle or two about some of the incidents that happened to us when we were fulltime RVers and that RVing friends have shared with us.


We were parked in a Walmart somewhere in the Midwest once when Terry noticed a car stopped near us and an elderly lady staring at our motorhome. She drove off, and a few minutes later came back and just sat there. I’ve never met a stranger, so I went outside to ask if she needed anything. She told me she was just fascinated by “campers” even though she had never been in one. She asked me a few questions about it, so I invited her inside for a tour.

What a delightful lady! She gushed over how nice it was, and was fascinated that we had two televisions, a microwave, a refrigerator, a complete kitchen, a bedroom, and even a bathroom. Then Terry showed her the washer/dryer combo and she just couldn’t believe it. We chatted for a while and she loved hearing about all of our travels.

Eventually, she thanked us for our hospitality and started to leave, then stopped in the doorway and said, “Can I ask you a personal question?” I said sure, and she asked, “Where does the poop go? When you flush the toilet, does it just fall out in the street?” I explained that we were self-contained and had holding tanks for our waste. This led to a tour of the outside of the motorhome and an explanation of its plumbing system. She left, happily informed about all things RVing, including where the poop goes.


I had a friend who was a workamper at a Corps of Engineers campground when a woman flagged him down as he was making his rounds, scared to death. She said they had just arrived and gotten hooked up, and when they went back inside there was a rattlesnake in their RV. They could hear it in the bedroom. My friend called the ranger, and together the two of them went inside the RV to investigate. It didn’t take long for them to realize there was no snake. What the couple heard buzzing was an “adult toy” that needed to be turned off. My friend told me that he and the ranger managed to keep their composure as they got in the golf cart and drove away, but as soon as they were out of earshot they both laughed so hard they drove the golf cart off the road. He said that two hours later when he made a pass through the camping area the fifth wheel and the couple were gone, never to be seen again.


Back when we had our MCI bus conversion, I decided it would be nice to have sliding trays in the huge cargo bays under the bus to make it easier to access everything inside. We were parked at Elkhart Campground in Indiana, and at one of the surplus places there we found the hardware for the slide trays. Now all that was required was plywood and some kind of carpeting to cover the finished trays. After we accumulated all the supplies necessary, Miss Terry and our friend Ron Speidel set to work installing the trays. Everyone there knew me well enough to know that asking for my help wasn’t going to be of any benefit and would only make the project longer. So Ron’s lovely wife Brenda and I sat on lawn chairs and watched the other two doing all of the work. And a fine job of it they did! When they were all done, we loaded everything back onto the shelves and pushed them in and closed the bay doors.

A while later, somebody came by to ask about something I had for sale, and I knew it was inside of one of the bays, so I opened the door, crawled inside and unloaded everything until I found what he wanted, and handed it to him. Then I loaded everything back inside and closed everything up. All the while, Ron, Brenda, and Terry sat in their chairs, watching me as I worked away. Finally, when the job was done and I was standing there all hot and sweaty, Ron said, “Or, you could have just done this, Nick” as he opened the bay door and pulled the slide tray I had just unloaded and reloaded out and then pushed it back in. My mama may not have raised any fools, but she did raise at least one imbecile that we know of, don’t we?


We met many wonderful people when we were teaching at Life on Wheels, including an older couple who sat in on many of our classes on the RV lifestyle. At the end of the last class on the last day, I opened the floor for questions, and the wife asked if she could ask us a personal one. “When you’re in a campground, you’re parked close to the neighbors on both sides. Does it shake the RV so that everybody can tell what you’re doing when you’re making love?” she asked. Folks, I looked that lovely mid-70s lady right in the eye and told her, “It does if you’re doing it right!”


Years ago we were hosting a dry camping rally in Florida and a lot of our Gypsy Journal subscribers came. I was busy helping get everybody parked, and when I got one big motorhome where it needed to be lady came outside and asked if I was Nick Russell. I told her I was, and she said that she and her husband had been readers for a long time. Then she added that I didn’t look or sound anywhere near what she expected of me. I asked if that was a good thing or a bad thing and she said, “Well, let’s just say it was a disappointment and leave it at that.” I guess you can’t win them all, but at least they kept subscribing, so that was something.


Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for a copy of the new hardcover edition of the RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for campground reviews, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books and audiobooks to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. I guess no do it yourself. Burials are allowed here.


Thought For The Day – You never know what I have up my sleeve. Today, for example, it was a dryer sheet.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

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