The Great Escape

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

A semi-retired couple are traveling in an RV and meet up with some interesting characters.

Denise, with beads of sweat dripping down her face, was fanning herself with the air conditioner manual as she sat watching her husband Luke. Tall and lanky with wide shoulders and the slight paunch, or middle aged spread as it’s sometimes called, was also sweating profusely and his face was getting redder by the minute as he struggled to reinstall the motor home’s air conditioner in the ceiling of the motorhome.

They had just picked up a new condenser coil from the hardware store in the town that was nearest to them when the A/C stopped working. The town was only 15 minutes away but, because of the long weekend bumper to bumper traffic, it took them over an hour to get to the store.

Driving with A/C that was blowing warm air in 34 degrees heat was not a pleasant experience and they bickered back and forth the whole way there. Denise thought it would be cute to name their motor home and was throwing out suggestions that Luke absolutely refused to consider. He was not going to drive around the country in a RV with “Wander Lust” or “Moon Dancer” sprawled across it.

The hardware store had very few parking spots and the owner recommended they park at Wal Mart a few blocks over.  So here they are, parked at the back of a Wal Mart parking lot amongst other RVs in the hot sun with no accessible shaded areas.

Denise decides she’ll go into Walmart and pick up food and other supplies that they’re low on. They were pretty well stocked up already since they’ve only been on the road for seven hours, but the air-conditioned store was calling her name and she needed to take a break from her husband who has a short fuse when frustrated. Better to leave him alone to work.

“Luke, I think I’ll walk over to Walmart and pick up supplies. Is there anything you can think of that we need?” she asked.

Luke, standing on a stool with both arms reaching up to the A/C unit in the ceiling looked down and said in disbelief, “What could we possibly be low on? We only left the house this morning.”

He knew she just wanted to get into the store for the A/C and decided to hell with it. He didn’t feel like listening to her long sighs, or suggestions on which tools to use to install the condenser coil. Like reading a page in the manual makes her an expert.

He wiped the sweat off his brow with his shirt sleeve pushing his straight greyish blonde hair off his forehead and said, “Why don’t you pick up something cold for us to drink? I should be finished soon enough.”

Denise jumped up and grabbed her handbag as she walked out the door saying, “Love you!”

Luke looked through the window watching the gentle sway of her hips as she made her way across the parking lot towards the store. Dark haired with a face that lights up when she smiles, Denise has always been a striking beauty. Being a life-long yoga enthusiast, she was still slim and fit at the age of 54 and professed to anyone who would listen how she’s comfortable aging gracefully. So far anyways, let’s see what happens when she actually does start to show signs of aging, he thought to himself without malice. To him she would always be perfect with or without work.

He heard a female voice shouting, “Hello, anyone home?” He walked towards the open door and saw a middle-aged couple standing a few feet back. She was a slightly plump, busty and curvaceous woman with a full head of peroxide blonde hair curled in ringlets wearing full makeup including false eyelashes. He was of medium height with a stocky build and a pot belly with flowing white hair and a mustache and goatee. He looked familiar but Luke couldn’t quite put his finger on who he reminded him of.

“We’re your new neighbours, Kenny and Dolly, and wanted to welcome you.”, the man said.

Luke looked at him quizzically, wondering why he was calling them neighbours considering they were parked in a Walmart parking lot. He didn’t want to appear rude so responded, “Nice to meet you, I’m Luke”.

“How long are y’all planning on staying?” asked Dolly with a big smile.

Before he could respond, Kenny said, “Are you new to this area? We’ve been Wallydocking up and down the coast for a few years now and haven’t seen you before.”

Luke decided they were nice enough, perhaps a little odd, but certainly harmless and said, “This is our first road trip and wouldn’t you know we had mechanical issues on the first day. Air conditioner stopped working and was blowing hot air at us for an hour until we were able to reach this town. Luckily we were able to get the part and should have it fixed in no time.”

Kenny and Dolly exchanged a look and then Scott asked him, “Why didn’t you turn the A/C off?”

Luke paused wondering why neither he nor Denise thought to do that and before he came up with an answer Denise wandered up to the motor home carrying several shopping bags.

Luke put his arm around Denise saying, “This is my wife Denise” and Scott and Janice introduced themselves.

Pointing to a white motor home, Janice said to Denise, “We’re your next door neighbours. Hope you’re planning on staying for a few days. We could sure use the company”.

Looking a little puzzled Denise turned to Luke and asked, “Were you able to fix the air conditioner?”

Luke shook his head saying, “I’m still working on it. Should be done soon and we can be on our way to the campground site.”

Janice looked at both Luke and Denise saying, “It’s hot as hades out here today. Why don’t you come over to our place for a cold drink? We have a nice comfortable shaded area so you can cool off. We’ll give you some tips on the dos and don’ts of RVing. We’ve been doing this for a long time.”

Denise said, “Oh, we don’t want to impose.”

“But we insist, it’s no bother. We’d love the company”.

Denise looked at Luke and he shrugged his shoulders in a why not kind of way and they agreed to meet them at their “place” in 15 minutes for drinks.

As they were putting away the food and supplies Luke asked Denise, “Have you ever heard the term Wallydocking? Scott said they’ve been Wallydocking up and down the coast for a few years”.

Denise had no idea so they googled the term and learned it was setting up your motor home in Walmart parking lots. People do it to save money since it’s free of charge and they even have free electrical hookups. Denise and Luke laughingly agreed they would not be staying in Walmart parking lots on this long-anticipated road trip.

As they were leaving their motorhome, Luke asked, “Does Kenny remind you of anyone?”. Denise looked at him with a deadpan face and said, “Colonel Sanders?”. Luke rolled his eyes and shook his head.

They approached the driver’s side of a white motor home “We Got Tonight” painted on the side. Luke said, “Think it’s this one?”

Denise nodded saying, “Oh yeah, I’m guessing this is theirs”, with a smile.

They walked to the side of the camper and saw a red and yellow awning was up providing a little shade from the hot sun and a table was set for four with an icy pitcher of margaritas. Music was blasting from a ghetto blaster that looked like it was from the 80’s which was fitting considering the song that was playing was “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers.

That’s it, Luke thought. Kenny is the spitting image of Kenny Rogers and for that matter, Dolly has a striking resemblance to Dolly Parton.

“Island in the Stream” started to play and Kenny and Dolly came bounding out of the motor home together holding microphones to their lips and immediately started to dance and lip sync to the song. They were dressed in matching tight black and white jumpsuits with fringed sleeves, white cowboy boots and cowboy hats.

Denise and Luke looked at each and stifled a smile and looked away, not daring to look at each other or they may burst into laughter. Once the song was over, they enthusiastically clapped and said, “Great job!” and “You look exactly like the real Kenny and Dolly!” and “So realistic!” to the beaming and slightly out of breath couple.

Dolly said to Denise and Luke, “Take a load off. Have a seat here in the shade” and led them to their chairs at the back of the table.

Luke tried to bring up the subject of RV travelling but at that very moment the song “9 to 5” started to blast out of the ghetto blaster and Dolly jumped to her feet for her next performance. Kenny clapped and whistled and stomped his feet as Dolly danced and sang. Once the song was over, she demurely thanked the “audience”.

Denise and Luke clapped though with far less enthusiasm than they did for the first song and Dolly, with a huge smile on her face, gave a quick curtsy and sat down.

Thankful the song was over Luke asked, “So, what are the tips you were mentioning earlier? Being new to RVing, we’d really appreciate your insights and guidance”.

At that moment the next song came on, “Lady” by Kenny Rogers, and Kenny stood with tears in his eyes and trembling lips as he gazed at Dolly and lip synced the words to the song. Song after song played from Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's Favorites played and Kenny and Dolly performed their respective numbers with gusto.

With their backs up against the side of the motorhome and Kenny and Dolly blocking the front of the table, Luke and Denise felt like a captive audience.

Luke leaned in towards Denise and under his breath said, “Okay, I’m done”. Denise whispered, “Quiet, they’ll hear you. Once this song’s over we’ll leave”. The song ended and both Kenny and Dolly smiled broadly and thanked the audience. The “audience” immediately stood and halfheartedly clapped a few times as Denise said, “We really have to get going. We’ve got to get the A/C fixed and get back on the road.” They quickly walked away ignoring Kenny and Dolly’s shouts to stay for another song.

The voices were getting closer and without looking back, Luke said, “Hurry!” as he grabbed Denise’s hand and dragged her along at a faster pace. They got into their motorhome and without saying a word, looked at each other and doubled over in laughter. With tears running down her cheeks, Denise said, “Let’s get that A/C fixed and get the hell out of here fast!” Luke was rummaging through his toolbox when they heard whispers and rustling noises outside.

Denise peeked her head through the corner of the curtains and saw Kenny and Dolly setting up their ghetto blaster and microphone stands outside. Dolly spotted her and waved exuberantly saying, “We thought we’d entertain you while you’re working on your A/C!”

Denise dropped the corner of the curtain and with a look of alarm turned to Luke who said, “Let’s get out of here. One more song will send me over the deep end! We’ll repair the A/C at the campground.”

Nodding her head in agreement, Denise ran to the door and stuck her head out saying, “We’re on our way. It’s been so nice to meet you!” and she pulled the door shut and locked it while Luke jumped into the driver’s seat and started the engine.

Luke and Denise looked in the rearview mirrors and could see Dolly and Kenny, in their tight white jumpsuits and cowboy hats watching them drive towards the exit. Luke shook his head and muttered, “I feel as though we just escaped from Alice’s rabbit hole.”

Denise chuckled and said, “That’s it! How about “The Great Escape”!


Submitted: February 17, 2021

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