It was the Friday evening of the Independence Day weekend. Seven of my nine campsites were reserved for the night, and I was busy checking-in my campers.
I was greeting the ladies who’d just arrived on site #5 when a big pickup truck pulled into the campground. The truck stopped at site #1, and I planned to head over there next. Before I could even head in that direction, and older man marched from site #1 to the middle of the campground where there is a capped water spigot. I didn’t understand what he was looking for until he bellowed (at me in particular or at the Universe in general, I was unsure) Where’s the water? Where’s the WATER?
There’s no water, sir, I called out.
We expected there would be water, he bellowed.
In the distance, I heard another man on site #1 say, Dad, I have water.
Great, I thought. The folks on site #1 have been here three minutes, and already someone is disgruntled.
When I finished with the ladies on site #5, I headed over to site #1. I spoke to the younger man since he’d made the reservation. He stood with his back to his campsite. As I told him about quiet hours and check-out time, I had a perfect view of site #1 and his dad.
The tent was already assembled, as was an easy-up shade shelter emblazoned with USC. Around the campsite were several old-school lanterns, the kind that run on liquid fuel. I wondered if such lanterns were a good idea and if there were any rule prohibiting them. I decided that even though they seemed like a bad idea to me, without a written rule saying they were forbidden, there wasn’t much I could do.
As I watched, the dad tried to light yet another of these 20th century light sources.
I’d just asked the son if they were expecting anyone else. (I wanted to explain the extra-vehicle fee as soon as possible if it were going to be an issue.) As I watched, the entire lantern the dad was working on was engulfed in flames. The dad said something like Oh boy! I said something like Oh dear! The son looked over at his dad fiddling with the flaming lantern and said to me, No, we’re not expecting anyone else. I’ve already got my hands full.