Surprisingly, my time at the parking lot ended as it started, with some guy trying to talk to me about Bill Clinton.
The first guy was waiting for the rest of his party to meet him at the front of the parking area when he started telling me that in his opinion Bill Clinton had included too much land in the national monument, protected too many trees from logging. While I’m not fan of Bill Clinton (or any other President, politician, or pork barrel so-and-so), I am a big fan of trees, and I didn’t give a rat’s ass about why this guy thought folks should be allowed to cut down more of them. Luckily, a car pulled in, and I jumped up to help them, effectively truncating the guy’s impending rant.
At the end of the day, a group walked up to the front to pay their parking fee. (When they’d pulled in, I didn’t know if they’d have space to park, so I told them to pay after they’d found a place for their giant truck.) I’d already packed my chair and my backpack into the van, so I showed them the self pay envelopes and where to drop theirs once they’d put the money in.
The old man with the group looked at me and said, Were you here 18 or 20 years ago when Bill Clinton….
I interrupted him and said, Nope. I wasn’t here. I’m not from California. I’d never even been to California twenty years ago.
My rambling left the guy momentarily speechless, and I jumped into my van and made my escape.
I. Do. Not. Want. To. Discuss. Bill. Clinton.
In between the two Bill Clinton guys, I had two cars of rude lesbians. No, I did not witness these women engaged in any sapphic activities. However, I’ve spent enough of my life drinking at lesbian bars (RIP Charlene’s), going to lesbian potlucks, reading lesbian literature, and hanging out with lesbians searching for some sapphic activity to have a pretty good idea of what side of the fence these women were on.
The passenger in the first car interrupted my information spiel to ask if I could renew their campground car pass. I said no, that their camp host would have to do it. She told me in a snotty little tone that their campground didn’t have a host. I said she’d have to wait for a patrol person so do it because I couldn’t renew it.
When I tried to resume my information spiel, the driver said in an angry voice, I know all that! I’ve been here many times!
Ok, great, I said, handing her the day pass and trail guide and walking off.
Seems like if she’d been there many times, she wouldn’t have had to holler at me halfway across the parking lot five minutes later, asking if there were restrooms on the trail.
I said no, that the only restrooms were in the little house in the middle of the parking lot.
She yelled back, saying she knew about those restrooms, but wondered if there were any on the trail.
I just said no ma’am, and left it at that.
The women in the second lesbian car were not verbally rude, but they tried to zip around another car whose driver was paying the parking fee. Such attempted zipping around seems like an act of aggression to me. Even if they didn’t know I was collecting a fee (and plenty of people figure it out by stopping long enough to read the sign which states the fee), even if they thought I was just shooting the shit with the people in the car ahead of them, they should have waited for me to wave them on if I had no business to conduct with them.
The hypocrite was in one of the last vehicles I collected a fee from. He was driving a big truck, and between him and the passenger, I saw a tall piece of clear plastic which looked to me like the pitcher of a blender. I thought it was some sort of trucker blender one could plug into the cigarette lighter and use to blend on the road.
Are y’all making margaritas in here? I teased.
The driver and the passenger both seemed confused.
Is that a blender? I asked.
Turns out it was a lantern, hence the tall piece of clear plastic. The lantern’s battery had run out the night before, so it was plugged into the cigarette lighter (at least I’d gotten that much right), charging.
Oh, I thought y’all were making margaritas in here, I joked again.
We don’t drink, he said, and I thought oh great, I’ve stuck my foot in my big ol’ mouth again. Then he added, We’re Christians, the implication being (I guess) that real Christians don’t drink alcohol.
As all this talking was going on, he’d handed me a $10 bill, and I was trying to hand him back a five. When I pulled out the five, three more came halfway out with it, making it look like I might hand him $20 in exchange for his $10 bill. I said oops! and shoved the extra fives back into my little accordion file.
That’s when the man showed his true colors and said something about how he’d keep those extra fives if I handed them to him.
I said, No you wouldn’t because you’re a Christian. If I gave you too much change, you would return it to me.
The he tried to say he meant he would keep the extra money if I gave it to him freely. (I didn’t think in the moment to tell him that the money wasn’t mine to give away, so if I gave it to him, it would still be stealing.)
Give me an honest drunk over a Christian with selective morals any day.
To read more about the parking lot, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/06/09/parking/ and here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2015/06/13/wackadoodles-in-the-parking-lot/.