On Sunday, I worked in the parking lot until 3pm, then headed back to my campground.
I thought I would find the campground empty. I didn’t have any reservations and Sundays don’t tend to be busy with people without reservations looking for a place to stay.
Instead, when I got to the campground, I found several cars parked on several sites. Most of the activity seemed to be concentrated on site #7, where eight or ten people were standing around.
Of course, they watched me with great interest as I drove past them to get to my site. I could see them looking in my direction. Their interest increased as I attempted to back into my site.
In the grand scheme of my life, I haven’t been driving for very many years. I never received much instruction in backing up. I really only learned to back up last summer by backing into this very same spot everyday after working in the parking lot. My backing abilities are still hit or miss, especially when I have such an attentive audience. Luckily, I missed hitting anything (the logs at the front of my site, the water tank, the picnic table, the fire ring), but I did a lot of backing up-pulling forward, backing in-pulling forward before I had the van where I wanted it.
Upon exiting the van, I grabbed my clipboard and approached site #7. One woman stepped from the group. She must have been the appointed representative.
I gave her my standard, Hi. I’m the camp host. Are you folks wanting to camp?
She said no, they were just having a barbecue. Apparently they’d been looking for a place with shade to have a barbecue, and the woman at the store where I use the internet suggested they go to my campground.
Technically, it’s a campground and not a day use area, but I’d be a real mean lady if I chased people out when the entire campground is withouth campers.
I was a bit worried this group was going to cause me trouble or leave a mess. Everybody looked pretty drunk. One older guy was curled up in a fetal position in the hatchback storage compartment of a small SUV (or maybe it was a minivan). When I said to the woman that they seemed to have a man down, she told me he had back problems.
The woman said they were just wrapping up their barbecue. When it was determined that they’d be gone within an hour, I said Enjoy your afternoon and went back to my van to deposit my clipboard.
I could hear voices coming from the nearby concrete restrooms. Campers don’t realize how well voices from within those restrooms carry out into the world. I don’t know if it’s the concrete or the vent pipes or what, but it’s obvious when someone in the restroom is talking.
It doesn’t happen often, as most people utilize the pit toilets alone and do not talk to themselves while doing so. The usual scenario for voices coming from a concrete restroom is that of an adult patiently helping a small child navigate the tall plastic seat over the scary hole.
The voices I heard didn’t sound like the adult and child interaction I usually hear. There was no patient, reassuring drone of an adult. There was no mostly incoherent babble of a toddler. What I heard sounded more like straight-up conversation.
I had to pee anyway, so I decided to investigate.
The door on the left was not closed all the way. I’d noticed this door had been closing like this, with
no gap between door and frame, but not fully closed, as if the occupant let the door shut behind him or herself, and the door didn’t shut all the way. The door was not flush with the frame. Usually people who are going to use the toilet are careful to close and lock the door when they go into the restroom, so I expected to find empty the room with the door not properly closed.
I knocked anyway. I always knock before I enter a restroom, even if I think I’m the only person in the campground. I don’t want to see anyone’s personal business. I don’t want to cause any embarrassment.
I knocked, then pulled the unlocked, not completely closed door open. I found the source of the voices I’d heard.
There were three little girls in the restroom. All three were standing up in a tight little huddle. All three were facing the open toilet.
Two were probably between the ages of nine and eleven, the third probably a couple of years younger. The little one and one of the older girls had long, dark shiny hair and brown skin. The other girls was pale, with apple cheeks and freckles. When they realized the door had opened, they turned around and walked toward me.
What are y’all doing in here? I asked.
I was just going to the bathroom, Freckles lied to my face.
I didn’t say the several things I could have said to call her bluff. I didn’t say, You weren’t sitting on the toilet or You have your pants up.
Instead I said, Next time, you should probably lock the door.
She said, It’s not working. I tried and tried, but it wouldn’t lock.
Liar! I didn’t call her a liar, but I knew she was lying.
First of all, I know what girls (and women too) do if a bathroom door doesn’t lock: we station a friend outside the door as a physical barrier to anyone who might try to get in. Females have been carefully trained to fear strangers seeing us performing elimination functions.
Also? There was another toilet room right next door. If the first door she tried didn’t lock, she would have probably gone next door.
Finally, the lock did work. I reached over and pushed the button on the handle and said mildly, Oh look. It’s working now. Then I said, OK. Bye.
The girls filed out of the restroom, and I closed the (locked) door behind me.
No one had been using the restroom. They were just checking out the pit toilet. Fair enough. I guess they’re kind of interesting if you’ve never seen (or cleaned) one. But lying right to my face was really uncalled for. (I wonder if that technique works on her mother.)