Bodega Bay, CA. // Nightmare on Generator Street

By Maggie -- Sep 18, 2014

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Reason #12,302 why we make a great pair. Ryan will try (and fail at) juggling corn and embarrass himself just to make me laugh. And it works. 

Yesterday was the first time on this trip I can actually say I was fed up with another camper. I have been scared of other campers... like that time in Alabama when we heard a man beating the bejeezus out of his girlfriend/wife/sister in his camper a few sites up. (I called the park ranger that time, and they responded with a "mmmhmmm... okay... thanks ma'am..." as if that sort of thing happens on the regular.) But never have I been this blood-boiling angry at another camper. You see, this guy was sitting outside of his 40-ft RV in his chair, smoking a cigarette, proudly smiling at his generator (which was the size of a black bear) sitting out in the street turned up to high. It sounded like NASA was prepping for a shuttle launch. Are we camping or are we jackhammering some cement?

We had already set up camp and the thought of taking it down just wasn't appealing. So we picked up our fishing gear and walked over to the dock to see if we could get a couple of crabs. To our surprise, the generator went off at 8pm. WEEE! That was music to our ears. 

We caught a crab, let it go, and walked back to the camper. Just as we were tucking our little heads into bed, VRRRRRMMMMMMM! This time it wasn't even bozo-brains down our row. It was Beevus and Butthead across from us. These two older guys had the most ridiculous old camper van and reminded me of the klutzy Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon in Grumpier Old Men. Before it went on for too long, I decided I'd shut them down, so I marched over there with my flashlight and knocked on the door. To my disgust they were watching satelitte TV in their underwear, hence the need for their generator. "Is it too loud?" Yes. Too loud. In the words of my wise father, TOO BAD SO SAD. And then my dad would shut the TV off on us in the middle of whatever we were watching and that was it. It is true that you turn out just like your parents, isn't it?

3am. It's quiet, except for the sound of the foghorn way off in the distance. Maybe a car passing down the road outside the park. Then, VRRM, VRRRRMMMMMM, VROOOOOOM! And here we go again with this generator nonsense. Bozo was back, and I was wide awake. "Just ignore it!" Ryan pleaded. But no. I can't. He knows me well enough to realize there was nothing he could do at this point. And if you know me, you know that I've done such things as thrown a ticking clock against the wall in my sleep to make it stop ticking. And I was seriously offended this time.

I put on a sweatshirt and took a headlamp down towards his camp. There was another car there now, and more people. Everyone was wide awake in his trailer, laughing, practically singing songs, and I got their attention with my headlamp. He opened the door and I asked "Is there any reason why you need to wake up the whole campground at 3am with your generator?"

"Because I have company," he said.

"Oh, ok. Well. We're all trying to sleep here and you just woke everyone here up. Can you turn it off?" 

We stood there staring at each other for awhile, but eventually I won the staring contest. He begrudgingly turned it off, and I went back to bed. But I couldn't sleep the rest of the night. I was playing a line in my head over and over that I wished I would have said to him:

"What's your name?" I would have asked.

"Bozo" he would say.

"Well, Mr. Bozo, we didn't pay $35 to stay at Bozo's House of Horrors Camp. We paid $35 to the Sonoma State Park Recreational Department to stay at their nice, quiet beachside campground. You got that? You hear what I'm sayin'?" 

But I'm not that brave or sassy, and even when I plan it out, it just never comes out the way I want it to.

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We had some really nice retired neighbors in the spot next to us. They were the types who would be upset and annoyed with such a disturbance, but never say anything or try to fix the situation. The next morning, they celebrated my double victory and smiled at me as if to say "thank you! Oh, thank you!". We still decided to pack up and leave after one night. I was done playing camp cop with a bunch of deaf full-timers. No offense...