To Bee or Not to Bee
Crime never pays. Whenever I suggest we do something illegal or even slightly shady, Linda says, “Remember the showers in Moab!”
We had accepted an invitation from our cop friend Ed to go rafting down the San Juan River. On the way there, Don, Linda and I camped along the Colorado River. The next morning in Moab, over scrambled eggs and coffee, we rendezvoused with Ed and his rafting buddies.
Linda, Don and I agreed if we were going to spend a week on the San Juan, we should clean up before we left.
We knew there was a public swimming pool in Moab, and that you could shower there. When I mentioned that we were going to the pool, a member of our river party said, “No need for that. I rented a cabin last night. You can shower at my place.”
I said, “It’s no big deal. We’ll just go the pool.”
“That’s silly,” she said. “I paid for that cabin. Please.”
What would you have done?
What she didn’t tell us was that was her “cabin” was situated inside a jam-packed RV park, or that the showers were in a separate building. Or that big signs at the park entrance warned, “Facilities for paying guests only. Others keep out.”
Linda said, “It doesn’t look like we’re welcome here.”
Our new friend said, “Don’t worry. You’re my guests.”
We parked by the gate and walked in with our towels rolled up under our arms. Never one to hide her emotions, Linda looked like she was about to hold up the Bank of Moab.
There was plenty of hot water. It was just hard to enjoy under the big signs admonishing us that only paying guests were welcome. As Linda and I strolled out, a not-so-friendly voice said, “What unit are you people in?”
I said, “We’re guests of a friend who rented one of your cabins.”
The man said, “You have no right to take a damn shower here just because you know somebody who stayed here. Can’t you read the signs?”
I said, “We didn’t come here to steal your hot water. We were invited.”
The man shook with rage.
He said, “I’m tired of getting ripped off. I’m calling the police.” He actually reached for the phone.
Linda looked ghostly white.
I said, “Look, this is a misunderstanding. We’re not criminals. We’re vacationers. I’ll pay for a cabin if that’s what it takes to satisfy you. How much do I owe you?”
Incredibly, he said, “You get the hell out of here. And don’t come back!”
As we drove away, Linda said, “He got our license number. Oh dear. Where’s Don?”
We waited in the truck by the highway. Finally Don sauntered out the gate, saint-like in his innocence. Linda said, “You were lucky you didn’t get busted.”
The unflappable Don said, “What’s the problem?”
While we shopped for groceries, Linda convinced herself that the cops were on our trail for sure. “They’ve got our license number,” she reminded me. “Let’s get out of town.”
So we might have looked like ordinary river rafters headed down the highway in our loaded pickup, but in Linda’s mind we were sure to meet a roadblock around any bend. (“Step out of your vehicle. Keep your hands high. You’re under arrest for defrauding an innkeeper.”)
We floated for a week. When we took out just above Lake Powell, Linda finally breathed a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank God,” she said.
“Thank God for what?” I said.
“For no cops waiting for us,” she said. “I was sure they’d be here.”
” Peach Valley beekeeper Ed Colby says if you can’t learn from your mistakes, what’s the point of growing old? Ed’s e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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