By Barry Zander
For those of you who have ever tripped coming out of your RV, this story is for you (and a warning for those who haven’t).
Sitting in a booth at some Midwestern Pizza Hut, my wife, Monique, and I were biding our time until our number was called, chatting about what we had seen that morning and what we might see before finding a place to settle for the night. Just idle chatter.
“Whatdaya think that man over there is thinking?” I asked, indicating the senior at the table across the room. He was by himself, seeming to stare at his plate without eating. Minutes went by without us noticing any change in expression and little movement. He just stared down at his pizza.
Knowing my penchant for striking up conversations with strangers, Monique suggested that I walk over to see what was on his mind. If he told me to get lost, I would. I slid into the bench seat across from him. He looked up, and I said something like, “How’s it going?” He began to cry…
I looked over at Monique, who got the message that she should walk over. She asked if there was something we could do. His reason for lament poured out of him.
“My wife tripped on the plastic step stool climbing out of the motorhome this morning. She fell hard, so I rushed her to the hospital. She broke her leg in two places, so now I’m waiting to hear from the doctors.”
What could we say? Nothing very helpful. We just sat with him until he recomposed himself. He said thanks.
I suggested then … and numerous times since … that using a snap-together plastic step stool is dangerous. It’s much safer to use a sturdy solid metal one as a secure step. A metal step stool can still be tripped over, of course, but with a slight nudge isn’t going to go flying like a plastic one might. If you only have a plastic one, I say donate it and invest in a heavier, sturdier one (like this one). You don’t want to end up like this man or his wife.
That’s the story. A few intense minutes from our journey, yet, one of the most profound memories from our days on the road. RV life is so precious!