Working on the road you always meet the most interesting characters and live in places you probably never even imagined existed, like this straight up janky quality 12 lot trailer park I had the pleasure of vacationing in for 6 months while building giant white fans. I had seen a few episodes of Trailer Park Boys, and let me tell you the experience was just about as good as the show.
The first thing I noticed in the all original “matching numbers” 1982 single wide was equipped with a medium potency smell of gas, some mouse turds in the cabinets, and some appliances that I had originally confused with large animals due to the furry dust all over them. There was also an inflatable bed, a couch that tried to eat you when you sat down, and a table and chairs that were missing only a few wheels. It was perfect, Bob Barker even called to tell me the price was right.
I noticed there was no hot water the first night, but I just figured maybe the water heater needed to warm up. Those mice probably didn’t pay too many utility bills, but after the 3rd night I was really lacking the shower part of the 3 S program. I searched around for a water heater, under the trailer, in various closets, even tried to call the landlord, but he wouldn’t answer. I then noticed an oddly janky looking small closet that had obviously been added as an afterthought right next to my bed, now I’ve seen the episode of myth busters where they shoot the water heater through a house and I wasn’t too comfortable sleeping within 4 feet of one only separated by a flimsy door with no latch. None the less, I searched around for a breaker or something that might have been tripped since until this point in my life, I had never experienced anything besides an electric water heater. Then I discovered some interesting stickers near the bottom referencing using a lighter and a pilot light and I immediately relocated my bed. After driving to THE gas station in town to purchase a lighter, I turned some knobs and lit the thing, and it actually worked really well despite some hissing and popping noises.
The main selling point of this unit apposed to the other 3 that I had looked was the central air and heat feature. Now when I arrived the temperature outside was in the low 70’s so I didn’t have a dire need to inspect the climate control equipment until a few weeks later when I discovered that the original chocolate brown thermostat featuring the original shipping sticker from 1982 wasn’t turning anything on when I pushed the yellowing slider in either direction. I located the closet that contained the air handler, already missing the front cover which was stashed on the floor a few feet away covered in enough dust to reconstitute into a medium sized rodent. The squirrel cage style fan inside the unit appeared to have several families of squirrels residing in it last time it ran by the amount of hair and dust that gave it the appearance of a pregnant raccoon from distances exceeding 5 feet. After removing several clumps of dust I was able to find a switch that was simply in the off position, but I didn’t question it.
The security of this place was top notch too. The entire time I lived there I never even had a key because instead of locks this trailer was outfitted with so many visual anti-theft features it was assured no living creature was going to survive inside. The safety of the area peaked when a parking lot security team moved in across the street with more AR15s than teeth and vehicles appearing to be out of a 24 hours of lemons race.
I was never so glad in my life to be constipated until I resided in the metal box oasis. When I first tried to flush the toilet it appeared to have the symptoms of a large air drop obstructing its regular scheduled programming, but after purchasing a few plungers from various towns in the county this was definitely more serious than even the best movie title quality shit anyone has ever seen. For months I peed in the shower and made my carbon deposits in a vacant trailer across the street that was equipped with 3 window units but no toilet paper. I finally convinced my landlord there was a problem once the snow rose to levels nearing planet Hoth, and he finally agreed to send his plumber over. Now I’ve certainly met some characters in my life, but this guy, in his 60s, still lives with his parents, never had a girlfriend, shows up in his 1986 Astro van and can’t figure out where the obstruction is in this toilet. Now I’m no toilet engineer, but I have been told I have autism a few times by drunk girls, and I asked the guy to take the toilet off and look up into the bottom hole to see if there was anything in there. This guy swears on his virginity for 35 minutes that the toilet wouldn’t flush because of the hard water in the area creating buildup in the pipes. I guess the perfume bottle, chip clip, and .31 cents of US currency were just in there to watch the show.
With my extensive background with my adopted Mexican family at my previous landscaping career I was excited when a crew of Mexican substation workers backed their RV in across the street. One night after work I was having a few Coronas with Gil, Gato, and Gringo around a fire pit full of what turned out to be amazing fajitas when a cop pulls up to the neighbors house and talks to this dude who looked like he has never said no to a hard drug in his whole life. Just as I’m starting to enter the level of drunk where I start trying to speak Spanish and the cop is handcuffing this guy to take him to jail because he yelled at his ex girlfriend in the street, my landlord appeared seemingly out a random part of the woods riding on a lawn mower to come consult with the tenet about possibly bailing him out of jail. Meanwhile this other colorful character comes out of the trailer belonging to the guy going to jail, completely ignoring the police, and proceeds to ask my advice about wiring his 17 fucking speaker (no I’m not exaggerating) sound system in his mostly blue 1997 ford Taurus wagon. I was so amazed by the entire event that I had to do my best to not commit suicide via laughter while taking a tour of the rats nest inside of this pawn shop special on wheels.