So, after work yesterday I ran to Pirolli Park in Petursburg to pick up my daughter. She was spending the day with her Nana and Poppy who have been consistently camping there for years. When I initially pulled into the park I was very conscientious of my speed, there were kids around and my own daughter plays there quite often. I pull up into the plot where my mom and step-dad have their camper when all of a sudden three or perhaps four guys on golf carts come flying up behind me.
Now these guys were speeding!
The leader starts yelling at me about going too fast. I mean he was a real jerk about it. He was really condescending and disrespectful, yelling at me right in front of my four year old daughter. I couldn't believe he was talking to me that way. Well I told him that I wasn't going that fast and he just got madder and ruder. I didn't understand what this guy’s issue was. I did have my music kind of loud but it was five in the afternoon and I wasn't blasting gangster rap or Metallica or anything loud and crazy, I was listening to Bob Dylan.
Yeah, folk music.
Now these guys looked a bit right of center if you know what I mean and my bumper stickers display a political disposition that leans left. So, I don't know if these old militant-souls just didn't like the cut of my jib or something like that. Obviously they thought I was some poor young kid they could bully and intimidate but I wasn't having it.
So, I told this guy that I WAS NOT going that fast and he needed to lighten up, but he fumed more and more, it was unbelievable. At least one of his cohorts had the good grace to look ashamed of the way his partner was acting. I felt bad for that guy, you know, just having a job to do and having to work with a mad man like that. But anyway, this guy is just all pissed off and yelling at me in front of my little girl! So I start to get sarcastic and snippy, telling them they were acting like Nazis, and giving them snarky salutes and all that good stuff.
Then Sgt Shultz hauls off in sullen defeat with his buddies and seriously, they were going faster in their little buggies than I could have possibly been when I came in. Sgt Schultz was howling about me not coming back and all that and I just gave him another Seig Heil to see him off. Yeah, I know, I should have just been quiet and let it go, but man these guys were BULLIES!! I hate bullies! And anyone who knows me knows how damn shy I am around strangers, and how polite I am especially around people I don't know. So, these guys were WAY out of line, not me.
Now, I start packing my kid up into the car, chatting with my step-dad, assuming that all is well, and done when all of a sudden, A FLEET--AN ARMADA, of old men in golf carts come flying towards my parents camp site, en masse. I could almost here Wagner’s flight of the Valkyries playing as this brigade of lunatics came charging forth, and of course, going FASTER than I was coming in. I mean what a bunch of hypocrites, they are yowling at me about speed and here they are coming in like the blitzkrieg storming into Poland!
Then this large old wart hog of a man (Col. Klink!) pulls up in the lead. My mom informs me that he is the owner of the park. Then he rolls off of his cart in a fury--looking a lot like the Baron Harkonnen--and lumbers on up screaming at me! This is before I even said a word (never mind trying to get MY side of the story) once again, in front of my daughter!
“YOU GOT TEN SECONDS TO GET OUT OF MY PARK AND DON'T YOU EVER COME BACK IN HERE AGAIN” he howls.
So, I fold my arms across my chest and smile and start counting down from ten. He is all red faced and snarling and keeps telling my about those ten seconds and then about the time I am at negative 25 or 30 (after counting down to ten almost three times) he screams with spittle flying from his lips, “YOU BETTER GET OUTTA HERE OUR I WILL CALL THE SHERIFF!!”
And I say, “For what?”
And he says, “FOR DRIVING LIKE AN IDIOT,” (an assumption based solely on the account of Sgt. Schultz)
“Nope, you're an idiot.”
Well his face turns bright red and it crinkles up because you know, old bullies, mean spirited people like that, just can’t abide it when they can’t have their way. They are used to pushing their women and kids around and being THE BOSS, and how dare this young punk talk back to him! His fist are clenched and he is in a fury, a rage, ready to sock me a good one and I say, “That's right, I called you an idiot, now what?”
So then my mom being the sweet gentle soul that she is just packs Mia in the car and politely asks me to just let it go and move on, and you know, I am pretty upset myself at this point, but I get into the car and go on my way with a few parting comments about Gestapo, and Nazi’s and being a little more respectful when talking to people. And sure, I should have just shook my head and moved on, but man, did I tell you I hate bullies!
And while this is going on, my step dad, being as cool and peaceable as can be, polite tries to tell them that maybe, just maybe, they could have approached me a little differently. A little more professionally, he was trying to say, and then the owner tells him to shut up! Really! My step dad asks him not to talk to him that way, and he just looks at one of his goons and says something to the effect of, “That m-fer better not be talking to me,” seriously, with my daughter right there in the car within easy earshot of this maniac’s foul mouth!
My parents pay around 1500 a year to camp there not to mention all the money they spend at the store on various supplies and all the people that come out to hang with them, these guests (myself included) also paying money to get into the park. What, is the economy so good that Pirolli park can just treat their guests like crap? It sure looked like there were a lot of empty spaces there and I think, now, I might just know why.
So I guess the moral of this story is if you’re looking for a nice little swimming hole to relax at this summer go somewhere else. Avoid these lunatics at all cost! Their a bunch of mad men hell bent on giving some poor soul hell this summer, don't let it be you. I forewarn you most seriously and with the deepest concern for your safety and dignity, these old grouchy bastards will sure let you know if they don't like the look of you.