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Lifestyle: On the Road Again With Julius

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

A few months ago, we left Julius Simplus, a Roman camping wannabe, doomed to shoveling
manure in Wily Roma’s stable for the next 20 years. Julius was the victim of a clever sales
pitch and an “easy payment” plan for a glamorous new rig that he could not resist and
certainly couldn’t afford. But buying a rig that he couldn’t afford was only the latest of
Julius’ goofs. Taking up chariot camping with absolutely no knowledge of the lifestyle got
him started on the wrong foot. Purchasing a used chariot from Edvardus Fastus (“Fast
Eddie”) proved to be his first mistake (underpowered, only two horses when it needed four).
After making various new-camper mistakes, including the display of disgusting campground
behavior and road-hogging that angered his fellow campers and chariot drivers, he fell into
the clutches of the clever gypsy, who wanted to sell a glittering red wagon with yellow
wheels. Now Julius was paying the price for trading up with a 20-year contract of “easy”
payments. Unfortunately, Julius had no money, so he was obliged to make payments in labor.
After six months of manure-shoveling, it finally dawned upon Julius that although he had a
gorgeous rig with all the bells and whistles, he wasn’t getting to use it very much. In
fact, he had hitched up the four beautiful white horses to his magnificent red wagon with
yellow wheels only twice for overnight trips to a nearby village where, because he had no
money, he parked on the Gaul-Mart lot. Realizing that he was spending his life working to
pay for something that he didn’t have the time and wherewithal to enjoy, Julius knew he had
to get out of the pickle he was in. He had only two choices: Create more income to pay his
debt or scale down his prized possession. Since no part-time job opportunities were
available in the village, he realized that he would have to give up his beautiful red wagon
with yellow wheels and his powerful white horses. Wily Roma and his band were the only
chariot dealers in the village, so Julius turned to his creditor in desperation, seeking
succor from his desperate circumstances. Because Wily had an enormous advantage over the
simple Roman, Julius again came out a loser. Although the chariot and horses Julius had
traded in on the red wagon had a Blue Scroll value of MX gold coins when the trade
occurred, Wily offered him a beat-up chariot and one skinny horse worth only MI for his
equity. Utterly defeated, Julius took the deal, thinking it was the only way to get out of
the remaining 19-1/2 years of his contract. The next morning, the dejected Julius packed
his meager belongings, hitched up the skinny horse to the dilapidated chariot, called his
faithful dog, Canis Sleepus, and once again hit the road. Typical of his disregard for the
future, he didn’t bother to examine his rig before taking off. Only a couple of miles down
the road, Julius’ first mechanical failure occurred: A wheel fell off his chariot. Of
course, he had no jack or other tools to make the repairs, so, not knowing what else to do,
Julius just sat on a nearby log with his chin in his hands and felt sorry for himself.
Canis Sleepus dognapped nearby. Fortunately for the inept Roman, a wagon came by with a
driver who took literally one of the basic tenets of the Bon Samaritan logo on his rig:
HELP THOSE IN DISTRESS. Pulling his steeds to a halt, he greeted the crestfallen Julius
with a smile, a handshake and an offer to help reattach the wheel. Taking a jack from the
large toolbox on the side of his wagon, the Bon Samaritan crawled under Julius’ chariot and
soon had the axle raised to the proper level to reattach the wheel. Noting that the wheel
had fallen off due to the fact that the axle had no grease on it, he brought from his
toolbox a clay pot of lard, which he liberally smeared on the axle and inside the hub
before replacing the wheel. After doing his good deed, the Bon Samaritan, in a kind and
gentle fashion, suggested that Julius pay more attention to the maintenance of his rig.
Also, noting that Julius’ horse appeared to be in less-than-perfect condition, he urged
Julius to do some maintenance in that regard. He suggested feeding the horse better and
giving it adequate rest. He also suggested that Julius keep a record of what and when
maintenance was done for future reference. With his rig in travel-worthy condition, Julius
again took to the road with a vow to always keep his axles greased and to obtain some basic
tools to carry at all times. Even though he knew he wasn’t very skilled at chariot repair,
he realized that there were good folks out there who would help him in times of trouble.
And that gave him a warm feeling about his fellow campers.

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