• Skye Pepper

Clarence the Camper - Episode 1 - It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time



Do you ever have those moments where you're like "oh that sounds like a great idea!" But then you think things through, decide to sleep on it, plan and calculate if it really and truly is a good idea.


Well for me, if there is no one around to cue me to think things through, I might just plough on ahead before contemplating the consequences. People with ADHD often are impulsive and have a lack of inhibition. I am no exception. I'm sure it is something that can be worked on...I have not yet found the motivation to do so in a meaningful way.


Typically a lack of inhibition and impulsive nature can lead to some amazing and fun times. Some decisions you regret later, others you don't.


For instance, one summer I spent a week in Hawaii with a (guy) friend I had met only twice before and had a fabulous weekend biking in Bellingham with an absolute stud I met on a chairlift at whistler. (The babe now has a girlfriend now; but, c'est la vie… they will likely have super hot babies and be perfect and happy together… he was that kind of gorgeous, smart, ambitious type of person...no I don't secretly still dream about him… how could you think that...)


Impulsivity worked great when I met a first cousin for the first time because I decided to go to Amsterdam on a whim while roaming through Europe. I had a week between seeing one friend in Germany and visiting another in France. Why not hit up Amsterdam? One Facebook post later and I found myself meeting an unforgettable friend and a family member I would have never met otherwise.


However, impulsivity is often accompanied by a pinch of unnecessary woes mostly related to hardships incurred from a lack of planning... Shocker, I know.


As amazing as the Dam was, I did have a fairly dicey arrival. I hopped on a bus, thinking what the heck I'll find a hostel when I get there. I forgot that it was Halloween and most places would be booked. I also didn't account for the time of my arrival…11 pm. Thankfully 3 nice (attractive but young) Germans helped me book a hostel online. Yay, I thanked my lucky stars, living in the 21st century and the kindness of strangers. It might have helped that I was a damsel in distress (even if I didn't realize the distress and they pointed it out and promptly allowed me to fix the situation…).


Back to the more present situation and my camper… possibly one of the larger impulsive endeavours I've set upon…


The Camper Idea





Sometimes I do have wonderful ideas. Though, because of who I am, most frequently, my great ideas are extremely, unrealistically optimistic dreams rather than practical possibilities.


I'll set the scene… it was late one night, I had just got back from a stellar road trip with a van lifer who put my SUV to shame… the ease and comforts his van as alluring and I had the post-vacation - back to reality blues.


My roommate was selling his camper. For months he had been selling it to me, in spite of my repeated lack of interest. I'd seen him working on it… jimmying things while baked off his tree. I knew it wasn't worth what it was. On this eve, he asked again - are you sure you don't want it? There's someone coming to look at it tomorrow and a truck is also coming that I will buy to go with it."


He ensured me that it was worth the cost. That he's not making money off it and said I could have time to think about it.


I looked at the camper, went inside and sat down. And thought wow this would actually be amazing. I could sit right here in nature and write my book. Also, it had (still has) the cutest little wood stove in the world and the prettiest clock.





An hour later or so the roommate changed his mind. If you want the camper you need to confirm now - someone is coming tomorrow so I need to tell them to come or not.


At this point, it was well after 11. I couldn't phone anyone for advice, or to talk me down from this pricey precarious purchase.


Now, I know it important to not have to rely on others, and maybe on another night, my prefrontal cortex could have flexed its power to override my impulsivity with reason… But on that night, my frontal lobe was not strong enough.


I paid for half the camper right then.

Fuck it...

Famous last words.


I'm not saying I completely regret the camper decision but…


The truck never came. The after promise that he would help find a truck was never fulfilled and once I did find a truck I found out I far overpaid than suspected.


I was lucky to have guidance finding a truck and paid for an inspection prior to purchase… something I should have done with the camper... I know I know…


Once the camper was on, I flew off on my first adventure, giddy with excitement. I was told everything worked and my optimism prevented me from conceiving any other alternative.


Within two weeks, a jack dropped (clearly broken and potentially extremely dangerous had it reached the ground while driving…), the fridge stopped working and the heater stopped working.


As I was not planning on purchasing a camper... I had NO idea the cost of these items...as it turns out..expensive!


I'm currently on failed heater number 4. The first failure was installation error. HUGE surprise there :)...


Luckily the cutest stove in the world was a good backup. Though not quite adequate for the depths of February winter... At least not for me. Granted, I get cold in my friend's apartment when he's wearing a t-shirt and I have a hoodie on.


In a moment of panic and desperation, I bought a propane buddy heater. Which worked for a night until my parents (and the large warnings to not use the heater in an enclosed space) scared me out of that solution.


Luckily, as my Aussie ex would say, I had a cup of cement and hardened the fuck up. I accepted the cold, put some warmer clothes on, made a better bed set up and devised a better system for the woodstove. It turned out that it was surprisingly warm if left on for a good amount of time. Most importantly though, I became comfortable with the uncomfortableness.


That is until another cold snap hit. But more on that in posts to come.