They’d wanted a nice little trailer to tow behind the pick up truck Morris had bought.
“Yeah, we could go fishing in October when it ain’t fit for man nor beast,” Jarvis said.
“Hell, we could go cross country for next to nothing,” replied Morris.
They conspired together and September was determined the best month for getting a good deal on a used one. Jarvis didn’t have much money to contribute and Morris was up to his eyeballs in truck payments.
Finally, Jarvis spotted an ad in the local paper that seemed perfect. Well, it was perfectly within their price range and the rest remained to be seen. They headed out on the highway early Saturday morning with visions of a luxury accommodation on four wheels. The ad said it was old but reliable and could go anywhere. Morris thought that meant it had good clearance height and would manage old logging roads just fine. Jarvis thought it meant it was a fine specimen, much as he was; older than some but with a lot of life left and built to endure.
“Yup, sounds perfect,” they said in unison.
The address was unfamiliar and the map conspired to confuse Jarvis, who was the navigator. A wasted hour of back tracking and another one making frequent pit stops because Jarvis’ bladder wasn’t what it used to be, added to the expedition’s total of four hours. It was mid-afternoon when they pulled into the driveway of a ramshackle house in the middle of a cornfield. The trailer was sitting out front.
“She looks pretty good for an old gal,” Morris declared.
“No rust,” said Jarvis.
A tall thin man with hair that stood out from his head as if electrified, came out his front door and waved a hand in greeting.
“Hey there. Found the place all right, eh? Well now, I guess you’d like to see her insides,” he said as he approached. “Let’s see now … “He withdrew a huge ring of keys from his back pocket and sorted through them. “Yup, this is the one,” and inserted it in the little side door. “She’s pretty clean and all the gear works. Gots a stove ‘n fridge’n them two benches fold out to beds.”
She was little worse for wear and the beds looked creaky and lumpy.
“So, how many miles she got on her,” inquired Morris.
“Well, I can’t rightly say, but she’s been around. Prolly outlast you old timers.”
“She’s a little small,” said Jarvis.
“Well, be careful what you wish for. She might take offense,” he said grinning.
Morris kicked a tire and grabbed hold of the towing bar and gave it a shake. It was about all he knew to do. She didn’t fall to bits so he pouted up his lips, nodded his head and offered a hundred less than the asking price.
“Well sir, you bought yourself a trailer. She don’t owe me nothing so I’ll take your offer.”The fellow handed over two keys and made his farewells as the men backed up the truck and hauled the trailer down the driveway, pausing to recollect which way to turn.
“I recall we turned right when we come in, so I think it’ll be left now Morris.”
“All right then,” said Morris.
About an hour and a half later they determined they were lost. Upon agreeing that they’d seen that particular gravel pit twice before, the trailer began to swing wildly causing Morris to curse and pull over.
“What the dang hell is going on?” he said as he exited the vehicle. “Shit damn, looks like she’s got a flat.”
“Hell, we got a spare?” Jarvis asked.
The sky was darkening and they hadn’t seen another car since they’d left the trailer fellow.
“Well, guess we stop here tonight and figure something out in the morning.”
It got cold as a brass monkey by midnight and with no blankets and apparently no propane to heat the little tin-can house, Jarvis and his bladder were complaining mightily.
“Damn it, I wish we was in Arizona where it’s warm,” he said, his breath puffing in the frigid trailer. The trailer gave a heave and a shudder and Morris looked at Jarvis by the faint flame of his Bic lighter.
“What in tarnation was that?”
“Don’t know. I’ll go look outside. I gotta take a leak anyway. Hand me that thing, Morris,” Jarvis said, indicating the lighter. “Holy shit. Come here Morris. You ain’t gonna believe it.”
The trailer was cozied up to a huge cactus and the moonlight spotlighted a series of hoodoos.
“What the hell. Did you say Arizona, Jarvis.”
“I surely did. By God. She’s some kinda magic thing.”
“Boy we’re in trouble now.”
“Waddya mean? This is dandy. Well, I guess we ain’t fishing but it’s a little warmer. It’ll get good and hot tomorrow. Yippee. Always wanted to go to Arizona. Shit Morris, what you so concerned about?”
“You bring your passport ya donkey? We’re in the US of A. We’re illegal aliens. Christ sakes man. They’re gonna lock us up.”
“Hell Morris, we’ll just jump right back in and wish we were somewheres else. No problemo.”
“You got a point there. Okay, we’ll have a little look see tomorrow and then figure things out. I’m going back to bed and I’ll no doubt wake up in a gravel pit and this’ll be the darndest dream ever.”
“Sure Morris. I’m right behind you.”
They had a bit of an exploration around the spot the next day. The discovery that the tank did contain a bit of musty water convinced them to stay another night as Jarvis was really hoping to hear coyotes. There didn’t seem to be any government people looking for them. In the middle of the night Jarvis began his complaints again.
“Morris, you snore like a truck. Turn over goddamn it. This thing’s so small, feels like you’re in bed with me. I wish we was in a nice big Winnebago.”
Another heave and shudder, only this time both the men flew up in their beds and landed on the floor of a considerably bigger vehicle.
“Oh my Lord. What did you do, Jarvis?”
“I just said ‘I wish we was …’ oh, my,” Jarvis said as he jumped to his feet and looked outside. “We’re still in Arizona. It’s okay buddy. We just got better accommodations.”
“I wish we was back home,” Morris said. He prepared himself for the shudder but none occurred. “Land sake Jarvis, you wished ourselves right outta magic. How the hell we supposed to get home now?”
“Where do you suppose the trailer is, anyway?”
“Gone back to that fellow I reckon. Seems like he warned us to be careful what we wish for. I imagine it ain’t the first time he sold that thing.”