An RV Headed for Nowhere


The stressed woman answered the door, “Oh thank goodness you’re here, Doctor.”

“I came as soon as I got your call, Mrs. Gardenhire.” said psychologist Dr. Herman Melville, “What seems to be problem?”

“It’s Ron,” Carol Gardenhire continued, “I knew this time of the year would be tough on him, but….he’s acting strange.”

“Where is he?”

“He’s out in the back….in his RV.”

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The doctor headed to the back of the house where he found Ron Gardenhire, packing up his RV. “Hey Doc!” Gardenhire said.  “Unless you plan on coming with me to Florida, you only have a few minutes!”

Melville peered into the fully loaded RV.  What he saw in the vehicle concerned him greatly.  Stuffed with crates of unopened lineup cards, copious stacks of scouting reports, brand new baseballs, and bags upon bags of Old Dutch potato chips, he realized that he had a big problem on his hands.

“Ron, where do you think you’re headed?” Melville asked.

“Fort Myers, of course!” beamed Gardenhire. “It’s late January so I’m getting ready for the road trip down to spring training!  I bought a bunch of Tommy Bahama shirts that I think the players are really going to get a kick out of.  I also remembered to pack a lot of sunblock this year…no sunburns for me this spring!  I think this year we’re gonna take a little different route so we can go through Chattanooga so I can check out the new minor league affiliate…won’t they get a kick seeing me show up! Man, I am so excited to hit the road!”

“Ron….we talked about this back in November.” Melville explained.  “You’re no longer the manager of the Minnesota Twins, remember?”

Gardenhire rolled his eyes, “Oh, I’m sure that was just Terry Ryan pulling a fast one on me!  He’s so committed to the prank that he even is letting Mollie think he’s running the team this year.  What a jokester.”

Melville expressed concern, “Ron, we’ve been over this…that wasn’t a prank.  Don’t you remember the press conference?  The severance package? You and I cleaning out your office?”

Suddenly the last three months flooded Gardenhire’s brain.  No it wasn’t a prank.  He remembered the press conference.  He remembered saying his good-byes.  He remembered the Coors Light pyramid. And then he remembered…he wasn’t going to Florida.

“I….I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Gardenhire bellowed. “Every year late January has meant getting ready for baseball since I was 18 years old!”

“Ron, let me give you a little advice.”  Melville put his hand on Gardenhire’s shoulder. “You have a fully gassed up RV, enough potato chips to last a decade packed, and nothing but free time ahead of you. As your doctor, I’m telling you to stay away from baseball for the time being.  Now….Where do you want to go?”

Gardenhire sat in the driver’s seat for awhile, staring out at the end of the driveway.  His eyes peered into the evening light, fading into darkness.  Suddenly he ran into the house and scurried down into the basement.  When he re-emerged, he had with him a brochure and a map of Texas. He tossed the brochure and the map on the passenger seat and started up the RV as he yelled out the driver side window, “Carol, I’ll see you in three weeks!”

As the RV peeled out of the driveway headed for its new destination, Dr. Melville walked up to a concerned and bewildered Carol Gardenhire, “Mrs. Gardenhire, everything is going to be alright.”

Until next time…

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