Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Joyous Car Rides
Just when I was lamenting the lack of interesting 'blog' material, I had the pleasure of a joyous (translation--ARDUOUS), car ride with my family over the Easter holiday. Some people ENJOY road trips. They relish eating crappy food while sitting in cramped positions for hours at a time, listening to bad country music. In theory, I like road trips. I like the thought of my final destination--it's the process that I have a problem with. Growing up, I suffered through many road trips with various relatives. These were usually called VACATIONS. These were the days when car seats and seat belts didn't exist and smoking with the windows closed was not considered child abuse. I remember one particular summer my mother drove my sister and I from Pittsburgh to Dallas. Whenever she was stopped by a police officer for speeding, (which happened at least three times during the trip), she told us to cry LOUDLY. She cried too and always got out of the speeding ticket. I tried that once, but apparently after 1975, that excuse no longer worked. My sister is 4 years younger and according to her, I was terribly mean, which resulted in PERMANENT PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE. I'm the reason she had to get therapy. I believe the psychoanalytic term for this is 'projecting or tranferring blame.' During the Pittsburgh/Dallas road trip, I decided that we would play a very fun game. It was called, "Down in the Pit". (a.k.a. backseat floor of car) I invented a story about how the pit was the most desirous place on earth, which of course made my sister want to be there. This was how I ended up with the entire backseat for the duration of the car trip. Now you may call this mean, but I call it creative. (My sister brought this story up AGAIN during Easter brunch, as she does EVERYTIME we are together) Fast foward 30+ years to last weekend. Prior to departure, complaints already started. MOM--there's not enough room in the backseat. Why can't we take two cars? Well for starters, it would cost $150 more in gas, not to mention the irrepairable damage/carbon footprint we would leave. Then there's the fight over who gets to sit next to the dog's BUTT. I'm thinking the head might be preferable, but those crazy kids want the butt, so they aren't drooled on. I don't mention the pitfalls in their logic. Then I have to hear--MOM, he touched me. Make him quit touching me. So far, just the normal stuff. We make it there ok. 36 hours later, we begin our homeward bound trip. Only 1/2 hour into the 5.5 hour trip, I hear a scream from the backseat. The dog blew chunks EVERYWHERE. He puked on my son's pants and shoes. He puked on the Harry Potter book. He puked all over the car floor. Swerving to the side of the road, everyone gets out. We do not have appropriate cleaning supplies for PUKE. I tell my son to take off his pants and shoes and begin to scrape the puke out of the backseat. The dog looks properly contrite. My husband keeps yelling at me to hurry up. I tell him that he can clean up the F....in puke, but he says it's my dog and I have to do it. The remainder of the car ride was uneventful as we wallowed in our puke-smell misery all the way home.