Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tales from the back seat

Daily Stats:
Words: two more days, two more days, two more days
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: sugar cookies the size of my head
Reality TV: Top Chef reruns

So, the road trip...

It wasn't bad. Really. Really. Okay, there a few moments when I looked around for the emergency exit. We were only five minutes from the house when I realized my mom had decided to douse herself the latest and greatest overly pungent Avon body lotion. I just sat sniffing my Burt's Bees chapstick for the first twenty miles, hoping that may deflect it, but by the time we hit the "Live Nude Girls" sign on I-94, I had one of those fabulous white hot poker through the eye headaches. No problem, I packed EVERYTHING in my tote bag - Advil, Aleve, Pepto Bismol, Sudafed, Valium, Premysn PMS, Vitamin C, Iron supplements. Then I realized my tote was buried in the back under 400 piles of far-too-much-crap-for-a-four-day-trip. I rested my head on the side of the boy's car seat and whimpered. He then looked at me and said, "don't cry, mommy, you're a big boy."

Right. I'm a big boy. I'll just get my computer, put on my headphones and watch my Law & Order DVD. Nope, sorry! Opening my computer has initiated the launch sequence on operation toddler shit fit. If I do not hand over the device and play his favorite Jorge the Hawk/Go,Diego Go DVD, he will scream like a rabid banshee for the remainder of the trip, turning aforementioned white hot poker through the eye headache into head simply exploding into tiny, gooey bits all over rental car. So, I forked over my computer and tried to get comfortable in the 4 centimeters of butt space I had crammed in between the door and the boy's super-mega-ultra-gargantuan car seat.

Husband was in the front seat with my dad, at one point I caught him trying to stick a pencil in his ear. Not sure what exciting sound/sounds my dad was making. I officially love the people at Toyota and shall send them cookie bars. With all the road noise in the RAV-4, I couldn't hear anything that was going on up there. Shockingly enough, I fell asleep. Woke up a few hours later to find husband driving and dad sitting in passengers seat. Not sure what happened. Assuming husband somehow bribed dad into letting him drive in order to get to my aunt's house faster so he could then find a nice doorway to bang his head against.

Oh, by the way, I have seen the seventh level of hell, and it is the I-294 freeway through the Chicago suburbs. And since hubby is now driving, dad is in charge of toll money. This is bad. My dad is the biggest spazzy, control freak ever in the history of time. Toll booths along the I-294 freeway are a bit willy nilly at best. This does not comply with federal standards of spazzy, control freakism. They sort of post how much the toll is, but it's on a little sign off to your right, and if you blink, you miss it. Of course, my dad misses it, and starts shitting himself as we get up to the little booth thingy. Yes, tearing ass through the poor little zip-loc bag of change and swearing at top volume is definitely called for. I kept saying, "I'm sure they'll tell you when you get up there. Calm thineself!" But no. For some reason my dad believes that if you do not have your money ready when you pull up to the booth, the seventh level of hell toll booth police come out and start flogging you with angry bunnies. And then my mom starts in, "It think it said sixty cents. Or fifty. No, look it's a dollar fifty! A DOLLAR FIFTY! That's ridi--oh, wait, that's for trucks. I bet it's seventy five, cars should be half of what trucks cost. Or maybe they just charge a dollar, that would be easier, then they don't have to make change. Oh, look, no parking, no standing, violators will be towed at owners expense, merge ahead, roadwork next four miles, give 'em a brake..."

Oy...we should really be able to remove our brains and soak them in warm, soapy water from time to time, don't you think?

Anyway, aside from those little low points, it wasn't a bad drive. Though, once we finally made it through the seventh level of hell, we realized we'd passed the very last "Oasis" (rest stops with gas stations, Starbucks, and every fast food joint you can dream up). We had to scour through no mans land between Chicago and Madison, WI for a place to eat, and finally found a Subway that was about the size of my left coat pocket. Eating Subway on a road trip is just wrong. Road trip = fast food and donut holes, not healthy turkey subs and Sunchips. Of course, we made up for it when we finally reached my aunt's house and consumed massive amounts of pizza and cheese curds.

So, that's the story. And now I have to simply survive two more days of my parents just sitting in my living room all day. I can do this. I can, I can, I can, I can...


Carrie Harris said...

You're a big boy. Hah.

I know the I-294, and I honestly think that it's a big science experiment designed by Them. They are deliberately placing those signs where you'll only see them at the last minute and watching everyone freak out, and They are laughing.


Elizabeth said...

I loved every word you wrote.
I could see it unfolding on the screen in my head. So how much was the toll booth in the end anyhow?

Amy Ellis said...

I am snorting/nearly crying from hysteria/choking on my tea. Not only could I perfectly envision the control freakism upon approaching the toll booth, but the recurrent aroma of that Avon lotion immediately entered my brain.

In fact, it's still there.

I keep warning the Viking that he'd BETTER get my kitchen cupboards in complete working order by Christmas, or SOMEONE will tear apart our garage and kitchen doing it for him.

Vivi Alden said...

Carrie - you are right. It's Them just seeing how bipolar they can make us. I have NEVER driven that freeway when there hasn't been dry-heave inducing amounts of construction. It's like they fix it and then tear it down again.

E - $.60! All that drama over $.60!

Ms. Ellis - Hahahaha...they're coming for you next!!!!!!!! (I assume we'll be seeing an interesting post on your blog in about 24 days)

Big Plain V said...

So colorful, I almost wish I could have been there. Not really.

Just think how sweet your upcoming freedom will be.

Big Plain V said...

You know, with a title like 'tales from the back seat', your readers will be expecting something just a little more racy.

Not complaining about the content... just saying.

Sarah J Clark said...

"...we should really be able to remove our brains and soak them in warm, soapy water from time to time..." = the best thing I've heard all week.

Great post.