so I promised to complete the holiday series and by GOD I am going to do it! For those of you that have long since put the torturous memory of Thanksgiving out of its misery, I am happy to reopen that wound for you as I am doing so to myself by authoring this very entry.
As is often the case, we opt to travel for Thanksgiving this year. Only this time we are not on a 3-hour tour, we jump in head first and sign up for the 6-hour variety of road trip. Granted, if I roofie the wife and NyQuil the rug rats , I can make that trip in 5 hours flat. This being said, I am fresh out of roofies and at last check we have two wide-awake ankle-biters in the back seat. Begrudgingly, we head off to the windy, treeless prairies of the Texas panhandle.
Based on previous road trips (see http://genericdad.com/2010/09/21/were-no-donner-party/) you all know my children do not do well in the car over long periods of time. Now, in the past we would typically drive thru a fast food joint and scarf down a high calorie, deep-fried mystery meal while I would attempt to distractedly eat and drive. This is coupled with the wife riding reverse cowboy (on her knees in the front seat facing the back seat trying to force the kids to eat food that they don’t want in the first place)…maybe “Reverse Cowboy” is not the term…In fact, I know it’s not…I have Cinemax ya know. Needless to say, this is not the safest way to transport our precious cargo, so in recent trips we have been stopping at an actual restaurant with actual waiters. This, at the very least, allows the wife and I to enjoy decent food while our kids run around howling like banshees in whatever Small Town, TX eatery we bless with our noisy presence.
The meal goes without incident. I tip the poor 78 year-old woman who had to endure the ear-piercing shrieks of my kids and we are back on the road just as an icy rain starts to fall. Because the kids are somewhat behaving and because they actually ate some lunch we are inclined to let them have some candy while they watch their annoying movies (thank GOD for headphones!). I don’t know if is something that he ate at lunch, car sickness, or something else entirely, but Lil B lets out a painful sounding belch that would put Booger Presley to shame. That air bubble must have been serving as some makeshift cork because as soon as the cork blew, so did Lil B. The kids had each just plowed through a tasty sack of M&Ms, so naturally, what was currently being projectile-vomited all over the back of my seat had the look of a lovely chocolate fountain one might see at a decent reception. The comparison to the reception stops there because this is about the time that the smell hits the front seat. Of course, we are in the middle of nowhere by this time and it’s pouring rain. Luckily we see a roadside stop that we can at least have some cover to get Lil B. out of his Baby Gap Chocolate Fondue gear. Clean as I might, I am not able to rid the vehicle of the scent of chocolate mixed with stomach bile, but some creative directing of the air vents at least keeps the smell in back with the livestock…err kids.
By comparison, the rest of our journey goes swimmingly and we soon find ourselves in the dusty plains of the panhandle on the outskirts of Amarillo. There is not much to do in Amarillo other than binge drink and get pregnant. Since we are already saddled with two fun babies, we opt for binge drinking. We relax and visit with family in the days leading up to the turkey day feast(s).
Our first feast requires a short jaunt to the metropolis of Dumas, a small agribusiness-centered community in which the wife’s family resides. Dumas is filled with good people and…hispanics, but mostly good people and I do not mind our brief visits. It is actually a nice departure from the busyness of Dallas. Things are quiet and simple and there is not much to do and I kind of like it…if only I could get 4G to connect so that I could Facebook and watch internet porn…maybe I don’t like being out in the boonies after all…at least there’s binge drinking…
After a delicious Thanksgiving meal with the wife’s family we are forced to exit rather quickly as we are already running late for our 2nd feast at my folk’s house back in Amarillo. We arrive at my parent’s place just as my family is sitting down to eat. So as not to disappoint, I heap the fixin’s onto my plate as though I had not seen food in days. You can’t show up to mom’s and not eat after she has spent an entire day preparing a meal…So, the wife and I take one for the team and eat our second complete Thanksgiving meal within a two-hour span. I am a fat ass and this is not much of a feat for me to accomplish, but I give the wife credit as she made a great showing at both feasts. I am not positive, but I could swear I hear the sounds of a desperate woman purging her system later that day…it reminds me of high school and for a short time I bask in the nostalgia of my hometown.
The voyage home is uneventful. There is no projectile vomiting, no crying, and no rain. As we listen to an audiobook my mind drifts in and out of the story. My liver and colon wreaking havoc on me for a week’s worth of overeating…and drinking, I am left with a warm sensation knowing that we are blessed with such a great family…nope, that’s not it…I think I just sharted…where the hell is that roadside stop!
So I am driving to work the other day when I come up behind this car and I can see that the driver is moving his arm up and down behind his head. At first I think nothing of this. Perhaps he is stretching, or scratching or something…who knows. However, as I get closer I get a better view. This guy is lifting dumb bells…while driving! I pulled up as close as I could get because I just had to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. Sure enough, he’s doing triceps extensions over the back of his seat while driving. I guess this guy is just so busy that he can’t get to the gym. Instead, the only time that he has for a quick workout is while operating a motor vehicle. I use dumb bells at home while watching television. Others use them in a gym. Not this guy. He is so pressed for time that he can only workout while driving. I wonder if he puts the cruise control on and stands up in the seat to do squats. Or maybe he leans his seat all the way back and then does pull-ups on the steering wheel. Perhaps I should try to capitalize on this by creating a workout video…”That’s right folks, you can get your workout in during your morning commute! No more expensive gym fees, no more bulky exercise equipment in your house! All you need are some free weights and the flexibility of a contortionist.” I can tell you this; You know that if this guy has resorted to in-car working out, you can guarantee he has done some in-car rubbing out. Ah yes, the ole road warrior…
(I snapped a photo with my trusty iPhone, but as you fellow iphone-ers know, the camera on the phone is not the best. Hopefully you can see it on here…) Yes, I realize that me driving at 70 MPH and attempting to take a photo is Exhibit A of me doing the exact thing that I am on here ranting about…
Anyway, this got me to thinking about the crazy things that I have seen or heard about people doing while they are driving. As a commuter, I have seen just about everything there is to see as far as a person doing things while driving a car that are typically not done in a car. I have seen people reading everything from the newspaper to what appear to be work documents. I have seen people using laptops. We have all seen (and most likely done ourselves) people texting while driving. I admit that I am guilty of this…and there was a time that I may have attempted the ole road warrior back in college(c’mon, you know you gave a whirl once too)…Hell, if I tried that these days I would surely die in a fiery crash. I can see the headline in the paper, “Plano driver killed while________(insert your masturbation euphemism here)”.
We have all seen the multitude of women that just can’t seem to finish getting ready at their houses so they take to the road to finish up the job. Makeup-ing, hair styling, even getting dressed…all while driving at highway speeds…it’s crazy…I don’t see how some of these women don’t show up at work looking like a carnie. How the hell can you put on mascara while driving? I know a dozen women that could probably teach a clinic. A side question that I have about women and mascara is; Why can’t women close their mouths when putting on mascara?? It must be a physiological reaction to having a miniature hair brush in your eye that makes your jaw drop open.
Of course, it is not just women that are guilty of primping and driving. I have seen men shaving, trimming nose hair and styling their hair while driving. In fact, I still have an electric razor in the console of my truck right now, but at least I can use it and still have one hand on the wheel and both eyes on the road. I have seen a person actually eating a bowl of cereal while driving. Last time I checked this was a two-handed operation. Luckily, we have evolved and are now able to grip a steering wheel with our knees.
Some other things that I have either seen or heard about…people urinating while driving, women sticking her head out of the window to dry her hair while she brushed and drove, people brushing teeth, drivers getting oral pleasure, people actually having sex, digging in the passenger or back seat for stuff, beating their kids in the back seat, AND NURSING A BABY! The list goes on…
The irony that I guess I am getting at as a parent is this: We will flip out if our child gets ahold of a toy with lead-based paint. We won’t let our child our of our site when at a park or playground. We force our kids to wear those embarrassing helmets just to go ride their bikes and yet we turn around and do the things mentioned above with our loved ones riding shotgun. Buck up people, and let’s be smart.
I encourage you to post any tales of crazy things that you have seen people doing while driving.