Monday, April 16, 2007

Welcome To The Snagitorium

I spend too much time with my kids, I think. Throwing them in a van and dragging them around the country usually seems like a good idea. Then there always comes a time like the afternoon somewhere in Maine when my four-year-old son started shrieking from the back seat, "I've got a baby in my uterus! It's a great big baby!" Of course the windows were open and we were in the middle of town. Yay for us.

I took the three boys to Florida a few years ago. My Lovely Bride couldn't get away from work, it was winter break, and going to the beach wasn't a bad alternative to lying around the house screaming at the family for two weeks. So off we went.

The first few days weren't bad. We went to some national parks that were pretty much empty (because what kind of moron goes to the top of a freezing mountain three days before Christmas), took in some Civil War battlefields (leading my wife to later question why trip revolved around cannons and warships), and generally had a good time.

Then we got to the beach. Now, we were on the Panhandle, where I'd gotten a hell of a deal on a hotel room. One hundred bucks for a room with a balcony looking at the ocean. Did it occur to me to wonder why? No, of course not. I'm a pinhead.

The Panhandle's cold in winter, for those of you as geographically challenged as I am. No matter, though, there's a pool, right? Sure, until some infant craps in it, rendering it off-limits for two days under the state health code.

I give up. We go out for dinner, my kids begging me to let them eat the sugar packets on the table. "Go ahead," I say. I'm done.

The waiter comes over to see 10 or 12 packages of pure cane sugar ripped open, the kids twitching and giggling.

"What can I get you?" he asks.

"Liquor. Lots of liquor. In fact, have one yourself and give me five minutes of adult conversation. Big tip in it for you."

"I'm afraid I can't do that sir," he replies, starting to back away nervously.

"For the love of God, don't leave me here alone.

"No, never mind, forget it. Just bring me a drink. Bring me a couple while you're at it."

A couple of days later, we pack to leave and I go to put the luggage in the back of our Ford minivan. The rear door hasn't opened the entire way, however, and I bash my face. We head out of town, blood dripping down into my eyes, the boys getting a 20-minute lecture on the decline of American manufacturing standards, punctuated with liberal doses of every swear word I can think of (and I can think of a lot). Finally, my oldest leans forward and says, "Dad, maybe we should all just get a good night's rest."

That was several years and thousands of miles in the past. It hasn't gotten better.


Anonymous said...

Ford minivan?

That deserves a whole liquor store!

Snag said...

That deserves a whole meth lab. Biggest piece of crap I've ever owned.

Anonymous said...

I've managed to avoid the minivan!!!

Anonymous said...

See, now Jennifer has it going on! AG will never, never, never drive a minivan. Perhaps an Audi or Volvo wagon, but own/drive a mini van or American made stationwagon.

Snag said...

That's what you think, AG. Just wait until you've got three squalling brats and a burning need to physically separate them.

Anonymous said...

My parents Ford Aerostar in the mid-90s was actually pretty good. Much quieter than their current minivan, which is not Ford.

And Ford loves to make their cars have smiley faces.

Anonymous said...

Snag- I have two children and had two dogs and still managed to elude the minivan!!

Anonymous said...

how the F*** has J avoided the minivan. Probably just flies around on wings of awesome. THE AWESOME ROUTINE IS WEARING THIN, J.