Wednesday, March 20, 2013


We have a Spring Break countdown going on here.

It is literally written on our pantry door.
(The word "literally" said like Rob
Lowe in Parks & Rec)

It is both taking forever and creeping up on me FAST.

It doesn't help that it was 27 degrees 
when I took the girls to school this morning

or that I have a whopper headache and a sore throat

or that I am trying to keep up with the spring wardrobe needs 
of my EVER GROWING girls
(What do you mean you have NO shorts that fit?!)

or that I feel like a pasty white fat cow.

Yeah, I am having one of those days.

The girls were excitedly talking a mile a minute about our trip

as we left Waffle House Sunday after lunch.

The girls mentioned it would be the first long road trip in our new Honda Pilot 

a.k.a The Manvan.

Then Ellie brought up how one long road trip didn't start out so well in our other vehicle.

Not. So. Well. At. All.

It was June a few years ago and we were (as my friend Beth put it) 

"not even 7 songs into a l-o-n-g road trip"
(not that she has retold this story or anything)

when Monte decides he needs to stop to go to the bathroom.
(Seriously?! We are not even 7 songs into this l-o-n-g road trip!)

He pulls into a McDonald's.

The girls and I wait in the car since we properly evacuated our bladders BEFORE we left.
(Just saying.)

Monte locked the car and took the keys with him.

Ellie decided to open her door practically before Monte was inside.
(Can't remember why now probably to litter or spit or something not cool like that.)

This action triggered some sort of rogue alarm system that in all the 5 or 6 years we had owned the vehicle, we had NEVER encountered.

The headlights flashed.

The horned honked.
(Like, seriously, louder than normal.)

The windshield wipers may 
or may not have come on.

I don't even remember, there was a lot going on.

In total survivor mode, 

I screamed for Ellie to shut her door,

then I pushed every button on the steering wheel and dashboard.

All of our doors went into lock down.

We couldn't get out.

Or stop the headlights from flashing
or the horn from honking
or the windshield wipers from wiping.
(If indeed they were wiping.)

Did I mention we were parked RIGHT IN FRONT OF the McDonald's entrance doors?

A man who looked like he frequently enjoyed the full menu at McDonald's, was smoking a cigarette by the entrance doors.

At first he looked over at our vehicle in spasm with some interest
(I thought he might even come over and help)

than he got this annoyed/disgusted look on his face

like he just wanted to smoke in peace

in front of a McDonald's

before he enjoyed the full menu inside.

I couldn't blame him.

We were causing quite a scene

And it was getting pretty stuffy inside that car.

Where was Monte?!

He had been gone quite a while and worries of intestinal distress crossed my mind.

I couldn't even get out of this devil car to check on him, poor thing.

Wasn't there a horror movie like this in the 80s??
(About a devil car, not someone in intestinal distress at a McDonald's.)

There was! Stephen King's Christine in 1983. Not that I saw it. But this picture does remind me of what
was going on INSIDE our vehicle (and my heart).

Just when I thought the ample Cigarette Smoker might kill us with his stink-eye stare,

Monte walks out of the restaurant (or was he skipping?) carrying 

wait for it

a to-go sack.

Yep, Monte was waiting in line to order a burger

while we were trapped in a spasmodic devil car

with no keys

being visually assaulted by Cigarette Smoker,

and I was actually praying for the Lord 
to ease Monte's intestinal distress?!


Half-way to the car,

Monte stopped in his tracks

to-go sack swaying 

to stare at the hot mess that was his family.

I took a lesson from Cigarette Smoker,

and gave Monte the stink eye

not that he could see it with the windows being so fogged up.

One bloop bloop of the key fob

and peace was restored

to the vehicle anyway.

It was a good hour

and several texts to friends 

to calm me down.

When I could talk in a non-howler monkey shrill,

I asked Monte if he heard any ruckus coming from the parking lot

while he was waiting in line for a cheeseburger--
not even 7 songs into a l-o-n-g road trip?!

He said he indeed did.

But he thought it was just some idiot who didn't know how to turn off a car alarm.


We did go on to survive and drive 5,000 miles on an AMAZING trip out west with my parents.

And we are still married.

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