LYRIC O’ THE DAY:
She is the substance of my dreams, a spectra in the wind
--Psychomania, The Damned
Ah, vacation. In my mind’s eye, gentle waves lick the shore of a sugar-sand beach. I hold an umbrella topped concoction in one hand, a romance novel with a cover celebrating man nipple in the other.
I’m set to recharge my inner gypsy.
Hubs and I haven’t had an official getaway for over five years--since back in the B.C. era (Before Children). But this week, we packed up the cooler, a pile of electronic toys to amuse and delight the senses of little boys, and enough inflatable beach gear to make the Macy’s Thanksgiving day sponsors shudder with envy.
We’re on vacation.
However, to get to the beach from my beloved landlocked home requires a trek of Griswold style proportions. I have traversed eight states in four days. Which translates to about twenty-three hours of driving/riding so far. Time in a confined space, especially when any minute, a hard turn could result in being crushed by six boxes of Capri Sun, a Nike bag filled with coloring books and a boogie board, will teach you a lot about yourself.
For instance, I can’t read in a car. Gives me a raging headache. And despite a fashionable neck pillow in the shape of a giant letter “C” I am unable to sleep bolt upright in the passenger seat of a Jeep with questionable shocks. Hubs, being the self-appointed driver, is not much of a conversationalist. He grips the steering wheel white-knuckled as dually trucks with naked lady mud flaps and those obnoxious rubber testicles hanging from their back axles try to kill us. That means I’m forced to entertain myself.
So around hour eleven, delirium set in, along with ass numbness. In retrospect, they could have been one and the same. I had a vision, and here it is:
Top Ten things learned on my family vacation (and it’s not over yet. . .)
10. A gym membership costs about $30 a month. A good pair of running shoes about $100. But the quadriceps strength to hover over a truly disgusting bathroom toilet in an Oklahoma truck stop is freaking priceless. I knew I was doing those lunges for something.
9. Twelve hours of SpongeBob Squarepants sends me into a near homicidal rage. If I ever find you, you moronic yellow cleaning implement, I will scrub every toilet from here to Pensacola with you and laugh at your screams. And that goes for your little starfish, too.
8. I am a goddess of cougar proportions to redneck adolescents. I know this because a toothless dude in the gas station winked at me as his mom chain-smoked in their Reliant K-car outside. I was wearing a tank top, flip flops, and what was left of a bag of Doritos. Hubs was curiously not threatened.
7. If you sit long enough in one position, your entire lower body will go numb. Do NOT attempt to shake out the pins and needles while in the passenger seat because your husband will scream at you to sit back down, truckers will honk at you, and the Louisiana State Patrol will not understand the need to restore circulation to the lady parts.
6. After sixteen hours in a car, you don’t notice there’s blood on the door of your hotel room until it’s way too late. Hubs tried to reassure me that it was just ketchup, but I know better, the splatter pattern was all wrong. I didn’t bring my gun, but at least I had my bed bug spray. Actually, I may be more scared of the bed bugs.
5. I have the bladder of a hamster. There’s a lot of things I will do, but peeing in a Big Gulp cup at 70 mph because Hubs doesn’t want to exit the interstate is not one of them. I still have some pride.
4. Slim Jims and Pixie Sticks make a poor substitute for a meal. When mixed with a Red Bull and E-Z Cheez, a vision from the spirit world will visit you on a desolate Oklahoma highway, precisely at the same moment the radio station plays that song by Europe for the twenty-third time. Then again, it could have been a Chupacabra. They love hair metal.
3. After you commune with God via Pixie Sticks, Satan will communicate with you in a different manner via your bowels. That one won’t be near as pleasant, and will occur just when you have left the most pristine restroom of the journey. You will be forced to share a two holer with a one-armed dude named Jo-Bob at a truck stop in Mississippi who will tell you about the joys of catfish noodling.
2. Hubs finds joy in posting vile vacation photos of me on Facebook with cute little tags, like “Mommy drooling” or “My beautiful wife with a bacon mustache.” But revenge is a dish best served in a Big Gulp cup. And he thought it was just old Mountain Dew.
1. There is a wandering tribe of porn dependent interstate travelers that need an adult novelty store every ten miles. Several thousand square feet of prime billboard space is dedicated to advertising the carnal delights. Then again, maybe the dude beside you on I-10 is just buying that blow up doll to fool the people in the HOV lane.
Happy Friday! And for all you traveling this summer, hope you have a safe and inspiring journey.