Thursday, August 13, 2009

Road Trip Laughs

This time of year, we spend waaay too much time in the car!! I got tangled in my sheet this morning as I was trying to reach the alarm. It was like being in a straight jacket! In describing the funny tale of getting out of that mess, I referred to my side of the bed as “the passenger side!

A flushing tale:

While using a rest stop on the Interstate last week, I chuckled as I heard a young mother in the stall next to me struggling with a toddler who was afraid of “the magic toilet!” At first, the term confused me until I realized she meant the automatic flushing. It seems her tiny little tush gave the electric eye too much chance of flushing while she was still using it and that terrified her. The poor flustered mother promised she wouldn’t let it flush while the little one was sitting but alas she couldn’t keep her word and the child let out a blood curdling screech when it flushed. Mommy was quite embarrassed when she emerged to face the laughter of those folks at the sinks.

I can understand how that little girl felt, even with a larger bum, I’ve occasionally had a premature flush and it can feel like it’s going to suck you right in. I can only imagine how frightening that could be to those with such a tiny backside!!


The long and winding road:

After the funeral on Monday, the family was all heading back to one of the family homes for a gathering. This would involve a journey of about 26 miles on a number of winding country back roads. The veterans’ cemetery is enormous and traffic is carefully controlled and directed while on the property. A nephew had thoughtfully e-mailed directions from one of the main highways not realizing we would all be directed out of the cemetery onto a back road and not onto that highway. As happens the crowd left in small clumps of 2 or 3 vehicles. Another of my nephews advised he had a GPS and we should follow him out to the main highway. We had an elderly uncle following us in this small caravan. I did not realize we had a yet fourth car following him! Those two cars were in contact by cell phone.

The plan went well until the first major turn after exiting the cemetery. Somehow, my uncle became confused and pulled over and stopped. The Big Guy saw this in his mirror and also pulled over. Unfortunately, my nephew didn’t notice all of this and kept rolling. He didn’t realize he’d lost the rest of us until he’d made a number of turns. At that point, he pulled over, waited, finally gave up and continued on his way to the house. Everyone had turned their cells off during the service, and those in his vehicle had not yet turned them back on so we were unable to reach them for instructions.

At this point, we proceeded on our own. Coming to a major intersection that demanded we make a choice, we made a semi-educated guess and turned left. Our three cars all made the left. A mile or two down the road, we finally heard form my niece in yet another vehicle. They were just leaving the cemetery and were following her daughter who was in a vehicle using GPS. We should have turned right!

Our little caravan made a U-turn and headed back the other direction. (We still didn’t realize we had two cars behind us.) Every so often, my niece called back with instructions as they made turns. Ultimately, we were following the car that was following the car with the GPS. Of course, we had about 12 miles between us and them!

Along the way we made a wrong turn and toured a shopping center before getting back on the road. The funny thing about that was the last car in our little train missed us doing that and made the correct turn, getting ahead of us. She eventually realized she’d lost us and pulled over. As we passed her, she jumped back in line. Eventually we reached the point at which the written directions kicked in and we were able to complete the journey smoothly.

Ultimately, at that point, our tears had turned to hysterical laughter both for those of us in the circus parade and those at the house hearing it play out. As folks began to leave the house at the end of the day, many did need instructions out to main highways. The running joke was “I’ll follow you. You know someone with a GPS!” Sort of reminds you of the line, “I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV!

No comments: