So, last night I read Super Cop's comment about my post on throwing up in the car when I was a kid and got just as tickled as he did. In fact, an hour later when I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep, I got to laughing about it again and laughed so hard I shook the bed. Fortunately, Hubby was so exhausted and sleeping so soundly he didn't notice, but I had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from cackling out loud and waking him up. I had forgotten how annoyed Daddy was with me that day and how much he griped about it when it happened. As I recall I threw up right after we got in the car to go home, so everybody had to deal with the smell and mess for most of the thirty mile drive to the house. Nice. All because I didn't have the sense to realize that if you eat a hot dog right before you try to set a personal record for Tilt-A-Whirl rides, that dog is likely to come flying back up later. Or that I probably should have given everyone a heads up that maybe we might want to wait a few minutes before getting into the car so I could throw up OUTSIDE the vehicle. But ya' know, when you're a kid on an amusement park high you get a little addled. It was the one day of the year we got to ride all of the rides in that park free, and I took full advantage of it. If memory serves me correctly, that was also the year one of us won a sleeping bag with pictures of Dots candy all over it during the picnic's Bingo games, so the excitement was overwhelming.
Now, some of you without children might be wondering why daddy wasn't a little more sympathetic to my plight, but those of you with children fully understand his response. It was one of those moments when your children have driven you crazy all day, danced on your last nerve and then pushed you right over into delirium. The things that can fly out of your mouth in those moments rarely make sense.
There's no accounting for your reaction to some of the things your kids do. I've had many of those moments myself, so that's probably why I find it so funny now. Honestly, I found it pretty funny back when I was driving my parents crazy. There were many times when I clamped my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing out loud at daddy's response to something we did, or anything that caused a mess daddy had to clean up. Like that time we stopped at Stuckey's and Super Cop begged for the large grape drink, even though he couldn't drink a large drink. He whined until he got it and then promptly spilled it all over the floor before we got to our table. Nothing brings down a road trip like spilling a sticky drink in front of a restaurant full of people. To this day I cannot see a grape soda without smiling.
One of the times I saw daddy get the most frustrated was when we were headed to my aunt's house for some kind of family meal, maybe Thanksgiving. We had a large crock-pot full of baked beans in the back floorboard, and daddy turned a corner too sharp and turned over the crock-pot. Baked beans were everywhere, and for some reason us kids thought that was funny. I mean, who doesn't laugh at beans? Daddy, that's who. There we were, pulled over to the side of the road with all three of us kids rolling in the backseat and daddy flinging beans onto the ground and swearing like a sailor. The fun didn't end there though. He was never fully able to get that bean smell out of the car. For as long as we owned that Chrysler, whenever it rained and it was damp outside, you could get a faint whiff of beans in that car. And every time we smelled beans, we would laugh and say, "I smell beans." Daddy would say something not family friendly.
And then, there was the time Daddy had a little trouble fixing the brakes on the car. He did all of the repair work on our cars, and I seriously did not know until about age thirteen that you could pay someone to fix your car. Whenever he worked on the car, one of us was expected to stand close by and either hand him tools like a surgical assistant or hold the work light above his head with your outstretched arm like one of those infernal lawn jockeys. The best job though came when he put on new brake shoes or pads because that required him to be under the car while one of us sat in it and pumped the air out of the brakes. That basically involved scooting up to the edge of the seat, hanging onto the steering wheel and mashing the brakes with the enthusiasm of a jack rabbit until you couldn't press the pedal to the floor anymore. It was great fun. On one particular day I was the designated pumper, and daddy was having a terrible time trying to work on the brakes. I could hear every word he said and in between pretending like I was driving and playing with the cigarette lighter I picked up on his growing frustration. He finally bailed out from under the car, threw a rag on the ground and shouted, "I wish Ralph Nader that this emission control thing shoved up his a**!" It was a great moment in family history, and I slumped over and buried my face in the seat so he couldn't see me laughing.
Teen Angel has been laughing behind my back for years, and I have no doubts she will laugh in the years to come about stupid things I've said or done when she was growing up. I've had more than my share of delirium during her growing up years. In fact, if I had to guess which moment tops her list of my goofiest gaffs right now, it would be the time when she was approaching middle school age and had told one butt joke after another. I finally got my fill of telling her to stop when I barked out, "Enough with the butt cracks!" I paused, realized what I said and started laughing. And I'm not really sure, but I think I caught a faint whiff of beans at the same time.