Dad’s Version of Events (and only version because Daughter had to finish finals):
Ah, Day Two — the day everything becomes clearer; the day when the meaning of the Road Trip we call Life is revealed; the day when. . . . Nope. I was going for a vibe there and it just wasn’t happening.
Cut me some slack, please. I’m cooped up in a pickup truck for 10-12 hours with Daughter, but the insight we provide each other is priceless!
For instance, we made a commitment last night to wake up bright and early and get on the road before everyone else. You might have guessed what actually happened. We hit the Interstate
at the crack of dawn about 9:30 a.m. again.
See a pattern here?
And horror of all horrors, the closest Starbucks was eight miles back to the east from whence we came yesterday. For foo-foo coffee, we’ll divert, we’ll get lost, we’ll sidetrack five miles out of the way (on occasion), but we never, ever go backwards.
That would go against the Prime Directive.
I we made a Command Decision and took off without our standard boost of high-octane caffeine and soy peppermint non-fat, non-dairy, non-human crapolatte. Which, of course, meant that Daughter could immediately embark on her first nap of the day — at 10:00 a.m., no less.
I suppose it’s the Road Trip version of Pajama Day — an art perfected by the females in my house.
To recap, on our first day we managed to drive from Philadelphia to Bristol, Tennessee. Right around six hundred miles. Today our goal was Memphis, and depending on the Tarpaulin, Caffeine, and Latte Gods, perhaps even Little Rock.
Making Little Rock would almost, almost be like a Moon Shot for us. So in the spirit of the moment, and to make the miles pass a little quicker, I began to sing random songs (not hits) that I find curiously enjoyable and which Daughter finds endlessly annoying.
In short order, she turned on the radio, and when we entered the blank coverage zone in the mountains, she turned up her iPhone.
I love Quality Family Time!
My feelings are not that badly affected by any of this, because I have heard myself sing. But, still, it’s a little hurtful Daughter chose not to join in to a rousing chorus of whatever New Christy Minstrels (google them; they are still around) tune I was chopping.
When we finally did manage to find that first magical coffee break and switch roles (Me – Passenger; She – Driver), the next phase of the day’s drive began: Dad, Keep Me Entertained While I’m Behind the Wheel by Asking Me History Questions.
I will not recount Daughter’s performance during said quiz. Let’s just say that being “one or two years off” or “being in the right century” would not pass muster for most Jeopardy contestants.
Of course, I only asked questions from subjects I either knew fairly well or could fake knowledge of even better, but some of the responses I received from Daughter made me question our investment in her prestigious Lesbian Cult College over the past few years.
Maybe she didn’t take any History classes. I don’t know.
But to be completely fair in this regard, let me offer a personal, revealing example of ineptitude from my own place of employment, where I find channeling Michael Scott from The Office to be an especially effective method of figuring out what’s going on with our financial performance.
When reviewing our revenue numbers, it is not uncommon for me to say to our Accountant Muggles, “Imagine you are explaining this to a fifth grader.” And when that doesn’t work and I still don’t understand, it becomes, “Imagine you are explaining this to a third grader.”
If I don’t get it by then, we all agree to simply move on.
Maybe some of this stuff runs in the family. I hope not.
Anyway, after Daughter’s less than stellar performance today, I have decided to scrounge up an elementary school history book from somewhere and give it to her for her birthday this year (instead of an iPad).
That should teach her!
And what of our favorite tarp and the resident zombies beneath?
I am happy to say that we nearly got it right today. That is to say, we did not need to make any unplanned readjustment stops. We figured out that if we sorta tucked everything in and kinda piled a bunch of junk on top, it only fluttered mildly and acted like a jib instead of one of those billowing big sails that I can’t remember the name of.
Now whether the stupid thing provides any sort of weather protection for the
crap junk belongings in bed is another matter altogether. I suspect not.
And the tarp was put to the test late this afternoon as we powered through a mild rain shower. Our suitcases came out a little wet, but we didn’t really check anything else out back there.
After all, how much mold can form over the next four or five days?
We did have two significant accomplishments that I must report.
First, we learned a valuable lesson five months ago during our trip east, when we encountered an incredibly messy section of I-40 that is under construction between Memphis and Little Rock. Duly prepared and remembering that nightmare, we detoured early and took a State Road that paralleled the Interstate and avoided the worst construction delays.
Taking the two-lane back road was something of a revelation for Daughter who, I take it, is really only familiar with Superhighways and suburban thoroughfares.
“What’s the speed limit here?”
“It’s forty, but be careful when going through town because it drops to twenty-five,” I replied.
“This is a town? It’s so depressing. Oh, wait, there’s a Taxidermist Shop. That’s cool.”
I guess it was a little educational, but not much.
And our second accomplishment? Daughter Yelped a gluten-free eatery for supper tonight, and it turned out to be both crowded and hip. The food was really good, but we went home disappointed because the wait for the pizza was forty five minutes. We settled for Za Za salad and dairy free ice cream.
Did I mention it was expensive?
Finally, I am happy to report that we did, in fact, arrive in Little Rock this evening, which means we have a much shorter day tomorrow, terminating with family in Dallas.
I also have to report that I will be the only Blog Writing Muggle today, as Daughter is busy finishing her final essay for the semester — due tomorrow. I think she said it is about Buddhism, but at the time she was describing it I was singing pretty loudly and couldn’t quite make out what she was saying.