See, we’ve been doing this for the past four years, and each year we end up with more luggage than we started with. See, in addition to the clothing we bring, we always buy all our back-to-school, electronics, food supplies, and gewgaws that you either can’t get or pay too much for in Europe.
The first year, this meant we had to buy two 28” suitcases to fly back in addition to the 3 that we’d brought. The second year, we inherited two hard-sided circa 1970 suitcases in addition to the 5 that we had. The third year, we bought four suitcases (three with a duffel bag) and used three in addition to the 5 we had brought (two had worn out).
So this year, I had a master plan: we packed a small suitcase inside a large suitcase, an empty duffel bag, and another suitcase was full of souvenirs for our American friends. So we had 4 suitcases on the way there, but on the way back, we had two entire suitcases and a duffel bag spare space.
Even avaricious Euro-wannabes like ourselves should be content with that, right?
So we started packing. In order to facilitate this, Grandma and Grandpa took the kids away to Toys R Us, in order to get some last-minute bribing out of the way.
Apparently not. Someone (and I blame Wifey) waaaaay overbought, and we ended up with enough loose crap that it became clear we needed another small suitcase. Not a big one, mind you; just a small one.
I began to suspect this during minute 1 of our packing. “We need another suitcase,” I said. “Want me to run and get it?”
“No,” Wifey said. “I’ll make it all fit.”
“In that case, you wanna get naked and do it on the pool table?” When she looked at me like I was insane, I added “The kids will be gone for another couple of hours at least.”
She rolled her eyes at me and continued packing. Personally, I think that’s the sign of a mental imbalance. I mean, here is perfectly good sex (well, sex at least) begging, and she goes on working on packing.
Isn’t that a warning sign of OCD or something? I bet if you look it up it is.
So after about three hours packing, during which time I continued to whine and complain about how hot it was as an excuse to shed clothing, she had roughly packed the bags. In her rational mind, she’d accepted that we needed to buy another suitcase. But in her animal mind, which I think Freud called the Stubbornego or some such, she still thought we could fit it all into the suitcases we had.
Meanwhile, I was wandering around naked trying to entice her. “Hey, sexy, want a back rub after all that hard work?” I asked.
“No thanks,” she stuffed a pillow into the middle of one of the hard sided suitcases, and it hung open about four inches. “Hey, fatass, come sit on this and see if you can force it closed.”
“It’s too dangerous in my condition.”
“What condition?” She finally looked at me.
“Naked,” I said. “I might catch my junk in there.”
“Ridiculous,” she said. “That lip is more than two inches high, so your manhood is well clear of the opening.”
“But can’t you think of other things you’d like to do with my endowment?” I asked. “It’s almost as big as Harvard’s.”
“Just close the damn case with your fat ass, which is almost as big as Shoney’s Big Boy.”
More than a little disgruntled, I sat on the case and closed it. Let me tell you, that conversation didn’t do much for my self-esteem, nor was it conducive to intimacy.
Oh, hell, who am I kidding. I was still pretty much ready to go.
Once we got all the bags packed, the children came home, thus depriving me of any erotic alone time with Wifey. Not that anything would have happened, but I like to keep the dream alive.
The girl had managed to convince Grandma and Grandpa to buy her about 500 Pokemon cards, in several collectible tins that would not only take up space in the suitcase but were guaranteed to hang around the house underfoot for years to come.
The boy had gotten himself a Ben 10 Omnimatrix watch, a Backagon collapsible dragon (whatever the hell that was), and several collectible tins of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. If you don’t remember hearing about those during the vacation, it’s because you hadn’t. I have no idea why he bought them, other than to have collectible tins that were even larger than the girl’s Pokemon tins.
It was clear that we needed a medium-sized suitcase now.
“Oh joy,” I said to my parents. “I’m so glad that you bought them so much.”
“Well, since they can’t take their Furbies, we thought we’d make it up to them somehow.”
So, with an additional twenty pounds of cards, tins, and shattered hopes for a little naughty alone time, we set off, heading for the home of Sis-In-Law.
The drive was largely uneventful, other than discovering that the direct route went from Tennessee to Georgia to Tennessee to Alabama. Yes, the southern border of Tennessee is largely flat, but for some reason the road curves up and down. I blame the Hatfields and the McCoys.
Finally we reached her house, which is located at the end of a well-hidden street next to a garage door company with a banner-sized sign that says “SIGN OVERPASS PETITION HERE.”
I didn’t sign the petition, but it’s possible that Eustus P. Hogg III did.
Sis-in-law was quite happy to see us, and the six of us went out to dinner (my family, sis-in-law, and her boyfriend, who we will henceforth refer to as Luggage; he knows why). We chose Rosie’s in Huntsville, which is a Mexican restaurant. It was named Rosie’s in honor of the owner’s mother, whose name was Maria.
No, I don’t know why either. Nor do I know why the wall features a twelve-foot painting of a buxom Mexican woman with her cleavage spilling out of her low-cut white blouse. I mean, I liked it, but it’s not particularly the way I’d choose to decorate the wall of a restaurant named after my mother.
But Rosie’s not my mom, so I ogled like there was no tomorrow. Because if we don’t ogle, the communists have already won.
We had a good dinner; in fact, I would say that the dinner was excellent. Particularly noteworthy was the waitress who immediately fell in love with my son and brought him anything his heart desired, from extra drinks to extra straws to walking him to the restroom when he had to go potty.
She even brought him a handmade napkin blanket when he complained that the restaurant was too cold, and had a busboy climb up on a rickety ladder to close the overhead vent.
Yes, I do worry that he will have lady trouble in junior high. I worry a lot.
Once dinner was over, the girl whipped out the comment card and began filling it out in crayon. She heaped fulsome praise on Rosie’s and the waitress. The boy, who had abused her hospitality all night, was ready to go as soon as he’d finished eating. Once he’d had his way with her, he was done.
Sometimes my worries keep me up all night.
After that we left. Once we’d reached home, Wifey turned to me and asked “where did you put the hip pack?”
My response: “You mean the hip pack that you’ve been carrying the entire vacation that has your ID and your medicine and the cash that you don’t let me touch? I think I put it in your hands three weeks ago and haven’t touched it since.”
You know what else I won’t be touching for three weeks?
“I saw it!” sis-in-law said, averting violence.
“Where?” asked Wifey.
“On the bench at Rosie’s as we left.”
“Then why the
For a minute, silence hung uncomfortably in the air.
“I’ll go get it,” I said. “Right now.”
“I’ll drive,” said Luggage. “Let’s roll!”
And we were out of there. I don’t know what happened later, but by the time I got back two hours later everything had calmed down.
Since Wifey made it abundantly clear that my slip-up earlier had cost me, I stayed up blogging on Sis-in-law’s prehistoric dialup connection and AOL account. I realized two things: ADSL has spoiled me, and AOL sucks ass.
Then, I watched a little bit of “Witches of Breastwick III.” You know, it’s not nearly as good as parts 1 and 2. I think because Jack Nicholson isn’t in it.
But that Cher sure has some big tits. I didn’t realize she did nude scenes. And at her age! That’s impressive.
Tomorrow: POW! To the Moon!