Living on the surface of the Sun (aka, Phoenix) does have its benefits. One, you never have to travel to see fambly. They will always come to see you. Let’s see, 19 degrees and snow in New Yawk, or 70 and sunny in AZ. Hmmm.
This, as it turns out, is a-ok with me for I have more internal steel than the average Volkswagen. So a trip through airport security usually involves a swat team and lawyers, or at the very least a related Warren Zevon song. Lawyers, because, the longer I stand sans shoes being felt-up by a fucking dimwitted TSA agent—who repeatedly wands my ‘Terminator’ knee joints as if he’s never seen one before—the ornery-er I ah git. I have a tendency to say things, rather impolite things, when I get ornery (see any Zano rebuttal).
My wife usually will have disappeared at this point and will have disavowed any knowledge of me, or my actions, in favor of airport gift shops or airport bars. She knows, all too well, what’s coming. After the angry fat man is cuffed and stuffed, generally comes the call to the aforementioned legal counsel.
Air travel today summed up: here’s 12-hundred bucks, now belt my fat ass onto a fucking candlestick holder, fuck with me for 6 hours, give me toy food and, oh , please lose or break my luggage. Why don’t you just call it S&M Air?
If the fambly we happen to be talking about is children and grandchildren, whether 2 or 40 years old, it seems that you always end up paying for the trip. It’s like a kind of Mafia ransom thing. “You wanna sees da little ones again, it’s gunna cost ya.”
But, being able to gaze upon the most beautiful little eyes on earth for 14 days, to hear the little voice, to be hugged by the little hands…but enough about my Mother. Tadumdum. Talking face-to-face, instead of Skype to Skype…what a concept. I started to think the kids were actually pixilated, and I admit I was a little disappointed when they couldn’t magically transport across the room. At least we are now human to them, not just computer generated relatives (CGRs).
My Son now likes beer, expensive micro-fucking-brewed beer. Lots of beer.
“I’m on vacation,” he says.
Did you ever see a recycle truck tip over? It almost did when it tried to lift MY can. Oh yeah, and kids eat a lot. I forgot how much; it’s been a long time since I rock & rolled. By the end of the 14 days, I was on a first name basis with all the cashiers at the Safeway. Getting a title loan on the Ram would not have been my first choice as a way to get food money.
Oh, and toddler’s shit. They shit nearly constantly, like little evil perpetual motion machines programmed by the anti-Christ (EPM and, er, another M…shit, I give up). By the smell of baby shit in my garbage, I’m sure the neighbors called the local constabulary.
“My neighbor is hiding a dead body in there! Yeah, the fat angry guy from the airport.”
Oh, and if you shake-em a little, that Larry the Cable Fellow is right; they do spew like a warm can of beer. But, unfortunately, not the kind my son will drink.
You just can’t hate them, though, being terminally cute and all. And they know it, boy do they know it. Got Grandma wrapped around they’re little digits, they do. They’re like really, really good drugs. You go to bed exhausted, vowing on the graves of all your dead relatives to never ever to do this again. Yet, when you wake up, one look at them and you’re all Charley Sheen (forgetting yesterday and ready to do it all again). Yeah, I’m sending the bail Brooks.
I have two cats. One is an old black female, who I lovingly refer to as ‘Bee-och’. She does not have any use for humans. She spent the majority of the 14 days behind the TV, only coming out exactly one minute after we put the little ones to sleep, or during Desperate Housewives. I could see the “Oh Thank God” in her eyes. She really loves season two.
The other one is a one year old male, long hair white and rust named Canolli. He was amazing. Never once complained about the little devils. Never a hiss, never a scratch. They tried to put him head first into the hope chest, took him for rides on the trike, sat on him, and he always came back for more. He would probably even like that airline I was talking about. Only once did I have to rescue him…as my grandson had him by the tail and the neck and was carrying him into the bathroom. Canolli looked at me with those wide-opened kitty eyes that said, “This isn’t going to end well at all, ummm, a little help?” I had to oblige.
Watching my wife with her grandchildren as she read to them was priceless, and worth all the effort. Being able to talk with my son face-to-face made the 14 days not anywhere near enough. Seeing my son and daughter-in-law let us know the kids were in good hands. Eating myself into a coma was nice too. I can’t get away with that all that often, with Grandma being a nurse and all. Now here is a little secret from me to all Grandpas: grandchildren do make excellent diversions. “Now listen here little one, you go up to Grandma and give her a BIG LONG hug, whilst Grandpa raids the fridge, Owtay?”
14 days of cartoons should be used at Gitmo. No one could do that without giving up all the secrets. My mind turned to ooze as I watched them in place of my usual morning news; it’s like only watching MSNBC. Strawberry Shortcake made me want to toss my cookies, just like Rachel Maddow. And Pound Puppies made me see them as so much road pizza. This shit makes water boarding look like part of some water park ride.
Oh, and children come standard with all sorts of paraphernalia. Enough ‘stuff’ that it took both my wife’s Sonata and my Ram to transport us all anywhere. Special seats, special wheeled devices, large vinyl bags with all sorts of evil shit-related items, bottles of beige swill they seem to crave incessantly, and complete changes of clothing for any possible weather scenario, across any geographic region. Then there was the stuff my grandchildren needed (aka, lots of stuff for a three mile drive under blue skies and 70, is all I’m sayin’).
Thanksgiving dinner was only one of more than a dozen skin-stretching gastronomic diversions (DS…sorry, way too long into the article for an acronym joke)’. When you’re off from work for any amount of time and eating becomes the household pastime, you get lulled into a kind of time-loop (no beginning and no end). But, the time did come for goodbyes. Seeing the kids off on their trip back home was hard—unless I win the lottery, it will be a year before I’ll see them all again, unpixilated. That is the crappy part of having a 2000 plus mile gap between loved ones. Now, if I can only get them to move here. Hmmmm.
Messin’ with kids’ heads since 1991