Sunday, September 7, 2008

"Soylent Green is PEOPLE!"


of the perks of a whole bunch of travel for work is frequent flier miles. This past week Sara went down to hang out with her grandkids. I couldn’t leave with her on Tuesday because I had a meeting in town here on Wednesday afternoon with the school I’ve been working with the last three years. But – due to the accumulation of miles I have I was able to get a flight to Washington early Thursday morning (6am!) and spent the rest of the weekend down there.

The rest of the folks on the plane were no doubt business oriented and I thoroughly enjoyed sauntering aboard with the so-called “elite” passengers carrying virtually no luggage, wearing shorts, flip flops and a Hawaiian shirt with a bicycling magazine in my back pocket. I imagined how jealous the road warriors were of my combination of casual garb and preferred flierness – I envisioned them trying to guess what this guy was up to headed to the nation’s capital dressed like a beach bum – software mogul, lobbyist for a video game company, gonzo journalist? In actuality – chances are I didn’t even register on the radar of the guy across from me four quick calls telling the somebody on the other end of his cell conversations that he still had one loge package for the Redskins game left to give away to the top salesman for the month.

The kids down in ‘ginia (what we call Virginia in our household since it was the preferred pronunciation of the oldest grandson when he was four – someday soon I am going to do a post on micro colloquialisms) are now of the throw them in the car and take them to the next activity ages. Soccer, flag football, tee ball, coach pitched baseball, preschool, third grade, camp whatever – just get them in the minivan and haul ass to something or other maybe stopping for chicken nuggets on the way.

There are few beings on god’s gray earth as capricious as a five year old boy. Danny had first decided he did not want to go and watch his older brother’s football practice. In keeping with the political season and our locale so near the seat of our government he switched this position fifteen minutes later so I volunteered to drive him to the field to watch.

I buckle him into the back seat and we start off on our three mile trek to Franklin Field. I’ve been to this park on several occasions for previous football practices and other activities so I knew my way. Danny, though, was convinced that I needed directions. Almost as soon as we pulled out of the drive he started shouting for me to turn.

“Turn, Turn, Turn!” he’s screaming from the back seat as we pass a cross road.

“No he’s not practicing there Danny – we’re going to the other park,” I reply.

You’re going the wrong way – we’re NEVER going to get there!”

He‘s really starting to wind up now.

He watches another street go by and starts wailing “NOOOOOOOOOOOO” like Charlton Heston coming across Lady Liberty on the beach in Planet of the Apes. I’m trying to calm him down now

“Danny, I know where we’re going relax”

“No you don’t we’re never going to get there”

Now he’s holding his head like he has bugs crawling around the inside of his skull, Nooooooooo, Nooooooo, Nooooo, we’re going to get lost.”

We’re coming up to another street; we’re about two miles from the park now

“TURN, TURN, TURN, TURN, TURN” he’s pleading like a thumb screw victim of the Spanish Inquisition.


“Danny, do you want to drive?”

“NOOOOOOO, I can’t, I’m not old enough - I DON'T KNOW HOWWWWWWWWW”
And then he wails with all the desperation that has ever been condensed into a forty pound body. Why oh why in Sweet Jesus’ name is this guy driving the car torturing him?


Now he’s clutching his head again rocking side to side,


This whole trip is taking maybe four and a half minutes, we pass about six streets on the way and each one elicits the same Broadway death scene.

Finally we make the left into the park and I announce, “See Danny, we’re here.”

If looks could kill – he gives me the stink eye big time. I know he’s certain that I tricked him somehow. He begrudgingly lets me grab his hand to walk him across the drive to the field where his brother is practicing and I know he’s certain that I found the place through sheer dumb luck.

I’m going to remember this one for awhile – let’s hear it for frequent flier miles.


sara holbrook said...


smith said...

nice one. i thoroughly enjoyed this.

kathy said...

This is so great, good story.

Kelly W. said...

I laughed so hard I can barely see through my tears. Danny is a little old man in a little boy's body. LOL at Charlton Heston and the Broadway death scene!

Well, I can't guarantee you a weekend full of intellectual conversation but I can always guarantee you new material to write about!

sarah willis said...

Very, very funny, Michael. So glad I got to read this.

Sarah W