Thursday, March 13, 2008

Roadtrip: Episode V

Today I am finally mostly recovered from a solid two weeks of cold that knocked me on my ass in ways I don't believe my ass has been knocked before. So, because I have nothing more to report on than the contents of my sinus cavities (and also because I only have three short weeks until y'all can start throwing babies at me), welcome to Day 5:

Day 5. April 5, 2007. Fairfield to Santa Cruz.
If you happen to love the jellybeans so much that you've earned yourself a jellybean-inspired nickname, it's likely that your mother will insist on taking you through the JellyBelly factory at some point in your life. That lucky day, for me, was April 5, 2007. The tour itself was much the same as any factory tour, bursting with the cries of bored children, brimming with the apathy of their bone-weary parents, and bushy with infinite lengths of dreadlocks.

You know what's funny? Watching a woman with dreads piled at least a foot high on her head try to put on the mandatory paper tour hat. And even funnier? Watching her delicately glide through the tour, like America's Next Top Model balancing books on her head. No photos were allowed during the tour, a travesty I shall lament until my dying day. I can nearly taste how much sweeter life would've been with a framed reminder of that brave little hat.

We left Fairfield for the fairer skies of San Jose. It was my day to drive, and it was all I could do to contain my road rage. The other drivers on the road were a little crazy, sure. But they were tolerable. Completely intolerable? My mother, who insisted on expressing, out loud, exactly what every other driver was doing that stuck in her craw.

"Whoa, buddy! You're driving way too fast. You goofball."

"Yikes! You need to stop following so close. You goofball."

"Hey! That's not an exit lane. You goofball."

Keep in mind, we were in Oakland. There were 6 lanes crowded with traffic - and not a single car, including ours, was behaving in a way she found appropriate. And you may have picked up on her preferred insult in such circumstances. Goofball. For the remainder of the day and, indeed, the remainder of the trip, every traffic offender was a goofball. I thought my brain was going to explode and slowly leak out through my eye sockets. Meanwhile, in the back seat, The Kid began to grow agitated and periodically lashed out at his grandmother, who responded by intentionally pushing all of his buttons. Hard.

Day 5 was the day we all began to regret our decision to take a road trip.

We eventually made it to San Jose and our chosen destination, The Winchester House. The drive took at least twice as long as it ought because my mother couldn't find time to navigate, what with all the name calling. But we did make it after all, just in time for the final tour of the day. The house was a trip; the perfect glimpse at someone else's psychosis. It was sufficiently nutty to keep The Kid entertained through the history lesson that went along with the walking tour.

And then we drove to Santa Cruz, where it was discovered that the ice in the cooler had melted and leaked all over our suitcases. We all had damp undies for the next two days, and not at all in a sexy sort of way.

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