Or, Let's Try This Again
Last night, at 10 p.m., we (Dad) became tired of waiting for 11 to roll around. We (Dad) wanted to get a snack before Departure Time, and since Dad was exhausted and dropped his sandwich on the kitchen floor at home, it had to be fast food.
I drove, both of my parents were tired already and I knew that all the time I spent with Jennifer has reprogramed my brain to allow me to stay up and remain good to drive for far longer than either of my parents. We loaded into the Taurus, noticed we needed gas, and set of for Warsaw.
Where we live, gas stations close early. We knew that we would need to make it all the way to Warsaw before we found one that stayed open after nine. The only problem with that is the Taurus' messed up gas gauge. You see, as we drive along, it looks like we are peachy keen in the gas department until the sticky meter decides the car needs gas, now. At that point, the meter drops fast. As it rockets toward the "E" the little gas pump light goes on, and we know the car means business.
But we weren't there yet.
I drove, playing fun music for my unappreciative father, and we all made it to Warsaw, passing sneaky deer and the wafting scent of Darcy's best friends (the skunk population of our area). Mom and Dad then chimed in with directions to the fast food area with the restaurants most likely to be open.
That was because every time I set foot in Warsaw, I get lost.
Badly too, and each time I end up calling Dad because I am nearly late for an appointment or because I didn't know there were so many Zimmer buildings in Warsaw (or the world at large). Dad took so long making a fast food decision this time that I ended up proving my driving skills by circling the same convoluted parking lot for ten minutes. We got sandwiches, and I then announced that we were out of gas. Yes, the little gauge had become unstuck as I turned around and around between Hardees and Arbys, as Dad changed his mind again and again.
The sad part of that was, there were no open gas stations on that side of Warsaw. I had seen one on the way into town, so we turned around back down Center street and made for 15. As I did so, the little gas pump light shone brightly and Mom commented that it was too far to drive all the way back that way. I replied that, if we didn't, we wouldn't be driving anywhere for long.
Finally, we found a gas station. Mom handed over eleven dollars. Dad then said, "Is that all the money you have?" Mistakenly believing that Mom ever put more than 10-15 dollars in the gas tank if she could help it...
As Dad pumped, Mom sat in the backseat and said, "Laura, I have this feeling...Did Dad remember his passport?"
We all know that if Dad screwed that up, he wasn't going anywhere. Our trip would have been an enormous failure. The second he sat down in the passenger seat, Mom asked him, because she likes to scare people.
We do that in our family, usually to ourselves. I like to, once or twice in a day, freak out because I am completely sure that my keys/phone/iPod/wallet/laptop have been abandoned in a location I have visited during the day. I once was right, taking off at a dead run in Leonardo da Vinci airport (Rome) to retrieve my travel wallet (money, passport, driver's licence) that I had left in the bathroom after Dr. Angelos had warned us seconds earlier not to do that very thing.
Dad had not forgotten his passport.
We ended up 40 minutes early in the parking lot of Hands of Hope. And, if you know our family, you know how good we all are at waiting. So, for two minutes, we waited patiently. Then I decided we should turn the car into a nightclub.
So, I turned the bass up as high as it would go and played "Just Dance" by Lady Ga Ga, turning the dome light on and off repeatedly as a makeshift strobe light.
That lasted for about three more minutes. That left us with 35 minutes to kill.
So I told my parents, "Let's drunk dial Paul, even though we are sober!" So I called my brother and did my fake-drunk voice, I proclaimed him the "best brother ever," and said there weren't any brothers like him in the whole world, even feigning tears as I reached that proclamation.
Then, after we had hung up, I waited another minute before calling him back and asking him if he was mad at me, again feigning the influence of alcohol (which I can't even spell without help).
I told my family that we ought to call Grandma and Grandpa Beutler (Jen knows the back story here) and do the same thing, or, better yet, I could go up to their Elkhart home and fake drunk in person. I would say this to Grandma, "You have, like, the best hair ever on a Grandma. I mean it. That is the truth. I mean, it is so Floofy. That is awesome." Moments would pass, and I would go on, "I just have one really important question for you Grandma. Can I touch your hair? I want to find out if if is fluffy, or hard, like a shell. Or if when I push it in, it will bounce back."
Not even my dad has ever touched Grandma's hair.
We called Paul back. Then, we (I) asked him to look for YouTube videos he could describe to us.
Yeah, we were that bored.
So, because Paul loves me, he did it.
Here is a brief selection:
1. Paul found a voice chat recording he had listened to earlier of a young man who was playing World Of Warcraft. The kid/teenager was doing something with a group and one of his parents came into the room to tell him to stop playing. The kid/teenager then began to cry, yell, and whine pleas to be allowed to continue with WOW, since he had just begun to play.
2. I laughed and mentioned to Paul that the story he had just told us was almost as funny as what had happened to his old guild's leader, who had been arrested over voice chat. He had been sitting, playing WOW, and apparently, those old possession charges came back to haunt him when the cops came in and told him to step away from the computer. He was found with pot again, and the additional charges eventually led to the dissolution of the guild and jail time. He apologized over guild chat and mentioned, "Uh, the cops are here. I may be gone for a while..."
3. Paul then told us about another guild chat that had gone awry when one of the players had forgotten to take his hand off the microphone button. He told a friend, as the other players listened in, that he wouldn't be playing that long, he would just grab all the gear he wanted and log off quickly (that is WOW stealing). They waited until he finished the story, then said, "Uh, we can hear you." He quickly logged off as Paul and his online buddies laughed.
4. We then talked about a guy who had screwed up by trying to do a live feed, a guy who had been rapping (a British guy) just kept rapping along until his roommate came up behind him, noted that he was rapping on a live YouTube feed, punched his friend in the head. The would-be rapper fell to the ground, stood up, and said, "Why would you do that, mate?" Or something to that effect.
5. Paul played another audio clip from WOW where someone hacked the voice chat and was pretending (using audio clips from various movies) to be Arnold Schwarzenegger. He repeatedly asked another young man if he could speak to the man's mother. At first it seemed as if the guy didn't buy it, but then, due to the accuracy of the voice clips.
6. Paul told us all of another skewed study by Fox Snooze. Apparently, Beer Pong, a recreational game Paul has taken part in from time to time, is a hazard to young people's health. Unfortunately, the right wing conservative news group think beer pong's little ping-pong balls are tossed into drinks that individuals then drink out of. This, they proclaimed, would lead to herpes infection. This is disregarding the fact that (Paul says) they don't drink out of the glasses the balls end up in at all, and that the alcohol in the glasses would, if the ball ended up in them, kill any bacteria or virus that came into contact with it.
Meanwhile, I said: "It's twelve o'clock in the Midwest, Dad, do you know where you're tour bus is?" Paul played us suspenseful music while Dad found out.
He called Sally, the trip coordinator. She answered the phone. I listened in as Dad asked where the bus was, if they were meeting somewhere else, and what was going on.
"You're kidding me," he then said. "Oh, man."
We all knew what she was saying. Dad had the wrong night.
Indeed, we had driven all the way to Warsaw to drop Dad off a full day before he ought to have been, all because of the confusion that happens when the date changes over from March 4 to March 5. Oops.
Paul had been listening in, and proclaimed, "EPIC FAIL!" I laughed hysterically, so hard that I had an asthma episode.
So tonight, we're going to try this thing again. Hopefully it will work a little better this time, and we won't be leaving early this time...