We just recently got home from driving half the length of Oregon and back. I feel like I have been put in an industrial drier with several sacks full of bowling balls.
But the kids had fun. One of my Dearest Readers gifted them a while back with tickets to the Hood River Thomas The Tank Engine Ride, wherein they would be going on an actual, full-sized train on real tracks, which would be pulled by an actual Thomas the Tank Engine. She also sent two Engineer's Caps and scarves covered in Thomas logo-ry.
The wife and I decided to surprise them. Oh, we told them they had a surprise coming, and it drove them nuts. And they drove us nuts in turn.
So, we arranged to rent a car from Mr Hertz...our rattletrap might make it up to Hood River, but there was no guarantee of it making it back. So we rented a 'Kia Hyundai Sonata' this morning at $37 for the day, which was the bill from the gas station we filled it at before returning it. Got 33mpg.
Our clunker doesn't have A/C either, so it was a good thing the rental did, because it was hotter than the backside of The Devil's scrotum today. And when we got there, I was standing on a seabead of shimmering hot asphalt, amidst a sea of screaming children, which were blissfully difficult to hear, due to vicious psychopaths having put a large amp near every electrical outlet, said amps blaring out Thomas songs as if Noriega was holed up in one of the outbuildings.
Rewind to the surprise: The wife and I finally couldn't take it anymore, so we would tell them on our way out of town. Now, you must understand that they's been playing the ad for this shindig on every channel for weeks, and it drives the kids nuts, and they beg and wheedle, and the wife and I hang our heads mournfully and tell them how we are too poor (well, we kinda are, now that you mention it) to take them and 'maybe next year'.
The kids always just said 'Awwww!' and slumped off.
We had just rented the car, and that had piqued their interest, and now we were pulling out of Jack & The Box after getting them breakfast, and finally they broke, and asked 'where we going?' The wife arched an eyebrow at me, and I nodded, and she said to the kids "Hey kids, it is going to be hot today, you're going to need hats." As they were already wearing caps, their heads quirked to the side, like dogs hearing a cat fart, and then the wife swept out the Engineer hats and their eyes got wide, and then she handed them each a kerchief, and said "you better have these on, too, while you ride on Thomas's train."
And she showed them the train tickets. We were heroes. As is their benefactor, who the wife gave the proper credit to.
So, how was their day? Oh, their day was perfect. As was the wife's. My day sucked dead donkey balls through a straw, but enough about me. There were snacks and games, a petting zoo, something that almost looked like a magician, or some sort of other entertainer, and of course, Thomas, in all his smoke-stacky, smiling, whistle-tooting glory. I vowed that if anyone else tootled that whistle just one more time, there was going to be a Public Display of Gunfire.
I looked at my kids beaming faces, and I just didn't have it in me.
Now, I am going to take a man-size portion of Ibuprofen and Benadryl, and slide into bed before the 9pm hour finds a pumpkin sitting here in my hermitage. God's anger is splitting the sky from horizon to horizon, the power is out in half the town, a cold wind is dropping the temperature fast, and I wish to go snuggle under my blanky.
Please don't make me leave the house again.