Baby boomers were raised going on family summer road trips.Our parents wanted the family to travel through the countryside– enjoying roadside picnics overrun by ants and staying at motels overrun by spiders.
Kids just wanted to get back home and play with their friends. To accomplish this they would sit in the backseat of the car and perfect the art of projectile vomiting! You could always count on your sister to introduce the theme, “If I can’t sit up in the front seat I’m going to be car sick.”
Memories of these road trips were recorded on Kodak slides– a precursor to Nytol– designed to induce deep sleep at family gatherings. But what isn’t seen on the slides are ‘The 7 Things Our Parents Said On Road Trips.’ Even before everyone piled into the car your mom would say #1 Thing Parents Said On Road Trips:
“Make sure you’ve got clean underwear on. If we are in an accident you don’t won’t to end up in the hospital wearing dirty underpants!”
Yep, somehow moms just knew that nothing could be worse than having a paramedic tear off her kids Fruit of the Loom underwear– only to realize it hadn’t been changed for two days! I mean it may be enough to have their country club membership revoked!
ER trauma physician: “Sorry, but we did everything we could to help your child. But in the end we had no other choice: when we saw Johnny’s underwear we called in the children’s aid. You have been charged with one count of DUH: dirty underwear horror.”
Before leaving the house– and everybody had peed for the FOURTH time— Mom would say the #2 Thing Parents Said On Road Trips:
“Are you sure you don’t have to go again? It’s going to be a long time before we get to a gas station.”
In the car, the dog would climb int the rear window above the back seat. The first thing parents would do… was light a cigarette. And with that your dad would start the car and another family road trip was about to begin.
At the end of the driveway, your sister would scream, “Mom, Johnny won’t stop looking at me. I don’t like it.” Dad would intercept and glare in the rearview mirror. He’d say the #3 Thing Parents Said On Road Trips:
“Look! If I have to stop this car I’m going to have to come back there and smack you one!”
It’s right there in Dr. Spocks guidebook: fathers are authorized to ‘have’ to come back and ‘smack you one.’
By the time the car made it to the end of the block your brother had his sister trapped upside down with her head squished between his knees pile-driving her into the seat!
For some reason this seemed valid enough for dad to screech the car to a stop. In a cloud of dust, your dad would scream the #4 Thing Parents Said On Road Trips:
“Look! If you kids don’t get along together I’ll turn this car around and take you home and leave you there” Now do you hear me?”
How could the kids not hear him– his neck veins were bulging; his face the colour of a cooked lobster.
Right away, moms would say the #5 Thing Parents Said On Road Trips:
“Honey! You know we wouldn’t do such a thing!”
Usually by the the time you reached the city limits your sister would chime in with, “Mom! Johnny keeps putting his feet on my side of the car!”
By this time your dad had had enough! He would say the #6 Thing Parents Said On Road Trips:
“Look! I Meant What I Said!”
At this point moms would utter under her breath the #7 ‘Thing Parents Said On Road Trips:
“I don’t know why I put up with this!”
Editor’s Notes: Gary Chalk is a Canadian humorist on a mission: ‘turn peoples wrinkles into laugh lines.’ His popular weekly column ‘Living Retired’– read by baby boomers and retirees throughout North America– transforms everyday mundane chores into wonderfully laugh out loud events! To read more of Gary’s antics visitwww.LivingRetired.press.