Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We Gotta Go

            It’s important to keep moving.  If you’re moving, you are winning.  This is the motto of the Campbell men.  However, I’m not sure what the prize is.
            The object of arriving at any destination is to leave said destination and go someplace else.
            I have evidence.  Documented evidence.  We have this on again off again family tradition (depending on if the Campbell men have to go) of decorating a Christmas tree in the wild with food for the animals.  We got this idea from a picture book called the Night Tree.
            I recorded our first outing.  The children gleefully hanging peanut butter dipped, bird seed sprinkled bagels from evergreen branches, long chains of popcorn, pretzels and cranberries hung from snowy boughs, kids excitedly talking about the critter Christmas feast they are preparing.
            In the background the Campbell men look like a couple of race horses trapped inside the starting gate.  They uncomfortably shift their weight.  I believe there are some snorts and whinnies.  They begin rubbing their hands together and saying things like, “Good job guys.  Let’s go,” and “okay, one more bagel then we gotta go.”  Now their voices are less patient—“Hurry up!  We gotta go!”
            Then my little niece turns to said Campbell men who are stomping and foaming at the bit and asks, “Where do we gotta go?”
            This question is followed by a long silence because the Campbell men have no idea where they have to go.
            On road trips the car not only serves as transportation, but as a cage.  On a car trip to Mexico, I got a desperate text from my sister-in-law, “The “cat” has the “mice” trapped and won’t even let them out to pee.”
            When attending any type of formal function such as a wedding reception, luncheon, family gathering, church potluck, etc., an exit strategy is always planned.  These strategies include all sorts of ploys like pinching small children to make them cry, spilling food, induced vomiting, starting small fires. . . Okay, maybe it doesn’t get to that point.  But, I know what’s going through their heads.
            So, here is my list of advice to all men:
1.         We’ll be there when we get there.  (This also applies to children.)
2.         Rome was not built in a day, so don’t expect to get there in a day.
3.         If you have taken a 1-hour detour to avoid a 30 minute traffic jam, you are not winning. 
4.         It’s okay to stop and take a break, go to the bathroom, stretch your legs, make out with your wife. . .Enjoy the journey.
5.         The one who gets to said destination without pee stained, vomit reeking car is the real winner.
6.         Be where you are when you are there.  If you are in the car wishing you were there and then there wishing you were in the car and then in the car wishing you were home and then home wishing you were someplace else, you are never really anywhere and you’re giving everybody else a headache.  P.S.  you are not winning, you’re whining.
7.         And finally, if you can’t abide by these rules, take some Dramamine, sit in the back, and let me drive.

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