So I was letting my daughter drive, and my son was in the back seat with our two dogs. I was eating A&W onion rings (soooo good if you like greasy food that will kill you, which I do) and "teaching" by which I mean, I was eating onion rings. My son was sucking down his root beer float. And then...I'm still not sure how this happened, though he used the word "haunted" and the word "possessed" and the word "demon". Anyway, he spilled his float. We weren't on a rough road or taking a sharp turn or fending off motion sickness or trying to win a race or taking over the mailman's route for the day or anything like that, he just sort of simultaneously spilled. EVERYWHERE.
So he started yelling. In fact, he proved himself his mother's son with the first word out of his 12-year old mouth: "Shit!" (Given the enormous mess, I let it slide. Also: thanks to me, he knew that word by the time he was ten months old, because I have the self-control of a chimpanzee in the fruit section of Cub Foods.) So I twisted around and saw the kid covered in root beer float, and the dogs covered in root beer float and licking each other. And even though my car is a garbage dump on wheels, I was still horrified. So I started screaming incoherently: "Aggghhh, no...grrrrr! Wha--aaagggghhh! Aaagghh!" Just as when I was trying to tell them to come look at the bear in our back yard, all I could do was sort of grunt and flail around in the passenger seat without actually using verbs or nouns or adjectives or adverbs.
This alarmed my daughter, who promptly twisted around. "What? What's wrong?" This time I was a big girl and used my words: "WATCH THE ROAD, WATCH THE ROAD, WATCH THE ROOOOOOOAD!"
Sometimes you have these moments in your life where you step back and coldly observe and think: "It's time to re-evaluate my life." Also: "Watch the road!" This wasn't one of those times, because I knew exactly where it had all gone wrong.
The best part was, we were a good twenty miles away from even a gas station. And the only thing I had in the car was one of those little portable packs o'Kleenex. So I sort of blotted my son (I didn't even try to blot the dogs, who were still avidly slurping each other's fur) with my grand total total of eight Kleenexes while reminding my daughter that this wasn't England, so she was required to drive on the right side of the road.
Also, unbeknownst to me, while this was going on my body was happily incubating a flu virus or something equally vile. So although I didn't know it, I was due to start vomiting within 72 hours. Although to be fair, I really felt like getting a head start on the vomiting what with root beer spraying everywhere. I love most kinds of pop...my idea of the perfect beverage is a Coke clogged with ice on a hot summer day. But something about root beer summons my gag reflex. It's not a problem with liquid, either, because I hate those little candy root beer barrels, too. I hate everything about root beer. Root beer, you go straight to hell! You go straight to hell and you die, root beer!
The best part is, my son has always been the fastidious one in the family. Messes really bugged him, even when he was still in diapers. In fact, he would apologize if he'd gotten sick or needed a Pull-Ups change. "I'm really sorry, Mom." "You're two. Forget about it." "Yeah, but still." "You haven't been on the planet as long as some of the yogurt in our fridge. Don't worry about it." (Memo to me: clean out the fridge.) He may have only been two on the outside, but he was at least eleven on the inside. So when we made it to our cabin, he had to sort of peel himself out of the back seat, complete with "zzzzrrrrriiiipp!" sound effects. And the look on his face...let's just say that I make my living writing, and yet my powers of description were not up to it.
But all's well that ends etcetera...we emptied the car and then he hopped in the tub and got squeaky clean. Well, he's a pre-teen boy, so kind of clean. Barely clean? Semi-clean? But I've got to do something about the dogs. Bees are following them everywhere.
Like I needed another reason to hate root beer?