You Think Your Day Was Bad

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Travel Stories

It was Saturday, and my eye wouldn’t stop twitching. It wasn’t twitching in a good way like it does on Christmas or the morning of our fantasy football draft. It was twitching, and for a brief, glorious moment, I didn’t know why. Then, I remembered.

I remembered that our cars and garage had been ransacked the night before. We had been back in town for a grand total of three hours when someone came down our driveway, opened up each of our cars and rummaged through them, going so far as to open the one suitcase remaining in the trunk in a search for valuables. Finding nothing but my sunglasses the thief then opened our garage hoping to find some good loot. Luckily, both the garage and our cars are in such a state of disrepair that the thief was unable to find much of anything worth taking. Joke is on you, thief!

I cursed my inattention to detail, but then cut myself a little slack because we had returned from our trip at midnight the night before. Why were we so late? We missed our original flight home. We were scheduled to fly out of Kalispell, Montana but after arriving a whopping three minutes after they closed the ticket counter (still 27 minutes before our departure time!) the good folks at Horizon Air decided to cancel our entire reservation and, as luck would have it, there were no seats out of that airport for five more days. Fortunately, there were seats available in Missoula (120 miles away) so we rented a car, drove like Helio Castoneves through Arizona, and made a connection to Seattle. In Seattle, they got Amy on an earlier flight to San Francisco while Malcolm and I had to beg and plead to let us on the last flight out of Dodge. Fortunately, the gods smiled on us (owing mainly to my story that mommy was “in heaven now” and that we were still getting used to traveling alone) and we got two seats to Oakland. We got home late, but it was sure better than spending a night in Seattle.

I then remembered why we missed our flight. Actually, there were two reasons. First, Amy and her mom (on my insistence) waited in line at a Mexican restaurant for what seemed like an eternity for a lunch. Even if we hadn’t wasted 20 minutes on a couple of tacos and a quesadilla, we probably would have made our flight, which explains why I took it upon myself to “run into” a Super-Target for some Children’s Ibuprofen. For anyone who hasn’t been to a Super-Target, “running into” a Super-Target is just about as easy as “running into” the Library of Congress for a newspaper. We had no chance, really.

This looks too eerily similar to a mugshot that I have no doubt will one day be taken.

The memory of ¬†why we needed the Ibuprofen then came to mind. Earlier that day, Malcolm walked right in front of someone throwing a bocci ball, opening a gash on his forehead worthy of a IFC combatant. His face stained with blood, we took him to a local trauma center to get stitched up. (Since it was Montana, I was glad that he wasn’t getting worked on by a taxidermist!) Malcolm was brave, but I was braver, as I had to hold his head down while watching the doctor repeatedly poke Malcolm’s wound with a needle to give a local anesthetic. Yowza! Somehow I managed to avoid both vomiting and crying. Maybe I would have if I knew what the rest of the day would hold for us. Looking back at it, I was lucky to get out of it with a stolen pair of sunglasses and a twitchy eye. Some of us didn’t make it through so well.

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13 responses to “You Think Your Day Was Bad”

  1. Debra Lilley says:

    why if malcolm looked like that did the airline not take pity on you? They should have helped the poor lad who obviously has a big bully of a dad.
    Glad you all got home

  2. Jean says:

    Thanks for keeping my name out of the blog! I think the picture illustrates how I felt throughout the whole thing. My poor babies…

  3. Nanci says:

    Poor Malcolm! But, at least you had a taco. I kept thinking back to the story you and Amy told us about trading in your car a long time ago. I am sure it didn’t look anything like that, but it made me laugh thinking that someone would have to riffle through cereal boxes and other goods.

  4. Annie says:

    Oh My Gosh… what a slugger! And Malcolm is a pretty tough kid also.

  5. Leslie says:

    Wow, that’s worthy of a Xanax — or two. We had no doubt Malcolm would always remember this trip. Now he has an interesting physical reminder to help him.

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