The following is an account of a real vacation that I had. The details may not be exactly true, but I have tried to preserve the truth (sort of) while making it funny.
By Peter Last
Disclaimer: This account is based on a true event; however, since my memory is not the best, some of the details may not be completely true. Nevertheless, I have done my best to recount the events of the journey in a humorous if not completely authentic manner.
This is the wholly remarkable account of an exciting and somewhat life-threatening trip from my home in Alabama to the frozen wastelands of Wisconsin. For what reason might a person decide that he should leave the comfortable climate of Alabama and enter the land of the polar bear? In truth, if the choice was mine, I might not have made the journey at all; however, the choice was made by my father, and the whole family had to comply with it. The reason for the trip was very simple actually; most of our extended family including the parents of both my mother and father live in or near Wisconsin. Because of these facts, I was determined to pull myself together and cooperate; as you recall, I had no choice in the matter. Since I not only wanted to arrive in Wisconsin intact but also return to Alabama, I began preparations for the trip long before the day that we left. Actually, I thought about preparing for the trip; however, when the night before we left rolled around, I found myself staring at an empty suitcase.
“Let me see,” I said, trying to put the monumental task of packing into perspective. “We are only going to be gone for a little less than a week, so I shouldn’t need that much luggage.”
I reached for my list of necessities and began to look through it. At the top it said, “Two dresses.” This should have been my first indication that something was wrong; however, it took until “thirteen blouses” before I began to think that this list might not be correct. My suspicion heightened when I got to “twenty-seven pairs of shoes” but what really tipped me off was when I got to “three tubes of lipstick.” It was at this point that I finally realized that I was looking at my sister’s list. I was slightly embarrassed at my mistake, but more than that I was angry with myself. Now I would have to unpack everything and restart. To this day I still wonder why I had two dresses hanging in my closet ready to be packed.
“I’m actually glad that that was the wrong list,” I tried to convince myself. “After all, it didn’t have hardly any necessities on it at all.”
“Make sure that you have enough clothes for the trip,” my mother told me as I was just beginning to repack my suitcase.
I decided that I should pack the clothes first so that I didn’t forget them and make my mother angry. I glanced down through my list but couldn’t find anything that resembled clothing on it unless you count a football helmet and pads as clothing. I carefully reviewed the list, but somehow I had managed to leave clothes off of it.
“Well,” I said out loud, “I guess I’ll just have to figure out what to pack right now. Since we’re not even going to be gone for a week, I’m going to need one t-shirt, one pair of pants, one…” I stopped in the middle of my sentence. “I’ve already got a full set of clothes on!” I exclaimed, proud of my observation. “That’s really all of the clothing that need. I guess I’ll pack another shirt in case this one gets dirty, but the rest of my suitcase I can use for important things like movies, my X-Box, my laptop, and stuff like that.”
With this decision made, I quickly packed the rest of my suitcase and placed it down stairs with all of the others. Looking back, perhaps I should have let mom look at what I had packed. Not that it mattered; she found out very quickly anyway. After the strenuous ordeal of packing, I was ready to go to bed which I did so extra early so that I would be properly rested for my day of inactivity. The entire family woke, or was woken up, early the next morning, and we piled into the two vehicles that we were going to be taking up north, our fifteen passenger van and a five passenger car. Even with twenty seats, the fit was still rather tight because besides the twelve people that our family contains, we had been joined by three significant others. Even so, the ride to Wisconsin was not too brutal, and we only lost three unfortunate souls on the way. Actually, the ride was quite boring and consisted mainly of sitting in an uncomfortable position, eating, sitting in an uncomfortable position, sleeping, and sitting in an uncomfortable position. Sadly the highlight of the trip was counting road signs, an activity which we stopped after we reached 36,743,879,430,217. (This is of course extreme exaggeration used to make a point. The actual number was just over 1 trillion.)
When we arrived in Wisconsin, I was surprised to find that it was not a frozen wasteland as I had expected it to be and figured that I wasn’t going to be able to make a fortune by selling hot chocolate. On a side note, I never understood why people buy hot chocolate. All that happens when it is heated up is that it melts and makes a mess. Anyway, when we arrived, we made a short stop at the house that the reunion was going to take place in and then headed to the hotel. At the hotel, Dad began to unpack the bags but kept finding random pieces of electrical equipment. The cause of this became obvious when my suitcase was unpacked. Over the course of the trip the top had come open, spewing the contents of the case over the entire vehicle. I guess that’s why there are latches on luggage. Needless to say, mom was not happy when she found out exactly what I had packed.
“You packed what?” she shouted. “Peter, you are a #*NM#!! boy.” Now before you take this to mean that my mother cursed let me explain what actually happened. I quote her exactly as saying, “Peter, you are a number sign asterisks skull and crossbones bomb number sign exclamation point exclamation point boy.” I took this as a complement until I realized that she was actually very mad at me for the choices I made in packing. Eventually mom cooled down and we carried the luggage up to the hotel rooms. When we got into our rooms, we fell in to the beds and fell asleep almost immediately; riding in a van for thirteen hours is hard work.
The time spent with our relatives went by very quickly. We had a blast playing pool and talking about various things. Of course nothing can be perfect, so I had to have left my tooth brush at home. I really didn’t mind, but when small animals started to fall down dead when I breathed in their general direction, I realized that I needed to do something. The solution was really quite simple; I chewed a lot of gum. I noticed that after I started to do this, people stopped having important dental appointments whenever I walked into the room.
The time flew by quickly and all too soon it was time to drive back to Alabama. I figured that the ride back would be more peaceful since we had lost three people on the way up, but it turns out that they had just gone into comas and were awake for the ride back. This time we didn’t count road signs. Instead we played a game called “How many Mt. Dews can you down before you go so ballistic that you snap your seatbelt?” Unfortunately everyone had to go to the bathroom before any seatbelts were broken.
One other interesting thing occurred just when the trip was almost over. We arrived home safe and sound only to find that we had managed to lock ourselves out of the house. We had an interesting time getting in, but this problem was finally solved when we used a quarter stick of dynamite to blow the back of the house out. After this occurrence, Dad decided to replace the locks on the door so that we could actually get into our own house.
The trip to Wisconsin was very trying and difficult, yet when we arrived, I found that seeing all of my relatives again was worth all of the trouble. I guess it is only by hard work that anything of worth can be acquired. All things considered, the trip to Wisconsin was definitely worth all of the trouble and hardships, and I am looking forward to going again next year, though this time I’m going to make sure to remember my toothbrush.
All hard work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty.
Hope that you enjoyed this post. Thanks for reading my blog.