Friday, July 16, 2010

Grumpy Summer Vacation, Day 2

Hell is a hotel that doesn’t have Nick on TV to distract my kids. So, while we were waiting to go over to my in-laws, my kids killed time by watching Playhouse Disney, which they’re WAY beyond.

So we’re watching “Special Agent Oso”. Today’s episode featured Oso (a bear) trying to feed a pet bunny, and he couldn’t figure out if the food should be inside or outside it’s cage (REALLY!). When he finally got it right, the supporting characters sang “Oso! He's O-SO Special"

Yes, indeed he is.

After an improvised martial arts match at the hotel’s waffle station, we went over to my FIL’s house. I genuinely like my FIL. He's a good guy. He teaches at a university. He has the interesting background of being able to fix ANYTHING, drive a racing jetboat, and he put himself through college and grad school by being a semi-pro boxer.

I have no idea why, but he's always called me "Big I.” He is, to date, the ONLY person I have ever allowed to call me that. And I HATE being called Big I. But from him it sounds okay.

This morning, while Mrs. Grumpy visited with family, and kids went over to a cousin's house, I sat down to read a Bill Bryson book (one of my favorite authors) that I found on a shelf. At some point my FIL came in with a bag of beef jerky.

"Hey, Big I. Here’s some leftover jerky from a trip with the grad students last week. Why don’t you finish it, I’ve had enough.” He plopped down an almost-full bag of jerky next to me, and left the room.

I’m normally not a jerky person, but tried a piece. It was HORRIBLE. Awful beyond words. I spit it out in a Kleenex and flushed it.

And apparently he wanted me to eat it all.

When he went out back to work on his boat, I quickly tossed the bag in the trash and buried it under some newspapar.

A while later he came in and asked me how the jerky was. Trying to be polite I said it was great, and that I’d finished it.

He said, “Oh, I’m glad someone liked it. Me and the grad students all thought it was terrible stuff."

Thanks, FIL.

This afternoon I was assigned the job of going to get an in-law a gift certificate to a local pizza place (it’s his birthday). FIL volunteered to drive me.

Riding with FIL is always an adventure, because he LOVES to teach. So while driving along he’ll randomly point out a window and say something like “See that Mountain Big I? That’s where, in 1873, Lt. Hardon of the 26th Cavalry clashed with the Buffalo Indians. The battle began as his men ascended the east face of Mount Bigpileofrock, and then...”

And while he’s intently looking out the back window pointing at landmarks, you’re holding on for dear life because he’s crossed into on-coming traffic, and doesn’t notice them frantically honking as they swerve off the road. Fortunately, this is a relatively small town, and most locals recognize the red 1987 Chevy Astro as it weaves in and out of traffic, and give it a wide berth.

As we dodged oncoming cars and I learned about the geological history of Bigass Mountain, we passed a sign that said: “Litter and it will hurt!!”

The pizza place was nothing special. A guy in overalls and a Big State University T-shirt sold me a $50 giftcard, then recognized my FIL and began arguing with him about his crappy grade from last semester.

When we got back I noticed this unusual receipt.


Rachael said...

entertaining post :)

since you don't like Big I can I call you Big G (for Grumpy)? jk

totally love the receipt, btw

The Plaid Cow said...

Oso is very special. My favorite part is that *any* task that has had to do (from jumping rope, to making dinner, to performing brain surgery) can be done in just three simple steps!

Step 1, Cut open the skull.

Step 2, Remove part of the brain.

Step 3, Sew the patient back up.

Drewz07 said...

I enjoy your Site. I had a bit of a flashback when you described the FIL crossing the center line. My mother has adopted a policy of driving that involves her aiming the car in the direction of whatever distraction she's decided to fixate on. "Son, look over there (car suddenly jerks to the left) THAT house caught fire 15 years ago and was nearly destroyed--they rebuilt." Obviously I rarely submit to being a passenger, but it is no less worrisome when I consider the possibility that she might meet her end entranced by a freakish yard-art statue of a cow made out of empty 7-UP cans.

Mugdha said...

Well, it certainly sounds like you will need a little of the force to get through this vacation. Hopefully it's a good sign!

J-Quell'n said...


gene said...

"it's allllll part of the plan, more or less"
if i lived near Mount Bigpileofrock, i'd weigh 300 pounds. i'd eat pizza every day, just so i could see Obi Wan channeling through the register.

Maura said...

Agent Oso helped us make up 3 Special Steps for our son to use in the bathroom:

Step 1: Turn on the light.

Step 2: Lift the lid.


Unfortunately, like Agent Oso, our son needs much reminding of the steps.

Ben S said...

Was the martial arts match with the waffle machine or other griddle-iron contenders?

Debbie said...

Love the receipt! Just a little bit of humor to brighten one's day.

Cal said...

Having lived for several years both in England and in the US I love the Bill Bryson books too.

Shrtstormtrooper said...

There are many comment-worthy aspects to this post, but obviously I'm going to go with the obvious. I want to go to that pizza place!

stewbert said...

"special" agent oso is the stupidest agent ever. we hate the show and are sort of glad our cable is out and will be permanently.

watercolordaisy said...

Love the receipt!!!!!

Anonymous said...

plaid cow - if you have any traits of sociopathy, you could have the potential to be a neurosurgeon.

was1 said...

Family vacations leave everlasting memories. We just got back from 2 weeks in the car. I think my ass is permanantly numb. Glad to be home.

Maybe Big I evolved from Big Guy. I have a friend who we call Big Eye because when my MIL would greet him with "Hi, Big Guy" his wife would say she thought his eyes were about the same size.

Anonymous said...

Which Bill Bryson book was it?

Only read "A short history of nearly everything" so far myself, but I loved it. :)

The Mother said...

At least it didn't say John, 3:16. I hate attempts at receipt conversion.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Mairusm- "In a Sunburned Land".

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