Make My Day
YOU THINK YOUR ROAD TRIPS ARE LONG?
by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- "No, we're not there yet."
"About six more weeks."
"We're in Central Ohio."
"We should get to the Indiana border in three weeks."
"That's pretty fast, children."
"Sure it is. Wagon trains just seem to take a long time."
"We're going as fast as we can."
"Just be patient."
"Go in the back and take a nap if you're bored."
"Then get out and walk alongside!"
"I'm sorry, good wife. The children just yammer on so. It's been the same questions every day for the last month. Are we there yet? How much longer? Will we see Indians? Sarah is on my side of the wagon. Can we put the cover down? I'm tempted to make them get out and walk the rest of the way."
"That is not cruel! My father made me get out and walk next to the wagon train when I was bored. And look how well I turned out."
"Sigh. You're probably right. Wagons weren't nearly as fast as they are now. Nor as safe. Now we all have these modern amenities like a cover and extra room for bunking down. Plus there's room for their books and their rubber ball. Everything a pioneer child could ever want."
"You know, sometimes I wonder if we spoil them. I mean, a book and a rubber ball? When I was a boy, my brothers and I all shared a single book and we played catch with a smooth rock."
"I am not exaggerating. I can still remember how angry Joseph and James were when I lost the rock at the swimming hole. I looked for hours, but never found it again. They gave me the silent treatment for a week, and they still get upset about it after all these years."
"I'm not kidding. Let me show you. There's Joseph's wagon over there."
"Fine, and you?"
"Good. Say, do you remember our rock we played with as boys?"
"I know. Look, I said I was sorry."
"What are you still upset about? We got a wooden ball that next Christmas."
"Oh, great. Now they've gone up ahead. See, I told you they were still upset about it."
"John, Sarah, come up here and look at the scenery. It's marvelous."
"What?! It's not boring, it's wonderful. To be immersed in God's creation so fully makes me excited to be out here on the frontier."
"What do you mean, it all looks the same? Nonsense. Each tree is different and unique from every other. Why, there's a white oak, and over there is a red oak. There are a couple of pine trees, and a fir tree, and - oh, look, a tamarack. See, all kinds of different and unique trees."
"Shh! Quiet everyone. Look over there. It's a buck. Look at the size of him.
"He's magnificent. Fetch me my rifle, son."
"Of course I'm going to shoot it. How else are we going to eat it?"
"No, I'm not going to eat boiled potatoes again. A man can only eat boiled potatoes so many times, and 27 nights in a row is too many."
"Children, go to the back and read your book."
"No, I don't want apples either. We've been eating apples for lunch ever since we met up with that Johnny Appleseed fellow back in Akron two weeks ago. The only thing I'm more tired of than potatoes is apples."
"I don't care what the doctor said about my cholesterol. The man was as fat as an ox and his breath stank of that magic potion he sold. Besides, what the heck is cholesterol anyway?"
"I did not blaspheme."
"Heck is not a bad word."
"I don't care what Preacher Fairweather says. He doesn't even believe in modern music like "Oh Susanna." The man's an idiot."
"Why are we arguing about this anyway? The buck got away."
"What do you mean, good?"
"Listen, woman, I need meat. M-E-E-T, meat. If I don't get some animal flesh soon, I'll eat one of the oxen."
"Didn't you go when we stopped for dinner?"
"I asked you both of you had to go."
"You should have tried anyway."
"Listen, the Rules of the Trail are that when we stop the wagon, everyone has to make water. "That means - I am not being coarse, I'm trying to make a point - everyone. Even you two."
"Can't you hold it for a while longer? I wasn't going to stop again until supper time."
"Fine. Just wait until we go another mile or so."
"About half an hour."
"Listen, we're making good time. I don't want to have a long delay."
"Fine, just run up ahead a few hundred yards and go. We'll catch up with you when you're done."
"And listen to your mother. If you meet any Indians, be polite and mind your manners."