Friday, June 17, 2016

Designated Driving Me Crazy

Last night was a family party night. And our family knows how to throw down. We were celebrating a big number NINE birthday in a typical manner that involved pizza, too much sugar, the assumption that the children would at least stay as a pack as they marauded through town, and my sister in law and I leaving with each other's sunglasses.

Game six of the NBA finals was streaming on the wall in the shop while Hubs washed down his cake, a random kid's leftover brownie, and any other snacks that fell in the radius of his wingspan with a hearty serving of his brother in law's outdated* beer.

And so as is customary, he tossed me the keys when I gave him the universal sign for "let's go", which is also the universal sign for "I'm about to slit your throat."

We piled in the family truckster and as usual, didn't make it a mile out of town before he started driving me batty. First he started in on ToddlerBandit by stealing from his supply of snacks that I keep loaded up in his cup holder for him to indiscriminately throw on the floor when he's mad at me.

I finally got him to leave the fruit loops alone and he decided to press every goddamn button in or around the dash board/radio area. Minions was playing in the back.

I watched his fingers fumble through the touch screen, making a mental note of how to unmuck his path of destruction.

The last time he pulled this, he converted my car's readouts to metric, and the language was either Icelandic or Swahili. So in town it always appeared I was doing 56 in a 35 and I didn't know whether the digital message was "roads may be icy" or "tire pressure low" or "there's an ax murderer in the backseat".

Suddenly everyone who was not speaking Minion was speaking Spanish.

Spanish. So the whole dialogue was MINION AND SPANISH.

He changed it back. Then Clayton began complaining about the narrator. "There's usually not a narrator on here, dad."

Yes. There is a setting where you can not only turn the subtitles on, but there's an additional voice that READS THE SUBTITLES ALOUD FOR YOU.

I suppose this is so that if you are blind, you might know what is going on in the movie. Like having your friend sit right next to you and whisper in your ear all of the goings-on throughout the entire movie. Which I applaud for the ADA community, but in this instance, and in my state of fried nerves rocketing down the highway at 65 miles per hour, I did not appreciate.

Fumble fumble fumble. Poke poke. Beep beep.


Now. This whole business of him being a terrible drunk passenger is almost ALWAYS compounded by the obscene amounts of sugar he has also consumed, which attempts to metabolize and escape his body by any means necessary, and so he fidgets and squirms and generally cannot be still. This is exactly the worst** time to be stuck in a car with him. Worse even, for him to be in the passenger seat.

With no more buttons for his hands to push, they must find a landing spot.

I spent the remainder of our journey swatting his hand away and generally treating him like a misbehaved toddler with ADHD. By the time we got home, his sugar crash hit and he was much easier to deal with. Life was back to normal, we cranked out a couple DVR'd episodes of trashy TV, and caught up on all the stuff from our lives this week that we forgot to talk about that we couldn't talk about in front of the kids.

This morning when I got up with a clear head and I saw him sleeping peacefully, as much as I wanted to pester him awake in retaliation, I didn't. There are a lot of guys out there who have a couple drinks and turn into raging, abusive wankers. Mine just ends up eating all the cake and wants to touch my boob a little.***

*It might not be, really. His distributor employeeship perk just makes my husband so jealous that he wants to try new things, like all the flavors in the mini-fridge.

**There is one more worst time to be stuck in a car with him, which I will defer to his sister or whomever the new owner of her previous car is for inquiries.

***I'm not saying I'll let him, I'm just saying I'm not mad about it. That's all. 


  1. Hmm... now I'm wondering what I turn into when I've had a drink or three...

  2. You're patient. I would have pulled over and told him to walk the rest of the way. Probably explains why I'm not married