Road Trip

Short Fiction for Guests of the WordFeeder
Sunday, May 16, 2010

“You know, this is really nice. We should go places together more often.”

“Yes dear, it’s wonderful. Are you sure you don’t mind driving?”

“No, of course not. In fact, I need to get out more. I love writing, but it’s a solitary job. Just me and my computer, hardly ever getting up.”

“What about the trips you make to the refrigerator?”

“I know I’ve put on a few pounds but, some days, they’re virtually the only exercise I get.”

“How ironic is that?”

“By the way, I need some new underwear. Just the pants. My shirts are fine.”

“I’ll get you some.”

“Have you noticed the holes in the ones I’ve thrown in the hamper recently?”

“Moths?”

“ Yeah. Moths. Giant underwear moths. That’s all they eat. ..The cloth is so old I can’t pull my pants down without my thumbs going through them.”

“Why not just throw them out?”

“Emotional attachment. I’m beginning to have a sense of what it’s like to be Swiss. Would you set the GPS?”

“Are you kidding? We both know how to get there.”

“Just in case we run into traffic and have to detour.”

“Honey, I really need to get there on time.”

“Some things you can’t rush. ..Can I have the Baby Ruth I asked you to pack?”

“I thought you were kidding. It’s only a 40 minute drive. ..Oh, don’t look so dejected. Here, have some water.”

“You think water is a substitute for a Baby Ruth?”

“I think it will fill up your stomach and besides, …”

“Besides what?”

“You can’t talk when you’re drinking.”

“Turn off your cell phone.”

“I’m not driving.”

“Suppose one of the kids calls you and wants to talk to me?”

“I’ll tell them you’re driving.”

“I suppose I could pull over.”

“I’ll turn off my cell phone.”

“How do I turn on the rear wiper?”

“It’s not raining.”

“There’s bird stuff back there that’s bothering me.”

“What, that tiny white speck in the corner?”

“Maybe we should have taken my car.”

“Your car doesn’t even have a rear wiper.”

“It doesn’t have any bird poop on it either.”

“Just push this lever.”

“How many times?”

“…Once! Just once will probably do it.”

“There. That’s better.”

“Honey, maybe I should drive. …Would you puh-lease stop adjusting your seat?”

“You know, my car has manual seats. I’m not used to all these comfort features. It’s hard to get it just right. ..Nuts. We need gas.”

“Are you kidding? Half a tank is more than enough to get there.”

“Not if we get stuck in traffic.”

“It’s Sunday. There isn’t any traffic. We’ll stop for gas on the way back. …….”

“…What?”

“Honey, you know I love talking to you, but…”

“Oh, God!”

“What’s wrong?!”

“Where is my Glee CD? ..Thank you. You know it’s only a matter of time before we get stopped by some first year State Trooper asking for our papers, only to get arrested for making an illegal copy of the Glee CD you checked out of the library.”

“First of all, we don’t live in Arizona. It’s 2,000 miles away. Second, we’re not Hispanic. Not even close.”

“What about the Cinco de Mayo sticker we have on the bumper?”

“WHAT?”

“Just suppose we did. Or maybe a grocery bag in the back with chips and salsa. Now I know why people get those tinted windows. ..No. Wait. That’s ridiculous. Just because we eat bagels doesn’t mean we’re Jewish.”

“Of course not. It’s just a coincidence.”

“What’s a coincidence?”

“That we’re Jewish.”

“You mean we’d like bagels even if we weren’t?”

“Probably. Lots of regular people do. ..Now tell me what’s making you so nervous.”

“I think I should have gone to the bathroom before we left.”

“Honestly, are you 4 years old? When did you stop going to the bathroom before we leave?”

“You were in the bathroom.”

“We have three other bathrooms in the house.”

“Sure, but they’re all on different floors. ..Why are you hitting your forehead like that?”

“What do you think?”

“Did you remember to set the alarm?”

“Yes, dear.”

“..Give me two of those antacids, the cherry-flavored ones you keep in you keep in your purse.”

“You’ve got heartburn?”

“Not yet, but I feel it coming on.”

“Here. They’re grape. They were all out of the cherry. Apparently you have singlehandedly exhausted the manufacturer’s national reserves.”

“No thank you. Grape stuff turns my tongue purple.”

“These tablets are white. ..I’ll eat them.”

“If you’re not feeling well, we could…”

“I’m fine.”

“I noticed the Colbys have a ‘For Sale’ sign out.”

“Yeah, Maggie says Jack’s been asked to takeover one of his company’s regional offices. I’ll miss her.”

“Yeah. It’s cool they way they forgave me for almost running over their cat with the lawn mower.”

“Almost? ..They didn’t forgive you. They just didn’t blame me. They figured we married young and I didn’t find out you were a jerk until it was too late.”

“I loved that riding mower. If Porsche made a riding mower, that would have been it. ..Besides, Flubby looks better with a shorter tail.”

“It’s ‘Fluffy.’ The cat’s name is ‘Fluffy,” for the way her fur used be poof out, …before the accident.”

“Should have been ‘Flubby.’ That cat weighed like a thousand pounds. How’s she doing?”

“She died three years ago.”

“Did I…”

“No, honey, although I suspect the incident with the mower may have aged her prematurely.”

“..You don’t think I’m a jerk, do you?”

“Of course not. You have certain personality traits which, for people who are not used to them, can be misinterpreted…”

“As signs of mental illness?”

“I know better and, besides, I love you and can’t help myself. …Did you just adjust the mirror so you could see your teeth in it?”

“I thought I might have a nut stuck there, and didn’t want to embarrass you.”

“Believe me, honey, that ship has already sailed.”

“Thanks.”

“Honey? ..Are you pretty much all set?”

“Uh, yeah. I think so.”

“That’s great dear. So what do you think? Can we back out of the garage now?”

-wf

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