Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Stinky Adventure in a Big Van

(DISCLAIMER: I said that I would post this yesterday, but I didn't. It wasn't my fault. I had it all ready, but Andrew didn't see fit to add his comments till today. But he did, and they're good, so we're all glad we waited for Andy to be cool and witty with his commentary.)

While I may feel that the title of this post is pretty self-explanatory, others may not hold the same opinion. I shall therefore do my best to elucidate the situation. Read on.

While Andrew and I were in Tennessee visiting during the summer (see the previous post), we did a bit of helping out around the place. My family is building a house right now, and so it's great fun to be out there digging and pounding and shoveling and all sorts of cool stuff like that. I especially liked bashing bricks to pieces- I'm not sure why I got to do it, but it sure was fun.

(NOTE: I want to crush the bricks, not the house-builders.)

It helped that I was on a Thor movie high, and I was totally stoked to be using Mjolnir, that hammer forged by elves in the heart of a dying star..... or whatever it is he says. My brother Spud knows, but he's on a mission in Thailand right now. And no, I wasn't actually wearing a dress while doing this. Or a cape, sadly.

Anyway, back with the titular story. My family has a 15 passenger van to cart around our 12 member family. (Recap: Daddy and Mama, six girls and four boys.) When we need to cart stuff around, we take out enough of the seats so there is room in there. There are only seven kids at home now, anyways, so it's not like it's that big of a deal. It's a useful vehicle. We've had it since I was eight or something.

Apparently there is no trash service to my family's place. They live kind of in the country (though not too far away, since Daddy does teach at the university right there in town), and there is a trash dump-off place not far down the road. Basically, you just load up your trash, drive on down, chuck your trash in the giant dumpster, and then leave. I was never to know this joy, however. Life is not so simplistic for me.

There was a load of garbage to be taken down to the dump. The boys but it in the back of the van (this isn't as gross as it sounds- it wasn't free range trash, it was very well contained), and somehow I became the designated driver of the vehicle. Andy, Bug, and Fat Boy all came along for the ride and to help out. We were instructed to drop off the trash, and then fetch a large bag of ice from the Dollar General on the corner on our way home. So we all hopped in the van, and the screaming then began.

I hadn't driven that van in quite a while, and suddenly I'm driving down these little roads with hardly any shoulder at all! I was most intent on not hitting the other cars on the roads. Andy kept bothering me with trifling details, like mail boxes. What ended up happening was that I would scream and bellow loudly every time I saw a car coming, which would trigger Andy's warnings of minor obstacles.

(By Andy:  I would have to interject here and explain that by "minor obstacles," my dear and lovely wife means anything that would tear a fender off of even a van such as that one.  Which were usually NEXT to the road.  Though in response to this comment, my darling would like to point out that she--as can be seen from the picture-- was already more than busy bending the laws of physics to fit the van on the road in the first place.)

By the time that we finally made it to the dump, we were so relieved! However, we pulled up to the gate to see a horrendous sign that marked the peak of hopelessness of our journey.

Man, that was a disappointing sign, because, believe me, that sign knew what it was talking about. That van WAS a very stinky, smelly place. With a frustrated growl from EVERYONE in the van, we pulled out from the place and went back down that horridly tiny and twisted little road. We were all freaked out from being in a Big Van with Stinky Stuff, with a Crazy Driver. I don't know if Andrew or myself could be called the most stressed. We were both in a serious competition for that title.

When we got to Dollar General, Bug and I decided that we would wait in the van. We may or may not have been in a questionable state of appearance. Andy and Fat Boy went in to get the bag of ice. It should have taken a few minutes. Apparently, however, the checkout lady inside was gabbing away with someone and didn't feel like going faster than a bald man's hair growth.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch (aka, inside the van), Bug and I were dying.

Seriously, dying. (Note: The putrid green lines signify the putrescent odor, the rancid red lines denote the oppressive heat, and the other lines... well, just all around general unhappiness with the situation. I mean, seriously, look at our faces. Can't you just tell that we're massively upset?)

Not only was it very, very stinky inside of that van, it was also very, very hot outside of that van. Very warm. Quite warm. Extremely warm. SO, we faced a choice. We could either sit in that stinky van with the windows rolled up, and therefore enjoy the air conditioning OR we could roll down the windows have some breathable air. And, yes, this was an EITHER/OR situation. We did a little bit of both, alternating between the two whenever either the heat or the smell became too unbearable. The only thing we did throughout was seriously get confuzzled in a frustrated way about what was taking those boys so darn long. And then they did come back! And then Andy found out that Talkative Cashier had shortchanged him by quite a bit, and had to go back in, so we were stuck there for even LONGER!

(The poor checkout lady was more than a bit flustered.  She gave me $5 too little in change.  Then when I went back to bring it to her attention she gave me 3 or 4 too much.  It wasn't her day.  But Tashya doesn't quite feel as sorry for her as I do.)

By the time they were finally done, we girls had decided not to dawdle for a second longer than necessary. We sped home, screaming the entire five minutes, parked on the grass, and jumped out of the van. We avoided garbage and Big White Vans for a while following this ordeal. Fortunately, Bug and I have both recovered from the horrors of garbage warfare. Barely.

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