Notes from the Wagon Train – Version 2
I said I wouldn’t do this shit again.
If you recall, about a year ago, I carted my monkey ass across this great nation of ours, from Seattle to Tampa. We were a caravan of a 26-foot truck, 3 kids, 2 cars and a dog. I lost my shit in the mountains, my niece lost part of her car in Idaho, Montana, and South Dakota, and my wife lost her mind in Tennessee.
Things didn’t get much better once we got to Florida.
They say “be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.” My wife wanted to see the sun. Tampa, Florida is the HOTTEST place I have ever seen. Ever. I saw children melt at the bus stop, just puddles of Nikes and backpacks. I used to wake up at 7am and the temperature would be 93 degrees. 93? At 7am? We start at 93?
Long story short, no one was happy: it was entirely too much sun for the wife (see the heat comment above) and the FLYING FUCKING ROACHES were an instant turn off. The roaches can fly. Say that slowly and realize how freaking terrifying that really is. And they are big. Like top of the food chain big. I lived in Florida for a year; I saw roaches everywhere. I saw only 3 spiders. Three. The kids weren’t any happier. Skipper loved the beach…until a flesh eating bacteria and great white sharks shut that shit down. The Honey Badger loved the continuous summer but the “socioeconomic disparities” were tough for her (read she went to school with the People from Walmart—all of them). That girl just replayed her 6th grade year. I was especially touched when the band teacher called his students “losers” (that really happened); when she recorded a full on argument students had with their social studies teacher for his refusal to teach; and when the boys on the bus wanted to beat her up for wearing her Beats—seriously. The Boy spent the entire year like this:
I’ve told you before The Boy has a hard time with reality. This cat didn’t even believe we were actually leaving Seattle until we were in Spokane. He decided then and there he wasn’t gonna make a friend, wasn’t going to smile, wasn’t going to enjoy himself EVER until he got back to Washington. And it was true! That kid made one friend—his girlfriend, the Lil Camel (more on that later).
Even the dog was mad. Do you know how hard it is to piss off a golden retriever? Have you ever seen a golden retriever? This is my dog:
This is an animal that was born with a smile, that gets scared of her own farts, that really enjoys licking her own butt. The dog is easy to please. She was pissed at Florida. And then she got fleas because Florida has fleas. Like the whole state. By the time we left, she had to get muzzled just to get her nails clipped.
Anyway, the Sunshine State was a fat fucking fail for everyone involved and after 12 hot ass, sweaty, poor, Starbucks-less months, this was us:
So we left. My wife, 2 kids, the dog, Skipper and her fucking Destructi-Car, and me in a 26 ft truck.
In our next episode, we’ll talk about the Movers That Never Were, optional teeth, the Lil Camel, and why you don’t let 16-year-old unload your shit.