Monday, August 5, 2013

The possibility of physical and mental collapse is now very real. No sympathy for the Devil, keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride.

Busy week coming up, so this might be my last post for a while. (Not that I post regularly or often anyway....) I'm headed into the city tomorrow for Slim Cessna's Auto Club (:D) with both Lil Bros, plus two friends; and then I'm off to Colorado for a week on Thursday. We'll be driving to Deadwood for two days while I'm there AND I'M SO EXCITED FOR THAT LIKE YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

In honor of fun summer holidays, I thought I'd share a story of one of our family holiday fails. I'm pretty sure you can't go through childhood without at least one of those horrific family vacations that ends in years of nightmares for everyone involved.

(If you have managed to reach adulthood without experiencing such a thing, I firmly believe that lowers your chances of surviving the zombie apocalypse by like 50%.)

For as long as I live, I will never again set foot in Hershey Park, Sesame Place, or a Best Western motel. Never.

In the summer of 1997, my Cousin F came out from Ireland for a couple weeks (actually I think that particular summer was when she went on the Christian Slater and then the he-who-must-not-be-named movie kick). Mum decided we should all go away somewhere fun and exciting for a long weekend while Cousin F was here, so she could do actual vacation things instead of the two of us putzing around the house and the pool for 2 weeks.

We left on a Friday night--Mum, me (12), Cousin F (15), Big Sis#2 (25), and Lil Sis (2) to take the three-hour drive to Hershey, PA.

When Lil Sis was that age, she was the BIGGEST EFFING BRAT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE. This is entirely Mum's fault, because even though Mum raised me and Big Sisters #1 and 2 with intense militaristic discipline, she spoiled Lil Sis rotten and always did whatever she asked. (I think by then Mum was just lazy and fed up and sick of parenting, so she just did that to shut Lil Sis up, which is basically the biggest parenting fail ever.)
if only
Ten minutes into the car ride, Lil Sis demanded that Mum put the Barney tape on. That tape was half an hour of soul crushing songs from the TV show.

And we had to listen to it for THE ENTIRE CAR RIDE.

Because if Mum put the regular radio back on, Lil Sis would whine and/or cry. And that meant Lil Sis was unhappy, which in Mum's mind, was absolutely not allowed. Never mind that her other two children and her niece were being tortured.

But it wasn't just three hours of Barney. It was closer to FIVE, because Mum has the worst sense of direction ever and we got totally lost, and this was before cell phones and navigation systems and google maps were invented. By the time we finally arrived at the Best Western, Cousin F was banging her head on the car window, Big Sis#2 was extremely carsick, I was bordering on suicidal, and all three of us wanted Lil Sis dead.

In the Best Western, we were greeted by a person in a giant dog suit.

That thing stalked me and Cousin F the whole time we were there. (Idk what it is about the two of us attracting stalkers in animal suits...)

I sh*t you not--it was in the elevator every time we went to use it;

and when we tried to escape it by using the stairs instead, it was always there sneaking up behind us or lurking around every corner. It was in the dining room when we tried to get our free continental breakfast. Cousin F almost killed it when we went to the vending machines the second night, because she opened the door for the stairs and THERE WAS THE CREEPY EFFING DOG

So she hurled the door closed fast enough and with enough force to knock it down the stairs and we ran back to our room.

On Saturday morning, we set off for Hershey Park.

I don't want to sound ungrateful for all of Mum's efforts at doing fun family things, but I have to say that her choices in location were never very well thought out. Lil Sis was too small to go on most rides and she was afraid of everything. Big Sis#2, Cousin F, and I didn't like rides at all and wouldn't go on anything more intense than the teacups (and still won't). All of us except Lil Sis hated Hershey's chocolate (except for Peanut Butter Cups, I'll eat those by the truckload). So in Hershey Park, we had some trouble in finding fun things for all of us to do.

And then around lunch time, they abandoned me in the bathrooms.

We all took a bathroom break and Mum had to change Lil Sis (despite everyone's best efforts, she wasn't fully potty trained until age 4, and by then she was changing her own diapers). I thought we were all meeting again outside the bathroom, but when I got outside, my family was nowhere to be found.

I was one of those tweenagers who refused to ask for help in these kinds of situations, so I wandered the park in search of either my family or security for half an hour before I gave up, found a shady spot by the food court, and sat and read (I was also one of those nerdy kids who always had a book with them). Mum & company were frantically looking for me, and eventually Cousin F spotted me reading at my table. (Why they left me in the bathroom in the first place remains a mystery.) Mum was in a state of total mental collapse by then, so we left Hershey Park and went back to the Best Western.

We ate the nasty room service dinner, took Lil Sis down to the sketchfest of a pool, hid from the person in the dog suit, and then while Mum was trying to get Lil Sis to go to sleep in the next room, me, Cousin F, and Big Sis#2 had an epic pillow fight, Mum screamed at us, and the hotel manager came up and yelled at her to please keep her rowdy family under control or they'd kick us out.

Sunday morning, we took the two hour drive to Sesame Place. Big Sis#2 and I had removed the Barney tape from the car and destroyed it, so instead of two hours of Barney music, we got two hours of Lil Sis crying and complaining.

Sesame Place is a water park, and thus was just as big a fail as Hershey Park, because Cousin F and I can't swim, Mum won't swim, and Big Sis#2 won't even go near a body of water larger than a bucket because she has an intense fear of sharks.
I've posted that on her facebook at least twice...

Then for whatever reason, Lil Sis was completely, maniacally, and ridiculously PETRIFIED of the Count. So after lunch, Mum was like feck it and we just went home.

BUT THE FUN WASN'T OVER. Several days later, we all discovered that we had intestinal parasites.

Y'all know I have issues with that. That is how I acquired my first ever prescription for sedatives.

I don't know if we got them at Hershey, Sesame, or in the motel. I don't care. As far as I'm concerned, all three of them are infested with parasites.

I shall catch up with y'all when I return from the wild west. Hope the rest of you topside are enjoying your summer! And for those of you enjoying the winter, FEEL MY BURNING JEALOUSY. 


  1. I lol'ed like crazy at that pic of all of you in the car with that smug smile on 2yr old lil sis.

    JEALOUS of your scac show!!!!

  2. You'll have to text me or email me abs let me know which days you're free to hang out.

  3. Also, horrible family vacations are what make you appreciate your adult solo vacays a million times more. My family (mom, two aunts, big sis & bro, two cousins and me in a van with no a/c) drove from Denver to San Diego non-stop when I was a kid. Then we drove down to Tijuana where I got heat stroke and blacked out in the street. Lol

    To this day, I have nightmares about the drive through Utah and the woman selling silver bangles for $2 who was the last thing I saw/heard before I aced it on the pavement.

  4. I love that your big sister has a fear of sharks, it's something I can relate to though not just as extreme as that, family times sound like a lot of fun to me Mich, I'm glad you've had these experiences in your life. Really hope that you have a great time away, looking forward to hearing all about the blast you had!

  5. I think I saw that dog on an episode of "America's Most Wanted."
    By the way, my daughter HATED chocolate when she was Lil Sis's age. Mrs. Penwasser and I took the kids to Chocolate World several years ago. After the so-boring-you-want-to-poke-your-eyes-out tour of how chocolate is made (HINT: Does NOT require a working knowledge of nuclear physics), a pimply faced teenager (HINT: too much chocolate, methinks) tried to hand my daughter a Hershey bar. When she politely said no, the teenager asked again. He was convinced that no kid hated chocolate. Whereupon my daughter screamed, "I SAID NO THANK YOU! I DON'T LIKE CHOCOLATE!!".
    Epilogue: I hadn't realized the Chocolate World was right the frik NEXT TO Hershey Park. Despite all the pleas from the children that we take them "on the rides," I insisted that they get in "the damn car so we can go to Grandpa's and eat ribbon candy."
    Epic parenting fail.
    And probably a future blog post from at least one of them.
    Have a great time out west!

    so you know about the apocalypse too is there nothing sacred in this world
    when you said three hour drive that's when I saw everything going downhill and being destroyed ok
    fuck no. she was supposed to take that kid to the army is what I say fuxc[sdf[skgs spoiling children rotten is just
    the only thing that could be spoiled rotten is an apple ok
    I would've strangled that piece of shit lil sis ages ago
    you're too cute that's why
    you're too damn cute
    <3 have a good time
    try not to get anything that requires you to be sedated okay

    -Sam Lupin

  7. That dog sounds horrifying no matter what age you are. I think I'd still be terrified if a man in a dog suit just followed me around a hotel.

    Also, I too was that nerdy kid that always had a book with me. Even on a fun family trip. I admit it.

  8. Oh man, I'm so screwed when the zombie apocalypse comes. I don't care, so long as I get to see a few hundred people die horribly before I do -.-

    Barney. . . *cries and rocks in corner* Only thing that can freak me out faster than Barney is a fucking geiger counter crackling.

    You've inspired me to sarcastically illustrate my average Saturday or Tuesday shift. Is that ok?

    Have fun in the Wild Wild West. Beware of the cannibals :p

    Love you <3

  9. P.S

    Michael Wincott needs to record some audio books. That would be perfection! Hmmm if he did the Silmarillion I'd never have problems with insomnia again!

    I'd adopt the hell out of any branch of your family that you endorse. I went up to visit Jaq the other day and it seems OK up there, but the staff are the usual run of incompetent fuckwits you get anywhere *Facedesk*

    Sending you a ton of love from Down Under. Dralion is shedding so she sends loose-furred headbutts :)


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