Monday, February 27, 2012


You have successfully returned from your blessed road trip.  It was everything you had hoped it would be.

You are exhausted.

It is 2 a.m.  You are too wired to sleep.  Vats of Diet Coke will do that to a person. But one needs vats of Coke in order to stay awake and ensure one's husband does not run the family off the road, as he is sleepy too.

You feel ill.  Sustenance found on the highway can hardly be called food.

Oh, you enjoyed it at the time.  You indulged to your heart's content.   You had no choice, really. In- N-Out Burger is a tradition.  Your mother loves their burgers with extra pickles and so do you.  Far be it for you to break with tradition.

You are home now.  Grateful to be. You plan to eat nothing but asparagus and cauliflour for the next three weeks.

You are sleepless.  But who can sleep when there are at least four suitcases full of filthy smelly clothes to wash and dry.

You wonder at the philosphical implications of starting out a road trip exhausted and surrounded by dirty clothes.  And also ending the trip exhausted and surrounded by dirty clothes.  What could it mean in the grand scheme of things?  All the washing and drying and washing and wearing? 

Not all the clothes in the suitcases are dirty, of course.  Some of the clothes were packed for just in case. 

One always needs an extra pair of jeans and underwear just in case of an accident.  You tell your children "you never know...".  Instilling fear of the unknown is one of your strengths.

So which clothes are clean?  And which clothes are dirty?  There is only one way for you to discover the truth.


Smell the clothes.  You put each article of clothing directly up to your face.  The cloth may even press against your nostrils.  You sniff deeply.  Sometimes (more often than not) you come up choking and watery eyed.  This means the article is dirty. 

As you wait for the clothes to wash you remember The Trip.

The memories bring a smile to your tired face.  You may even giggle a little because when you are this tired you merge into lunacy.

You remember when Serena offered the phrase,

"I think Elmo was drunk."

You may never hear those words uttered again in your life.

When on your road trip you take your children to The Las Vegas Strip.  The M&M Store sounds like a good idea.  M&Ms are wholesome. 

M&Ms are wholesome in comparison to The Thunder Down Under or Holly's Peepshow which are advertised on gigantic billboards every 6 feet. 

You little ones wonder at the signs and wonders before their tiny eyes.  You take the opportunity to explain the evils of Peepshows and Thunder Down Unders.

As your frustrated husband attempts to find parking in a standing room only environment you walk your children down the street towards the entrance of the illustrious M&M Factory.

The sidewalk is packed with folks from every walk of life.  Las Vegas is no respector of peoples.  They elbow their way along in a mist of darkness.  There are great and spacious buildings everywhere.  The hubris of the world.

An out of shape woman in a sparkly yellow thong struts along beside you.  Your son is mesmerised. 

You see a man in an Elmo suit.  To take your son's attention from the jiggly cheese bottom of the yellow thong wearer you say,

"Hey!  There's ELMO!  I LOVE ELMO!  Let's take a picture with ELMO!"

You hope saying ElMO enough times will erase the image of the woman with the sad saggy breasts barely covered by a low sparkle half shirt from you son's mind.  Elmo is wholesome.

Or so you think.

Elmo approaches you and your children with a tell tale stumble.

He slurs,


"35," you say.

"I don't WANNA take a picture with that Elmo," says your terrified 7 year old.  "He's scary!"

"Sure you do!" you say, scarring her for life.  "Everyone stand next to Elmo!"

You snap the shot. 

"Hey, Mama..." says Elmo.  "Why don't YOU stand next to Elmo for a picture?"

You hesitate but concede.  It will make for a good blog.

Elmo puts his arm around you.  You can see his real human face through the mesh.


The imposter is wearing sunglasses and a large nose.  

"So YOU'RE the MAMA!"  Elmo looks you up and down.  Elmo the furry monster undresses you with his furry monster eyes. 

"YOU are SMOKIN' HOT!" he says. "...I work for tips."

You are flustered and put a dollar in his orange jack-o-lantern tip bucket.

You husband finally finds you and the children in the M&M Store.

Your son rats you out.


"He also said he works for tips in the same breath," you mutter.

"I think Elmo was drunk," says Serena.  At 13 she is becoming wise to the ways of the world.

The M&M Store charges you $34 for $5 worth of candy.

You are lucky to make it off The Strip alive.

You attend the closest Mormon church on Sunday to repent for marring you children's innocence with drunken monsters and yellow sparkle thong clad dancers.

You are grateful to be home.