Sunday, December 07, 2008

There and back again

Dan and I went to my parents' house this weekend, so he could paint their condo. Went up on Friday, got to experience lots of snow on Saturday, and came back today. Quick trip, but that's fine. I like to drive.

I like to drive in silence. I generally don't have the radio on, and am known to play the same CD in the car for weeks at a time, because I just forget to take it out. Dan, on the other hand, must have music at all times. Drives me crazy, but at least we like the same kind of music, most days. Imagine my surprise when this man, the one who doesn't rake leaves without music, went all the way to Michigan without the radio on. That's like a nine hour drive, and he didn't turn it on once. I figured he'd go to sleep, so I turned on the MP3 player on my phone and listened to some tunes there.

He painted the condo, and informed me that night that he thought that maybe his good deed for the day was worth a little payback. No, not THAT kind of payback. Payback meaning he wanted to listen to football the whole way home which, depending upon the drive, is about 7 hours. SEVEN HOURS of listening to football. That's one heck of a paint job he did.

So we took off in the car around 11. Coast was clear, because football doesn't start till later. I took my normal detour in Zilwaukee, went to the antiques store, and got very little complaint. Dan does love to shop, though, so I figured the coast was clear. Took off again, and informed him that yes, we would make another stop along the way, but he was fine for now. Got through Flint, still no football. Things were going great.

I asked him if he was hungry, because the man generally eats by the clock. I was surprised that he declined food, but we'd had a huge breakfast, and he had a stash of M&Ms, so I figured that he'd be ok for a short while. That was before the thought came to me that he was probably waiting to eat till 4, when the Broncos game started, so that he could sit and watch the beginning in Applebees or something -- even though we were in Michigan, and the odds of the Broncos playing on TV there were pretty slim. Nonetheless, I prepared myself, and was again surprised when he suggested that we just go through drive-through at Wendy's.

Now I was on to the game. He wanted to get home as fast as possible, so that he could WATCH the game, if it was being televised. By now we had the radio going with the Detroit Lions game, but as I do when the kids have the radio on, I just tuned it out. Hit the Indiana border and just kept going, till I found the antiques place I was looking for. I was surprised that he only let out a little moan of agony, but didn't argue that we WERE going there. He declined to come in, however, because he was going to try to find the game. Ended up coming in shortly afterward, but he was happy to find a sports booth that kept him busy whilst I shopped.

Took off again with the homing beacon on full tilt. He started picking up the game on 1260AM, and was concerned that the Broncos were behind in the second quarter. "This could get ugly," I thought, "if I get trapped in the car when they lose." Oh well, we had chocolate, so I just kept driving. Round about Huntington, the game was tied up, but the signal was spotty. Now we were listening to post-game reports from Cincinnati, where the Colts had beaten them rather handily, I believe. Every now and again, they'd come in with another report of the game being tied.

The signal kept fading in and out, and at about Pendleton, they started doing the rundown of the day's scores, but the signal was really bad (probably something to do with the prisoners at the reformatory, or maybe the license plates they are making, I don't know). I kept hearing "why, why, why does the signal not come in? This is a national broadcast." And right about the time I heard Denver, he gave it a couple of swift WHACKS on the dashboard.

Yes, folks, hitting the dashboard will help your radio signal. Only it didn't, and it was so staticy that I turned it off, then immediately back on, lest the man get the shakes. Amazingly, turning it back on helped, and the signal was suddenly as clear as a bell, but they'd already run down the scores, and weren't going to repeat themselves any time soon.

Did I mention that both cell phones were dead? Well, mine was, but Dan called the boys and they wouldn't answer the phone, so his may've well have been dead.

Now he was getting pretty riled up, and about the time we took the exit toward 70, they started talking results, and the minute Denver came up, he put his hands on his head and bent over, practically with this head between his knees, until he heard the word won. At that point he shot up like he'd seen Jesus himself, and let out a huge whoop that probably caused non-migratory birds within a ten mile radius to reconsider their winter plans. This man, who had been relatively quiet for the entire trip, let forth with a soliloquy de futbol so long and so loud that when I got off the exit, he had me so rattled, forgot I was driving a stick shift, and promptly killed it when I tried to turn right on red.

I don't think the man took a breath until he'd been in the house for at least ten minutes -- five of which was spent booting his computer up and checking the fantasy league he's playing in.

Needless to say, I'm glad to be home. Even more glad that the Broncos won. But one thing I won't forget -- if I let him listen to football, I can shop as much as I want. I'll just bring ear plugs next time.

No comments: