Let's set up the scene first:
We were in Florida. We'd visit Dan's family in Daytona for a couple of days after taking a cruise to Jamaica. We were flying home out of Ft. Lauderdale, where the rental car had to be returned by 9:38am. 9:38am. And Ft Lauderdale airport was basically 4 hours away. Meaning we had to be up and out the door by about 5:30am. With two teenagers and a twenty year old. Sure. No problem, mon.
The night before, I mentioned to Dan about the idiot who decided to try to blow up his underwear, and a whole Airbus full of people, in Detroit. Detroit happened to be where our layover was going to be, so I had some concerns about what travel would be like the next day. Now let me tell you, I fly with Xanax on board, but I don't have enough to share with cranky teenagers, so I had a legitimate concern. Dan was worried about the weather on Sunday, which was our day to fly out. This was how we made the executive decision to go home a day early.
Dan insisted that getting up at 5:45 was going to be plenty early, so I set his cell phone alarm for 5:15 and when it went off, made him get up and at 'em. I had suggested to the boys, only half joking, that they sleep in the van the night before, but alas, they were on the couch, head to head. Woke 'em up, then went and woke up Jill. There was much unintelligible speech. I actually believe that the only thing I understood was the fact that Thomas couldn't find his phone. Oye and vay.
"You had it last."
"No, you probably lost it."
"Actually, I had it last, but it's been moved from where I left it."
"I don't know why you people can't give me my stuff back after you borrow it. I need my phone."
"Well where did you leave it?"
"I didn't have it last."
"You had it last....."
See where this is going? In the midst of this, another conversation starts.
"It's cold out there. Can I take a blanket?"
"No, share your brother's."
"I don't want HIS blanket. I want a blanket of my own."
"What are you going to do with a blanket at the airport? We already have one to deal with. Just dress warm."
"Can I take a pillow?"
"I don't know how you think I'm going to be able to sleep when it's this cold out and I don't have a blanket or a pillow."
"I'll turn the heat on in the car, dear."
"I still haven't found my phone."
"Why doesn't someone CALL your phone?"
::vibrate vibrate vibrate::
"I think it's in the couch."
::triumphant look from owner of the phone::
::triumphant look disappears when he realizes that the phone has fallen into the couch, right where he was sleeping:: It's hell taking responsibility for something you've been blaming other people for. We headed out to the van.
It was still dark out, so the kids knocked right back out. After an hour or so, Dan decided to call Northwest to see if we could, indeed, get a flight out when we arrived. Now let me say, Dan is from the land of Speak Loudly on the Phone. This is something he inherited from his dad, and who knows, maybe his dad's dad, but Utter men are LOUD on the phone. Heck, they are loud when NOT on the phone. In either event, he started talking to Northwest, and the boys woke up. Here's what ensued:
"Yes, my name is Mr. Utter. We have reservations to fly out on Sunday, but I wanted to see if we could leave today, as we have a medical emergency at home."
From the far left back seat, in a very shrill voice: "I'm bleeeeeding...."
Deep voice from the far right back seat replies "I'm dyyyyiinnng...."
Near back seat yells "SHUT UP OR I WILL KILL YOU ALL."
"Well, I can't afford $1000 extra to change these tickets. I thought we were on the list of states that can change our itinerary for free, due to the weather."
Far back left seat yells "I want $1000."
Far back right seat replies "You already GOT $1000 that you didn't deserve."
Near back seat bellows "Shut UP."
"I don't think we can make the 11am flight. That's probably cutting it too close."
Far back left seat says "Is it weird that I am most excited about getting home to see my dog?"
Near back seat says "I don't want to go home early. Why are we going home early?"
Far back right seat replies "we have a medical emergency. Dundundun...."
Near back seat: "what the hell?"
I say very little, as I am both laughing through the entire exchange, and mystified as to why he feels we have to have a medical emergency in order to get home. We usually create them without any problems. I don't tempt fate by making them up.
Dan finally got the tickets changed, and no, it didn't cost $1000. We got it done for free. He announced that we're leaving at 3pm.
Female voice says "are the seats together? I don't want to sit next to some creeper. I know that we're gonna end up separated, and I'm gonna be the one next to a creeper."
Far back seat says "I just want a window seat. I've never gotten one."
Far back seat now is snoring.
Dan asks if anyone wants cereal. It gets very quiet. Turned out he had brought a box of Honey Bunches of Oats, a box of Frosted Flakes, some Pop Tarts, and a gallon of milk was chilling in a paint bucket full of ice. The boys decline, which confuses Dan, as he is also from the land of Eats-a-lot. Jill went back to sleep. Every few minutes, Dan asked the boys if they want some cereal, but it had quiet back there too, so he didn't get a response. He kept asking me too, though I have no idea how I could've eaten cereal whilst driving, even if I had wanted it. Dan even offered to feed me, but after I told him that I was sure to vomit if I ate Frosted Flakes, he finally gave up trying and fixed himself a bowl. And a Poptart.
Pretty soon, Seth started writhing around in the far back seat. Jill, who had been collapsed on the seat behind me, sat up, looking rather dazed. Seth said "I'm so uncomfortable. I hate this. I need to move and I can't." "Why can't you move?" "Thomas has his head on me."
Apparently, Thomas had keeled over and was sleeping basically with his head in Seth's lap, which is a direct violation of the Bro Code. I guess even Jill knew this, because she immediately offered Seth to move up with her. At which point I almost dropped dead of shock, as Jill has personal space issues, and doesn't usually like anyone piercing her bubble. "You want some cereal," said Dan, for the 56th time. Seth just shook his head, but Jill took him up on it, but only after announcing "I don't remember getting in the car."
So yeah, this is how we roll. With cereal, non-existent medical emergencies, and milk in a paint bucket. And just in case you haven't figured it out by now, we've got issues.