So, yeah, the trip to Iowa. Once we actually got there, it wasn't that heinous. We found Aunt S and Uncle R's wacky house out in the middle of bumbleshit USA and loaded on in. The house looks nice enough from the outside, but inside, it kinda looks like "Antiques Roadshow," "a gayer Liberace" and an overzealous taxidermist used the place as a vomitorium.
The living room was done in a kind of gilded Egyptian furniture meets Faberge egg motif, the bedrooms had some sort of Bourbon Street meets the Olde West vibe and the basement gave off an antique toy/Ted Nugent trophy-room whiff. Apparently, the Aunt and Uncle used to travel overseas and fill up a shipping containers-worth of foreign shit and then ship it back to Iowa. The idea was that they would sell it, but methinks they just backed the fucker up to the front door and dumped.
And speaking of dumps, as I predicted, mine were WAY off on this trip. I don't know if it was the air-pressure inside that rented minivan, or the 11 1/2 hours of sitting on my ass on I-80 eating shitty granola bars and Balance Bars, but I basically crapped once the entire weekend. Now you may say to yourself, "Dude, what the shit? So your poop schedule was off a bit -- big fucking deal." You don't understand. I shit at 9:38 a.m. every goddamn day and sometimes, when I'm feeling saucy, I'll pinch off an extra one right before bed. If my defecation docket varies by even a fraction of a second, my very being teeters on the brink of obliteration!
Needless to say, I was on edge the entire trip. I was like an impacted Howitzer.
So what the fuck else happened? Well, when we got there at like 10 p.m., which is 11 p.m. in Michigan, mind you, Mr. Z and Miss O were out of their fucking minds. Like spider-monkeys-with-ADHD-and-on-crank-out-of-their-minds. And there was all this ugly breakable shit everywhere. I almost ran down to the basement looking for a tranquilizer dart in Uncle R's gun collection that was conveniently sitting, completely unlocked-up and at seven-year-old height, on the table next to the GIANT REAR PROJECTION SCREEN TV. But, instead, we just waited for the circuit overload that eventually leads to the major meltdown that leads to the uncontrollable sobbing that leads, finally, to peaceful slumber. Works every time.
Saturday was the big day -- the reunion picnic in the park. And it was all I had hoped for and then some. Crock pots full of beef in its natural drippins, ham hunks on a bun, deviled eggs, giant balls of meat-like consistency, cucumber slices floating in, I don't know, pee?, and some sort of potato and motor oil casserole. There was basically nothing we could feed the kids except a couple pieces of veiny fried chicken and Rice Krispies treats. I ate about 12 deviled eggs to see if I could jump-start the poop chute, but the gears remained a-seized.
There was a classic Mr. Z moment when one of the kraaaazy uncles pulled out a cooler filled with about 100 water balloons. All the kids were chucking them at each other and Mr. Z jumped right into the action. Soon, all the balloons were gone, so cups were grabbed and water started flying everywhere. I looked up from my deviled-egg-a-thon and saw Mr. Z filling a cup at the water fountain. I thought, "Wow, he's actually getting along with all the other kids here and he really seems to be having fun... like a normal kid." Then, I saw two kids sneak up behind him and completely drench him with four cups of water. That's when the true Mr. Z joined the party. He started bawling at the top of his lungs and it was one of those moments when time stopped and everyone seemingly ceased talking and turned their full attention to him. Knowing that it was only going to get WAY worse, I grabbed his hand and walked him away from the rubber-neckers to talk about what had happened.
In classic Mr. Z (and, of course, classic ME at his age) fashion, he honestly felt that it was perfectly fine for him to throw water at other people but it was totally unacceptable that anyone might do the same to him. He felt utterly betrayed and wanted us to drive back to Michigan that instant. We talked it over for a while and, while he never saw how ridiculous his reasoning was, he was able to calm down and enjoy the rest of the day. Man, that kid is so me it's fucking scary. He's doomed.
I don't know... this is really rambling on here. Let's wrap it up. Uh, the old lady spent some quality time with her brother and her cousins, the kids found a frog, I'm really fucking glad we stopped at two children, pretty much everyone but the old lady and myself are crappy parents, and if you wait long enough, the ham-headed husband of one of the cousins WILL say something extremely racist.
Oh, and if you eat enough deviled eggs, you WILL shit, but it's not going to be something you're really going to enjoy.