Wednesday, February 22, 2006

ADVENTUROUS (episode 2)

I am aware that my last post was not funny, as this blog is known for (at least to my sister). Therefore, I feel the need to redeem myself and wane sarcastic. So today, I will write another post about another one of my adventures.

It was June of 1994. I was 10, my sister was 13. My grandfather was completing the last stages of his campaign for re-election to Sheriff of his small southern Alabama county. It was a close race, and all month long Jennie and I, our Uncle, his girlfriend and her son, our parents and even their friends and their kids (they all loved my grandfather) had been canvassing the county trying to garner votes for my grandfather. My favorite activity was going house to house with my sister and my mom's best friend's stepkids (unless playing with the neighbor's three kittens counts as campaigning).

Anyway, in the last few weeks leading up to election day (which happened to be my birthday), my mom spent every spare minute with my grandparents, doing all she could to help out. My dad, the breadwinner of the family, had to leave town for a business trip. Having had just about all we could of the hot June sun, Jennie and I decided to skip town with Dad. We loaded up his Explorer and headed for Orlando. Dad was in sales, so there were stops to make all the way there and back. While Dad was in meetings, Jennie and I would wait patiently in the car, playing our Gameboys (probably Home Alone or Tetris or Barbie), reading magazines (classics such as American Girl, Nickelodeon, Disney Adventures, or Teen Bop) or sleeping. Needless to say, all of those hours in his car made for cramped quarters, which is something that we Jennie did not handle well. She got crabby. But I'll come back to that.

This trip holds three memories for me. First was waking up on June 17 and watching O.J. running away in the white Bronco. "Someone" had killed Ron and Nicole 5 days earlier. I didn't really know anything about O.J., but I did think he had a funny name.

Another fond memory was going to Universal Studios. That was to be our reward for good behavior on the trip. Bedecked in our Hypercolor outfits, we hit the theme park bright and early. This was my first encounter with the Jaws ride.
Now, in case you weren't aware, I might be the most easily scared person on the planet. I'd already seen the movie Jaws, and it scared me so bad that to this day I can't really enjoy myself in large bodies of water. The recent shark attacks on the Alabama coastline aren't really helping my cause, either.

Anyway, somehow Dad and Jennie got me to go on the ride and I think I cried the whole time. Of course when I visited the theme park 10 years later, I was laughing the whole time at how fake the sharks look. Fine, maybe not the WHOLE time, more like just when the sharks weren't around... But back then, I was convinced that Bruce had a personal vendetta against me.
I can still see that cursed fin approaching our boat at an inescapable speed... I can still hear our boat's CB radio broadcasting the cries of the unfortunate captain whose boat sank and assumingly served as a slide to ferry him straight into the fake shark's waiting mouth... I can still feel the shakes of the boathouse when he was "ramming" the door to break in... What is NOT scary about this ride?! I found all of those pictures on the internet, along with some very interesting "constructing of" photos which were very therapeutic for me. But of course, Jennie took pictures of each different shark (hungry Bruce, bloody and burnt Bruce, etc) to haunt me with back at home. It was as if she already knew that I was going to piss her off royally at the end of this trip.

Which brings me to my third memory. I already mentioned that Jennie gets crabby in small spaces, and when she gets crabby, so does everyone else around her. It was the final day of our trip and we had stopped at what I assume was the only Waffle House left in Florida we hadn't yet visited on our trip. We each placed our orders and waited until our waitress (who I like to imagine was named Crystal) brought the food. Dad and I dove right in. Jennie, however, picked up her best friend, Mr. Butter Knife, and began buttering each individual square of her waffle.

Now when we say someone was buttering something, we typically imagine a knife recklessly being smeared across the food's surface, spreading butter over whatever was in its path. But not my sister. On this particular day, she found it of utmost importance to make sure that each square on each wedge of her waffle received an equal amount of butter. I promise you that she spent at least ten minutes buttering it. She was holding each piece about 8 to 10 inches from her face, buttering/studying the meticulous intricacies that must lie within a waffle (I wouldn't know, I don't eat them). Once the waltz of the butter knife was complete, she laid her artwork on her plate for all to admire.

You learn something about someone after living with them for 10 years. One thing I had learned about my sister was occasionally, she smells her food before she eats it. And just then, as if on cue, she lifted one wedge of the waffle from her plate because obviously something that beautiful should be taken in with as more senses than just sight and taste.

Just as she was going for her first sniff, I spied my opportunity, quickly extended my hand across the table and smashed her waffle and all of its buttery glory
right onto her face.

She removed the wedge from her face, and upon seeing the triangle of butter that was covering her nose, mouth and chin, Dad and I lost it. He was laughing so hard that he couldn't even talk, much less try to discipline me. Jennie was so angry I'm surprised she didn't pick up Mr. Butter Knife for an encore performance aimed at my eye. I don't think she spoke to me for the rest of the trip, which I didn't really count as a loss.

Maybe I was jealous that my food didn't look as organized as hers did. Maybe I was mad because she beat my score on the Home Alone game. Maybe I was just fed up of her being crabby. I'm not really sure of the exact motive of my actions. What I am sure of, though, is that she has not been to a Waffle House with me since.

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