On the Eleventh Day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a road trip with a potty training toddler. This is going to be the hip hap happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby danced with Danny fuckin’ Kaye! 720 miles round trip and 9 potty breaks. If there is a dude in your life, or you yourself are a dude, then you know this about dudes: They love having their “making time” on road trips fucked up. Absolutely love it. If a dude is “on his horse” and can “make this trip in 6 hours flat on a good day”, that dude loves when female chicanery rears its conniving head and causes “6 hours on a good day” to become “8.5 mutherfucking hours”. You can call their bluff all you want; I certainly did. I did not take the pot (pun intended). There was one point in the first leg of our journey where I took her into the family toilet at a Ohio rest area where inexplicably the toilet seat was still covered in piss despite it being a family restroom where one would think parents would not themselves or allow their kid to piss on the fucking toilet seat. Obviously my expectations are too high given the number of mouth-breathers who certainly visit said family toilet. After she perfectly executed a toilet piss without preemptively striking her undies with a reconnaissance sortie I, in a moment that could be described as nothing short of madness, reacted like the Cleveland Browns had just won the fucking Super Bowl and began a 90-second long episode of jumping, hooting, definitely howling, fist pumping bat-shittery that must have alarmed any trucker trying to take a peaceable holiday dump but made my kid think she had been admitted to Oxford on full scholarship. Fuck it, it was the 4th stop of the trip and brought our partial-accident to fully successful potty break ratio up to 50%. We’re at a coin-toss, let’s fucking par-tay!
The return trip made the first leg look like a first class flight on the Concorde from New York to Paris where you got lightly snockered on first growth Bordeaux and engaged in flirtatious repartee with a Victoria’s Secret model while exhibiting a rapist’s wit. We stopped approximately 30 minutes into the voyage to take advantage of my parents’ generous offer to allow us to mooch off their Kroger bonus bucks or whatever the fuck Kroger calls them and fill up on gas at subsidized rates. When asked the child of course “Don’t have to go to the potty”. This status seemed to have drastically changed in the 3 miles after the Kroger gas fill-up. Thus stop number 2 came a mere 20 minutes after stop #1. This was a critical turning point in the sanity of the parents leading this voyage, namely the one answering to “Daddy”. A crucial mistake in judgment was made with the decision to stop at Steak & Shake which I erroneously remembered being “Good”. It was so fucking far from good that it may well have been on the other side of the galaxy. My first clue should have been the cud-chewing bovine indifference in the stares of all patrons who looked our way as we entered. To anyone who believes that obesity is out of style I present to them the Marion, Ohio Steak & Shake. I discovered they do not do to-go orders so we got to wait a long time for extremely shitty food. I would eat at McDonald’s over Steak & Shake any day of the week and thrice on Sunday. With percolating frustration and malice in my heart I angrily ate my Grade D- chicken tenders and sea salt and cracked black pepper “seasoned fries” which were the regular shitbag fries with a sprinkle of regular salt and pepper likely out of paper packets localized to one 1-inch squared section of the regular shitbag fries. I consumed the fries en masse before the tenders due to the dipping sauces requiring special order from an auxiliary refrigerator somewhere on the compound. Although they arrived late they were at least disgusting and frigid.
It was shortly after the Steak & Steak stop that the child, bless her little heart, informed that she had to go potty yet again, this time of much more serious #2 variety. She expertly waited until just after we’d passed all vestiges of civilization and entered upon the dead zone portion of the trip where no commerce of any sort, outside of bartering bails of hay for buckets of fresh cream milk, occurs for the better part of 90 minutes. I was serenaded by sounds of “holding it” as I made like Jimmie Johnson racing for the Nascar Cup on the final day of the season through vista after vista of flat, dead corn fields. At last we happened upon a truck stop with an attached McDonald’s so foul I’ll leave it to the reader’s own imagination. Needless to say the clientele was, as best I can describe, “greasy”. My wife rushed the child through the sea of human purgatory and into the cavernous toilet area that has assuredly seen more bad hits of heroin that it has joy. When she emerged 15 minutes later it was with heavy heart that she informed the battle to “hold it” was not entirely won. It wasn’t entirely lost either, but the wad of previously worn trousers in her hand without their accompanying undies let me know that at best we had to declare this a draw. Back to the car and off we go, like a herd of turtles.
The fourth was eventful and full of holiday delights. My dog was more than happy to sniff each and every drop of piss in the dog walking area as I enjoyed the climate change from the 60 degrees we left (and for which I was dressed) and the 19 degrees with high winds we now found ourselves in. Oblivious to my demands of “Do it!” he paraded around the entire grounds twice before settling upon a nice patch of frozen tundra on which to leave his steaming holiday offering. A trucker sat in his rig ripping a heater staring at us while the canine completed his dance, in obvious curiosity of my intentions regarding the pile of brown Christmas cheer. Well guess what Tommy Ninefingers, I ain’t even gonna pretend to bend over and fake pick it up, and that’s a big 10-4, over and out. I stared him straight in the eye as I walked away from the left dump and back to my car. You are going to have to haul many more miles before you elicit guilt from me today, Tommy Ninefingers. My wife happily reported that this stop yielded not only success, but completely dry undies to boot. As we began our exit of the highway oasis high on the fumes of not adding more wet clothes to the holiday haul I hear from the back seat in authoritative tone, “Daddy, I have to poop”. Whammy. U-turn made with screeching tires back into the oasis and all the joys it houses.
We limped into Chicago to find awaiting us a parking lot traffic jam. I could not escape at my usual exit and instead endured another 3 miles of stop and go hell in order to get to our preferred butcher shop before they closed to procure the essential ingredients for the main holiday course. I walked into the butcher shop a battered, bruised but not yet defeated man, is the now 5 degree winter chill. This is when the butcher, with a straight fucking face, says “We’re all out of steak. But we should have more on Friday (you know, the second day after the day you need it).” Fuck me runnin’. I decided, for the fuck of it, to stand at the counter locked in a stalemate of staring with the butcher as we fought it out, entirely without words. My mind shouted, “I didn’t just slog through 8 and a half hours of hell for you to tell me that you are out of steak, mutherfucker!”. His wordlessly delivered reply was, “Listen mutherfucker, I’ve been standing here going on 9 hours in this steam bath listening to stupid twats like yourself tell me all about what they are serving for the holiday, as though I give some sort of shit. So take your exasperated countenance and shove it directly up your ass.” In order to prove a point to absolutely no one I walked out of the butcher shop with $5.80 of completely unnecessary Italian sausage a now totally defeated man.
We arrived in Oak Park like U.S. soldiers at the tail end of the Bataan Death March with no time left for a trip to the grocery store for dinner, or anyone with enough energy left to cook it. We did what had to be done and called Bodhi Thai. The asshole who answered the phone informed, with entirely too much excitement, that the wait for delivery was currently “Areese teww arour”. I told him I most certainly would not be waiting two fucking hours for Thai food and hung up the phone. When I called back 90 seconds later Duang Jin Cong di Nomh had the condescending tone of someone who knew damn well that Round Eye would inevitably call back with dick in hand and defeated air to inform that he will in fact wait teww arour for delivery, only now starting that teww arour clock teww minurts layer. Fuck you Duang Jin, fuck you so much. You have the upper hand and we both know it. So bring us our fucking Thai food whenever the fuck you get around to it and leave us the fuck alone already. It is Christmas, for Christ’s sake! We’re at the tail end of:
Finished all my Christmas shopping already
A trip to Rockmill Brewery
A threat to go to The American Girl Place store
A dead car battery
A lone long pube staring at me from the gym shower wall
WHAM!’s “Last Christmas”
A Disney movie full of princesses
A simultaneously puking yet wild-as-shit toddler
A two-day hangover at age 35 and an
Arctic blast right up the ass