all the cool kids!

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Friday, February 26, 2010


     I was driving a couple days ago and I saw a vanity license plate that said UBERJOY. I am not sure that driving some non-descript late model jalopy with a plywood rear spoiler would be uberjoy. Now if the car replaced the ten-speed, the bus, or walking I may be swayed. Maybe. I believe I heard the Uberstrains of ABBA coming though the speakers.
     I see lots and lots of vanity plates. I can rarely figure out what they say as if it is in some kind hieroglyphic inside joke. I can understand the easy ones like “goblue” and the green and white one that says “goblow”. I also understand the ones that are names, like “:BOB”, or “MISSY G”. I saw one that said “CUL8R” I decided to tailgate him until I figured it out. At first I thought it said cul hater. I really hoped I was not a cul, whatever that was. I didn’t back off until he waved an Uzi at me. OMFG I am a cul and he REALLY hates culs. Then it hit me like a Dancing Queen! He does not hate culs; it means C U LATER.I figured out what it said after tailgating the guy for about 15 miles However, for a guy with a CUL8R vanity plate my slowassgrampadriving kept up with him. For 15 miles!!!
     I really do not know why people want to have vanity plates. If you are going to drive a lot, the chances that you will do something extremely stupid and get caught increase exponentially if you have a vanity plate. If your plate says WDO 158, it would be much more difficult for the dull-normal average operator of a motor vehicle to remember how to dial 911, and then remember the plate number. Your chances of getting off scot-free, after a bone-head driving debacle are much better when your plate does not say “MR SUN”, CATH8TR”, or “ABBALVR”
     It is no secret that there are many illiterate and/or blind drivers out there or why would there be so many people in the ditch and occupying the same space. It, as I have said before, is a physical law that two object cannot occupy the same space at the same time. When that occurs the two vehicles become mangled, or at least dented. Having an easy way for someone to remember that “DR ASS” just ran you into a telephone pole is definitely not the best idea. Surviving driving is a challenge. Taking a road trip with the kids is even more so.
     When my daughter was very young we drove to Florida. The trip should have taken about 30 hours of driving. It took about 600 hours in a van with two kids, my wife and my dog. Since my daughter was young, she could not read. Or at least not very well.
     We could not play the alphabet game. Little kids hate to lose and if they cannot read, then the alphabet game is an automatic loss. Then the weeping and gnashing of teeth begins. THAT IS NOT FUN FOR ANYONE. When you are on the road for more than 2 hours in this type of situation you start looking for a hotel. A hotel with a restaurant and a BAR! For some reason kids make a lot more sense when they have food in their tummies and I have a three drink buzz.
     We stayed in a lot of hotels on that trip. When you have kids it is best to get hotel rooms with a pool. There are two big reasons. One reason is it gives you something for the kids to do that is not an additional cost, and two, it gives you leverage to get them to behave while driving to the next hotel. Do not tell me as a parent you have not used the line, “if you don’t stop doing _______you will not get to _____. It works a tad better than STFU or I will kill you, unless you are a poster parent for SCAN. (Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect)
     I was not married to my wife long before this trip. I did not really know the ways of kids. I had spent time with my nephews, but that is easy, load them up with stuff that they cannot have at home and then send them back. Unfortunately, this messes with your karma bank and we all know what goes around, comes around.
      Years ago Steve Martin had a routine where he said something to the effect of “whenever you are around kids, talk wrong.” As a new dad, I was all about doing just that thing. Not just cussing like a drunken sailor, but all kinds of mischievous and diabolical mispronunciations and the ilk. Not all on purpose, but sometimes, yeah totally. Some day I will tell the story of the blue trolley. That one really bit me on the ass. I digress.
     Since my daughter was illiterate, we would speak in code. Just like vanity plates. Somewhere on the road I picked the letters FPQZ. It could mean anything. Libby had no ideas that b-e-d spelled bed, or for that matter any other combination of letters. Her being unable to read or spell was very liberating for me and was all kinds of fun. Well, fun for me. There were lots of fpqz’s on that trip.
     One day while on the road when my patience was wearing as thin as an onion skin, from the dog jumping on the kids and the kids whining about the dog and every other MF-ING thing, I dropped the f –bomb. Not that f -bomb, the other one. “GDammit, Libby, if you don’t knock it off, there will be no FPQZ for you!” Big mistake. If I thought the noise level from the whinnyass kids and dog was bad, the wailing from my daughter sounding like a banshee from hell was MUCH WORSE. “But I WANNA go in the POOL!!” At that point I realized maybe Steve Martin was wrong. Maybe. To this day pool = FPQZ. It is an iconic phrase form the traveling days.
     I will probably never have a vanity plate. I drive too many miles and just do not care if I am cool while I am driving. My truck has the phone number and company name. I have too many things going on in the cockpit to worry about who is laughing or getting pissed at me as well as how easy they can report “FUNBUNZ”. However, if I did decide to have a vanity plate, my plate would say FPQZ. It can mean anything you want it to, but if you were to ask my daughter she would say it means pool.
Just another day in paradise

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