Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. the Bucket

A villain's a villain, no matter how small.....

So, we leave only an hour late. Awkward Dad (who I think has turned rouge and is trying to sabotage my solo adventure) moseys home from work (with my car!) like one on a Sunday stroll. I do my usual pre-trip race-around-yelling-sarcastic-and-bizarrely-passive-aggressive-things like "what a wonderful idea, let's take out all the legos right before our trip" and "What am I, the little red hen? Somebody better get to helping or no one gets any corn...or fruit snacks...or whatever it was she wasn't getting any help making." I am, understandably, ignored.

Pretty soon, I am sitting pretty in the driver's seat of my still-new-to-me mini-van, and, despite red-henish threats, the Supers (the ones with teeth, that is) are all consuming fruit snacks. Awkward Dad blows us kisses and waves from the sidewalk like we are heading off to war. Super Baby is already asleep. I "forgot" the Barney CD and have Queen blaring; mostly to cover the sounds of Super Toddler's fake driving toy that he beeps and revs insistently, usually causing me to crane my head around for the rude driver behind me who is never there. I have diet Pepsi, my comfortable shoes, and all is right with the world.

And miraculously, it stays right for almost 3 hours. We are nearly out of Michigan when things go terribly wrong. All the Supers are asleep, and the radio is only playing songs I like. I am jamming out to Born in the USA (very glad the Supers are asleep and unable to be scarred by my rather enthusiastic chair dancing), when I decide to pass the pick-up in front of me. I may be going slightly over the speed limit, (I can't be the only mother in the world who turns into Lightening McQueen when on the highway), and I have a date with Marvelous Mom to get to. I flip my indicator on in time with the music and ease into the left lane. Pick-up dude must think he is Lightening McQueen too because he suddenly picks up speed. (see my magical word-play there, Readers? Super-powered vocab alert!) Anyway, his pick-up picks up speed but the bucket in the bed of his truck wants nothing to do with it. In fact, it seems the bucket wants nothing to do with him, as it flies off its precarious perch toward the tailgate and hurls itself, Kamikaze-style, at my windshield.

Time slows down; must be a Hiro bucket. (Sorry. Nerd reference, take your time.) Back? OK. I think I might scream, swerve, and swear all at once. Not sure and the Supers are no help jump-starting that memory. They would sleep through an atomic bomb, so they snooze on. When time speeds up again, the pick-up has pulled way ahead of me and I am going way too slow in the left lane, listening to the melodious sounds of the Boss and the less melodious sounds of something dragging along the ground, directly under my feet. It takes me awhile to realize that the beeping I am hearing on top of the song, the scrapping, and the snoring is not coming from Super Toddler's ghost driver but a very real trucker who is bearing down on me with alarming speed and would like me out of the passing lane, right now. I acquiesce.

I pull onto the shoulder and sit there, waiting for a pause in the traffic. Trucks rumble by, shaking my mini-van, which seemed so substantial just 5 minutes ago. Cars slow down but don't stop, children peering out the windows in blatant curiosity. I wave at them, all false brave and smiling; you know, that fake smile you paste on when you have no idea what to do but you don't want your children to worry. I take advantage of a break in the traffic to hop out and scurry around to the hood. I look down but don't see anything. Hmmm... I bend over and still don't see anything. OK..... I get down in front of the car on my hands and knees, trying not to fall over in the gale force winds the passing trucks are creating. I peer under the car, my face inches from the dusty gravel of the shoulder, and that is when I see it. Jammed well under the driver's seat side, just within reach lies a slightly misshapen white bucket. Its metal handle is bent up and catching the sunlight, winking at me. A taunt if ever I saw one.

Enraged, I reach under the car and grab the bucket's handle. I pull. I promptly fall over onto my face. The bucket doesn't even move. Wily one, this bucket. I try to grab the bucket from the bottom and push it to the side. Nothing. I turn around and try to kick the bucket but I can't really see and, having mininal mechinical knowledge, become concerned that I might be kicking something else. Something vital to the running of my van. I stand up and turn around. I gaze through the windshield; yep, 3 sleeping beauties. I can hear the faint strains of Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves coming from the car radio. Darn. I really like that one.

I crouch down and assess my foe. I harness my inner Hulk and focus on the fact that this nasty bucket is making me miss major Cher emoting. I reach down and wedge my fingers in between the top of the bottom of the car (does that even make sense?) and the bucket. I lean forward and try to ignore the fact that I can feel wind on the small of my back and a great deal lower, thereby giving a free show to anyone heading east on 94 who is bored enough to glance to the left shoulder. I shove my hands down, smashing the bucket into a manageable size, and I haul it out from under the car. Power surges through me and I hurl it into the ditch, like Megatron flicking an annoying human out of his way. Come on, Readers! That wasn't that nerdy; Transformers are trendy again, right? OK, I'll wait....

Now, before you get all eco and green on me, fear not! I felt guilty about 2 seconds later and half ran/fell down the ditch to rescue the bucket, tucking it in the back for a more humane disposal. The Supers wanted to keep it, but after having lived a nice long life as container contributing to its community, with only a mild foray into a life of litter and villainy, I figured Bucket would want a rest. Fittingly, we gave him just that and left him resting at the next rest stop. That is the rest stop where we find a strange man hanging out in the family bathroom, but that is a tale for another time...

Wow, Awkward Mom's word-play powers are at full blast today! And if that is full blast, I suppose Hemingway, Miller, and Shakespeare have nothing to worry about. See ya next time; same awkward time, same awkward channel!

What bucket?


  1. Wow, this is a crazy story!! I'm glad the bucket didn't cause any more damage. And I hope, the rest of your trip was a lot less adventurous!

    1. It only damaged my pride... :)

      The rest of the trip was perfect and a lot less crazy! No worries!