Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Perfect Storm

I follow The Creative Minority Report on a daily basis.  The difference between their perspective and mine is primarily based on the fact that they are two men (brothers), and I am one woman.  Also, they have many children and I have one.  Matt spent time today talking about his daughter's first reconciliation.  The story revolved around his son's illness.  In the true spirit of one-up-man-ship, I offer the perfect storm.

My son and his friend, Rosario, had a day off from school on a day when I was supposed to teach a class on public speaking for elementary teachers at a local Catholic women's college.  I decided to take the guys with me to my class.  I reasoned that they would be good students for my students to practice on.

I bribed my son James, and Rosario, with a lunch at a local fast-food joint.  They seemed pleased with the bribe.  I promised goodies afterward for good behavior during the classroom time.

My students did a completely adequate job of presenting their lessons to the boys. They were sometimes boring, sometimes interesting, and only occasionally concerned about their audience.   I would make a comment here about how little new teachers care about whether their students are learning or not, but that would take me away from the perfect storm.

That happened when we left.

The boys were well behaved, so I allowed them to choose treats from the snack bar at the college.  That was my fatal mistake.

Rosario ate with abandon, and a swiftness usually reserved for competitive eaters.  We left 72nd and Center St. in Omaha as he devoured his treat.  We traveled north on Happy Hollow Boulevard.  At 52nd and Seward Street, Rosario vomited. 

At 52nd and Grant, James vomited in sympathy.  I should mention at this point that we were riding in a 2002 Dodge Caravan.  The windows in the back of a Caravan do not open.  This is a design flaw in a family car.  After all, kids throw up once in a while.  When they do throw up in a car, the thing most parents want is for them to throw up out the window.  When surrounded by the smell of vomit, many people will vomit in sympathy.  I'm just saying...

(By the way, the worst smelly attack I'd ever experienced prior to this was when, in 4th grade, I grew bacteria for my science project.  I wanted to find out which brand of bathroom cleaner was most effective.  My jars of growing and dying bacteria spilled in the back of our Grand Safari station wagon.  On the way to school.  Also on my uniform.  We sold the Grand Safari.  It took me years to overcome the moniker of the very stinky girl.)

At 50th and Grant, I vomited in sympathy out the driver's side window.  This was now the perfect storm.  3 people.  3 sets of vomit.  One minivan.  God help us all.

I feel I should offer advice on how to respond to such a perfect storm.

One:  Expect that cleaning the car is going to take multiple applications of everything you've got.

Two:  Oxyclean, when applied with copious amounts of water will help to neutralize the smell.

Three:  Those little pine trees that hang from the rear view mirror are not just for repo men.

Four:  All minivans should come with windows that can be opened where ever there is the possibility of a child sitting.  If that is not possible,  put an emergency hatch in the floor.

Five:  All vomit-prone children are given a bag or bucket before entering the car.  My sister was the one everyone avoided on long trips.  She always got the window.  We always struggled to stay away from her.

Six:  If there are no windows, or escape hatches, or buckets, don't buy the car.

Seven:  If number six is not an option,  buy buckets.

Eight:  Never let your spouse use a vomit bucket for another purpose.

Nine: Try not to gag if your spouse uses a vomit bucket for another purpose.

Ten:  Let women do the fine-tuned cleaning of the vomit event in the car.  Let the men get the big chuncks.

For those of you who have never had a perfect storm in your minivan,  God bless and keep you safe.  For the rest:  Oxyclean, large shop vac, several applications.

God Bless!!!


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