Friendship 7 to Branson, Part I

Today we began our two day drive to Branson, Mossouri.  It was a trip organized by my father and mother in law, and although Branson is an unexpected destination for anyone without an oxygen tank in tow, the sheer oddness of it all proved attractive to us.  The three car caravan included my wife and I with our two kids, my brother in law with his wife and two kids, and my mother and father in law.

We have a two year old and a five month old – and a mere minivan to work with.  As a result the vehicle is loaded to about 119% capacity.  The driver and passenger seats, along with the two car seats in the back, are reminiscent of photos I remember of the old Friendship 7 capsule – wherein the the astronaut’s seat  was barely discernible amidst all the gruesomely analog electronic gear.  Likewise our seats appear as tiny islands of fabric awash in baby tools and toys and suitcases of all shapes and sizes.  Nonetheless we strapped the car on and went.  Forty five minutes into the drive we were faced with our first emergency.

Toxic fumes began pouring out of the rear compartment, in the immediate vicinity of our children.  We recognized the aroma to be that of a fully charged diaper.  We immediately radioed our caravan mates, and in short order we’d pulled over – only to find that the two year old, the suspected culprit, had a pristine diaper.  My sister in law posed the possibility that what we’d actually experienced was the bouquet of the Hormel meat packing plant in Austin, Minnesota (home to, among other things, the wonderful Spam Museum.)  We concluded that she was right, until we thought to examine the diaper of the angelic 5 month old.  There, in all it’s tarry glory, lay evidence to the contrary.  Would that the causality of our trauma was not so mundane, but there you have it.

We pressed on without incident to Camron, MO, where I sit this very second – hoping against all odds that at least one of our children will show the tiniest hint of being tired.  And thinking, Tumsless, that maybe I shouldn’t have devoured that entire freakin’ “chicken fried steak.”