Monday, July 13, 2009

Chester's Jesters

Road Trip Day 9: Gormitis suck
Angie insisted that we go to Chester because she had once been there and saw a really cool clock. Ah, okay. After witnessing the Eastgate clock, though, Peter facially expressed what he thought of Mama's choice. Don't get me wrong, it's a really nice clock. But it's a freakin' clock and come on - even Peter can't tell time yet, so I wasn't completely shooting down comments like 'this is boring!' and 'you're stupid!' Okay, the last statement was not from the kids, nor was it said very loudly.

For entertainment, they locked themselves into a huge mail box.

The boys must get this odd little quirk from Angie. When she went to England for university, she spent the first month throwing mail into the round metal bins that were painted black with gold trim that 'looked really pretty'. In her defense, they are rather attractive and probably do look like mailboxes to anyone who is illiterate. Against her defense, she can actually read and probably should have paid closer attention to the 'pretty words' inscribed on the side of their lovely trashcans: LITTER. That's right, LITTER, not LETTER. At least she eventually figured out why none of her friends were answering her trash.

It took twenty minutes to convince Peter know-it-all that it was a telephone booth, not a mail box. The first ten minutes were wasted on pointing at the letters at the top of the booth and screaming 'what's a matter with you - can't you read?' I guess not. Mmm...can't tell time...can't read...what the hell is this boy learning at school?

Ah, I see. Gormitis, also known as 'The Invincible Lords of Nature'. That's just great. Should we really be encouraging Destructo Dave to unleash his fury under Mother Nature's name? It didn't matter; the shops in Chester carried these rubber hellions that the boys had heard so much about in school and we (Angie) made the mistake of buying them. At first, it smelled like a really good idea, but before we could leave the store, the boys were already fighting over them. WARNING: really, really dumb ideas actually smell good at first whiff.

Two minutes into our five hour drive today, the boys started screaming at each other. Crying, spitting, blubbering, and an all-out freak-a-thon followed. In a move that would have totally impressed my father, I stretched one arm back while driving full-gas on the motorway, snatched the Gormitis out of their tear-soaked hands and came damn close to throwing them out the window. Instead, I locked the evil toys up in the glove box and vocally explained a few things to the tearful that pushed the veins in my neck to the breaking point.

After what Angie described as a 'full-on conniption freak-out fit', I was relatively calm. I don't know if the boys were calm, but they did not speak a word for the remaining four and a half hours. Aaaahh, the sweet sound of silence. And fear.

Five hours in the car without talking, moving, or any other gerunds that might draw attention to themselves was great for the driver's mind of peace, but the aftermath of bottling up such pure kinder-energy proved to be...well, see for yourselves.

The boys started racing around the parking lot of the hotel. Their collective energy continued to build up until I was really worried about retaliation for the whole 'freakin' out' thing in the car earlier. At least Tom found the whole thing hilarious.

We managed to check into the hotel without any embarrassing stories involving me getting my ass kicked by my children, although I am quite certain that those will come sooner than I expect. It's okay - I normally swap Angie's name for mine if it's anything embarrassing and how funny would that be? Mama gets her ass beat by the PeDaTo Gang...

As we sat down in the hotel restaurant, I began to notice a certain theme to the place. There were pictures of airplanes hanging on the walls and replicas of old fighter jets lined the shelves. Before I could put my finger on it, David had disappeared. I ran to the next room, also known as The Bar, and found Tom Cruise, Jr. slinging cocktails with the barkeep.

I rescued David from what would have certainly ended up as a 'disorderly in public' charge and brought him back to his seat. Shortly after, the bartender came over to take our order.

'Beer. Lots of it. And throw in some chicken wings for the kids.'

'Uh, sir, we don't serve American food here.'

It was at that point that I remembered we were in England. Wrotham, to be specific.

'Okay, fine. Blood sausage and chips, then, mate.'

'Perhaps the gentleman would like to look at our menu?'

I looked around for who the hell this guy was talking about, and it was at that point that I noticed the white table cloths and very impressive set of cutlery at each setting. I reluctantly took the menu and suddenly I had a really upset wallet.

After ordering a paycheck or two, I asked the waiter about the whole 'fighter aircraft' motif they had going on.

'During WW II, this was a well-known pub for British fighter pilots. Whenever a pilot shot down a German plane, they would come here to celebrate. They would stamp the ceiling as a symbol of victory.'

I looked up to a ceiling that had more rubber stamps than congress. Before I could respond, Angie jumped in.

'My Dad was a pilot.'

'Oh, really. For which country?'


[Awkward pause]

'Uh...I'm Italian.'

With that, Mario disappeared before Angie could explain that her dad was actually a commercial pilot for Lufthansa until retiring last year. Judging by Angie's smirk, though, I seriously doubt that she would have ever offered this tidbit of information.

Seconds later, Luigi returned with two complimentary beers and mumbled something that sounded like 'prego, pasta ravioli i lasagne' to me, but he disappeared again before I could fully interpret. Angie continued to 'scowl' at the poor guy until he rounded the corner. Then, she smirked again, winked at me, and shouted 'PROST' in a voice that was slightly louder than one might expect in such a tiny pub.

Dinner was great, but I love any meal where we get free drinks. The boys loved it because we took their Gormitis out of time-out for dessert. Once again, though, these rubbery bastards drove a wedge between the brothers and before Mother Nature knew it, David was the one in time-out.

At least David was not 'in the cooler' for very long. As punishment, the boys got a lecture from Papa Coolest instead.

'Look, guys - you cannot keep fighting over these toys like this. If you keep it up, I'm just going to throw the damn things into the trash.'

'You mean the mailbox?'

'No! Why? What do you mean? Did Mama already give you this lecture?'
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: The best part was when I play with Tom peeky-boo.
David: When I with Mommy play that I the baby Tapir and Peter the baby Jaguar is.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't have dessert by the pub.
David: When I wanted Tom to McQueen hello say, but that we go to the toilet.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go on the ship.
David: When we go to Madagascar.

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