Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"Oh, great. You killed the invisible swordsman." - Lucky, The Three Amigos

I, as a rule, never drink hard alcohol. Not much like beer at all. I try to save the hard stuff for Britney Spears. But on this day, well, I thought about taking the Cuervo exit.

It was finally time for vacation here at the Wilder house. When we left Alaska we had planned to go back to Fairbanks for spring break. If there’s a spring break capital of the world, well, Fairbanks, Alaska must surely be it, since it’s never much colder than -20ºF at this time of year. Practically balmy. We decided not to go back – if I had taken The Mrs. back, I would have had to hit her over the head with a frozen salmon to conk her out so she’d get on the plane back to the lower 48. The Mrs. misses Alaska. I like hitting her on the head with a frozen salmon.

No, instead of going to see ice sculptures (which I love) and snow (which I also love) we decided to make a three-state trek and see friends and family. With usual Wilder precision, we had planned the trip to the minute. The fact that a friend came in from out of town and we ended up talking until late that night meant that I started packing after 2AM when the laundry was finally dry.

Okay, starting late and doing a crappy job preparing is really a normal start to a Wilder vacation. Add in that it was pouring rain.

Also add in that at 1AM I ventured into the garage (don’t ask why I was in the garage at 1AM – let’s just say that sometimes you need a nail gun, pliers, and toothpaste). I was greeted by the Invisible Dog Fence (doesn’t work on visible dogs, apparently) controller emitting a high, piercing shriek indicating it either wanted me to feed the magic dog-pinching faeries that keep the dogs in, or that the cable that The Mrs. and I painstakingly buried somehow was no longer a continuous path for electrons. Since The Mrs. and I had decided to leave the dogs outside (with neighborly care), Invisible Dog Fence wasn’t an option – it was necessary.

Given that it was late, I gave into the temptation to think that, just perhaps, the Invisible Dog Fence would heal itself by the next morning. Okay, I know that also might be considered wishful thinking, but, really, it was raining. I would be better in a few hours as the water drained, right?

No. The next morning (5:10 AM – really) the water was seven inches deep over most of the Invisible Dog Fence. The Mrs. had thrown The Boy out of his bed, and there we were, standing in deep, cold water in the pouring rain, digging in the mud for a gloried buried speaker wire.

After an hour, I was pulling up a wire (The Boy was holding my various electrical testing gadgets) and I found that, indeed, the wire had been cut. Oh, sure, it had been working for four months, but somehow, something had burrowed underground and cut the wire. I’m thinking either the dogs have been watching Hogan’s Heroes and nicked the wire with their escape tunnel or there is one scary burrowing critter with knife-like teeth that likes to sever buried electrical cords. I think I’m never going barefoot again.

Did I mention that fire ants can float? And can get in your shoe? And bite you six times?

Anyhow, I get back inside and start packing clothing. The Mrs. announces that, since her sinus cavity has been filled with searing hot pain, greater than the pain that Al Gore’s emotion chip will let him feel, well, she’s not going on the trip until she can see a doctor.

The Mrs. leaves at 8AM. She returns at noon.

We’re six hours behind schedule.

At 12:16PM, we pull onto the highway, and head out.

Halfway across Houston, 15 miles into our trip:

-The Mrs. is near in tears from pain.
-Pugsley is hungry and gnawing on his child seat.
-The Boy asks . . . “Are we in New Mexico yet?”

This has “long trip” written all over it.

Wacky in Waco, Fun in Ft. Worth, and Antsy in Amarillo


Blogger SusanE said...

I drove from Phoenix to San Antonio once.... You simply must spend the night in Van Horne, Texas.... I have lovely changed its name to "Hades, Texas". (If anyone from Van Horne is reading this please accept my apologies... and sympathies.)

5:59 AM  
Blogger Dame Koldfoot said...

Dude, you should have come to Alaska. You would have been in a nice, dry airport and I've heard that TSA doesn't bite near as hard as fireants (though they are just as insidious). It's been a sweltering 10 above zero with snow flurries. The Boy could have played at the Ice Park without winter gear. You could have drank beer on the deck while The Mrs. churned out novels faster than China produces cheap plastic crap for Walmart. We would have even fed Pugsley. But, nooo. You had to go visit family. But wait! You can come up in the summer since you've taken care of your family obligations. We'll leave the chainsaw on for you.

12:58 PM  
Blogger GoGo said...

I pray to baby jesus that this road trip is taking place in a "Wagon Queen Family Truckster" - like in that movie...


5:17 PM  
Blogger John said...

Van Horne . . . hmmm . . I think Hades might be more appropriate. Read on . . . .

dame koldfoot,
10+!!! Whoa! (I really miss that.)

If you were going to feed Pugsley, well, that's enough to feed China, too.

Our days in Fairbanks are not done . . . though when they restart is beyond me . . . !

Close. Same color.

5:06 PM  

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