In the Car

I penned the following diatribe while riding with my sister from Chicago to our parents' home in Michigan on Christmas Eve.

Have joy.

December 24, 2009
1:32pm Central Standard Time

Dearest Notepad,

I am so cussin' peeved I could scissor kick a nun!

My sister and I are in the middle of a fight, which means that while we're seated only a stick shift apart, the sole voice likely to pass through our ears in the next four hours is the crusty British brogue of the woman narrating the Garmin. So, in lieu of tearing fistfuls of hair from my arm every time I feel like clocking my sister, I've resolved to dispel my anger by writing to you.

In advance, I'd like to proffer my apology for the onslaught of exclamation points and capitalized words I'm about to impart upon you.


1:36pm Central Standard Time

It's less than five minutes into our trip and we're parked in front of a Gap with a line so long I'm confused as to whether they're selling clothes or cutting unemployment checks. If she's not back in five minutes, I swear I'm leaving without her.

1:42pm Central Standard Time

Shit! Shit! Shit! She took the keys.

1:58pm Central Standard Time

She's going to get us killed, Notepad. My side of the car is about to lock lips with an 18-wheeler full of livestock because my sister can't keep her eyes on the damn road. For the sake of my personal safety, I hope we get pulled over.

2:25pm Central Standard Time

If I hear that monotone Mary Poppins utter one more "keep right in point nine miles," I'm going take a bite out of my headrest. Of course we're going to keep right, whore, there's a lake to our left!

2:54pm Central Standard Time

Fine, if my sister's going to text while driving, I’m going fart while riding.

3:18pm Central Standard Time

Notepad, I may have cracked a rib trying to break wind. And could the abrupt blur in my vision be the result of a ruptured blood vessel in my eyeball?


4:59pm Eastern Standard Time

I smell success, Notepad! And sweet it ain't. I managed to cut one loose just beneath the "Welcome to Pure Michigan" sign. Wait 'til she wraps her nose around that one.

5:11pm Eastern Standard Time

I cannot feel my face. Seriously. Not my eyes or my nose or my ears.

Note to self: Never mess with the in-car air quality in the winter when you're a passenger in a vehicle with window locks. Eff.

5:22pm Eastern Standard Time

One more minute of this cold and I'm going to need a double ear amputation.

5:40pm Eastern Standard Time

I am just now regaining feeling in my face but my eyes won't stop watering from the sudden change in temperate. My sister is beside herself with glee because she thinks I'm crying.

I'm devising another plan, Notepad. Stay tuned.

5:48pm Eastern Standard Time

Okay Notepad, one last attempt at ruining my sister's day. It's going to sound crazy, but it just might work. I'm going to compliment her hair. She'll be so confused she'll probably pass out, which is exactly what I'm banking o…

Phone call. Hang tight for a second.

5:50pm Eastern Standard Time

We get to skip church! We’re running late so my parents left without us!

Wait, is she smiling?

Did she just overhear my phone conversation?

What? She's sorry?

Did she just hug me?

I'm sorry too?

Notepad, I'm confused. I gotta go.

6:31pm Eastern Standard Time

We're home safely, Notepad. And yes, we did make up. I guess the joy of skipping church is more powerful than the anger we've been harboring all week.

Thanks for letting me vent though.

Merry Christmas, Notepad.

Oh, and in case you're still wondering, I did squeeze out a little more than a fart on the Indiana Toll Road. Good ear.