Sep 14 2005


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“Uncle Bob!” I snapped, trying to get him to pause in his polemic on the evils of the American right wing. One too many cups of coffee and a large bottle of root beer had more or less made it an emergency that I get to Ye Olde Reste Roome with all due dispatch, and for some reason this idea was just not getting through his round forehead. “Will you please pull into the rest area up ahead!”

“Waste of time, waste of time, my boy,” he said. “We’re nearly there!”

“You said that three rest areas ago,” I pointed out. “Seriously, I have got to make a pit stop.”

“I think,” Brigid’s voice floated forward from the back seat, “he’s afraid to stop the car because it might not start again.”

Uncle Bob guffawed, as he did at just about everything Brigid said. “Don’t you worry about the Black Beauty, babe,” he said.

Brigid’s voice was definitely menacing: “You didn’t really just call me ‘babe,’ did you?” I turned to shoot her a warning glance, lest she pull out a hockey stick and club him over the head — going 75 miles per hour is a bad situation to be in when the person behind the wheel suddenly has his brains bashed out.

“I like you, babe,” Uncle Bob said. “You’re my kinda mamma. Smart! And cold.”

“Cold,” Brigid repeated, as if he’d just told her she was a frog.

“Yeah, you’ve got that whole ice queen act down to a science — and when a cold mamma heats up, boy how she sizzles!”

“Good God,” Brigid said, turning to the window in an apparent search for an escape route. She didn’t quite make a jump for it … but I know she was tempted.

“That sounds like it came from some movie somewhere,” I commented. “But getting back to the matter at hand, I need to stop at this rest area, Uncle Bob. Seriously! If you value your sanity and your upholstery, you’ll get into the exit lane now while you still can!”

“Be a man, boy!” said Uncle Bob, waving a hand which I would have preferred he left on the wheel. “I told you we’re almost there!”

“And it was a lie again this time!” I said.

“Such a wuss,” he said. “If you weren’t my precious sister’s only child, I wouldn’t have anything to do with you.”

“If I weren’t your precious sister’s only child, you might have gotten the money in my trust fund yourself instead,” I replied.

Thankfully, that shut him up; he grumbled and hunkered over the wheel in a sulk.

He also completely failed to stop at the rest area.

-The Gneech

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