Thursday, January 11, 2007

Recounting Yesterday. One Funeral, Two Cars, Three Noteworthy Incidents

Two cars. Car 1 contains my Uncle Andy, Uncle Ronny, Aunt Bonny and my grammy. Car 2 contains my dad, my mom, my grampy and me.

Incident 1:

Failing to notice five signs for the upcoming jug handle, Dad shows off his lightning reflexes. He does a Jersey Sweep across three lanes of traffic and whips off the exit. Car 1, caught unaware, misses the turn. It is only then that it is realized that no one has exchanged cell phone numbers. We break out Plan B: Park on the side of the highway. Disregard the four lanes of 60mph traffic squealing past. Wave and scream at every white Chevy mini-van until successfully reuniting with Car 1.

Incident 2:

Car 1 takes the lead. Everyone who knows where we're going is in Car 1. Meanwhile, in Car 2, Dad, the driver, punch-buggies Grampy, who is riding shotgun. We are on the Cross Bronx Expressway in heavy traffic. Despite all the screaming coming from the backseat, we miss the turn onto Route 95. Car 1 disappears down the exit ramp. The screams from the backseat in Car 2 get louder.

Car 2 exits as soon as possible. We are now driving around in the Bronx. No worries. Someone gave Mom directions to the funeral. We breathe a sigh of relief. Mom pulls the paper from her purse. Printed in 16-point type in the middle of the paper it says, "Go to Long Island. Turn right onto Castle Avenue. Turn left into the cemetary." Grampy maintains a running monolog about how he beat up a kid in the park when he lived in the Bronx. He was a scrapper.

I call up my friend Erin, who grew up in Long Island and is our only hope. She gets us on the bridge. Finally, Car 1 answers their cell phones. We're back in business.

Incident 3:

After the funeral, Wendy invites us to her house in Connecticut. She hands out copies of MapQuest directions to everyone. We get back in the cars. Dad refuses to relinquish the wheel. Somewhere in Long Island City, it is noticed that Dad is not following the provided MapQuest directions. He confidently announces that he is "Following Richard, who is in the silver Honda SUV up ahead."

About a half hour and many, many, roads, bridges and tolls later, we are entirely off the MapQuest directions. It is approximately then when Dad discloses that he really didn't get a good look at the driver of the silver SUV and may have been premature in assuming it was Richard. He mentions that he saw the driver's reflection in SUV's side mirror and the driver may in fact be Latino. Unfortunately, when last seen, Richard had been wearing a yamika and looking distinctly not Latino.

I went to bed very early last night.
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