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Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Zoo That Is Spring Break

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Spring break was just beginning and all of the kids would be off of school for a week. My plans to go to Virginia were foiled by Mr. Lane, mostly because he is a butt plug, and partially because it would have cost too much money for all of us to go. So the fucker left without us. Sure he was going for work reasons but not letting us tagalong when all of us would be home twiddling our thumbs otherwise was just rude, rude and did I mention rude?!

Having the kids home for a week isn’t a bad thing, as long as we have some plans. Sitting around the house, doing nothing for a week is another story entirely. I had to make some plans, and quick.

I talked to my sister Angie about taking our four kids to the zoo. The weather report told me Tuesday would be the perfect day, the first day of 70 degree weather. I know that 70 degrees doesn’t sound very warm to some of you, but for us Illinoisans, that’s a friggin’ heat wave. Breakout the Daisy Dukes Sista, cuz it’s gettin’ hot in here!

Brookfield Zoo is the best zoo in all of Illinois. When we were kids, we went to that zoo all of the time. Of course, when we were kids it was much less crowded and everything was much cheaper. Hey, the zoo’s website told me Tuesday is free day! Maybe it wouldn’t be very expensive after all.

Angie tried to get me to agree to meet her at our mom’s at 8 a.m. Living an hour and a half away, I used my fingers to calculate what time I would have to wake up, get my kids up and what time I would have to leave the house by.

“How ‘bout 10? That way we’ll miss traffic and only have to worry about feeding the kids once while we are out.”
“Okay, sounds good to me. See you at Mom’s at 10.”

That night I should have gone to the store to buy stuff for our lunches and should have filled my gas tank. I got lazy and left it for morning. I also talked to my mom that night to let her in on mine and Angie’s plans to make sure she would be home.

“Are you going to spend the night?”
“I wasn’t planning on it.”
“Oh, Lois, I need help getting the last things out of the house. I really could use your help. Maybe we could unpack some stuff at least before you go.”
I caved to her guilt trip, “Sure, we’ll spend the night.”
“Oh, good! I’ll see you in the morning,” she sounded pleased with her ability to drag me against my will.

I got up at the butt crack of dawn. I packed clothes for the kids, washed a load of laundry for me. I made breakfast and woke the kids. After they ate, I put my clothes in the dryer and ordered Lane 1 into the shower. Lane 2 was helping me get things ready for Guido The Killer Cat From Hell, so he would manage on his own in our absence.

My mom told me to make sure I brought pillows and blankets for the kids, so I gathered those, filled the cooler with ice, put some Gatorade in it and began loading the car. It felt like we were going away for a really long time. Finally the dryer buzzed and I packed my clothes. Knowing my mother the way I do, I packed enough clothes for a couple of days.

To get there in time I would have to leave before 8:30 because I still needed to make a couple of stops. We headed out at 7:45, went to the grocery store, spending 25 bucks on food and snack stuff for the zoo and our visit with my mom.

We drove by several stations before I allowed the denial to exit my body. Gas was really going to cost me $2.15 per gallon. I pulled into a station and began pumping my gas. I was somewhere into the $18.00 range before I saw, $2.19 per gallon. FUCK! The sign said $2.15 and $2.19 and the premium is ALWAYS the more expensive of the two. Except at that gas station, the station I got fucked at, and didn’t even get kissed in return. The gas station that took advantage of me not paying attention to their goddamned signs so early in the morning. The gas station I would never fucking go back to if my fucking life depended on it!

“That is a really cute trick making me think I am paying $2.15 when I am paying $2.19. Since when is premium cheaper?”

The bitch behind the counter shrugged her shoulders but her face held a smug look.

“Tell your boss thanks for the morning fuck!”

I headed for the tollway, the fastest way to my mom’s new place. The tolls have been increased for those not using IPASS (an electronic box that automatically does billing for the tolls as you drive through the fast lanes) losers like me, who don’t travel these roads don’t have an IPASS. So we are stuck paying double tolls and waiting an awful long time for the jag in the box to take our money.

Toll one, $1.95, toll two, $.80, toll three $.80, plus time lost = priceless.

I make it to my mom’s and my nerves are frazzled from the idiots in traffic. Something about nice weather makes people drive like fucking morons. Not to mention, I’ve already spent nearly 50 bucks.

I never told my kids we were going to the zoo because I didn’t want their excitement to make them act like two little spastic freaks. As soon as they saw Auntie Angie and her kids the news was spilled like oil on the ocean and I was the goose in the water. I pulled up directions on mapquest and we were off like a couple of prom dresses.

We loaded up the kids and I broke the news to Angie, “You’re driving.”
“My car is a wreck.”
“You can drive my car. The seat will even accompany your puny legs.” I tossed the keys to her and hopped into the passenger seat of my car. The kids climbed loudly into the back seat fighting over who gets a window seat. It was going to be a lovely day.

Getting there is half the fun. Or so they say. And right now, I wish I knew who “they” were, because I would kick their mother fucking asses for lying! Second in line for an ass kicking would be mapquest for lying. That website never takes the area into consideration. The site said 37 minutes from Mom’s to the zoo. FUCKING LIARS!

This story is hitting the three page mark so I’ll finish tomorrow, when I am finally home.