The A--hole Stories.

The other day I needed to answer an essay question for a job interview.  There were a couple of essay prompts- write about a time you used common sense, write about your favorite book or movie, or write about a funny story that happened to you.

I texted my mama the prompts to ask her what I should write about and she immediately replied.

                      "Shit Saba - Gone with the Wind - Rascal Story."  

I wasn't exactly sure which  "Shit Saba" story she was talking about, so that was out.  Gone with the Wind isn't my favorite book, so that was out too.  That left telling The Rascal Story.  Now Mama's totally right, The Rascal Story is funny.  But I might as well call it "The A--hole Story," because it involves me calling a baby an a--hole, which I then tried to play off by pretending I called him a "rascal" instead.

Maybe it's not the most appropriate job interview story...

A couple of days later I was telling my sister how I really liked that Mama suggested I tell The A--hole Story to an interview panel.  My sister laughed and said Mama was right, that The A--hole Story was funny every time.  She then went on to tell me how her boss occasionally requests a dramatic retelling of The A--hole Story and that the Volvo part always cracks him up.

That was confusing to me, because there's no Volvo in The Rascal/A--hole Story.  I had to think about what she had said for a moment, then I started laughing and laughing and laughing because she was right, the Volvo part is funny, but it's the funny part of an entirely different A--hole Story.  And it is just perfect that our family should have MULTIPLE funny stories centered around the word "a--hole."

Since I can't share The Rascal Story with you (because I really did use that to answer the "tell us a funny story" prompt), I'll share The Volvo A--hole Story with you instead.

The Volvo Asshole Story

To set the scene, imagine this: me, my two sisters, and my parents are in our truck driving back to Florida from Texas.  That's five adults locked in an enclosed space for days and thousands of miles. And we're not the sort of road-trippers that stop at cute overlooks.  No, we're the sort of you-better-pee-while-you-have-the-chance-or-hold-it road-trippers.

We had gone to Texas for my grandfather's funeral.  I've blocked out a lot of this trip, but as far as I can remember, we drove there, went to the funeral, hung out with my grandmother for a day or so and then drove home.

Road-trips can be stressful at the best of times, but we were all sad about grandpa and there had been a recent hurricane in the Gulf, so the road conditions weren't great either.  Combine those and you have a car full of extraordinarily stressed out people.

It's an 18 hour drive.

We've done this drive about once a year since we were all kids.  I can tell you more about I-10 from here to Texas than is reasonable.  I can tell you that the tunnel in Alabama is freaky because it always reminds me of Princess Diana.  I can tell you that Louisiana has the worst roads- they'll make the tires go WHOMP-WHOMP-WHOMP for hours.  You know you're out of Louisiana because it's suddenly quiet again.  I can tell you that Texans will pass on the right on these weird roads that look like they have giant shoulders, but are apparently passing lanes.

We were on our way home.  We hadn't made it to Slidell, Louisiana (the halfway point) yet.  Tensions were high.  The WHOMP-WHOMP-WHOMP wasn't helping anyone's mood.  All of a sudden we came to a stop.  There was some sort of accident ahead of us.  Traffic wasn't moving for miles in either direction.  Now, we'd been in the truck for about 10 hours at this point.  We needed a break.

Instead of a break we just sat in traffic for what seemed like hours fussing and bickering.  We'd eaten all the snacks.  We'd drank all the beverages.  We'd needed a pee break hours ago.

Suddenly, one of my sisters noticed an access road right off the interstate.  It was so close, but we weren't by an exit.  We couldn't get to the road.  There was a big ditch between us and sweet sweet freedom.

Now, at this point, you need to know that we had driven Dad's truck to Texas.  It's got a real roomy interior, but it also has four-wheel-drive.

Me and my sisters started wheedling to try and get Dad to cross the ditch.  Other people ahead of us were doing it and no one had gotten stuck.

"Please, Dad!"

"Just do it, Dad!"

"I see a sign for food, Dad!"


This eventually devolved into a chant of "DITCH!" "DITCH!" "DITCH!"

The only reason my Dad hadn't already barreled us across this ditch to sweet sweet freedom was that my Mom is always the navigator.  And she hates being on the interstate.  And she freaks out when there's an accident or bad traffic or anything along the lines of the situation we were in.  She was adamant it wasn't safe for us to cross that ditch.  Mom was the voice of reason keeping us from sweet sweet freedom.

Finally, the Volvo station-wagon ahead of us in traffic made a hard right and gamely bounced through the ditch.

That was the last straw for my oldest sister who started screeching "IF A VOLVO CAN GO, WE CAN GO!"

My mother still wasn't having any part of this ditch-to-sweet-sweet-freedom plan and she herself scream-shouted


That was it.

Dad couldn't handle it any longer.  He barreled across the ditch uneventfully.

Us a--holes in the backseat just sort of looked at each other with confused faces...  Had our own dear Mama just called us a--holes?  No...  She couldn't have.

But because she had and because we made it to sweet sweet freedom uneventfully we all started cracking up.  Us being a--holes provided a moment of levity on a super-intense trip.  And that's sort of how we roll in our family, we're not "backseat drivers," we're "a--holes in the backseat."

 "The A--holes in the Backseat" is a title my sisters and I wear proudly to this day.


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