I thought I was better prepared. I had replenished the car first aid kit, stocking up on Children’s Tylenol, Benadryl, and tattoo-style Star Wars bandages.
The whole affair was thrown off from the get-go because try as I might, I cannot control Mother Nature. (That chick hates me.) In my infinite wisdom, I decided it was a good idea to let the Young Carnivores run around in the
There are many things Aspergerish kids don’t like: loud noises and unexpected occurrences top the list for Little Dude. He doesn’t even enjoy good surprises very much. So hearing a bee behind his ear, and then feeling intense pain, is going to set off a neurological storm.
He went stark. raving. mad.
It was that kind of episode where there's snot everywhere, and the scream is so loud and goes on for so long, that you have to remind him to breathe in.
Meanwhile, his right ear had become twice the size of his left ear, and had turned a deep crimson color. He didn’t seem to be having an allergic reaction, but the swelling was impressive. I got the first aid kit back out of the car to dose out some Children’s Tylenol. (See how organized I am?)
We watched a couple episodes of SpongeBob while Little Dude calmed down, and then hit the road.
All was well until about twenty minutes after The Jerky Capital of the World. Out of the blue, Little Dude let out another ear-piercer. “TURN AROUND! TURN AROUND!" he screamed. "Turn the car around! I need some moosh churned thing!” Little Dude’s speech isn’t super-clear sometimes, especially when he’s in the midst of going batty. It took the girls and I about five minutes to figure out that he wanted more beef jerky, stat.
At that exact moment, we passed one of the forty-six signs for the Little Shop of Animatronic Horrors. This one sign happened to advertise their jerky. (Apparently dried meat is an important part of the standard Texan mise en place.)
However, as much as I wanted to stop the firestorm of scream that was coming from the Windstar’s second row, I knew that the legless man in the cage (see photo) was only going to make the situation worse for us. I also knew that if the girls saw the sign, they would suggest we stop to buy more jerky, because they’re sustaining permanent hearing damage from the brouhaha that is their little brother, and they just want to make it stop, creepy animatronics be damned.
I floored it. It's fine, because in Texas you can drive 85 miles an hour in the slow lane. The girls didn't see the sign, and eventually, Little Dude screamed himself into a three-hour
We made no further stops, and finally returned home from The Ranch safe and sound. I went online and found an email from my dad letting me know that I had left the first aid kit at his house. Awesome.