Sunday, August 12, 2012

Family vacations – oh how much fun! Sit, Read and Go

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Family vacations – oh how much fun! Sit, Read and Go

“Dad can we have your wallet?” said the small boy with his brother in tow.  His voice was urgent and almost panicking.

Like every other summer people are traveling and often as a family unit.  You know… the whole family in one vehicle with kids that normally don’t go long distances together.  You know, the kind of long distances, requiring full and prolonged rest stops by the family.

In my day as a boy that was usually to fuel up and maybe get a treat at the Gas Station. The toilet was out back and you needed a key to get in it… or you had to walk out past the station to an Outhouse.

Well yesterday on our mini-vacation I witnessed a comical “family rest stop” – while on their family vacation.

The Setting…
We had pulled off the Highway 401 and into Whitby’s restaurant area just off Brock Street. On the right as you come north is the McDonald’s which is beside the Tim Horton/Wendy/New York Fries/Extreme Pita complex of rest stop food places.

We chose the Tim Horton’s with the great washroom area.  It was my turn to find some relief from all the liquid that I had drank after eating so much at “The Taste of the Danforth” all day long.

Sorry if this is rather graphic… but it must be described to catch what happened…

What happened…
I entered the bathroom following another young man.  He went left into a cubical and I turned right to stand at a urinal – just in front of his cubical.

I was standing there just a moment when the sound of rushing, young and rather urgent feet came running up behind me.  Both were calling out, “Dad! Dad!” as they came through the main door of the washroom.

They were looking under the cubical doors for familiar feet and shoes.

I stood still facing the wall above the urinal going about my own business… but listening…

“Dad we need your wallet!” they cried out again.

Dad was at the far end from the main entrance.  Dad was not impressed from the muffled sounds he made to acknowledge his two sons. Dad also knew that there were a few other guys in the different stalls all taking a needed break.

Dad also knew that we were all listening and trying not to give advice as well…

The boys persisted.  “DAD WE NEED YOUR WALLET NOW!” which I am sure had a mother tone in their message.

Dad answered in a clearer voice now and with more authority, “I said I would be out in a few minutes, go wait with your mother!”  The muffled voice that didn’t want to share his story with his fellow cubical/stall mates… now didn’t care what anyone thought.

“Dad we need your wallet now.  We are in line and have the food coming… MOM needs your wallet now to pay for it!” the small voices cried in desperation.

My guess at that moment was that mom had left her purse in the vehicle with her keys in it, and dad was the only source of cash that she had. She had lined up and ordered because he had said that he would just be a minute… but with the family crush and rush he had not been able to get a free moment to himself for maybe two days…

Oh BOY… a Crisis…!!!!

I stood still and waited for dad to get himself back to together, flush the toilet and rush away from his quiet moments alone in that toilet cubical.  I was trying not to bust out laughing as he passed behind me with a small grunt of displeasure…

The poor guy was caught with the business of a rushed holiday, hurried packing and no time to himself – and especially personal, quiet, pensive, read a magazine… toilet time.  After all that is what the Good Canadian Custom is… sit, read and go.

I did not follow dad out to the counter, I washed my hands long and slow to let him deal with the family issues outside at the counter.  I didn’t even look his way when I came out… but then I had been looking at the wall the whole time and I would have to guess at which two boys with big voices had ordered their dad from that toilet experience.

I giggled all last night at the sound and the small voices that had become BIG VOICES when in that panic they had come to their mother’s rescue.

Family vacations – oh how much fun!

~ Murray Lincoln ~


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