November 23, 2008

Stupid Van Tricks

I have long hated my van. It has many tricks to make me hate it more each passing month. For example, for YEARS now, if I make a right turn when the van is CHILLY, it puts on a emergency brake, just a HAIR, and then BONG BONG BONGS at me until I pull the release. The NEW trick, for THIS winter, is to put on the emergency brake every time I turn right, and then BONG BONG BOONG incessantly at me, no matter HOW many times I pull the release, until I make a left turn. HEH.

Today we went to early service, then took The Hateful Van to 1,000 different centers of well lit, music filled naked avarice to complete our Christmas shopping. Sam and Maisy were in the backseat, playing out Act 14,569 of the unending passion-play of Pokemon/Sonic pretend they began about the time the Christmas shopping started, which for me was right after Halloween..

Sam: Who do you want to be this time?
Maisy: Sonic.
Sam: I was thinking I would be Sonic.
Maisy: You are always Sonic. When do I get to be Sonic?
Sam: Well I can think of three reasons why you can never be Sonic.
Maisy: *indignant* Why?
Sam: First of all, what gender is Sonic?
Maisy: What?
Sam: What GENDER is Sonic.
Maisy: Hedgehog.

PWNT! Of course, she still did not get to be Sonic. Sucks to be the youngest. But she ended up being happy with whatever they decided. She got to be a …Shadow Rachel? With Were-Sonic capabilities? OR SOMETHING. Anyway she agreed to be this thing, and the game went on and on and on and on and on through store after store and drive after drive until I thought my head would pop off.

Finally, heading toward home, I said, “HEY GUYS!!!! Let’s put the game on pause and sing Christmas Carols!!!!”

SO the kids and I belted out the FOULEST and most off-key and relentlessly loud version of AWAY IN A MANGER ever perpetrated.

My favorite childhood Christmas book describes that song as sounding like “a closet full of mice,” and that’s on a good day. Sam and Maisy and I were more like a closet full of punch-drunk, foot-hurty, off-key Mice. SOME of us *cough me cough* have ZERO natural musical ability, and, in fact, SOME OF US *cough me cough* don’t even LIKE songs, but I was at that point in the day where I liked songs more than I liked hearing the HOOTY WHISTLEY BEEPY SOUND EFFECT MOUTH NOISES that come with the endless adventures of Sonic and the Shadow Rachel and their were-morphing battles against Vaguely Asian-Sounding Evil.

SO, Scott, who LOVES songs,drove stoicly through the noise, suffering our HORRIBLE singing as if it were as necessary as a root canal, but maybe not so pleasant. We got to the last ASLEEP ON THE HAY and each of us sang HAY in a different key. So then we all SWAPPED keys trying to get with each other, and we all missed. Scott winced, then blanched as we all swapped keys AGAIN trying to sync up, and once again, failed utterly.

Finnally, the last discordant HAY faded, and there was a good three seconds of silence. Scott mopped his clammy brow, relieved. I got the giggles.

Me: Hey Scotty? Should we quit our day jobs? We could travel around listening to this LOATHESOME VAN boinging at every right turn and earn our soup by singing at county fairs.
Scott: Lord, no.
Me: OH COME ON! We would be just like the VAN TRAPP FAMILY!
Scott lifted a weary and cynical eyebrow and said, “You mean, dead?”

HEE! Not even Thanksgiving. But we are in the spirit here already.

Posted by joshilyn at November 23, 2008 3:25 PM

Up on the housetop
Reindeer fall;
One good shot
and I bagged them all.

No more Santa
with all his noise --
freeze the venison,
sell the toys.

Ho, ho, ho
Who wouldn't go?
Ho, ho, ho
Who wouldn't go

Up on the housetop
With sharpened stick
All for to skewer
Old St. Nick.

(for your repetoir.)

Posted by: rams at November 23, 2008 7:34 PM

Maisy is awesome.
That is all.

Posted by: ellbee at November 23, 2008 8:06 PM

So sorry but now I am forced to hate you. And I really hate that because I think you are so funny and cute and smart and intertaining! But you see I have rules and you broke the rules by Christmas shopping early. I believe that you can only have one holiday at a time. And it is against the rules to even think about the next holiday until after the present one is past. So as Thanksgiving is still a few days away it is totally unacceptable to be thinking about Christmas. Thanksgiving really does deserve to have its own time. Now that you know what the rules are I sure you can find a few cheery Thanksgiving songs to sing off key - okay.

Posted by: Catherine at November 23, 2008 8:32 PM

You reminded me of years ago, we were driving around exploring the forested back roads, and came across a bus, half-hidden in the overgrowth. It had some faded fancy paint job on it and said "The Mountaineering Family".

Apparently THEY tried to make a go of it and failed, perhaps their skeletons were even THEN moldering away on that bus. DON'T DO IT!

Posted by: Brigitte at November 24, 2008 6:51 AM

You could be the "Trapped (in the) Van Family"!!!

Posted by: Beth at November 24, 2008 8:48 AM

Wait, what? *Finished* Christmas shopping? Don't make me hate you!!

Posted by: RuthWells at November 24, 2008 10:04 AM

NO ONE is allowed to hate me!

Scott gets on a plane on Black Friday---yes, he LEAVES ME, the DAY after Thanksgiving and will not be back home until the middle of December---If I do not do it now, it will NOT get done. We are also putting up our TREE TODAY because I want it up before December 15th and I can't make the lights work or drag a TREE by myself.

I would much rather have Scott in town and do it at the PROPER time, but since I am losing my husband for half the month, the correct response is hair petting. ALSO COOKIES. SEND COOKIES

Posted by: Joshilyn at November 24, 2008 10:15 AM

After the 2nd period class I just had, I needed that laugh. . .and oh, how I laughed. We have similar plays in our backseat. . .only the eldest is a sister and the youngest in is a brother, so just add bossiness to the list and you've got it.

You slayed me today.

Posted by: Roxanne at November 24, 2008 10:41 AM

Beth is brilliant [must have something to do w/her full name ; ) ], "the TRAPPed in the VAN Family"... brilliant.

Reminds me of the scene in A Christmas Story where they "sing" Jingle Bells complete w/a raspberry finish.

Posted by: Elizabeth J at November 24, 2008 10:43 AM

So glad to know that Im not the only one whose car tends to get a bit uppity in cold weather. Mine? Doesn't like to illuminate the interior dash lights until it's been properly warmed up. As in 10-15 minutes into my commute. Which isn't a huge deal unless you: 1) live in MN where our average temp is in the 30's these days or 2) go to work when it is still dark. *sigh*

Posted by: Tammy at November 24, 2008 1:37 PM

That was cute. I also have ZERO musical ability. It's so sad for my family.

Posted by: FringeGirl at November 24, 2008 2:19 PM

I was going to join in with Catherine and say that the boinging was what you got for shopping in NOVEMBER!!

But, perhaps we'll give you a bit of a pass. I suppose you want us to send you a pony too?

Posted by: Nelson's Mama at November 24, 2008 3:28 PM

I keep checking back to see if you are going to mention Fat Potato Fat Fat. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.

Posted by: Roxanne at November 25, 2008 9:39 AM

It is a good thing I was not in The Hateful Van with you guys because "Away in a Manger" always makes me sob, because I always get this big flashback to when I was four and going to a Waldorf preschool outside Honolulu and we had this candlelight Christmas assembly with each of us little kids holding a taper and a very skinny Father Christmas in fur trimmed red robes (where they found him on Oahu remains a complete mystery)--where they gave us each an orange and a walnut (in shell) painted gold, that I still have and use as an ornament every year--all of which is for some reason very Sad and Poignant Unto the Point of Weeping.

So I would have been snorking and asking for Kleenex as a counterpoint to the offkeyness.

Posted by: Cornelia Read at November 25, 2008 11:55 AM

Cookies?? Did someone say cookies?? I just mailed off a dozen fresh, luscious muffins to another friend in need, and since my husband is also skating out Friday to be gone for many days, we NEED MORE COOKIES here too!!

I'm feeling a baking binge coming on... (I did clear space in the big freezer this morning, and found I'd been hoarding chocolate chips. It must be a sign.)

And oh, good job on the Christmas shopping! How are your Christmas cards coming along??

Posted by: Lulu at November 25, 2008 7:18 PM

The Van Trapp Family - in a Van. Oh, my, that is sooooo bad. That qualifies as one of my hubby's horrific puns! Although can we go just a step farther into groandom and call you guys The Van Trip Singers?

Posted by: Laume at November 25, 2008 10:26 PM

Useless trivia time! Did you know the von Trapps moved to Vermont and opened a lodge in Stowe? It's still owned by their descendents. So, instead of dead, you could be living at a ski resort. With personal chefs.

Posted by: Laura at November 25, 2008 11:23 PM