Quick note to those who wanted pics to go along with the Birthday Cake Debacle from my last blog…pics are now attached. Check it out here.
Last weekend was the long dark weekend of the car. We have some great friends and family…they just need to move a whole lot closer to us.
Last Friday morning we packed up the car and headed on down the 401, through Sarnia to Michigan. Waterford to be precise. My wife’s friend and coworker, Kim–they also describe themselves as twins, which makes them “sisters from another mister” I guess–was getting married and we were invited.
Kim and Karen are tight. But they’ve never actually met face to face. Weird, huh? Yeah, well, more on that in a minute.
Anyway, the wedding wasn’t until 7 pm Friday evening, so we had lots of time to get there. It’s about a 5-ish hour drive.
Well, okay, it’s a 5-ish hour drive for normal people. For us, not so much.
I know it’s a long drive, so I drink a couple of cups of the Good Coffee (which you can read about here) and then, on the way out of town, we hit the ever-obligatory and uber-ubiquitous Tim Horton’s. Extra-large, triple triple. Go big or…or just don’t go!
Anyway, we get on the highway by about 9:30 and it’s smooth sailing. Great weather, mild traffic, the odd bonehead who focuses more on their illegal cellphone conversation than on the task at hand, and a whole host of morons who can’t find that little lever on the left to signal that they’re about to cut you off, but really, it’s fairly stress-free.
About two hours in, the Wife and I are having good conversation, things are smooth, but I notice a slight…discomfort…in my nether regions.
Yes, that would be the coffee. As I’ve said before, you never purchase coffee. At best, it’s a short-term rental. And at this moment, it’s beginning to make itself known. No biggie, I know there’s pull-offs along the way.
Shortly after that, I see the sign for the next OnRoute (Ontario’s highway pull offs where you can gas up, food up and coffee up). Great, 30 kms? That’s like, 15 minutes? I’m fine. Doing a bit of a dance, but fine.
The conversation continues. Then I see the sign announcing that same OnRoute is now only 3 kms away. Then, to my utter horror, I see the big “Closed – We’re renovating for your convenience!” sign just below it. At which point I’m thinking, if this was for my convenience, you’d at least have a guy with a gas can and a hot dog stand right beside a row of Port-A-Potties.
No such luck. I drive by the under-construction non-rest stop.
Then my bladder starts singing and I start doing the ever-popular pee-pee dance. This is suddenly not fun.
And this is where I have to confess my sheer stupidity and utter pigheadedness. If I can’t see the stop/restaurant/gas station from the highway, I will not get off the highway. I’d rather do the pee-pee dance.
Stupid right? Yes, by the way, I am a male.
Turns out, the next place I can relieve my bladder is at the border to the U.S. Now, understand, at this point, I’ve been talking about little else but my need to GO! GO NOW! so the Wife at this point, I believe, has a fairly solid understanding of the urgency of the situation.
So then, why is it that when we stop (and believe me, I wheeled the vehicle into a parking space like Richard friggin’ Petty), threw open my door and jumped out (now expectantly watching for the passenger door to be closed so I can hit the remote lock) does the Wife seemingly putter aimlessly inside the freaking car for seemingly hours? I, in desperation, run to the passenger side, open the door, toss in the keys, and, with a quavering voice, say, “You lock it!” Then I run like hell for the men’s washroom.
It’s kind of embarrassing, standing at the urinal, doing your thing, and three guys come in, do their thing, zip up, wash up and leave. And you’re still doing your thing. I mean, seriously, how big is my bladder, really?
Anyway, crisis averted, we get back on the road and hit the border crossing. Always my favourite part of any international trip. Border cops are just such a hoot, aren’t they? It’s that stunning and total lack of any hint of a sense of humour.
Anyway, there’s multiple lines to choose from. I choose one. The Wife looks at me and infers that I made a wrong choice (as usual) and we’ll now be in the slowest line. Doesn’t matter, I respond, because whatever line I choose will instantly become the slowest line. It’s a Law of the Universe. I’ve learned to not screw with it and just accept it. She continues to lightly badger me. So, I change lines.
The line I was in instantly speeds up. I keep track. We would have been through the gates and into the Promised Land a solid four minutes sooner.
Anyway, we finally get up to the border cop, the stereotypical sunglasses-wearing, humourless dude who just projects the air of “don’t mess with me because I’m the one that can order orifice searches on you” threats.
I pull up, window’s already down, and passports open to the correct pages. I hand them over. We go through the usual citizenship and where you going stuff. Then he drops the bomb.
“Reason for visit?”
The Wife leans over. “Going to my coworker’s wedding.”
He kind of stops. “Where’d you say you were from?” We tell him and I can see him starting to cotton on to “coworker” and “live several hours away” statements.
“Where do you work?” he asks the Wife. She tells him.
“And your coworker is…” he begins.
“We both work from home.”
“For the same company?”
I’m biting my lip. We just need him to understand we’re not making up the world’s worst border-crossing story so we can do major international espionage capers.
It goes back and forth a little longer, but eventually he either gets it or stops caring. He lets us go.
Long story short, we get to the hotel (very nice) and make the wedding on time (even nicer). The next morning, we’re on our way back. So, that same damn drive, just the opposite direction.
You’d think I’d learn from yesterday’s pee-pee dance, wouldn’t you? As I stated earlier, I’m male. So the answer to that would be…no.
We cross the border (this time without the twenty questions) and I immediately go for the Tim’s High Octane Extra Large Triple Triple Bladder Killer. Yes, again.
We sail on down the highway yet again. If anything, today is even better than yesterday. I start feeling the faint stirrings of my bladder warming up to sing again, but come on, we’re literally 35 minutes from home, just hitting Scarborough and the traffic is aces. What can go wrong?
Two minutes later, we’re officially parked. On the express lanes of the 401. Seriously. Check it out.
An hour later, the pee-pee dance is in full swing. I mean, I’m the Michael friggin’ Flatley Lord of the Pee-Pee Dance. This is even less fun than yesterday. In fact, there’s a point where I seriously consider taking my empty coffee cup and wedging myself between door and seat and relieving myself into it.
The only thing that stops me is that I know…beyond a shadow of a doubt…that I could likely fill that damn cup at least four times over. So, I clench and hold it.
Finally, thankfully, after an hour, they’ve cleared the problem (apparently a rollover) and the traffic immediately gets back up to speed.
I hit the driveway like Richard friggin’ Petty and don’t bother tossing the keys this time. I hit the door, roll through it like a SWAT team and make a hard left.
The relief I experience is almost religious in nature.
I obviously need to invent a Port-A-Potty for the car, or start wearing adult diapers.