Tag Archives: ohio

The Road Trip, Part Two: Even Trippier


Previously, on the “Chick Writes Stuff” blog…

Parent 1: “Hey, let’s take a road trip in our tiny car with two small children and an aging dog!”

Parent 2: “Brilliant!”

Thirty seconds after leaving the driveway…

Parent 1: “This is awful.”

Parent 2: “This is the worst idea we’ve ever had.”

One hour later…




(Read Part One here)

One week later…

Hello, everyone. How are you? Good. Good. Glad to hear it. …Oh, me? I’m…fine. Everything’s fine. Just sitting here calmly at my computer, typing industriously away. Because everything is fine…now.

Plus the doctors say the constant twitching of my left eye should taper off any day now so there’s that.


Of course, in hindsight, it wasn’t like our trip was ALL bad. There was a swimming pool at our hotel. That was fun. And I was smart enough to bring wine with us. That was REALLY fun. Yup. Really, really fun all the way until…bedtime.

Have you ever been unfortunate enough to sleep in the same bed as your child? What am I saying? Of course you have. You’re a parent. Which means that you already know that when children are small (and sometimes even the not-so-small ones), there is nothing they love more than sleeping with one foot up a parent’s nose and the other shoved in-between some parental ribs. They are also big fans of the game Musical Bed Positions. Because if they don’t move every three minutes while sleeping they die. At least that’s what I’m assuming based on the evidence.

And then there is the 2 a.m. stage whisper of “Momma! Is it morning yet?” Which wakes up their sibling, who also stage whispers “It’s morning! Can we get up? I need juice! And a cookie!” Which makes the other one go “I WANT A COOKIE TOO!” Which results in a dual meltdown after they are both informed by a gruff parent voice that NO ONE is getting a cookie and everyone needs to go back to sleep.

But it’s all worth it when you are forced awake again at 5 a.m. by your child’s creepy ghost face breathing heavily a mere half-inch from your face and then have to immediately deal with the fact they don’t understand live TV.

“Momma! Turn on the TV!”

(sleepily) mm-kay.”

“What is this?”

“A commercial.”

“Can you fast forward it?”


“Can we watch a different episode?”


“Can we watch a different show?”

“Only if you want to flip through 40 channels three times to find something else with no guarantee of finding something better.”

“Well, this isn’t fun.”

“You never would have survived the ‘80’s, kid.”

I really shouldn’t complain, though. The end result of all this was that we got to spend a wonderful week with my family in Ohio. Doing exotic things like napping while someone else kept our kids alive and eating homemade food someone else made and thoroughly enjoying those little moments where someone else yelled at our kids.

It was like a Norman Rockwell painting. But with more screaming and hitting.

Except I am going to complain. Because when it was all over…we had to come back.

I was determined though, DETERMINED, to make the best of it this time. Even with the awful snowstorm we drove through for three hours. And the windshield wipers that started malfunctioning. And the unsalted road before us that became a super fun slippery asphalt coil of death!

Hahahahaha! Road trips, man! Such a great American tradition! Right!? RIGHT!? They’re just the best! Hahahahaha!

The good news is that after what seemed like two hours past eternity, we finally arrived to our beloved home, with all our hearts and bladders full to bursting.

Only to find out that we did not currently have a toilet in said beloved home because the bathroom remodel the landlord scheduled while we were gone wasn’t finished yet.

But that, my dear friends, is a story I’m saving for my lawyer when I inevitably snap and start running naked through the streets laughing maniacally.


Once upon a time, an adult had a nervous breakdown

Hey kids! You know how you can’t WAIT to become an adult and do all the COOL stuff that only adults get to do? Like…

Well, kids, ice cream gives you heart disease, puppies eventually grow old and lose bladder control and insomnia gives you wrinkles.

And now, Auntie Aprill wants to tell you some more “special” stories, little ones. All about the other COOL stuff you get to do as an adult.

The first story is called “The Princess With the Out-of-State License.”

Once upon a time, there was a princess who had moved to the kingdom of Texas. But being a fairly lazy princess, she waited a little too long to replace her Ohio driver’s license with a Texas license. So when it came time to renew her auto insurance, the evil step-insurance agent said “Princess, we can’t renew your policy until you get a Texas license,” and then laughed an evil laugh.

So, the princess drove her “technically” un-insured car all the way into the bowels of Hell, also known as the Department of Motor Vehicles. And it was there she was told by the horned devil, also known as a DMV employee, that “Princess, we can’t give you a Texas driver’s license until you have proof of insurance,” and then laughed an even evil-er laugh.

So, the princess, trying to remain in good spirits and not chew through her seatbelt in utter frustration, returned to the evil step-insurance agent and told them what the horned devil had told her. And then do you know what happened, kids? That’s right! The evil step-insurance agent said, “I’m very sorry, princess, but we simply can’t give you insurance until you have a Texas license.”

Now, kiddies, do you see the problem with this scenario? You do! Well, good for you! Because apparently the asshats trolls at both these institutions did not. So finally, the princess told the evil step-insurance agent “Well, lady, something’s gotta give. Else I will be stuck in your office forever because I can’t drive anywhere.”

Luckily, the evil step-insurance agent finally relented and agreed to give the princess proof of insurance under the condition she immediately return and show them her new license. So the princess drove back to the bowels of Hell, stood in line for 43 hours and then finally went through the ass-numbingly dull process of getting her license. But just when she thought her epic journey was finally at an end, the horned devil behind the counter said, “That will be $62.50.” As the princess whipped out her debit card, the horned devil disguised as a human being added, “Sorry, we only take cash.”

“You didn’t feel the need to mention to this earlier?”


“What about a check?”


“OK, well, let me run to the ATM. Can I have my Ohio license back real quick?”

“Sorry, princess, I can’t do that. Once you turn it in, I can’t give it back.”

“Can you give me the Texas license then?”

“Nope. Not until you pay.”

Kids, do you see the problem with this scenario? You do! Good for you! Because once again, they did not.

And so, the princess said “Well, lady, something’s gotta give. Else I’m stuck here forever and I’m about two seconds away from re-enacting that scene in “Steel Magnolias” “Terms of Endearment” where the mom really wants the nurse to give her daughter the drugs.”

Luckily, the horned devil let her run to the ATM real quick in order to get $62.50 in cash after discussing it with Trooper Gary, who said “Whatever. Just don’t kill anyone. I’m on break.”

And they all lived happily ever after.

That is, until the princess decided one day that in order to pay off one of her credit cards, she needed to cancel her security protection and warranty policy on items purchased because the monthly charges were adding too much to the interest. This story is titled “The Princess and the Battle of the Automated Phone Answering Service” and can be read in one of my earlier columns here. (You can also read the story of “The Princess Who Tried to Find a &#$@ing Place to Live in the Kingdom of Boston” here.)

This next one I like to call “The Princess and The Ogre Guarding the Rental Car Office at the Columbus Airport.”

Once upon a time, there was a princess and her prince who flew in a giant, metal bird to attend a friend’s wedding in Ohio. Upon landing, the two went to meet the ogre guarding the rental car office at the airport.

“We’d like to rent a car,” the princess said.

“OK, princess. May I see your license?” the ogre replied.

“Oh, well, actually it will be the prince driving. My license expired this week and unfortunately, I didn’t notice,” the princess said.

“OK. Does the prince have a credit card?”

“No. But I do. I’ll be paying.”

“Oh, I’m very sorry, princess. We can’t allow that.”

“Allow what?”

“We need a valid license and a credit card to rent you a car.”

“Right. And that’s what we have. He has a valid license. And I have a credit card.”

“I’m sorry. It doesn’t work that way.”

“What way? I’ll sign a waiver or whatever saying I am allowing the prince to drive the car.”


“No, what? Look, we’re together. Like, together together. Not married yet or anything but we have a joint bank account and I’m comfortable enough to fart in front of him, so basically, all that’s missing is a piece of paper. We have what you require: A license and a credit card. Now give us a freaking car.”

“I’m sorry but one of you needs to have both.”

“Are you kidding me? It’s two hours to my family’s house. We. Need. A. Car.”


“I’ll give you my first-born!”


“Don’t make me jump this counter, little man.”

“Princess, you’re becoming belligerent.”

“I’ll show you belligerent, you mother-…”

“OK, princess,” the prince finally said. “Time to go.”

“Have a good day, princess!” the ogre cried out as they were leaving.

“I hope you die!” the princess said as dignified as she could while being carried out fireman-style.

And if all THOSE stories weren’t enough to convince you of the joys of adulthood, kids, check out this one fresh from this morning, which I like to call “The Princess and the Multi-State Bureaucracy Nightmare.”

Once upon a time, a princess tried to register her car with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Now, the princess, through a rare instance of fiscal responsibility, had actually paid the car off and owned it in full. Now, kids, you may be thinking she should be rewarded for that. But NOOOOOO. No, because see, the princess originally bought the car in Ohio, an evil land where apparently, when the bank no longer owns your car, the title doesn’t go to you. Oh, no, silly goose. It goes, obviously, to the Clerks of Court in whatever god forsaken county you happened to purchase the car.

And in order to get it back, you have to download and fill out Form No. 3774 to apply for your certificate of title (of the car you legally own, by the way), and under the replacement box, put No. 5500XXXXXXXXX, and then under some other line put 67907XXXX, fill out the vehicle information section, have it signed by a notary, then mail it to the Clerk of Courts WITH a self-addressed, self-stamped envelope. Luckily, you should retrieve your title before the Mayan-predicted end of the world next December.

(Kids, this is all true).

After that, you have to get auto insurance from a Massachusetts state-approved insurance company, who has to fill out a RMV-1 form, send it to you, which you then print out and bring it with you to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, along with your registration from Texas (of which you can’t find), some other documents you are pretty sure are simply just made up, a royal decree agreeing to give the RMV your second-born (since your first-born promise to the ogre at the car rental place is binding) and the still beating heart of a baby bunny.

And the moral of all these stories, kids? Don’t ever grow up. And if you do, don’t ever buy a car, move to another state, get a credit card, travel or drive. Just become a hermit. In the woods. Far away from civilization.

Just make sure you fill out Cave Dwelling and Advance Beard Growth Permit Form No. 9073 first…in triplicate.