On Saturday, April 13, 2013…
I took my sons with me to the carwash. This was pretty exciting for my boys since it is an occurrence that happens only slightly more frequently than a solar eclipse. (My gray Saturn tends to look much more brown than gray.)
My boys loved watching the cars go through the wash on the conveyor belt. They thought it would be fun to walk through the wash themselves. Luckily that idea never got past the theoretical stage. Of course, had I let them go through we would have been able to skip baths later that night. Maybe next time.
While we were there I noticed a mom with three kids—two boys of about ten and six and a girl of about four. They were all sitting next to each other on a bench looking at electronic devices. The older boy had an i-Pad and the mom and two younger kids had phones. They didn’t communicate with each other the entire time that we were there. They were just transfixed on their screens. I thought it was pretty sad. In the meantime, my boys (the same age as the younger kids on the bench) were looking at the cars, the plants, the concrete, and asking me tons of questions about all of them. I was very grateful at that moment that they have not been electronic-fied. At one point the four-year-old girl looked up from her phone at my two sons and I can only assume that when she saw that they were talking to me instead of looking at a screen, she thought that was pretty sad.
At the carwash there was a woman eating Wendy’s french-fries . I noticed their heavenly aroma about a nanosecond before my younger son said, “I want some french-fries.” Gee, I wonder what gave him that idea. The Wendy’s is adjacent to the carwash, so as soon as our car was ready we made the 50-yard drive over there.
This was the first time my boys ever set foot in a Wendy’s. As vegetarians we’re not exactly frequent flyers at fast food burger joints. The only one we go to with any kind of regularity is McDonalds, because of the play area. At Wendy’s we got french-fries and lemonade, and this is the conversation that ensued once we took our seats…
Older Son: (Looking all around.) Is this like McDonald’s?
Me: Yeah, sort of.
Older Son: Only it smells better.
Younger Son: And the food is yummier.
Older Son: And it looks cleaner.
Me: Yeah, that’s pretty much the difference.
A few hours after Wendy’s the whole family went bowling. During the third frame our lane would not reset despite our frantic button pressing on the computerized control panel. This forced me to take the bold step of notifying one of the workers that we needed help. (Asking for help at a bowling alley is only one notch below having to ask for directions at a gas station in my book.) The worker I spoke to then called over a much larger worker and told him that lane 14 would not reset. The large man breathed an exasperated sigh then went to the far end of the lanes opened a door and went behind the lanes to reset our pins. I was stunned. All my life I thought that a family of elves lived behind each bowling alley and reset pins as needed. Yet here was a man of about 6’2” and 240-pounds resetting our pins. Hmmm…perhaps he was the elves’ evil overlord and his exasperated sigh was because they were slacking off. That must be the case.
We had pasta primavera and garlic bread for dinner. I think garlic bread may be the tastiest food on the planet. I really have nothing more to say about that.