Dad’s Car

09/17/2008 By Shawn Burns

My car, which isn’t my car, really, since I don’t have a car but instead have a truck that I don’t have because I sold it but in my heart I’m still a truck driving guy and the car is my wife’s car but it’s the only vehicle we have now that we sold the truck and we couldn’t put a car seat in the truck anyway so maybe I’ll get an SUV or a minivan or a station wagon or a Corvette, is a mess.

It has lots of Goldfish crackers (which I stealthily keep in a Cheerios container so that people will think I’m a good dad and am not, in fact, giving my daughter baked cheese every hour on the hour), and raisins, and Gorilla Munch (which only costs four times as much as regular corn puffs but it’s organic and I totally fall for that scam) on the floor and stuffed away somewhere in Erin’s car seat. She is a messy eater.

Today when I picked up the mail I had two presents. One was a DVD preview of the new Signing Time series that I was totally asked to review and I totally said yes because Erin is totally addicted to Signing Time and I figure if I say yes often enough to their marketing people they will send Erin an autographed picture of Alex and maybe Rachel will dedicate an episode to “Backpacking Dad Signs” and they will mostly involve winks at the camera that I know will just be for me.

The other was a sample of Multi-grain Cheerios that I received because Safeway peeks in my windows at night, or is monitoring my every cereal purchase and they know about the Gorilla Munch and they thought “this guy is totally a sucker and he’s totally going to fall for this ‘multi-grain’ and ‘weight-management’ crap the same way he falls for the ‘organic’ crap so let’s send him a little something and then we’ll be like the Dealer who gives you the first one free and soon he’ll be peeking in our windows at night wondering where we’re hiding his Cheerios.”

I don’t eat Cheerios, but I looked at the floor of my car and at the raisins and Gorilla Munch and Goldfish crackers scattered about and I thought “well, just because she’s thrown everything else on the floor doesn’t mean that she’ll throw these on the floor, because as Hume noted the only proof we have that the future will resemble the past is that the future has always resembled that past, but that’s a fact about the past and not the future so maybe this time things will be different, so I’m going to go ahead and open this small box and give the entire thing to Erin while she sits in her car seat and she’ll eat them very patiently and not scatter them all over the floor and this will give me some time to read the mail before we go home and I put her down for a nap and jump online to avoid cleaning all of the raisins and Gorilla Munch and Goldfish crackers out of my car” so I handed them over to Erin and I read the mail and then wouldn’t you know it she didn’t spill a single one.

I was about to start the car and I thought “she is going to spill them all over if I start driving because she has great timing and she’ll know I won’t pull over to take away the Cheerios if she starts flinging them around once the car is in motion” so I asked for the box and she gave it over very reluctantly because she thought “dude, that is the only thing making me happy right now so you’d better have a good replacement for that multi-grain goodness, because I totally fell for that crap” and I didn’t have a replacement so she started demanding that I give the Cheerios back to her and after a dialogue with myself that involved myself saying “Self, she’s going to make a mess” and myself replying “Yeah, she’s totally going to make a mess” and Erin interjecting “Just give me the flippin’ Cheerios already,” I relented and told Erin to ask for them politely and she said “Please” and signed “Please” and so I turned with the box in my hand to give them back to her and bumped them against headrest of the passenger seat and

spilled the damned Cheerios all over my car.

The End.