third wheeling

I am taking my job very seriously…. it’s Tonya’s vehicle so even when she’s not driving she is the DRIVER..and it’s Deb’s WOLF we are rescuing….so she is the WOLF WHISPERER…that makes me THIRD WHEEL.

Third Wheels are very important, .. i have done road trips with one person…long or short, they suck..i have done them with one person and a dog..it sucks less…i have done a few with TWO persons..but never with the same second person because soon as we arrive home we stop speaking to each other..(i don’t think people should get married until they take a very long road trip with each other screw everything else THAT’s the litmus test.) Three UNRELATED persons is the correct number for a road trip. one sleeps, one drives and one make sure they get home on time. (I am emphasizing the UNRELATEDNESS..personally i have stopped speaking to members of my own family based on road trip reverberations. – i have also come away with injuries resultant from these trips)

What are the responsibilities of the THIRD WHEEL?

WAYFINDING – You’re the Navigator..even if the other two THINK they are helping..if the vehicle goes off map, it’s your fault. They have other things to do… discussing Prince Harry’s bottom and Lindsay Lohan’s top. You are the grown up, even if you are the youngest person in the room. So bring PAPER MAPS to back up your GPS, I have personally gotten into arguments WITH GPS machines regardless of their accents- they can just be flat our WRONG..and they never choose the road less travel, they are designed to choose the well traveled road. Bring paper maps with the route marked out – and a flash light. and other maps..the ones OFF the sides of the other maps…the ones where you aren’t supposed to be..because when you are off the map, thats exactly when you need to know where you are. YES i love my phone and google maps and such..but YOU don’t have control over your cell signal.

FOOD – you are in charge of the food..now the other folks may BRING their own favorites and an entire cooler full of bottled water..but it’s your job to bring what they didn’t think of.. they bring all salt and water..you bring grapes and apple juice. They bring oreos.. you bring sandwiches…GET the picture? What they think they may want to eat on the road may not be what they NEED to eat on the road capiche? Bring a HARD cooler..not all squishy ones..you can’t sit on a squishy cooler, and if you do, everything inside becomes pudding. BLUE freezer cubes are cool for soccer games and picnics..but are USELESS on the road.. where are you going to recharge it? no where. BAGS of ice. that’s why god still puts spigots on the bottom of coolers. i LOVE READING Carl Franz’s book, On and Off Road Cookbook – originally published in 1982, it is funny and accurate and inspirational – i usually just give it a quick flip through before i start planning, then i put it back on the shelf and buy food that doesn’t need to be cooked.

SCHEDULES – Along with the map and food, you need a WATCH..yeah you can use a phone. But your the one who knows how much time has passed since the last time you all peed, and you got gas. Track your mileage, gas use, pee breaks etc…like I said..your the grownup, your the fixer. You get pulled over, you don’t get flustered, you EXPECTed AND PLANNED for these things. You have the registration out before the copy gets to the driver side. (GET A GRIP..you are driving MASSACHUSETTS TAGS through middle america..you WILL get stopped by someone. if you don’t Mazel tov!) – you run out of gas, you call AAA road service. (you DO have that don’t you?) There is PAPERWORK involved in a successful roadtrip, and your its office manager. Cheers.

ENTERTAINMENT – This is probably the only thing that folks think a third wheel is good for..but it’s harder than you think. Sure you stick three people in a car for a day trip, not much planning is involved..you all haven’t spent time with each other in FOR -EVER..even if you haven’t you haven’t had time to dish the dirt about people who aren’t present. So the conversation tends to grow naturally… but after that 6th hour…it will start lagging..you will find yourself scooping freebie newspapers at the gas station and buying overpriced glossy mags at the newstands to read outloud when there are no SUVs driving by with stuff strapped to the roof that you can mock. 2 or 3 days on the road, call for a little preplanning unless you really want to learn things about your companions you REALLY REALLY didn’t want to know.

First thing i picked up were a couple of dirty joke books..one was probably all that is needed..but i bought the other for the cover.   You can never have enough of these…hell you should have them around the house just because.   The next things i need to pick up  a book of funny Short short stories i can read aloud.   Yeah..laugh now… THOSE items have saved my life on camping trips..cause if i didn’t have short stories to read outloud and shut people up at night, i’d have murdered someone and then been thrown in jail.  and before you ask..NO you don’t want to read the newspaper outloud..it will make you angry, drive your blood pressure up and start arguments in the car..where you could drive off the road and die!  Besides – that ruins one of the best parts of a road trip…for people who don’t do it as a regular thing…i haven’t done it in YEARS… you are effectively stopping time.. you walk away from your life and when  you return it starts up again..cept with a lot more crisis cleaning involved.    so NO news, no news papers, no NPR, nada.  just think SILLY.

(to be continued)

 

 

 

 

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