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Saturday, May 21, 2005

"Papa Bear, this is Baby Bear. The porridge is hot and Goldylocks has come home."

Day four in Atlanta.

Wow... things really do move a lot slower down here. The days are lazy and time seems to crawl by.

Nothing in Atlanta typifies this more than my mom and dad's dial-up internet connection. Holy balls, is this sucka slow. It's truly painful.

I've rediscovered the joys of Solitare, Hearts, and 3D Pinballs for Windows (high score of 1,808,750, mofos!) while waiting for pages to load. You know, I keep trying to explain the benefits to my mom and pop of faster loading times combined with the use of the phone while you're online ("Mom, you will never miss a gossip call from one of your buddies again!!!") but to no avail. Even my dad (affectionately known 'round these parts as "Papa Bear"), who hates long lines and needless waiting, says he has no need for that.

Another big development is Dad's current search for a pick-up truck. The "Pick-up Truck Debate" has been raging in our family ever since Dad retired from the army. And it's heated up in recent months.

Mom has pushed back on this for countless years, while Dad has lived with carrying fifteen 50-pound bags of lime in the back seat of a '92 Ford Crown Victoria (affectionately known as "The Squad Car" for its resemblance to police cars of the same era). This car was his father's, who passed of a stroke in late 1997, so there is definite attachment to this car. It's a great car, but now is run down a bit with several dings and a layer of dirt and pollen. It sometimes hiccups while accelerating and there's absolutely no air conditioning to speak of.

And the interior smells like gasoline and sweat. So much so that it makes my wife nauseated (or nauseous, depending on who you talk to).

Now, I can see where Mom is coming from-- Mom feels that owning a truck will label him (and more importantly, HER) a redneck. But I can see where Papa Bear is coming from-- most landscape engineers, which since retirement my Dad likes to refer to himself as, have trucks.

And honestly, God knows that someone that goes by "Papa Bear" deserves a muthafuckin' truck.

More recently, Mom's ultimatum has been that Papa Bear can get a truck if two conditions are met:
1) Papa Bear is no longer driving "The Squad Car"; and
2) Said purchase of truck does not include any of the following items:
a) gun rack
b) Confederate flag (ranging from bumper-sticker to ACTUAL Confederate flag)
c) a bumper-sticker of Calvin pissing on a Ford/Chevy emblem
d) a dixie horn, a la The Dukes of Hazard

Since Kate and I are in the market for a car, Dad concocted a plan so fool-proof, so brilliant, so amazing that it would grant him a truck...

Giving ME the Squad Car.

You know, Kate may raise her eyebrows at the prospect, and Mom may think that I may not want the Squad Car, but I'm all for it. Hell yes.

Three reasons:
1) Papa Bear gets his truck.
2) Kate and I get a secondary car which will be used to drive the three miles to and from the MARTA station which will take me to my office in the morning, for FREE.
3) The car has fucntionality and history. I can't let Dad get rid of it.

How many people can say they're driving an automobile that, in the middle of the night, causes people to pull over to let you pass?

How many people can say they've spent countless Friday nights on the road with their "Papa Bear" listening to their baseball team on the radio?

How many people get the opportunity to drive the car of not one, but TWO people you respect and admire the most in the world?

Well, at least one. This guy.

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