Haulin’ Balls

We’re driving across the California desert right now. The thermometer says it’s 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Every time we have to stop and get out of the car the kids tell me the heat is “hurting them”. Pioneer children they are not. The biggest dilemma facing us as we cross the long, arid, punishing desert is the lack of 3G coverage, not being able to figure out the entertainment system in the car and the missing states in the license plate game. We have a lot of 1st world problems.

The trek from home to Southern California is a trip I dread since I’m not a fan of driving all day. However, this trip Callie has been kind enough to do most of the driving. I’ve spent most of the time sitting, working on the computer so it’s not that different than what I do every other day except that the scenery is changing. The South West has a stark beauty and is fascinating in its color and expanse.

Life’s really hard, but we’re driving a new car.

I don’t deliberately plan on buying a new car right before we go to Disneyland, but for some reason it’s happened each time we’ve gone. When I was in grade school they showed us these movies with some guy is crossing the desert. His car breaks down. He walks through the desert. Then he dies. They showed us a lot of movies like that where people died in the desert. I’m from Idaho so the risk of dying in a vast desert was remote possibility. I’m not sure why they wasted a bunch of classroom time with survival videos or why I never went to counseling to get over the ‘issues’ that result (there are more) but subconsciously I must be thinking I’m going to die crossing the desert so I buy a new car. Maybe Honda subsidized the videos.

When I buy a new car I usually drive a lot of sales guys crazy with a million emails and negotiating.. I don’t visit the showroom since we always buy the same thing. We are nothing if not predictable. If I do die crossing the desert put “predictable to the end on my headstone”.

It kills me to blow a huge wad of cash on a mini-van. When I was a kid (I’m old) a Ferrari 308 cost the same that I spend on a minivan. Nothing brings a guy closer to the brink of mid life crisis than to know that the car you dreamed about as a kid has been substituted by a minivan.

At least I can say that ours hauls Balls.

Specifically, I need to haul five of them plus my wife and I. It takes a lot of room to haul seven Balls. A Ferrari doesn’t haul 7 Balls. A minivan does. I guess that makes the minivan a manlier vehicle than the sports car. To prove it, even thought it’s sometimes embarrassing I show off my five Balls.

One is usually crying. It’s humiliating to show off a crying Ball. Too often, several are missing which is a frustrating but frequent problem for a guy like me. I’ve almost always yelled at one or two Balls and so they shrunken away and are sulking. Yelling at Balls isn’t very manly. My littlest Ball is pretty cute and laughs a lot. My wife is usually holding him so he doesn’t get lost so he’s easy to show off. Everyone thinks he’s really cute and he flirts with random strangers in the store. He’s a funny Ball.

Right now we’re haulin’ Balls to Disneyland. True, the speed limit drops to 60mph in the middle of nowhere for no good reason (maybe the cactus here are different?)., but that won’t stop us from haulin Balls. I’ve finally conquered the DVD player so even though there’s no Internet here in the middle of no where the Balls can watch a movie. That keeps them happy. I hate 12 hours trapped in the car but every few years we make the pilgrimage to the Happiest Place on Earth because we love our Balls.

Maybe when I die instead of “predictable” they can write that:

Here lies a man who loved his Balls.

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