Back story #1
This image was the theme of our Jersey vacation this year. Random, pop-up, incredibly strong thunderstorms.
Every night that we’re on vacation, we take a family stroll down the promenade and stop in the arcades so Dude can play some games.
On one particular night, Dad and I decided that we desperately wanted ice cream. We stepped out of the second arcade, only to realize it had begun to rain. We hadn’t realized that was in the forecast for the evening, so we didn’t have umbrellas.
However, we really wanted the ice cream.
We decided we would stop in the shoppe, get some ice cream, wait out the rain, and then make our way home.
No sooner had we gotten into the store when the HEAVENS OPENED UP. Buckets of rain blew sideways as a result of the suddenly gusty wind. The temperature dropped. Lightning bolts flashed and thunder boomed every few seconds.
We ate our ice cream and hoped the storm would cease.
“Waiting out the storm” turned into us sitting in the ice cream shoppe with 5 other groups of people for 45 minutes.
Dude doesn’t get skittish with storms, but he does get bored when he’s standing around with nothing to do. He also wasn’t particularly loving the two high-spirited young boys who were running around the small space and making a racket. Luckily, I had my cell phone and headphones in my purse. I plugged in the earbuds, stuffed them in Dude’s ears, and pulled up Angry Birds for him to play. He was happy.
“This is my worst nightmare,” Mom groaned. “I’m a Weight Watchers person stuck in an ice cream place!!!” Mom was very good and hadn’t gotten a treat. She’s been doing Weight Watchers for over two years and is about 10lbs shy of her goal weight!!!! (GO MOM GO!!!!)
“I could run and get the car and pick you guys up,” Dad suggested. “There’s no way Dude will walk in the rain.”
It was true. Dude isn’t a fast walker to begin with; and he doesn’t like getting wet unless it’s in an appropriate setting like the bath or a pool.
“NO!” I argued. “The way our luck has been going this summer, you’ll get struck by lightning!!!!” (Here comes Debbie Downer! Womp wooooomp!)
No sooner had the words left my mouth that the power went out. We stood in complete darkness for about 5 seconds before it came back on.
“Ok, that’s it,” Dad said. “I’m going to get the van. Be waiting for me out front in about 10 minutes.” With that, he took off.
Ten minutes later, we were out front ready to go. The storm had begun to let up, but it was still raining heavily and bolts of lightning were appearing a bit close for comfort. The drainage system wasn’t being particularly effective and the streets were already swollen with fast-moving rivers of water.
The family van appeared. I made a run for it first, with Mom pushing Dude behind me.
We both realized at the same time that Dude was going to have to step in a massive puddle in order to get to the van. He HATES puddles. Dad had the van stopped in the middle of the street, blocking traffic. He hit the button to automatically open the sliding door while Mom and I tried to coax Dude through the puddle.
“Come on!” Dad yelled over a boom of thunder. “The cars behind me are going to get mad!”
“We’re doing the best we can!” Mom retorted, as we got Dude through the puddle and into the van.
“Ok Dude,” she remained standing in the street as he settled into his seat, “Make sure you put your seatbelt on.”
“Get in the car,” Dad was using his annoyed voice.
You know the technique they sometimes use in movies? There’s a scene of mass pandemonium going on, but the soundtrack that’s playing in the background is lighthearted or angelic? I came up with a really good example, but I didn’t write it down, and now I can’t remember it. The closest thing I can think of is the fire fight scene in Boondock Saints. Or pretty much any Christmas movie where ridiculous happenings ruin the holiday party or dinner while “Jingle Bells” plays in the background.
It was about this time that I realized Dude, completely unfazed by the past 45 minutes, was happily singing under his breath.
“On the way to Cape May,
I fell in love with you.
On the way to Cape May,
I saw my dreams come true.”
The perfect soundtrack for our ridiculous evening.