Skittles and Dynamite
Bill peers into the minivan window, his wife Karen hanging on his arm. They are both clad in bathrobes.
“PSP, iPod, DVD Player?” Bill says.
“Check, check, and check,” I say.
“Snacks, tent, sleeping bags?” Karen says.
“Got ‘em,” Shannon says.
“42 inch TV, satellite dish?” Bill says.
I glare at him. He grins. “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine,” he says.
I don’t believe him.
“And don’t worry about the cats,” Bill says. “I’ll feed them plenty of Brutus’s dog chow. What are their names? Skittles and Dynamite?”
Karen playfully taps Bill’s chest. “We’ll take care of Itchy and Scratchy for you,” she says.
Bill leans forward and whispers to me. “Nine hours to Sioux Falls,” he says. “Watch as much Sportscenter in the hotel bar as you can.” Then he leans back and speaks in full throat. “I’ll DVR everything for you,” he says. “Just keep from finding out the scores. That should be no problem where you’re going.”
As we back out of the driveway, the kids are already whining. Bill grins and waves like a man secure in the knowledge that he will be enjoying the rest of the NBA finals from the comfort of his own home.
Four hours later, I am standing over the carcass of a baby deer in the breakdown lane of Interstate 90. Shannon remains in the car, looking sour and disgusted behind the wheel.
The tinted rear van window buzzes down. Edwin’s face appears.
“Is it dead?” he asks, popping goldfish crackers into his mouth.
I ponder a white, winding string of deer intestine.
“Yup,” I say.
“Can I see it?”
“No, stay in the car.”
I pop my head through the passenger window. Shannon looks horrified.
“You alright honey?” I say.
Shannon scans the flat, wide-open Wisconsin landscape.
“Look at it out here,” she says. “You can see for miles
. Yellowstone is nothing
like this – it’s dense and hilly and has, like, a thousand times more wildlife.” Shannon stares morosely at the deer. “There was only one tiny deer out here, and I managed to hit it.” Her eyes bulge with fear. “Oh my God, we’re going to kill everything
“No we won’t, honey,” I say. “I’m sure a few of the animals we hit will survive. I mean, they’ll limp away and live in agony for the rest of their days, but they’ll survive.”
“That’s not funny,” she says.
“Are you sure? Cause I think it might be.”
“Could you check the car please?” she says.
“I did. It looks fine,” I say, glancing toward the front bumper.
“No, you went straight for the blood and guts,” she says. “Just check again, will you?”
I go to the front of the car for a better look at the bumper and hood. Aside from some deer fur and blood, the damage is minimal.
Patch’s voice sounds from behind me.
“Lucky the airbags didn’t deploy,” he says, walking up next to me. “You know how much it costs to reset airbags?”
“How much?” I say.
Patch looks toward the horizon and thinks.
“A whole bunch, I’ll bet,” he says.
This is going to be a long trip.A storyboard image from the
Disney version of Traveling,
scheduled for release: Summer 2013.Chapter 17
“Is that the heart?” Patch says, studying the distended guts.
“I’m going to say kidney,” Stache says.
“Do animals have
kidneys?” Bandana says.
“Why wouldn’t they?” I say.
The road kill slide is followed by a picture of a town that appears to have been ravaged by an earthquake or a tornado or something. The next image is a car wreck, and then cowboy outlaws hanging from nooses.
“What is the point of this again?” I say.
Tooth taps the Enter
button on his laptop. Man on an operating table. “To gave us all some perspective,” he says. Taps Enter
. Burning building. “To make us realize that winning and losing is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. We need to keep perspective.”
“So looking at these images is supposed to make me not care about winning my fishing tournament next month?” Bandana says. “What is this, Clockwork Orange?
Tooth hits Enter
. Picture of Greek Gods fighting each other. Looks like Zeus and Poseidon.
supposed to be?” Patch says.
Tooth shrugs. “I was trying to convey religion there,” he says.
“By showing us Clash of the Titans?
” Stache says.
Tooth ponders. “Yeah, I wasn’t sure about that one,” he says.Enter.
A shot of Earth from space. Enter.
An image of the solar system.
“You know what I
think this presentation conveys?” Stache says. “That you could dearly use a Psychology degree.”
Tooth looks hurt. “The online degree is almost done,” he says.Enter.
Picture of a satellite dish.
mean?” Patch says.
Tooth looks at me.
Must mean Game 2.
Links: Travelling: Intro / Book Jacket
, Chapter 1: Cribbagegate
, Chapter 2: Two e-mails
, Chapter 3: Pattern
, Chapter 4: Shattered
, Chapter 5: Hilarious Pee
, Chapter 6: Suicide
, Chapter 7/8: Coaching High school, Shark attacks and appetizers
, Chapter 9: June
, Chapter 10: 18 and oh no
, Chapter 11: DNA
, Chapter 12: Peanut Butter Sandwiches
, Chapter 13: Tom Brady and the McGuffin
, Chapter 14: Game 1
, Chapter 15: Who the H is John Havlicek?
, Chapters 16 - 17
, Chapter 18: Game 2: Great White
, Chapter 19: Pickle
Labels: Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Evil Ted, traveling