The Eighth Page

The Yost Wonderful Family Vacation of Them All

My vacation started just like any other. We had rented an RV to travel across the country for two weeks and see all the wonders America has to offer… oh yeah, and Nebraska. And for your information, Nebraska is way cooler than what the majority of Americans think. Anyway, my vacation started relatively normally except that my elderly grandmother periodically forgot the identities of her closest family members, not to mention her own. A few times I lied and told her that she was the artist formerly known as Prince. In my opinion, “Purple Rain” has never sounded better. Don’t get me wrong here, my break was a load of fun—I just don’t remember much after being attacked by that ravenous beaver. Here are some parts that I do remember. The world’s largest ball of yarn Me: Mom, why did we stop to see a bunch of string? Mom: Don’t be such a downer. Be grateful for what you have. When you go home, don’t you want to be able to tell all of your friends that you saw a ten-ton wad of yarn? Me: What friends? My only friend Jerry is already here. (I point to him, but my family does not have the mental capacity to see Jerry.) Dad: We should have brought Snuggles. It’s like a cat paradise here. I’m going to go buy him a fish-flavored yarn ball. Grandma (who now thinks she is a retired astronaut): Let’s get back to the moon rover. Grand Canyon Mom: Wow, the Grand Canyon. This has to be the most beautiful sight that I have ever witnessed. Grandma: Nah, this is nothing. Don’t you forget, I’ve been in outer space. Dad: So when is that donkey tour? ? Me: There is no way I’m putting my life in the hands… hooves of a donkey. They carry annoying tourists on their back every day in the blazing heat, and are probably sick of it. I know that I would find great pleasure in bucking some jackass (pun definitely intended) off the side of a cliff, or run right off the side with them on my back. What do you want to do, Jerry? Jerry: … Me: See mom, he feels the same way. We’re not going. Dad: Fine. You and “Jerry” can stay here. Your mother, Grams and I are going to ride us some donkeys. Grandma (now a base jumper): Where’s my parachute? I guess now I’ll have to make one out of some clothes in the RV. Hollywood Mom: Okay, we are not going to let the hospitalization of Grams keep us from having a lot of fun on this trip. I still don’t know what made her jump. Me (snickering to Jerry): Ya, it’s a huge mystery. Dad: Hey, let’s not think about that right now. Let’s go to Universal Studios! ? Me: But Jerry wants to go to the beach and check out the babes. Dad: Well “Jerry” doesn’t pay for your food and clothing, now does he? ? Me: Why don’t you do something that Jerry wants to do for a change? He’s a part of this family too. Dad: No he is not. He doesn’t even exist. ? Me (while weeping): Don’t say that! Your lies make my ears burn! The open road Dad: Hey, there’s a hitchhiker. Now with Grams gone, we have an extra bed. ? Me: I was letting Jerry sleep on the top bunk while Grams is recovering. Dad: Well “Jerry” can sleep on the couch. (Dad pulls over) ? Me: We can’t pick him up. He has an ax and one eye. ? Mom: He’s probably just a lumberjack or something, honey. ? Me: His ax is covered in blood! ? Dad: There are some ferocious animals in the woods. He must have needed to defend himself. (Opens the door) Hey there, stranger. Where you headed? Hitchhiker (heavy wheezing): nhaaa… ughh… Dad: Hey, same here! Come on aboard, sailor! —Ryan Yost