June 24, 2013 in Features

The Slice: We’re not flying because getting there is half the fun

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Today The Slice presents an exclusive interview with the Spokane guy who won’t stop talking about family road-trip vacations from when he was a child.

As usual, you won’t believe what he had to say.

Q: Why do you keep going on about this?

A: Because today’s kids need to know how cushy they have it.

Q: In what sense?

A: Well, when I was a youngster, we couldn’t watch movies, play computer games or listen to 50,000 songs. Today’s kids have individual infotainment centers with personal command consoles. We had to make do with comic books, Davy Crockett hats and playing punch buggy.

Q: What else has changed?

A: Parents. Today, if a kid has to use the restroom, the family stops at the next opportunity. Whereas my dad’s two favorite words were “Hold it.” He didn’t think you really needed to go unless there was visible abdominal distention and indications of possible internal hemorrhaging.

Q: OK. But are things really that different now?

A: Heck, yes. In my day, the No. 1 goal of any vacation was to, as my dad put it, “make good time.” Nowadays there is a lot of touchy-feely stuff about having a happy experience, bonding, learning and child-centered growth opportunities. Kids today simply could not relate to a road trip featuring a crazy man behind the wheel wildly flailing one angry arm in the direction of the back seat while threatening to pull over and mete out frontier justice.

Q: Well, what were road-trip vacations like when you became an adult and had your own family?

A: We went wherever our kids wanted and made lousy time getting there.

Q: That’s all right, isn’t it?

A: I guess so. But I don’t think my children are going to have very entertaining road-trip stories when they are my age.

Today’s Slice question: When it comes to drawing up a pre-departure vacation checklist, how would you describe yourself? A) Obsessive. B) I try to remember to turn off the stove. C) By the time I get to “Shut off water lines feeding the washing machine” my checklist is usually about 75 items long. D) I usually don’t worry about anything until we have driven 50 miles — then I start to remember all sorts of things I should have done. E) Other.

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Are you tired of the expression “bucket list”?

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