We're Going On A 'Venture


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That's what Dad used to say before he would pile us all into the car and drive us off to some unknown destination. Sometimes we would go and get ice cream. Sometimes we would go visit stodgy great aunts and uncles. Sometimes he would take us to a job site and show us oversized sewage systems.

When he said we were going on a adventure, he meant just that. We never knew what was coming. For some reason, I was the one most taken with these adventures. My older siblings went along because they had to and my often overly serious little brother wasn't terribly amused. But I, being the easily pleased and distracted child that I was, LOVED adventures. (I am similar to a raccoon in that respect, show me a shiny trinket and I'm ALL OVER IT!)Perhaps it's because I am the most like my father that I loved these adventures so, but no matter, we both had fun on these things.

Saturday morning I was awoken typical father style, by the thudding of his steps up the stairs to our apartment and the gleeful cries of my name. "Porkchop! Come see!" I rolled off the couch at a rather ungodly (I mean that in a ungodly lazy sort of way, as in, it was about 11:00 a.m.) hour in my pajama pants and sweatshirt, circles of mascara under my eyes, a tangle of unwashed hair and a film of sleep lightly coating my eyes and impairing my vision.

"Porkchop, come SEE! And come drive my new car!" I found a pair of non-matching flip-flops, stumble down the rather steep stairs of our apartment and admire his beautiful new automobile. Now, please understand, that a mere three days ago he had gotten a new car, but he had spent more on his brand new lawnmower than his car. My sister and I were having a grand time ribbing him about this. I mean, really, WHO SPENDS MORE ON A LAWNMOWER THAN THEIR CAR?! (It was Kabota, three cylinder, diesel, 72 inch cutting path, five acres an hour, 29 horsepower grass eating machine. For those of you that wanted to know all that.)

Furthermore, I thought it was pretty ironic that he had not one, but TWO daughters who work in the car business and he had come to see neither of us. (This is because my Dad is The Man and has The Hookup and can actually get cars cheaper than I can get them at my dealership.)

He thought about his lawnmower/car situation for a few days and decided to go spend exactly one dollar more on his new car than on his lawnmower. He hands me the keys and tells me to take it down the road with him. As we drive, he shows me a few of the features he understands, namely the heated seats and air-conditioning. I then show him how to work the semi-automatic transmission, heated headlights, complicated dash gauges and all the other geeky car gadgets that make me a closet motor head and car lover. He chuckles at my clever and instant knowledge of the car and mentally notes it's a pretty good thing he has a daughter in the car business or he would be lost.

We drive a little farther and come to the flea-market which has just been remodeled. Yes. A remodeled flea-market. You may be asking WHO remodels fleamarkets?! We do. I remember going to the fleamarket with my Dad when I was really little and eating the freshly made doughnuts that were coated in sugar. It was $2 for ten of those grease soaked delights. They were hot and you would burn your fingers if you weren't careful. But the best part is you could watch them make your doughnuts right in front of your very eyes. I thought this was fantastic.

This remodeled fleamarket has no doughnut stand anymore, but it is furnished like a miniature grand ole' opry. The outdoor look, inside? The food court, which only sells pizza, has a balcony which a country duo perches upon on Saturday and Sunday for the entertainment of the shoppers. Something deliciously hickified like Bonnie and Bubba, though I can't exactly remember his name, just hers.

We perused the booths for awhile, but we didn't need $5 manicures, cheap jewelry, handcrafted candles in fifty different scents, used paperbacks, knock-off handbags or custom made cowboy boots. Instead, we stopped at the race-car track. $3 a person for fifteen minutes.

Now, you have to understand, my Dad is the BIGGEST kid at heart. Besides the fact he LOVES to go fast. He had the opportunity to be a fighter pilot, had he taken the offer, he would have been a damn good one. My brother maintains that he should have been a NASCAR driver. Either way, he has a love of speed and a sense of perfect timing.

These were little racecars that were on a magnetic track. We controlled their speed by shooting our little guns at them. The harder you pulled the trigger, the faster they went. As soon as the attendant said "Go!" we opened them up all the way. However, if you went around the curves of the track to fast, your car would spin out and slide off it's magnetic track. Not only did this put you farther behind in the race, it would provoke the attendant woman to wrath and she would deliver a very long lecture about how it's VERY BAD FOR THE CARS. Right. Next loop around, we both spun out. Not only is spinning out VERY BAD FOR THE CARS, but she threatens to adjust our cars so we can't go as fast.

Of course, neither of us listen and we go around the track several more times, spin out several more times and cause the lady to get her knickers into a sizable knot and start uttering all sorts of threats. Finally, she puts a petulant sneer on her face, adjusts his car so he cannot go nearly as fast and settles on her fat hiney to watch the ensuing fallout. Dad doesn't get angry with her, instead he bellows, as we race along, how she is sexist, prejudiced and not fun, at all. She sees this as her once in a lifetime chance to be a teacher and waggles her finger at him while prattling on the dangers of destroying race cars.

Riiiight.

We finished our fifteen minutes with Dad bellowing and me creeping around the turns slowly, as to not provoke the woman to wrath. As we walked out of the fleamarket I commented that despite my bedraggled appearance, if I had been anymore dressed up, I would have been overdressed.

We took a indirect route home and talked of life, purpose, God and our relationship with Him. He walked me back up to my apartment and asked "this was a fun adventure, wasn't it?"

Yes, Daddy dear, it was. It is memories like these that I will cherish forever and tell my children. And to think, not only do my children get a mother like ME, but the get a Grandfather like YOU.

Sometimes, life isn't fair, but it pays you back in ways that are completely unexpected.


8 Responses to “We're Going On A 'Venture”

  1. Anonymous steelcowboy 

    Your father is blessed to have a daughter like you PC, who understands what memories truly are made of...

  2. Anonymous Porkchop 

    No. You have no idea how lucky we are to have a father like Dad. After our adventure, he told me to drive his car for the day, so I went home, showered, dressed myself, collected my sister and we met him for lunch. Where we proceeded to terrorize everyone else in the restaurant.

    It's so nice to have a partner in crime that can make it look official.

  3. Anonymous steelcowboy 

    No doubt he is a great Dad; the apple falls not far from the tree, so it seems.
    You are all blessed, father and children alike! (and Mom too, I'd guess...)

  4. Anonymous idigak 

    great story, brilliantly captured, thanks...

  5. Anonymous Older Sibling 

    All I remember about those 'Ventures were sitting in back of the van, curled up with a book and a tooth-brush!

  6. Anonymous Porkchop 

    SC-My Daddy dearest is quite possibly one of the most fascinating people ever. Even my FRIENDS think he is just the coolest thing ever.

    ID- Thank you! I find that if it doesn't contain scathing criticism, quite often, my writing is at a loss.

    OS- Yes. And don't forget you were busy BEATING us. =)

  7. Anonymous Vulgar Wizard 

    Bonnie and Clyde. *wink*

  8. Anonymous Porkchop 

    It wasn't Bonnie and Clyde, it was something far more redneck sounding.

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This odd narrative is my life. I ended up in Pittsburgh, of all places--from the beach. I have no hobbies, other than cooking excessively and eating microwave popcorn. I enjoy shopping, the Food network, hiding the remote so the Food network cannot be turned off, find ethnic food stores and restaurants and reading voraciously. My life is decidedly pedestrian.


I worked in the car business where I was required to be ruthless and soul-less wench, which is when I started this project. Since then, I've kept it up because secretly, I've always wanted to join the military. Every male in my mother's family has joined and I quietly entertain thoughts of joining. I haven't yet and don't know if I ever will, but sending the troops cookies keeps me sane. it makes me think I still have a shred of human kindness left in my withering soul. it's a small way for me to salute the men and women who are brave enough to fight for freedom. And makes me feel like I'm contributing toward troop morale--even if I'm not. So if you want to help, send me addresses of troops you know stationed overseas. you may also contribute toward the cost of chocolate chips, but don't feel obligated, that link is here only by request.


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