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Monday, May 14, 2012

Our Scary Town of Dimwits and Inbreeds


  My mom and brother (The Prodigal Son) Daniel came to visit me a few weekends ago.  It really was fun, but of course, some good stories came out of it.
First of all for some background info,  The Daniel went to school and lived in the Raleigh/Cary area for a while.  He then moved to Italy, and now he is living near Washington, DC.  One thing that my mother and he both agree on is that he is really great.  I love my mother, and I love my brother, but I have come to accept the fact that if there is a disagreement between myself and my brother (no, between ANYONE and my brother) and the family becomes involved, then it will be decided that Daniel is right, or at least more justified to his opinion.  I don't mean to sound bitter, but the facts is the facts, folks.
So I am living in eastern NC.  Not a huge town by any means, but not all barren farmland either.  To give you a rough idea… in the city limits there are about 75,000 people and in the total county we have 135,000.  We are the home to a university, which between the college, grad school and professional schools dumps 25,000 more on top of that.  The Daniel is convinced that the movie Deliverance was set right here.  I mean, he really thinks this is the sticks y'all.  Saturday morning, he overheard Chris and I talking about a fancier restaurant that we went to earlier in the week… "Fancy for this little town, you mean?" he says?  "Well, no," I answer.  "I would say it would be a fancy restaurant anywhere… 30+ for an entrée, live band, different menu each night…"  So Daniel says, "Put on your Sunday best, kids, we're going to Sears.  This town has no idea what fancy is."  I explained to him that this town, although it is certainly no DC, has some areas that would compare to Cary, NC.  ...Some of the restaurants, neighborhoods, and shopping complexes, etc.  He laughed at me, "Anna," he says, "You have no clue.  lived in Cary."  Of course my mom overheard and told me to "lighten up, he lives in DC and so imagine how he must feel!  This must feel so small to him."


Later that day we went to the Shell station so The Daniel could get his car inspected.  The plan was, he would drop his car off and then we would all go in my car to the grocery store.  So Mom and I followed him there in my car. This is a newly built service station in a newly developed part of town complete with a free Internet café and cappuccino machine in the lobby for customers to use while they wait. Daniel, however, got a "bad feeling" from the place.  He said, "I don't trust these guys." Plans quickly changed as we all waited in the parking lot so that The Daniel could keep a hawks eye view on his car during the entire inspection process, including the part where the car sits in waiting for 45 minutes. 
The exception was when we walked to the movie theatre next door to the service station to see what was playing.  My mom and I had been sitting in my car talking as The Daniel stood outside watching his car wait.  He ducked into the backseat and demanded, "Get out of the car and walk with me to the movie theatre.  Why does this society feel like they always have to sit in a car?  It's really quite disgusting."   I looked at Mom, "I think he just called us disgusting."  "No!" she retorts, "He's right.  We shouldn't be sitting."  I think they were both right.  We shouldn't have been sitting.  We should have been WALKING AROUND THE GROCERY STORE and not hanging out in the Shell parking lot.  When I mentioned that to mom, she smiled and said, "His car is his baby.  You wouldn't leave Dean here at the Shell station  all alone to get inspected, would you?" 

Are you KIDDING me???

Here's the funny part.  I had the child locks on for the back doors of the Accord.  And Daniel was now seated in the back seat.  Mom and I got out of the front and started walking towards the theatre, as instructed, but he was still stuck in there.  He started pulling frantically at the handle to no avail, with his pitiful face pressed up against the window as we walked on towards the theatre.  I'm awful, I know, because I knew the whole time what was going on...  AND I was loving it!  Mom eventually realized we were without Daniel and we turned around, mom runs to the car and was shouting to him, "it's open, it's unlocked, just open the door…"   He's yelling, "It's child locked mom, open it from the outside!"  They were going back and forth, and I just stood there enjoying the view for a while.  The Daniel is very sophisticated and on top of his game most of the time, what with his European suits and his popped collars.  The irony of seeing him looking so imbecilic was irresistible after he had implied how disgusting I am.  Oh, and he WAS pissed when he finally made it out of that vehicle.  PISSED.  He said that that was a cheap shot that I took at him and if I wanted to disagree with him about the fact that I was disgusting I should have done so verbally. Because that's what intellectual people do, he declared.  They are not afraid to discuss and disagree.  Maybe the doctor told me not to walk, he upheld.  Simple-minded hick folks take cheap shots, I may as well have hit him over the head with my glass beer bottle he explained. Hmmm… well I DO live here in Hickville.

When they pulled his car into the garage to complete the inspection, The Daniel walked into the garage to stand over them and make sure no monkey business was going on (as I'm sure it often does).


The last morning of their visit, we went to breakfast.   We went to an independently owned steak restaurant that offers a Sunday brunch.  The Daniel said it looked like the Golden Coral.  He got the green beans off of the buffet, and then promptly flagged the waiter down for olive oil.  He said he couldn't eat green beans without olive oil.  The waiter found some and brought it to him. 
The Daniel then dipped his pinky finger in, put it too his tongue and commented on how substandard the oil was.  "I was expecting more," he says.  "In Italy you eat olive oil with everything.  Every self-respecting restaurant should have good olive oil.  It is a STAPLE…. You know I could run a place like this.  It would be easy.  Simple.  What an easy business to have."  (FYI he is an aerospace engineer.)  Shall I nickname him Kostanza?

The weekend ended and The Daniel left for home.  Mom gets a call on her cell just before she left…. It was Daniel.  Guess what?  He RAN OUT OF GAS.  Yes, seriously.  He was on the side of the highway waiting for Mom to bring him a gallon of gas.  I tried to hold it in, but I had to laugh.  Mom looked at me, "I think it really is funny!" she admitted. 
What's even funnier is that he really wasn't out of gas at all.  Daniel talked to Chris on the phone, and Daniel told Chris he wasn't out of gas, but his car seemed to be "straining" up hills, and gas was low, so he figured it was about out of gas, and he pulled over. 

Hey, he's the engineer.  I'm just the dumb hick. What do I know.

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