Friday, October 16, 2009

Day One of the 2009 Epic Redneck Vacation

It didn't start out as a redneck vacation. But we were just a few hours into it when I realized I was actually living a bit from the act of a self-proclaimed "hillbilly comedian." It was too late. The vacation theme was firmly established.

So. There we were, driving through Tennessee, when, as Tim Wilson says, I started seeing mirages and thought I was in Las Vegas. But no, it turned out I was here:

a fireworks superstore.

Not a fireworks stand, mind you. This was a place for serious shoppers.

It had air conditioning.
It had check-out lines.
There were employees with name tags.
There were shopping carts.

And the reason for the shopping carts was quickly apparent. No one walks in a fireworks superstore and says, "I just need to pick up a dozen sparklers and a couple of bottle rockets for the annual hog roast at Cousin Murvil's this weekend."

Oh, noooo. This is bulk purchasing at its finest. At the fireworks superstore, you can only buy cases of explosives that are labeled with names like, "ENOUGH SAID. (CAUTION: SETS OFF CAR ALARMS)," and "WAKE THE NEIGHBORS."

It was obvious that this was a store that catered to men, because 1) there wasn't a public bathroom in the place. I don't know what it is about men, but it's like admitting a gross character weakness for them to have to use a bathroom when they're away from home. My guys would rather ride 150 miles in bladder-bursting pain ("CAUTION: KIDNEYS MAY EXPLODE!") than use a bathroom at a store or service station. Knee-deep in poison ivy and fire ants, fine. Clean restroom at Target, definitely NOT fine.

Anyway. The other obvious sign that this was a guy store was the fine print on every single fireworks package on the shelves:
That's right. It's a warning that the enclosed fireworks "shoot flaming balls." Have you ever known a man who could resist anything that shoots flaming balls? I'd even go so far as to say any guy that isn't a fan of shooting flaming balls is probably unAmerican. He probably drives a Volvo and has a name like Pierre, or Hans. And if Pierre or Hans were to actually purchase a box of fireworks that shoot flaming balls, he would most certainly read the cautions on the back panel, unlike every American guy who thinks cautions are for lily-livered pseudo-men who use public bathrooms. And this reasoning explains why Cousin Murvil no longer has a back porch and his dog is missing an ear.

In the end, we left with a lot of fireworks, and I came away with a suggestion for the tourist industry in Tennessee: Why doesn't someone open a chain of underwear superstores? I bet you could draw a lot of mom shoppers who need boy's underwear in cases of 30 pairs.

Surely I'm not the only mother whose sons have lost their underwear while in the fast-food drive-through. That's right. Somewhere, between hearing "Grouk bub [static] first window [static] vlexd," and receiving my bag of Cholesterol Burgers with cheese, my sons' underwear disappeared. Vanished. Flew off their bodies, out the leg of their pants, and hid in the bushes by the intercom, I guess.

I've always thought that instead of coming with a choice of a toy for girls or boys, kid's meals should come with a choice of underwear or socks. "Okay, that's a 3-piece chicken meal. Would you like underpants with that?"

Oh, and one more request for the underwear mega-store owner: Please, in the name of all that is decent and holy, do not include packaging labels that say, "CAUTION: SHOOTS FLAMING BALLS."


Kathleen said...

I'm always giddy when I see the "Fish in My Hair" title in bold in my Reader. You make me laugh. Thanks...

Kathleen said...

PS - I feel I should clarify since you don't know me from Adam, er, Eve. I don't mean "giddy" in a stalking sort of way. Just giddy because of the fact that most days this mama needs a good dose of humor, even if said humor comes in the form of flaming balls. OK, now I'm starting to sound like a stalker again.

JessBriggs said...

Wow, Ms. TC. Wow wow wow.
That was awesome. :D

Sue said...

Oh, no! You didn't! That last one got me... picking myself off the floor now.

Sunydazy said...

There you go again! Great one!

Keeley said... were in TN? And you didn't TELL me? Gah! =)

What the heck happened to the underwear, that's what I want to know.

~Jan~ said...

LOL!! That was so worth waiting for *grins* To make it even funnier the nonsense word I had to type in just to add a comment was a form of "explosive" explocie hehehe

Wyndee Fields said...

I know where that place is!! We pass by it every time we head from Nashville to Florida!! I have always wondered why we need a Fireworks Superstore in the middle of the interstate!!

Meagan Dennison said...

Hilarious, as always.

Yes, where did the underwear go?

HomeSchoolCollegeCounselor said...

Nothing like fireworks for some good old-fashioned fun!

Dy said...

You know, I thought of you, specifically, the other day. I was in Wal-Mart, purchasing what just seemed like an inordinately large amount of *socks*, when one of the boys said, "Oh! Yeah, Mom, we need underwear, too."

"You do? I just bought you some."

"Um. Yeah. We can't find them."

I noticed, when we got home, that one of the other boys helpfully scrawled "underwear and socks" on the new list, and that's when I realized... I'll be making a weekly trip to StuffMart for socks and underwear for the next. ten. years.

And I thought of you. And I laughed. Because I know you've survived it, and so can I! (Right? RIGHT?!?!?!)

aka eyecorn said...

TC: I followed you a number of years ago on HSB. You made me smile then...and you still do. If you ever get the hankering for another redneck vacation, check out South of the Border on I95 in South Carolina. Looking forward to coming back to visit!
aka eyecorn

Anonymous said...

THank you for a dose of laughter- sorely needed today after nursing my non-neurotypical child for the 2nd day with some brand of seasonal illness..reading the other comments I am in good company- followed Fish in my Hair for a number of years on HSB and am happy to say will continue to do so in the future here. Have questions though- are you completely healed up? Is Bunhead still dancing? Or do I have it all confused and that was another blog....? Keep up the good work!Thanks for the chuckle (who am I kidding, it was more like a guffaw and there may or may not have been an almost soup through the nose incident...)

Wyndee Fields said...

I thought about you this weekend while being blinded by the flashing lights at the Fireworks Superstore. I happened to notice they sell beer, too. Yes, that is NOT a typo, they sell fireworks AND beer!!!! "Hey ya'll watch this!!!"

Term Papers said...

This was a place for serious shoppers.
It had air conditioning.It had check-out lines and its interesting that there were employees with name tags.

Diana B. @ Grocery Cents said...

That was one of the funniest posts I have ever read! Thanks for making me and my hubby laugh. (It takes a lot to make him laugh out loud.)

Diana B.

mary.j said...

I'm one of the generation who learned to laugh silently as we watched M*A*S*H, so that we wouldn't miss the next wisecrack from Hawkeye. Oh my gosh! I'm laughing out loud. Thank you. said...

have great fun with the fireworks. i love them. wish i could join you :)