February 3, 2012


Since I split my time between Washington, D.C. and Alabama, one might think that DC is the more exciting locale with a large population, the presence of the federal government and those that chase it, and an influx of people from all over the world.  But Alabama has managed to provide me with just as much entertainment and frustration as Hollywood for Ugly People.  I've had epic adventures at Wal-Mart and on road trips, dealt with trials and tribulations while out grocery shopping, and watched beloved family members do crazy things with firearms

Within my first 24 hours back in the deep south, I got to add more entries to my lists of Grocery Store Frustrations and Whacked-Out Things My Family Does.  Of course, one of the first things I do when I return to Alabama is go to the grocery store.  The staples of peanut butter, beer, and Clif bars that I tend to always have around will only get me so far.  One of my standard perishable purchases is soy yogurt.  I tend to avoid most dairy since I'm a singer, unless I discover some amazing new ice cream flavor like Ben & Jerry's Bonnaroo Buzz, of which I immediately gave in to and have since devoured 80% of the pint.  But back to the yogurt.  I had to go to 3 separate grocery stores to find soy yogurt of any kind.  At the first two stores, I could have purchased 20 different flavors of Greek yogurt, garden-variety yogurt with any fruit addition imaginable, but no soy yogurt.  At my third and final stop, I briskly entered the store with a scowl on my face muttering that they better have my dadgum yogurt. After all, I had my new Ben & Jerry's melting in the trunk of the car.  Thank goodness they had some.  I was about to pitch a fit about a state-wide conspiracy against soy.

Later that evening, after enjoying both my yogurt and my ice cream, I got a phone call from my aunt:

Aunt:  "Did you hear what your uncle bought the other day?"
Me:  "No... what did he buy this time?"

My uncle is an insanely brilliant man, extremely well-read, and the most caring and devoted family man you can possibly imagine.  He also has a penchant for buying large, troublesome objects of machinery and/or transport. 

Aunt:  "Just guess."
Me:  "I don't know, an airplane without an engine?"
Aunt: "Nope.  A fire truck."
Me:  "A FIRE TRUCK?! What is he going to do with a fire truck?!"
Aunt: "He thought the grandchildren would enjoy it!"

Not actual fire truck purchased

Some of his previous purchases include an RV that has only been taken on one trip because it kept breaking down, a truck that he bought off of Ebay and flew to the midwest to pick up only to have it break down on the way back home, a golf cart, more vehicles than he and his family need (none of them are perched on cinder blocks, though), and there may be some 4-wheelers and a boat if my memory serves me correctly.  Of course, there is all the farm equipment he buys, but he happens to be a farmer, so that doesn't exactly count. 

I'm sure his grandchildren will absolutely love to see a fire truck in his backyard.  I'm also fairly certain that they could enjoy one just as well at the local fire station.  But if my uncle's house ever catches on fire, he's ready for it.  That is, if the engine and hoses actually work...

That same evening, I got an email from a dear friend:

"C!  How is Lollabama?"  Lollabama, indeed. 


  1. Right back atcha, dear friend. :) Imma send your uncle a load of cinder blox.

  2. I'm quite certain your uncle and my dad were separated at birth. Here's a list of some of his recent purchases:

    - A 6' wooden bear (yes, carved out of a single piece of wood...errr, log)
    - A circular bed (never fear, it came with sheets because god knows where you'd find those!)
    - A chair shaped like a giant high heel (no, he did not get it at the same place he bought the circle-bed)
    - A stuffed skunk

    Never a dull moment at my parents' house...

  3. FoPo - let's not give him any more ideas! There is no telling what he would construct with them. Putting vehicles on them wouldn't be creative enough for him ;-)
    Courtney - wow... does the bed rotate, too? Wait - I don't think I want to know the answer to that.