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Family Goo

Mission: Brave the wilds of Connecticut to visit my parents and assorted relatives.

Secret Agenda: Hand out photocopies of the Publishers Weekly review of Frankenstein’s Monster. (This only looks like a plug, but it isn’t. Really. My parents do not have Internet.)

Tactic: Get in as fast as possible and get out alive.

Route: 287S, 84E, 8N, and 44E. A three-and-a-half-hour journey that turned into five. I didn’t get lost going to visit my parents. I was just…making sure I wasn’t being followed. (Why… Hello, Dr. Freud. Did I forget today’s appointment?)

Music for the Road: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Also Modest Mouse’s Lonesome Crowded West and Dave Matthews’ Crash. (Doctor, there’s no need to start taking notes already. Besides, you know very well I don’t have a brother.)

Sustenance for the Road: Bottled water I forgot to drink and a bag of hard candy that I forgot to bring.

My Elderly Father: Very pleased to see me and very pleased to see the great review.

My Elderly Mother: Not at all pleased to see me, and no, I couldn’t spend the night on the couch in the finished basement, even after I promised not to pee on the rug.

Ambush: By an assorted relative who insisted that I spend the night with her.

POW Camp: My assorted relative’s house, which would not bother my allergies because she had put her very old, very long-lived cat to sleep only last week (just coincidentally, mind you). Therefore, the house was allergy-free, and I was to sleep there, and not on my parent’s cat-free couch in the finished basement.

New Mission: Not to die of wheezing because twenty years of cat hair and dander—ground into every rug, cushion, and other permeable surface—do not disappear after one vacuuming.

Tactic: Sleep with a bottle of antihistamine and, if still alive and coherent in the morning, tunnel under the electric fence and make a run for it..

Route: 44W, 8S, 84W, 287N. A three-and-a-half-hour journey that took three-and-a-half hours. (No, Dr. Freud, do not write that down.)

Music for the Road: The Best of the Call and Tom Waits’s Real Gone. (Stop it! I also had Weird Al Yankovich’s Running with Scissors, but it just wasn’t that kind of day.)

Sustenance for the Road: Found a Stop & Shop en route: Two bottles of Snapple Raspberry Tea, two bags of snack size Butterfingers, two movie-sized boxes of Mike and Ike, and two boxes of Frosted Mini Wheats. (Don’t ask. I said, don’t ask!)

My Husband and Son: Very pleased to have me home.

My Parrots: Very pleased to have me home.

Me: Very, very, very pleased to have me home.

Confession: My assorted relative really doesn’t have an electric fence