National Reviews @#$ Summer Vacation
It’s summer and the lure of the road calls out to America’s Worst Mother™ as she takes her brood (Chuzzlewit, Perdida, Ruby Sue, and Angus) to Maine where they’ll bond as a family unit, commune with nature, and learn swear words that would make Dick Cheney blush. Let’s get started, okay?:
â€œBye Daddy!” Four small pairs of hands wave at my husband, who stands with a cup of coffee at the front door. He waves back.
The first thing we notice here is that Mr. Meghan is not going with the family. This is a common conservative value where the husband works long hours late into the night in order to give his family the vacation they deserve while he stays home and indulges in quiet contemplation and outcall escorts. It’s kind of like Risky Business except Mr. Meghan prefers to dance in his underwear to Richard Marx songs. Later in the week Stanley Kurtz will stop by and Mr. Meghan and Stanley will discuss the evils of gay marriage and neither one will mention that awkward moment of silence when Mr. Meghan caught Stanley checking out his ass when he bent over to get another round of Zimas out of the rumpus room mini-bar….
Meanwhile, back on the road, Meghan is assaulted by some day laborers (just like Michell Malkin’s prophecy foretold) and the kids learn a new word:
I gesture back thanks, hang up the phone, pull to the shoulder, wait while traffic swishes by, then jump out into the humid air to fix the door. As I do, a deep voice shouts, “Okay!”
Seven muscular men leap from the underbrush and race towards the car, and before I know what is happening I hear my own voice yelling, “What the @#$ is this” and find that I am sprinting back toward the driver’s door, already feeling the grip of a carjacker on the back of my shirt, and yet even at that moment I am dimly aware that this may be some bilingual misunderstanding, but the men are gaining fast, leaping the crash barrier, they’re right behind me, when â€”
“Okay, okay, okay!” the leader shouts again. The men jolt to a standstill. “Sorry, Ma’am.” He raises his hands and flashes an embarrassed smile. Returning the smile, I fan my throat like a silent-movie heroine freshly untied from the railroad tracks. We part with many sheepish waves and smiles. Poor fellows: They were just waiting for their ride, and mistook us for it. It is a few minutes before my hands begin to shake.
In the car, the children look at each other and silently mouth the new special word: “@#$”…”@#$”…”@#$”….
Upon arriving at cabin, Meghan finds:
As I follow the children down a lawn that has always been brown and scrubby, the way lakeside cottage lawns are supposed to be, something roughly the size of Marine One whines past. It is not a helicopter. It is a mosquito. “A lot of rain,” I repeat, faintly.
” â€” jump â€” !”
” â€” eat â€” !”
Last summer a chill wind blew Lake St. George into whitecaps, and rain came slanting through the porch screens at night, and the combination of a cottageful of small children and an outdoorsful of bad weather made for a grueling, if amusing, summer holiday â€” and produced “The Fever Swamp.” This year everyone is, obviously, a year older, which should cut down on the grueling-ness, but the prospect of us being hunted down and sucked dry by giant mosquitoes swarming out of overfilled culverts is â€” how can one put it? â€” unappetizing.
Yes. Mosquitoes. Big @#$ing mosquitoes.
The kids join in on the fun:
The next afternoon the children and I go out for a woodland “nature walk,” which consists of us trying to cajole Phoebe into trundling more than a couple of hundred yards in one direction by giving out points for spotting “signs of nature.” The air is lively with mosquitoes. It is consequently lively with the sound of self-administered slaps.
“One!” Paris shouts, “I found a @#$ing wildflower!”
“I’ve got three,” Molly says, “One for a @#$ing puddle, one for a @#$ing fungus, and one for a set of tire tracks. Ow â€” @#?!” Slap.
“I don’t waaaaant to @#$ing wock,” Phoebe complains from the @#$ing rear.
“Now two,” Paris cries joyfully. “Because of that @#$ing bird. I think it’s a hawk. Or an eagle. Who the @#? knows.”
“Unless it’s a @#$ing fish,” says Molly, quoting A. A. @#$ing Milne.
So, as you can see, this weeks lesson is: just because you’re out of school for the summer doesn’t mean you stop learning new stuff.
Or as Phoebe might put it, “@#$ing A.”