Frittering away the hours: A typical day on the road

Max rides shotgun and finds utter delight in a 57-year-old episode of The Honeymooners.

This is the way the day disappears.
This is the way the day disappears.
This is the way the day disappears.
Not with a purpose but with frivolity.

This is the way of the road, at least as we stumble down it with eyes closed and legs tied together. Most days dissolve into a barely remembered collection of squandered moments and frivolous pursuits.
Time is a damnable will-o-the-wisp, and there is no catching up to it.
Take today, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, for instance. We’re in Redding, Calif., about a four or five-hour drive from Minden, Nev., where we plan to spend Thanksgiving with Becky’s sister Donna. With no reason to get on down the road, and the weather in the mountain passes too inhospitable for the behemoth to challenge, we had planned to stay nearby.
We woke up late, around 10 a.m., after another rough night’s sleep. I’ve been sleeping like shit lately. There’s a dampness in the camper that has exacerbated my usually mild asthma. Nothing serious, just long nights of me hacking like an emphysema patient at a bonfire. With all my caterwauling, it’s a wonder anyone gets any sleep around here.
After we did the usual brushing of teeth and shaking off of cobwebs, we walked across Dana Drive to the Costco and availed ourselves of the rich buffet of Saturday samples. Having surfed to satiety, we returned to our Walmart camp. Becky and Max purchased some post cards and wrote out a few.
Somehow we disappeared a good four hours by the time we made it to the YMCA, which is somewhere on the other side of the Sacramento River. By the time we got inside the Y, it was 4:30.  Max rode shotgun and watched The Honeymooners.
He’s a big fan of Ed Norton. Today he said when he’s “playing” The Honeymooners, he’s going to be Ed and Alice. Becky will be Trixie.
“How about me?” I ask.
“You’re Kramden,” Max says.
He usually doesn’t give away the starring role so easily.
The Y closed at 6, so we had to hustle. Max and I hung out and stared at the fish tank while Becky worked out, then they hit the showers while I worked up a grotesque sweat.
There was more than the usual amount of sturm and drang in this squandered day, so I suggested we go out to dinner. We don’t do this kind of thing often.
We stuffed ourselves with Chinese food, then returned to the McDonald’s on Churn Creek to charge our computers, cell phone and Max’s DVD player.
Max immediately jumps up into Ronnie’s lap. I have to go to the camper to fetch the camera. I tell Max I have to record his weird fascination with Ronald for posterity.
“I’m in position,” Max says as I go out the door.
Is there a creepier corporate pitchman than Ronald McDonald? I hate Ronald McDonald more than I hate Elmo. God I hate Elmo.
If a real live man sat in the kids area at McDonald’s wearing a yellow jumper, oversized boots and red-and-white striped undergarments and done up in flaming red hair and clown paint, not a parent this side of a meth addict would allow their kids within 100 yards of the place. Yet they come here by the millions and millions, drowning themselves and their kids in a sea of saturated fat.

You see what I’m talking about?

That’s the way it goes. It’s now 10:42 Pacific Standard Time. We need to get out of here.
Here’s your song for the day:

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