Don't Lick and Ride, acrylic, 24 x 24
Elizabeth W. Seaver
There are times when one shouldn't do two things at once: chop onions and talk on the phone, walk and chew gum (at least for some of us) and ride and eat a lollipop. Disaster often follows.
The story I lay down here is true to life, out of the annals of our family history. It has nothing to do with doing two things at once, or the dangers of transportation of any kind, but it does involve lollipops.
One Christmas, the assembled family (enough for two cars of folk) planned to head north to visit MORE family. Now some of you might say, "There's your first mistake." But, truly, we went to see perfectly ordinary people whom we hadn't seen in a while.
Just as we were mounting up, men and boys in one car and women in the other, my younger son said to me, "I have a bubble in my throat."
UH OH. The only other time he'd said that to me, there was barfing in our future.
Feeling sly, I said, "Oh, Sweetheart, don't you want to ride in the car with your brother and all the other guys?"
"No, Mama, I want to ride with YOU!"
We were in for it.
About 20 miles up the road, I unwrapped one of my favorite candies, the one the Tootsie POP people only make at Christmas. A peppermint Tootsie POP. Yum!
At that moment, tragedy struck. Yup, barfing. Why didn't I think to grab towels, an empty bucket or, indeed, any manner of barf receptacle before leaving home? Obviously I had been hoping that there would be no barfing.
I stuck the lollipop in my mouth, grabbed my son's new knitted hat he'd gotten as a Christmas present and held it under his chin. Now, knitted hats are warm and fuzzy and perfect for when the cold wind blows, but they do not hold liquid well.
Using my elbow, I pushed the button to roll down my window and hurled (pun intended) that steaming hat as far as I could out onto the grassy easement of I-95.
The other driver in our party, realizing that there was some distress in our car, had pulled over just in front of us. I got out of the car, lollipop in mouth, and went to tell the fellas we were turning around and would see them later.
The whole experience left me with only one thought, really. Why does crisis occur every time you have a sucker in your mouth? It makes one feel so silly.
Did I give up lollipops? No. Did I stop going north to see family? No, but I started carrying around an appropriate container for vomit, and I learned to pay attention when I heard, "I have a bubble in my throat."
We purchased another winter hat.