grand canyon

Row your loveshack six words long in the rain


After leaving the watchtower, Kris' niece and nephew joined our car on our continuing journey to our Grand Canyon lodging. As with any two children under 17 and over 4, put two in the backseat of any car, and they'll start fighting. One two three, right on time, the fighting started.

Kris decided to end the fighting with the distraction technique, by asking them if they knew any songs. Simutaneously, they starting singing, "Singin' in the rain! We're singin' in the rain. Just singin' in the rain. Singin' in the rain!"

After about three minutes of the endless repeat of the four words with minor variations, Kris turned to me. "I think they'd do well at 'This Song is Just Six Words Long'."

The chorus is the back seat immediately shifted. "This song is just six words long. This song is just six words long. This song is just six words long. This song is just six words long."

A few minutes later, I realized the song had changed again. William was still singing, "This song is just six words long," but Michelle had changed back to, "Singin' in the rain!" Kris looked over at me, smiled, and started in.

"Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream..."

Before we the kids had joined us in the car, Kris and I had been discussing songs that would never, ever be allowed in our collective iTunes library. "My Hump" was one that wouldn't make it, unless I had to choose between "My Hump" and "Loveshack" by the B52s. I'll let the shack burn to the ground first. That song is the worst song known to mankind, and NOT going on my iPod.

Tragically, with the row, row, rowing and the sing, sing, singing and the word, word, wording, the only song in my head, yes, was "Loveshack."

I gave in, and started belting out the song, bringing our cacophony to a fevered pitch.

I lasted all of ten seconds before laughing so hard I couldn't breathe.

Good times.

Make it through the next ten years


On our first day of vacation at the Grand Canyon, we drove into the East gate and stopped at the Watchtower. The watchtower sits close to the edge of the Canyon, with four stories to climb up for spectacular views. The nearness to the entrance gate and the spectacular views means many people stop there for their first view of the canyon.

Which means crowds.

Even on a Wednesday.

We arrived close enough to sunset that most of the other people there were also arriving at the end of a long day of travelling.

At least, that's what i'm convinced was the reason for the large, red-headed woman used to explain why it was okay to scream at her children in front of everyone. The child was about to take a picture that his mother didn't want taken (with a digital camera, no less); the picture was not of his mother, so I'm not really sure the reason for the woman's violent reaction,

Through the course of our visit, we crossed paths again with the woman, her husband, and their three children several times. The three siblings were all red-heads, and all very striking, good looking kids. Each will definitely grow up breaking hearts.

Assuming they can overcome the verbal beatdowns they receive from their parents.

In the twenty or so minutes our lives crossed with their, neither parent said one nice thing to any of the children. Worse, the father's voice was accusatory, the mother's dripping with contempt.

I wanted to take the kids aside, especially the boy, and talk to them. I wanted to tell him it gets better, that, no, this is not what life is, and that yes, thinking for himself is a good thing. I wanted to give him a hug, and tell if he keeps trying, he'll do wonderful amazing things. I wanted to encourage him to try, even when people say no. I wanted to tell him that not all women are like his mother, and, yes, he can do right.

And I wanted to tell him that his sister was skilled in parental manipulation, and that he'd need to learn how to play the game. Oh, kid, learn to play the game, and grow bigger than this shitty childhood life dealt you.