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Road Trip Hiccups

Idyllic though our getaway weekend was, it wasn’t without hiccups.

On the way up there, I turned to GC and said “Did you bring the keys?”

“No,” he said.

“Me neither.”

So we turned around at the Carp exit and headed back to Ottawa, where we picked up the keys and gave Duncan an extra scratch on his big orange head. Then we hit the road again.

Things went pretty much idyllicly (is that a word?) after that, until we were on our way home at the end of the weekend. We were well on our way home, as a matter of fact.

I turned to GC and asked “Did you turn the propane off?”

“Yes,” he said.

“Did you bring the garbage?”


“Me neither.”

If we were inclined towards argument, this would have been the ideal time to have an argument about whose fault it was that we forgot the garbage, but neither GC nor I is inclined that way.

Instead, we decided to stop for dinner at an old-fashioned diner in Almonte before turning around to go collect our garbage. We slid into a booth and immediately noticed there was something odd about it. It was tiny. Almost no room between the table and the bench. I don’t know if it was designed for skinny vintage people or what, but we barely fit into it, and we’re not that big. One serious meal, and we’d have been wedged in there for hours.

The menu had a whole page of vintage alcoholic drinks, which cost twenty-five cents more than a chocolate milkshake. Rob Roys, Brandy Alexanders, Singapore Slings, Golden Cadillacs. We decided to live large and go for the milkshakes. Burgers and shakes. Then we squeezed ourselves out of the booth and hit the road.

We sang 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall and got all the way down to 56. I’m pretty sure that’s a world record. The secret? You need someone who can sing harmony. GC can sing harmony. And when you get bored with harmonies, switch to accents. Then vary the tempo. Switch to French. Whatever it takes. Eventually, though, we just couldn’t do it anymore. We stopped singing and GC told me all about the history of jazz.

We got back to the cottage, collected the garbage, and stood there with our heads cranked back, admiring the stars until our necks got sore. Then we headed back to civilization.

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