A Long Boring Car Trip

Longest car trip ever known
Instead of driving, should have flown
Dad's a wimp about driving fast
He should step harder on the gas
-Still driving

"Are we there yet?" twenty times
Fifteen minutes reading signs
-Still driving

Mom said I should take a nap
Can't sleep inside this upright trap
-Still driving

Stuck my head out in the breeze
Bug in the nostril
Made me sneeze
-Still driving

Stared at cars and counted trees
Bored to tears
Let's get there, please
-Still driving
-Still driving

Suddenly the car's gone bonkers
Off the road and spirals upwards
Twisting, jolting, crazy turning
Stomach jumping, knotting, churning
We're flying!

Gripping seats with whitened knuckles
Barely held down by seat buckles
Not sure if we'll live through this
Seems gravity has been dismissed
-Still flying!

Car dives like a fighter plane
Smacks the road like crashing train
Swerve and steer back in the lane
Laws of physics no longer insane
-No more flying?

Somehow we are still surviving
Now I think I'm glad to be
Still driving

-B.C. Byron
This trip ain’t so boring NOW is it?

I took many long, boring car trips as a kid. It was simply not realistic, or affordable, to put my whole family of 9 people on a plane. Our cousins and Grandma lived 5 hours away and all our favorite camping and fishing spots were less drive time than that, but those hours really added up when we made 4 or more car trips in a single summer. Back then we didn’t have a dvd player in the van. We didn’t have cell phones either. Some folks had Nintendo Gameboys, but I didn’t. I and my siblings spent most of the time actually looking out the windows, playing 20 questions, and teasing the heck out of each other. There was also no GPS back then, so the trips would often go longer than planned while we took many unplanned excursions searching for our destination, as well as extra stops to look at maps and ask directions. These days it seems like you can take pretty much all of your home entertainment with you in the car and it’s pretty well impossible to get lost. You kids are missing out on all the real fun. On my childhood drives, when I finally got tired of poking my sister in the arm and saying, “quit poking yourself,” I started to look around at the mountains and trees and rock formations. I learned that grasshoppers really hurt when they hit your hand that’s hanging out the window at highway speed. I learned that there are a ton of mile markers on the way to Yellowstone Park. I also learned that it’s difficult to nap with your head against a jostling side window in a station wagon with poor shocks. I was too busy to be cell phone games. I also never had any flying car adventures like the girl in this poem. Thank goodness.

These days, I actually enjoy the quiet thinking time that a long car or plane ride provides. It’s rare as an adult with a full time job and kids to have uninterrupted deep thinks. I even look forward to turning off the radio, dvd player, and other electronics and playing 20 questions with my children. I’ve even enjoyed 15 hour plane rides where I can just eat snacks, take naps, meditate, and read for hours coninuously. I promise you’ll someday learn to cherish long trips with nothing to do. For now, you can practice counting the mile markers and catching bugs from the window and be thankful that your car isn’t shooting up through the clouds, uncontrolled and thrashing about like a fish out of water.

Published by B.C. Byron

I’m a children’s author, poet, father of 3 girls, and electrical engineer. My first book, A Cat Named Lump, is available on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and Google Books. I post new poems and illustrations every week.

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