Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Homeland Security

We begin our road trip in two days. The first leg of the journey will take us to my grandparents’ house just outside scenic Greensboro, GA. I've written about Mimi & Pop before, they’re lovely people who now live in a gated community with presumably heavy security. I think they live inside this fence with its guards not because of the crazies we see on the news each night, not due to the post-9/11 environment we live in or the evildoers it’s unveiled, but because these rested, wise folks have seven grown children, and their fear is that one or all of these people may come back and never leave. A valid concern, and security has been briefed on who they are. Apparently, however, security has also been made aware of who we are. I received an E-mail from Pop today with directions to his new house and it states, ever so matter-of-factly, “…turn left, go to gate and try to convince them you are our guest.” Frankly, this sounds like some sort of dare to me. Well let me say this, after spending eight hours on the road with these four kids, they better let us in. If they don’t wave us through, we’re moving into that little guard shack for the night, so they should go ahead and stock up with a frozen cheese pizza, chocolate milk and Pop Tarts, and install some sort of television set with cartoons. Otherwise they’ll have four road-weary, hungry and cramped children on their hands.

The idea that my kids couldn’t breach this line of defense is ridiculous anyway, and if you’ve ever seen The Quartet at home then you’d understand it’s because their favorite toy in the world is the front door. No one can go in and out, in and out, in and out, of a house like these children. They’re world class inners and outers, Lance Armstrong wishes he had their stamina. After eight hours strapped to their seat listening to Dean Martin, and with me allowing for only one bathroom break the whole day, they’ll have the security gate off the hinges within the quarter hour. It won’t be pretty, and I’m going to assume there’s some sort of homeowner’s association that pays for this type of damage. Whether we are allowed to drive through the gates with a welcoming wave and a smile, or whether the kids have to rip down the gates like four little jetlagged King Kongs, I am certain that security will be there bright and early the following morning to escort us out.