Not just crazy people – but crazy, paranoid people – crazy, paranoid and pessimistic people! My husband – who is one of these people – would argue that he is not paranoid because sometimes people are really out to get you and that he is not a pessimist – he simply knows that things go wrong – all of the time! In other words – he is crazy – and apparently it is a family trait which he shares with his mother – and at least two of his children – when they act like their father, they become his children. When they are sane – they are my children!
This habit of always seeing the worst in a situation has become amplified whenever we are all in the car together – Pat (my husband), his mother and me. I tried to pass this off as just making small-talk, but I have come to realize that these two individuals are truly, honestly worried about such things as the following:
- Going under train bridges – especially if there is a train on the bridge – either standing still or moving. After all, how can that small train trestle possibly hold all of those cars and all of that weight for any amount of time – pointing out that the track has been standing without incident all of these years only makes things worse – because that means the track is really old and could go at any time! And, if a big wind comes up it could blow those cars right off the track onto our car – it is irrelevant that it would take a F5 tornado to blow the train off the tracks!
- While driving through a snow storm, I should not knit in the backseat, because if we were to slide off the road, I could accidentally pith my husband like a frog or skewer my mother-in-law with the knitting needles! Not to mention, I could put my eye out or impale myself on my own needles! I tried to explain to my husband that the needles are made out of plastic and couldn’t skewer anything unless driven by hurricane force winds (in which case we should be more worried about trains falling off the tracks) and also, if we start sliding – I’m throwing everything into the air and hanging on for dear life!
- Everything is a kid-killer in our house – tables, chairs, lamps, feet – yes, feet. At one point my mother-in-law worried that she would put out a grandchild’s eye by swinging her bare feet anywhere near the child. Or running with a straw could put out an eye or go through the back of a throat – but as my father-in-law had pointed out – only if driven by a hurricane force wind! Again – that wind thing – must be because we live in Nebraska which makes Pat and his mother afraid that one of those tornadoes could pop up any time, any place – even indoors! As far as furniture – I’m amazed our children made it to adulthood since I know we had tables, chairs, etc and not a one of them lost an eye, tooth or other body part from walking through the living room!
- When driving through a nice neighborhood on one of our drive-dream-drool excursions (when we look at houses we can’t afford) – my mother-in-law is convinced that the houses look really nice – but there are probably people chained up and being tortured in the basement. She watches WAY too many TV crime shows – and has a fear of being in such a position herself. We are still trying to figure out what she did in her past that she is not talking about which would lead to her being incarcerated and tortured – maybe she is an ex-CIA operative!
Our road trips – short or long – are always include a trip to Crazytown – but I’ve learned to laugh at the two of them and have even taken to making them more nervous in the car – I carry lots of knitting needles and straws with me at all times, plan trips that go under lots of train trestles – and whenever possible try to time it during a tornado watch or warning! I do carry a first aid kit in the trunk, just in case – right next to the rope, the duct tape and the handcuffs – can’t forget the handcuffs!