Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Car Seat #GBE2

Peeking out from below the unfamiliar car in the driveway of Best Dad Evar’s suburban home, we see one grown-up foot. The foot flexes on top of weeds that have found a permanent home in the cracks that run unevenly across the cement. There is a grunt and a curse. Then another curse.
“Where the fuck does this thing go?” Best Dad Evar scowls at a latch thingy.
“Having trouble with that car seat, Best Dad Evar?” The narrator asks with a drip of sarcasm.
“Yes!” His yell reverberates inside the small, crisp vehicle (all the windows are closed and only the rear passenger door is open). “Well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out.”

“There’s a hook back there for that latch, isn’t there?” the narrator asks helpfully.
“Where...?” Best Dad asks, looking around the entire backseat frantically.
“Right there on the back of the seat.” The narrator says, slightly impatiently.
“Wh-? Oh.” Now Best Dad looks completely sheepish. “I didn’t see that there.” He peers at the icon on the back of the seat. It’s an anchor with a cars eat next to it. Next to the icon is a metal bar that’s just the right size. He latches the hook into place, then goes to work threading the seat belt through the seat. He looks at the receiving end of seat belt.
“This is nice.” Best Dad says. “There’s only one receiving seat belt latch.”
“Why do you sound so relieved?” the narrator replies.
“Usually there are two. Both my car and my wife’s have two, right next to each other. So instead of just latching it in, I have to use the process of elimination to find the right one. You know, try the male end of the belt into the first female receiver. ‘Nope. Guess it’s the other one.’”
“Yeah, but that just takes an extra second, doesn’t it?”
Best Dad rolls his eyes and chooses to ignore the narrator’s biting question. “Now let’s see if this car has that zipper sound that means the seat belt’s going to lock into place.” He extends the belt as far as it will go. Yes indeedy, the belt lets out a pleasing zipper sound as it reaches the end of its length. Best Dad Sighs with relief.

“Don’t you read instructions, Best Dad?” the narrator asks skeptically, as Best Dad tugs on the belt to test it for tightness.
“Sometimes,” he responds, while raising his eyebrows, giving himself away. He obviously doubts himself.
“Never.” The narrator corrects him.
“No, no, no, not never!” he protests weakly. “Rarely?” he wonders.
“That’s closer to the truth.”
Now Best Dad is tugging strongly on the top of the car seat itself to see how much play it has. It moves about an inch and a half before the locked belt stops its forward progress.
“Is it supposed to move that much?” the narrator asks, concerned for the safety of Best Dad’s littlest one.
“Yeah, that much play is normal.”
“Is that what the manual says?”
“No, that’s what my judgment says.”
“What about your wife’s judgment?”
Best Dad is sheepish again. “She’d put her entire body weight into tightening that belt until it didn’t move a millimeter.” But he perks up. “You know what, though, it’s not her car, it’s mine and I’m driving the kids today. So it’s my judgment that matters this time.”

“Well, now, it’s not your car, is it?” the narrator scolds.
“No, not literally. This is the car I was telling you about, the one I’m babysitting for my brother.”
“It’s very nice.”
“Yes, well, it’s new.” Best Dad still sounds completely unimpressed.
“It’s not just new, it’s newfangled.” The narrator is at the opposite end of the impressed spectrum.
“Yeah, one of those all electric jobs.” Best Dad says with a smirk.
“I thought this car would appeal to your environmentalist streak.”
“I’m sure it will impress me. Once I figure out how to turn the damn thing on!” As usual, Best Dad is nonplussed and annoyed.

“Didn’t your brother give you the keys?”
“’It doesn’t come with keys,’ he tells me. Just this remote thingy.” Best Dad holds up a palm-sized black electronic gadget. He looks at it disgustedly. “What if I just-“
“Start pressing buttons?” the narrator is concerned.
“Naaah, I wouldn’t-” Best Dad says with that shrug that says, ‘yeah, I would’.
“You wouldn’t?” the narrator interrupts doubtfully. “Mr. ‘Doesn’t read the directions’?”
“Well, this one looks like an on-off button. It’s got the right icon.” Suddenly the air conditioner hums to life in the small vehicle, and the video display on the console blips on like a television. “Progress!” Best Dad Evar shouts triumphantly.
“I don’t hear the motor running.”
“Hm. Yet another button to find. I think I remember my brother telling me about this one. It’s gotta be…. this one!”
“Are you sure?” the narrator asks doubtfully.
“No, but if I don’t try it, I have to spend twenty minutes locating the manual, so, here goes!”


Anonymous said...

I really love these Best Dad Evar posts. They are always funny and thoughtful, sometimes even downright sweet, and hey seem so normal. Keep it up!

Jo said...

A dad and a manual together? Now that's funny!!!!!!
I love your BDE posts, every one of them.
He is such a, a, a, man, yeah that's it.
Great job. Got my smiley face on
8< }

The Frizzy Hooker said...

Interesting, my dad is always asking me if I read my car manual when I call him with questions.

Anonymous said...

Try five kids, a fuzzy dog and no seat belts. I could dodge a cascading stream of coffee quicker than snot. Love your commentary!

Angela Parson Myers said...

Funny! I guess I must be strange. When I get a new car, I sit down and read the manual. I even look things up in it later if I've forgotten. And I tend to forget A LOT.

Kathy said...

Funny post as always!!


The Host said...

It seems Best Dad Evar has about as much patience as I do.