The inventor of the pull tops on aluminum cans lives in rural Missouri. You know, the can lids that don't require a can opener? Well, he's pretty much a local celebrity. Apparently, Papa knows a guy who is a friend of a friend of the inventor who lives in Owensville (I think they hang out at McDonald's together.) It reminds me of the guy in the movie Garden State that invented the silent velcro and built this huge mansion and didn't buy furniture so everyone just sat around on the floor and drove four-wheelers through the house. Anyway, the Can Man just finished building this huge mansion right outside Linn, MO (about 30 minutes away from us) and we pass by it every time we drive to Jefferson City and every time we drive by, Grammy tells us how one day when the gate to the house is open, she's just going to drive up and ask them if she can see their house. Papa says it's a good idea. I don't know if that is a good idea. It seems a little invasive to me, but I guess if you're a friend of a friend of a friend...
After we drive by the Can Man Mansion, Grammy always tells me that we need to think of an invention so we can make millions of dollars and do whatever we want. We haven't thought of an invention yet, but I'm sure one will come up soon.
Papa always asks me to drive when we drive to Jeff City. The road to civilization is especially curvy and I drive the speed limit (though Papa lectures me the entire drive about how I should drive 5 mph below the speed limit when it's sunny and 10 mph below the speed limit when it's dark). I can tell when Papa is nervous about my driving because he whistles. He doesn't know he whistles, but he does. That is when I say:
Julie: Papa, are you a little nervous about my driving right now?
Papa: Just a little.
Julie: You know how I know when you're nervous? You whistle.
Grammy says that he whistles when he's tired, too, so if they're driving together and Papa starts whistling, she knows it's time for her to drive. I'm glad he whistles because it totally beats the alternatives, which include (and are all performed by my mother when I'm driving):
1) The Violent Gasp: An unnecessary breath intake that causes the driver's driving ability to plummit because they assume the only reason a person would make that noise is if they are choking or in serious mortal danger.
2) The Dashboard Grasp: Usually occurs when the passenger thinks the driver isn't braking fast enough because the driver obviously doesn't see the line of cars in front of them on the road.
3) The Invisible Passenger-Side Brake Pedal: It's not there. Stop pounding your foot on the floorboard.
4) The Name-Call: Often accompianied by the Violent Gasp and occasionally the Dashboard Grasp, the passenger screams the drivers name, taking their attention from the road to the passenger, creating a potential driving disaster.
I also prefer Papa's form of alerting us to the condition he is in over the National Weather Service's form, which consists of a phone call to our house every time there is a weather warning. Maybe this wouldn't be such a big deal if the phone by my room didn't ring so loudly and if there weren't ever weather warnings at night. I guess being woken up at 5:30am is better than being gusted away in a freak wind storm.