The Hunger Games

war roomMy family and I are heading down to the Jersey Shore (beach) tomorrow. Which means that my dad has been obsessively planning all aspects of the trip.

There are full-on, war-room discussions concerning leaving times, the best route to take, and what we are planning on bringing. The seriousness of the discussions suggest a dedication to planning unheard of in the civilian vacationing world.

The discussions are often about time, since my family is time obsessed. Discussions involve meeting times, dinner times, and how much time will be spent in the ocean. There are an awful lot of conversations about leaving and arrival time.

This is when traffic and unplanned stops (but always planned unplanned stops) rear their heads. There are many considerations to keep in mind, to be fair. There might be a major backup on Route 1, there might be a line at the kennel. What if the bank we have to stop at gets held up? That could put us back an hour or two. The danger is that after a while of ruminating these potential delays, my dad starts exerting his propensity for eking back a departure time. So, what was once a 10 am departure time becomes 9:45, and then 9:30. Hell, we might as well leave at 6 am. Get there before the traffic even starts!

One imagines a group of military men in his head, smoking cigarettes and arguing every possible scenario above a big map of the Earth. Now that I think about it, we could really use a big map.

Don’t get me wrong, we don’t get annoyed by this; the rest of the family advocates these discussions. Only if you are a Galeone do you fully understand the joy that comes along with holiday (vacation) over-preparation. This kind of obsession is our namesake, Galeone obviously the Latin word for “Obsessive over planner and custodian of aggressive pets.” It’s one of our favorite parts of vacation (holiday): planning.

The only problem this time is that my dad and I have been watching our diets. This means that during the week we eat vegetables, fruit, lean meats, and loathe the genes that dictate our predilection for carbohydrates and malted beverages. On the weekend, it’s cheating time.

At the beach (shore), it’s cheating time.

Ergo, since the only thing in my dad’s head right now is food, the vacation discussions have been fully centered on that subject. One might not think this is a problem, but it means that two hungry guys are spending their nights looking at restaurants and pictures of food and drooling as thought it is porn.

The subject trumps all others, often doing so as a subtle segue.

“Do you think the Phillies will win tonight?”

“I think we should get waffles the first morning. Yes, waffles and then pancakes on the second morning.”

Tomorrow is cheating time. Until then I will keep my sanity. I’ll walk the dog and look at passing dogs as though they are lasagnas with legs. I’ll get into bed and nibble on my pillow as I drift off into a sleep filled with waffle cars and veal chops dancing around my bed singing to me. Maybe I’ll just look at a big map of the world and try not to imagine pepperoni pizza.

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