Holy Heart Failure, Batman!

Dimples and Cap’n Firepants have many things in common, as is right between daughter and father.  One interesting quirk that they both share is what I call “Shock and Awe in the Auto.”

When I first started dating Firepants, I was charmed by his attention to detail, particularly when we were driving somewhere.  Something about being in the car seems to magnify Firepants’ emotions – not exactly charming when he is ticked off at an errant driver, but somewhat amusing when he makes random observations.

I, in the car, on the other hand, tend to completely space out.  I read a book or play with my iPad or think about new blog posts.  Not while I’m driving, of course.  Well, sometimes I read a book while I’m driving, but only if it’s really suspenseful.

Anyway, as a passenger, I might be doing a crossword puzzle on a two hour trip, and Firepants will all of the sudden say, “What the —-?!!!”

Of course, this grabs my attention, so I rip myself away from the page to try to see what has gotten Firepants all worked up.  I see nothing out of the ordinary.

“What?  Wha’d I miss?”  I ask.  Was there a unicorn on the side of the road hitchhiking?  Did someone with three heads just pass us in the right lane?

“There was a construction sign at that exit, but there was no construction going on.”

“Uh, okay.”  This is worth an unfinished exclamatory sentence that usually expresses extreme astonishment?  This is why I broke my concentration when I very nearly had the answer to Number 11 across?  Are you kidding me?  WE LIVE IN SAN ANTONIO, TX!!!  It’s unusual if there is no construction sign for a mile on the highway, or if there are signs that say people are at work and they actual are.  People. At work.  What a concept.

5 minutes later.  “Did you see that?!!!!”

I reluctantly raise my head.  “See what?” I ask hesitantly.  I hunt the landscape for something out of the ordinary – like a police car pulling someone over who was actually blatantly speeding (besides me).  I see nothing.

“There were a bunch of bluebonnets in the median over there.”

I love that Cap’n Firepants notices beautiful things.  I really do.  But I HATE it when he points them out knowing that I will be 5 seconds too late to appreciate them, too.  Plus, we live in Texas.  During certain months, there are bluebonnets all over the friggin’ medians.  It’s not like we’re tourists from Ohio, for goodness sake.

The irony of all of these extreme emotional reactions on the road is that Firepants never exhibits them outside of the car.

If you gave him a $10,000 barbecue grill for Christmas – the One that he’s been salivating over all year – I swear his mild response would be,  “Thanks.”  There is no delineation between the crappy gifts and the ones he finds most impressive.  They are all, “Thanks” worthy, and that’s it.

Dimples, on the other hand, shows absolute enthusiasm for any gift she receives, whether it was on her list or not.  Strangely, though, she has inherited both of our car traits, which seems impossible, but she makes it work.  She is able to play on her iPod with deep concentration, and simultaneously observe mundane things outside the car that she feels obligated to bring to my attention as I’m driving.

“Is that what I think it is?!!!” she yelled yesterday as I was navigating a busy street during 5:00 traffic.

“What?!!” I exclaimed, fearful that I was about to hit Harry Potter on a broomstick or possibly miss the Second Coming of Christ in the Hobby Lobby parking lot.

“The traffic lights are red and green.  They make Christmas!” she said, delightedly.

I gripped my steering wheel and reminded myself for the thousandth time that, if I would just lower my expectations, I too could find myself irrationally excited about commonplace occurrences in the landscape of my commute.  I tried to pay more attention to my surroundings so I could appreciate them.  Because that would probably make for better blog posts.  Which I needed to –



“That cloud looks like Wonderbutt!!!!!”


What I need is a family that understates things.  Like in Pulp Fiction when Vincent accidentally shoots his passenger and says, “Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.”

No need for drama.  We’ll take care of that little problem later, Vincent.  Just give me a tissue to clean up this blood spatter and let me finish up my crossword puzzle, and I will give this predicament the attention it deserves.

After you drop me at the hospital so I can check on the heart attack I currently seem to be experiencing.


Posted on November 12, 2011, in Blogging, Cap'n Firepants, Dimples, Family, Humor, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. So…..how’s that Heart Attack comin? Are ya flat lining yet? Just checkin….. 🙂

  2. I wouldn’t know what to do with understatement. I might completely freak out in an attempt to overpower it.

  3. My husband notices stuff like tractors and scrap metal. I notice the way the sunlight skips in and out. (and ice cream parlors).
    And I compose lots of blogs while I drive.

  4. I love the contrast between family members, but I think Dimples should have been checking out the yellow lights since it’s closer to Thanksgiving.

  5. nothing like stating the obvious…the sign

  6. As I was born in Ohio, I think it’s funny the number of weird references the state gets like the one you just mentioned. There is nothing exciting there…., I guess that’s the point.

    Also, I’m just like your daughter. I zone out and notice the annoyingly mundane 🙂

  7. That cloud looks like Wonderbutt: Priceless. I suffer from the same outdoor excitement your family has. My mother in law says I am “highly emotional”. But she only says that because she Has no emotions NO NO NO J/k what I meant to say is that she is dead inside. 🙂

  8. Aww! Bluebonnets are exciting! Haha, no I get you. My heart skips a beat anytime someone says one of those exclamations, because I usually think the worst or craziest thing possible! And the construction thing is seriously annoying- it’s everywhere I go now!

  9. You are so funny 🙂 There is nothing wrong about becoming irrationally excited about commonplace occurrences. I suppose we have all become too used to dramatic and extraordinary things that we see on TV everyday and in a way it has dulled our senses. It is lovely to be excited by ordinary things because nothing is ordinary.

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