Lost in Translation.

Posted by on January 30, 2012

If you’ve ever spent any time what-so-ever on Cape Cod, you very quickly learn that left hand turns are a luxury, and that inconvenience VERY quickly marries with marathon traffic jams.

Stuck in just such a long line of traffic in the middle of July, was where Daughter #1 decided to let out a shriek, “Fried chicken! Fried chicken!” and began to gesture wildly in the direction of Burger King in Hyannis. She was about 18 months old at the time and I realized then that she had already been brainwashed by the TV I was letting her watch. Somehow, Clifford the Big Red Dog was drilling “eat at Burger King” to my little princess. Nevertheless, the line of cars we were stuck in was not even crawling, and being almost nine months pregnant with the bladder the size of a thimble, I did the only sensible thing to do. I swung my car into the fast food parking lot (thankfully a right hand turn!) and waddled inside, all the while, my daughter skipping next to me screaming, “Fried chicken! Fried chicken! Fried chicken!”

I emerged about half an hour later, bag of nuggets and fries in one arm and bored little girl in the other. In the car, she nibbled on a couple of fries and threw the nuggets into nooks and crannies that were not meant to be reached by human hands. From that point forward, she had us trained. We could never go past a fast food restaurant without her demanding “fried chicken”. And each and every time, the drill would be the same. She would throw her tantrum, screaming for her “fried chicken” until we stupidly acquiesced, and then fling the food, crying that she didn’t want it.

About six months later, we were sitting on the cold sand of the beach with her new baby sister. It was winter time and the two little girls were wrapped against the biting sea air in layer after layer of warm clothes. All of a sudden she dashed away from us, running as fast as her little bundled-up butterball legs could carry her, all the while screaming “FRIED CHICKEN!! FRIED CHICKEN!!” at the top of her lungs. That was our lightbulb moment. She wasn’t saying “fried chicken” at all…she was saying – “flying chicken”! Seagulls!!

It all made sense now as she careened toward the silver trash can being attacked by the greedy birds. The seagulls congregated en mass around the restaurant dumpsters to pick at the food – the greasier the better (like at McDonald’s and Burger King). She would see them and scream “FLYING CHICKENS!” in her innocent excitement from the car. And what did Mommy and Daddy do? Thrust that same greasy, yucky food at her.

“Those things are such a nuisance here in Myrtle Beach,” Randi laughed as I relayed to her (for probably the 900th time) the seagull story, “especially at the airport. But I’d much rather deal with those than flies or no-see-ums.”

She was definitely right. Sand fleas, a.k.a. no-see-ums, are brutal – at least to me. My calves are routinely dotted with the gruesome, itchy red bumps in the summer unless I take SUPER care to protect myself. However, I will gladly overlook these vicious bloodsuckers to live back by the ocean again.

“Palmetto bugs,” Randi continued, “now THAT is another story.” She made me wait while she and her coffeemaker, Johnson, had a moment before she went on, “They’re basically cockroaches, Vicky, and they have to be the ugliest animal on this planet.”

Visions of my beautiful home on the beach, with the huge kitchen and the fireplace I am demanding came to mind. As did the nasty, revolting cockroaches that Randi just mentioned, and I stuck out my tongue at her and she laughed at me on Skype, “I have to say I have never actually had any problem what-so-ever with those awful things. And, on the other hand, I think you’ll just LOVE the little tree frogs here – Little Miss Frog-Lady.”

I packed another couple of boxes today, some china I won’t be using until we move. When it comes to my china, I’m a little unconventional – for some reason, I see myself as VERY boring and unimaginative if I have a matching set. When I was first setting up house, my mother and I shopped and shopped for a set that was “perfect”. The only problem was that they were a LOT that fit that description and I was unwilling to settle on only one pattern. And ultimately, much to my mother’s chagrin, I started to collect different pieces of china as my set. They do not match as in they are not a “matching set”, but they all work beyond PERFECTLY together and I have a “complete set” that is both very elegant and whimsical.

I am hoping the next time I get to use them will be for Easter. In my new house. My new house by the sea.

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