His lot in life has been to drive his family this way and that in a moment’s notice. Indeed, his 2012 Clown Car (Hyundai Accent) has turned over 125 000 K’s in LESS than two years. The “TAXI AVAILABLE” light is always lit.
Take the other day for example.
Grumpy had settled down to watch the Blue Jays play the Red Sox. The game was to begin in 10 minutes. Life was as it should be.
In sauntered the Phenom and with his finest 19 year old happy face aglow, then right out of the blue he said these exact words.
“I think I’ll go to Kyle’s tonight.”
Grumpy sat silent whilst the boy shuffled his feet and nodded his head affirming what he just said.
Sometimes Grumpy feels as if the Phenom thinks his father is Sky King and can rev up his plane, the Songbird, at a moment’s notice and fly deep into Australia to the outpost of Purnululu. That would be difficult considering Sky King lived in Arizona.
But, Grumpy knows from experience that Kyle lives a long way from Grumpy Villa. In fact, he lives on a farm just about at the County Line, at a distance crows refuse to fly. We’re talking the outback, folks. We’re talking a road trip to Purnululu.
“Ya, that’s what I think I’ll do,” he repeated, looking for Grumpy to respond. “Ya, I’ll go to Kyle’s.”
“So, how do you think you’re going to get there?” Grumpy finally asked.
“Well I thought you could drive me.” He sports a big glowing smile now and the expression on his puppy dog face reads, “PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP!”
“I was just about to watch the baseball game. You know it’s at least a thirty minute drive to Kyle’s. Why are you asking me to drive at the last minute?”
Sheepishly the Phenom replies, “Well I didn’t know I was going there until a minute a go, dad! And, really it’s only like 20 minutes to get there –TOPS!”
“And, it will be a 20 minute drive back for me –more like an hour altogether. Geeeeeeez, Louise!” Grumpy groans.
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The decision is easy for the Grump’s, however.
His choice is a mopping teenager, playing loud music, who eats all the food in the house, changes the channel every 10 minutes, and who constantly whines that he is bored OR abject silence, watching the second half of the game uninterrupted, cold beer in hand, while peace and tranquillity abounds.
Win-win for the Grumps!
Secondly, when Grumpy was a pup he too would ask his father for these random acts of taxi driving; such as taking a carload of teenage yahoos to a Kitchener Rangers hockey game on a Sunday afternoon. Grumpy respected that and always thought, “When I’m a dad I’m going to be just as kind to my kids.”
EAT YOUR WORDS GRUMPY BECAUSE THIS IS 2013 NOT 1967. KIDS HAVE WAY MORE THINGS TO DO NOW AND YOU LIVE IN THE OUTBACK. THE PLACES TO “DO THINGS” THERE ARE SPREAD OUT LIKE STARS IN THE SKY – THAT’S LIGHTYEARS APART, BUCKO!
“Alright,” Grumpy roars. “BUT WE”VE GOT TO LEAVE RIGHT NOW –LET’S GO!”
As an aside, let’s do the math on this little junket. The entire round trip to Kyle’s and back did take a little over an hour. Grumpy set the odometer thingy and found that the total trip involved 80 km of driving. (48 miles for you American folks)
If he left his house and did the same mileage, more or less, he could have driven to these cities and towns. These are places that have malls, big box stores, theatres, great sports bars and indoor plumbing. These places are part of civilized Canada. And, guess what, all of the roads there are paved.
BRANTFORD 55 K (33 miles)
WOODSTOCK 53 K (31 miles)
ST. THOMAS 69 k (42 miles)
INGERSOLL 54 K (32 miles)
TILLSONBURG 29 K (18 miles)
With just a little more effort and time he could have gone to the big city centres. He could have gone to these so-called BIG SMOKES!
KITCHENER 93 K (56 miles)
LONDON 90K (54 miles)
HAMILTON 98 K (60 miles)
ANCASTER 85 K (51 miles)
But no, Grumpy drove the Phenom to Kyle’s, way out in the outback, on sketchy roads, and where Rednecks, derelict cars and abandoned tractors abound. Not even the best GPS unit will work there.
On the trip out to Kyle’s Grumpy asked the question that addled him the most, “So, you have to work tomorrow – what time am I picking you up?” You see, Grumpy knows what goes around comes around.
The sheepish smile returns as the Phenom ponders his response. The time he takes to do so has Grumpy fidgeting in his seat.
What could be next?
Finally he says, “Well I’m going to Brantford with Chris. His dad is taking him to pick up a new suit. So, nine o’clock would be good!”
“But, Chris lives in Simcoe!” Grumpy blurts.
“Ya, you’ll have to drop me there!”
Now, you need a little perspective here. Simcoe is in the opposite direction from Brantford as well as from Kyle’s farm. Kyle’s farm IS PRACTICALLY IN BRANTFORD!
No matter, Grumpy has an idea. Sometimes when he’s not tripping over them, he can think on his feet.
“Why doesn’t Chris pick you up HERE because it’s on the way to Brantford, right?”
With concern written all over his face, the boy responds by saying, “Oh no, I couldn’t do that. That would be putting Chris’s dad out. It’s sort of out of their way!”
LIKE MAYBE A MILE OUT OF THEIR FREAKING WAY! AND, WHAT ABOUT YOUR OWN DEAR FATHER? YOU JUST PUT HIM OUT!
Dropping the Phenom off provided another little adventure because out of the blue he announced, “Just drop me at the end of that dirt path on the left.” We were driving through no man’s land at the time.
This path led deep into the fields to a homemade structure the kids called, “THE SHACK”. I noticed they were adding a second storey. It looked as if this field party was going to be “UPSCALE” given that a self-built shack is surely better than a tent or seedy trailer.
Out of nowhere, a quad roared along that path throwing up a rooster tail of sand and dust. The Phenom even had transport out to THE SHACK prearranged.
So, the very next day Grumpy drove out to pick up the Phenom (KYLE’S FARM), scooted him back to Simcoe (CHRIS’S HOUSE), then picked him up later in Simcoe (CHRIS’S HOUSE) to return home (OUR HOUSE) and then from home (OUR HOUSE) to work (Food Basics in Simcoe) and, of course, later picked him up from work (SIMCOE) to take him to another friend’s house (DELHI). The total on the Clown Car’s Day-Two taxi tour was 111 km (66 miles).
Grumpy’s combined two day taxi driving total now topped out at 185 km or about 111 miles.
Now, let me tell you this, if Grumpy was a cabby in Toronto he’d be a very rich man.
Why, you may ask?
You see the taxi start-rate there is $4.25 plus $1.75 per km thereafter. So, given those figures, I figure the Phenom owes me about $328.00 for this excursion. Actually, with all the driving he’s done over the years the total charge would be beyond six figures. Grumpy would be living in the lap of luxury.
Too bad teenagers are destitute and dirt poor.
So, you can see why Danny DeVito and Grumpy are both vertically challenged as well as fast friends and business compatriots. They both are putting everything into their taxi business, even though the fares they take drive them absolutely bonkers. Sometimes both of them require a little ANGER MANAGEMENT.
“YOU WANT ME TO DRIVE YOU WHERE?” is a common lament mumbled by the Crabby Cabby here at Grumpy Villa.
As Grumpy’s father, Old Whistling Joe, would often ask, “Who has more fun than people?”
After all of these driving misadventures, Grumpy would have to respond, “Teenage boys!” – wouldn’t you think?