"We Don't Let Dorothy Crack The Eggs Anymore'" Chapter 13, Travel Travails

A little traveling music, please. . .

Everyone was up in the air over the strike which couldn't get them up in the air.

Which left some of the would-be happy wanderers faced with slower modes of transport. Like a plain old four-motor job (What did they call those airplanes before jets came along?) or train, car or bus.

One young mother with two offspring in tow, had to get to New York. She found herself booked on a slow night flight. At this news she paled and said, "I'll have a strawberry-colored nervous breakdown."

What happened to the pioneer spirit of the women who traveled west in Conestoga wagons?

What happened to the mother who took her three children (under three) on a nearly 24-hour train ride from Washington, D.C. to Miami?  (But, do you really want to know?)

She got a "drawing room" which isn't really a misnomer after all, for they DID draw all over the walls while they were thus ensconced. But kiddies scrawl no matter where they sprawl.

A drawing room pictures grand ladies and knights of the court circulating in plushy, tapestry-ed surroundings. Not a cubicle so small that the mice are hunchbacked.

Iron bars do not a prison make. But a compact compartment with the squirming set -- that's a lower-case capital punishment. To lurch along the aisle just to remove oneself from the confines shouts disaster. Ever try to open
a train door between cars while grappling with midget Gidgets?

Fortunately, the drawing room comes equipped with facilities. (I would say a "john" but I recently met a doctor who resents the use of his name. He merely asked, "How would you like it if they called your bathroom a Joan?" (I see his point.)

Facilities mean you don't have to wait in line. Sometimes you can use up several hours letting your kidlets play at the sink. But you are still 23 hours imprisoned on the rails..

The kindly family emdee had proferred a tranquilizer syrup for children; the syrup, he said, would calm them down, not "put them out" and curb their restlessness. I have a friend who used this stuff and said her kids looked like boiled owls.

Dr. Carroll did add, mind you, that in rare cases the syrup resulted in quite the opposite effect. "Sometimes they become wide awake." He should have been there.

These tiny travelers were all eyes. Goggle-eyed! Absolutely miniature Gene Baylos offspring. They were all mischief, all motion and Mommy was all in.

Praise be, there was a hostess on the train who volunteered to babysit my wee three while Mother Earth trotted down to the dining car and ate with all the Big People (taller than three feet) and belted down two see-throughs and lived a short-lived Euphoria before reality loomed hard on the horizon.

I hold no antipathy for train travel. Some of my best friends take trains. It is a glorious way to see the USA or any other place and there's the club car besides. It's just that no one has invented a traveling device capable of tempering tempers, subsiding simpers and curbing cranky moonshines in the little monkeys.

Notice how Greyhound bus drivers are willing to drive but they leave the fussin' to us'n? And who's draggin' in a station wagon after a togetherness tour?

Still thinking you'd like to take a trip with kids? Take LSD. Or better yet, take the new LSD airline. Everyone watches their own movies.