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Mom brought me back fire from the Statue of Liberty

July 18, 2005, 5:12 AM

Mom, Sis, and David Temple (a friend of Sis’s) went to New York City for the weekend, and as is typical of when Mom goes to New York, she asked me if I wanted anything from up there.

Now if you’ve ever seen the movie Jungle 2 Jungle starring Tim Allen, you know that the chief of Mimi-Siku’s tribe gave him the mission of bringing back fire from the Statue of Liberty. After Mimi-Siku tried to take it literally (actually climbing the statue to physically reach the torch), in the end, he got a lighter shaped like the Statue of Liberty, where the flame comes out of the torch.

I thought that was just cool. So I asked Mom to get me something like that. She did! Look:

Fire from the statue!

She got me “fire from the statue”! Pretty cool, no? It’s not the exact same one as in the movie, but that’s pretty darn neat nonetheless. I was so tickled.

They also went to New York in a different way than usual. They took a bus trip from Harrisonburg. Dad drove them up to Harrisonburg, where they met the bus in a parking lot on the north side of town. Then last night, I picked them up in Harrisonburg, and brought them home.

And the trip home was interesting in itself. I was driving the Sienna, which, as you may know, is not my regular car (I drive a Previa). The Sienna is Mom’s car, and so she’s not used to being a passenger in it. I’ve driven it enough to be comfortable with it, but still, I’m not as familiar with it as I am with my car.

Still, Mom’s thing when you’re driving her car is that she can be a real back-seat driver. Usually this comes off as annoying, but this time it came off as amusing, as she realized this: “You drive like your father.” I said something to the effect of that we are both Schumin men, and so it kind of comes with the turf. And except for when we dropped David off at his house, we drove on roads that I was very familiar with, since I used to drive the way we went for two summers plus one regular semester commuting, plus it’s the way I go on my way back from DC. The best thing was taking the eastbound ramp for Exit 91 on I-64 in Fishersville. That ramp takes you uphill, since 608 is higher than I-64. It’s enough of a slope, too, that you can decelerate by just coasting. Mom’s like, “Don’t you want to slow down?” And I’m just gliding up the ramp, and then only did a little tiny brake at the end.

Of course, the excitement came less than two minutes later. After I got off the ramp and we started taking 608 back to Stuarts Draft, some idiot veered into our lane. Mom envisioned the Sienna in the ditch alongside the road. I, meanwhile, took evasive action. I dodged right, and successfully cleared the other vehicle. Score!

Mom also found out that I’m a far more conservative driver when there are people in the car with me. When I’m driving by myself, I might make closer maneuvers than I would if I had a passenger in the car. I’ll muscle my way into a lane, or squeeze into spots to get where I’m going. But with passengers, I won’t be quite as bold. I’ll take my own life in my hands when I’m by myself, but for others I’ll mind my manners, since then I feel I have a duty to get them where they’re going in one piece. Then add to that, of course, that this wasn’t my car that I was driving, and it becomes quite understandable.

All in all, though, it was a fun trip home, and what can I say? Mom got me fire from the Statue of Liberty, which I thought was just cool…

Web site: Summary of Jungle 2 Jungle

Song: Music from the guy playing the piano with four rubber balls. I have it as a video file on the computer. Does anyone know what show that aired on originally? Memorable line: "Anybody can play the piano with their fingers, correct? I learned to play... with my balls!"

Quote: "So how was it?"

Categories: Driving, Family