Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fake Tattoos, Conversations & Wet Willies

Traveling with teens to the state journalism convention can make you do a lot of things you wouldn’t normally do—things like buying matching fake tattoos, a Fraggle Rock puppet or a dozen Chinese yo-yos. 

It can also make you run around the University of Texas campus with a rubber chicken. (OK, OK, OK so maybe I would have done that one on my own.)

Traveling with teens can also make bizarre, random  conversations sound normal—conversations about dying everyone’s hair a shocking pink to match the mean girl standing in the hotel lobby, about whether handguns come in the color pink or if street people have to have backpacks or if the panhandler on Guadalupe in Austin would give you back your three cents in change after he requested 97 cents.

Yep, traveling with teens can force you to listen to conversations that seem to make perfect sense at the time in a warped, twilight zone kind of way.

I’m not exactly sure how this particular conversation started, but the end of it went something like this…

“I’m so great they named Carson City after me,” Carson said.

“I’m so great they named Travis County after me,” Travis said.

“Well, they named Hannah Montana after me,” Hannah said.

“Oh, yeah, they were like ‘Super Star’ and I was like, ‘nuh uh,” Travis said.
For just a nano second, it sort of all made sense. Sort of. I started to tell them that both North and South Carolina were named after me, but after the Super Star and nuh uh thing, I decided to keep my mouth shut.

Other conversations this weekend were rather enlightening. The next time someone tries to get you to donate money for a cause, you can always offer Travis’ response: “No thanks,” Travis told the Greenpeace guy, “I’m not feeling like a hero today.”

Another conversation brighten the day for the guys at Amy’s Ice Cream in Austin. After one staffer tried a sample of the Mexican vanilla ice cream, another staffer asked her, “Is it spicy?” 

Of course, some bantering just doesn’t bode well for the drive back home. While driving down Interstate 35 in the white school suburban, the two boys in the back started making car acceleration noises.

“Are you 5, Travis?” Hannah asked.

“What?” Travis responded in disbelief. 

“You’re acting like a little kid,” she said.

“Hey Hannah, weren’t you the one that put a wet willy in my ear a few hours ago?” he asked.

Traveling with teens: definitely not for the faint of heart.


Anonymous said...

Spending about 9 hours of a weekend in a van with teenagers is loads of fun and weirdness. Mine enjoyed critiquing my driving and spending time in fits of giggles. And the height of all the humor was when D decided to buy a whoopee cushion. Yes, we did name them after letters of the alphabet A, B, C, D and E(m). They can't wait for next year.

askthehomediva said...

Sometimes I think when the Grateful Dead sings, “What a long strange trip it's been…" they must have been in a van filled with high school kids at a journalism convention…