Chicago Trip: Part V of V
You're sad, I know. So am I. I've been writing about Chicago for the past four posts, but just as that trip met its end, so must this. I have no choice but to go back to writing about my everyday life: those unyielding yearnings for Nicolas Cage furniture, those paranoid feelings I'm being stalked by homeless hipsters, those 2am discoveries that I'm being sexually assaulted by my cat, and those constant refusals of all the Jews my local gas station's employees like to offer me. Alas, my days of adventure are over.
...but that's not until tomorrow.
"DAD. Go. Lie. DOWN," my father said to his father, who had just accidentally stepped on his head.
"Oh calm down!" my grandfather responded. "I didn't see your head there!"
"You stepped on my head on purpose," my dad retaliated.
"Well where else am I supposed to walk when you're lying in a sleeping bag on the floor?!"
"What could you have possibly needed from the far corner of the bedroom?"
"I needed to check the AC! Natasha said it was too hot in here!"
"Dad, just go lie down," my father said, lifting his head from the floor. "And for God's sake, pull up your pants. They're down to your knees."
"I can't find my belt. JOANN! I CAN'T FIND MY BELT!"
"It's on the desk," my grandmother responded.
"Be nice to me, son," my grandfather said as he reached for his belt. "I could be gone by November 11th."
"What!" I said, looking to my grandmother for an explanation.
"Ohhhh, don't listen to him," she said. "His surgery is on November 11th, but it's not a dangerous one."
"HA!" my grandfather laughed as he leaned over to me. "Listen, Natasha. This is important. They take a ROD, shove it up your PENIS, and SCRAMBLE AROUND in your BALLS ---"
"Ken!" my grandmother said, putting her hand over his mouth. "That's enough."
"Katrina!" I shouted as she entered the room. "Where WERE you?"
"I went down to the hotel's fitness room to run...why are you laughing so hard?"
"You missed Papa Ken's important information about his...his...AHAHAHAHAHA!"
"Wow," she said. "I must have really missed something funny. What is it! TELL ME."
"Okay," my dad said rising from his danger zone of a bed. "It is impossible to nap when I keep hearing you guys talk about Ken's balls."
"He's right, everyone," my grandmother said. "Let's try and be quiet so your dad can rest."
"I bet I can guess the circumference of your thigh," my grandfather said to my sister. "25! No...22! Well? Am I right?"
"I don't know," my sister said.
"WELL AM I RIGHT OR NOT?"
"I have no idea what the circumference of my thigh is."
"What's yours, Natasha? WAIT LET ME GUESS!"
"DAD!" my dad shouted at my grandfather. "BE QUIET."
A few hours later, it was time for dinner. We had reservations at an Asian restaurant that was located inside a hotel a few blocks from our own. We took a cab over and entered a red and yellow room that had calm, oriental music playing in the background and Asian waiters everywhere. We sat down and one of them approached our table.
server: What can I get you all to drink?
grandfather: (suddenly pulling out a one dollar bill and waving it slowly in the air) Do you have Coca-Cola?
server: (glancing at the dollar bill being waved in front of him) ...Yes, sir.
grandfather: (using his dollar bill to point at the server) I'll have that, please.
server: Yes, sir. (walks off)
me: Why were you waving that dollar bill at him?! You looked like you were trying to bribe him for some Coca-Cola!
grandfather: (suddenly realizing he is holding a dollar bill in the air) Ha ha ha! I didn't even notice I was doing that! Yeah, big bribe, huh? One whole dollahhhhh.
me: Why do you even have that out?
grandfather: OH - I remember now. I was gonna SAY, I'll give you this dollar if...you ask our server where he's from.
grandmother: No, don't do that, Ken! That's rude.
grandfather: How is it rude! I don't think it's rude. Do you think it's rude?
me: No, I don't think it's rude.
my sister: It's rude.
dad: Of course it's rude.
grandfather: (leaning over the table to whisper to me and my sister) Here's the plan: I'm gonna tell your father I want to show him something outside. Then when we walk out, you ask the guy where he's from. Got it?
me: Got it.
dad: I didn't even realize they had a patio! I'm gonna go check it out real quick.
grandfather: Oh, shit, that's my cue! (jumping up from chair) I'LL COME OUTSIDE WITH YOU!
server: Would you like more water, miss?
me: Yes, please. Where are you from?
me: (realizing I could have been a little more smooth about it) Yeah.
server: My parents are from Mexico.
me: Oh, nice!
server: Yes. (walks away)
grandpa: (walking back in) Well? Did you find out? Do you have witnesses?
me: Yes. I asked him and Katrina saw.
my sister: She asked him. I saw.
me: He's from Mexico.
grandfather! I KNEW IT!
dad: DAD. No yelling in the restaurant.
grandfather: You're just mad cause I was RIGHT! I knew he wasn't Asian. It's that NOSE!
grandmother: Ken, you need to stop.
grandfather: Stop what!
grandmother: Yelling about people's noses.
me: Can I have my dollar now?
grandfather: Yeah. Katrina gets a dollar, too. For being the witness.
my sister: Niiiiice!
grandfather: I KNEW he wasn't Asian! Look. Here's how it goes: Top Three. (holds out hand and starts counting on his fingers) ONE, Japs. TWO, Chinese. THREE, Kore---
dad: Please stop rating Asians, Dad.
grandfather: WHAT? I didn't say anything bad about them! I'm COMPLIMENTING THEM. The Japs are top of my lis---
grandmother: Ken, will you stop it! (pulling my grandfather's hand down)
dad: (trying not to laugh) Girls.
me and my sister: (not trying not to laugh) HAHAHAHA!
dad: Everyone else here is trying to have a peaceful dinner. They don't want to hear about Ken's collection of Asians.
grandfather: (while all of us start laughing) THAT'S IT, SON! You're on my list!
dad: Your list? Your list of what? Asians?
grandfather: My. List.
After a satisfying dinner (all except for some mysterious purple goop our server called "the nest" that looked and tasted like toe jam), we exited the restaurant up a red-carpeted staircase and stopped at the top so my dad could take some pictures of us.
"Here, son!" my grandfather said after my dad snapped our picture. "Let me take the next one so you can be in it."
"Great!" my dad said as he handed my grandfather the camera. "Just press that button."
We all posed and waited. And waited. And waited.
"Come on, Dad, just press the button," my father said to my grandfather.
"IT WON'T WORK!"
"Just press the button."
"Just press the button, Dad."
"I HAVE WEAK HANDS!"
Five minutes later, the camera flashes.
"GOT IT!" my grandfather shouted triumphantly.
"Great, let's see it!" said my dad, walking over and grabbing the camera. "Dad. This is a picture of your thumb. You put your thumb right over the lens."
"We can probably just get someone who works here to take a photo," said my sister.
"Alright," said my dad. "I think we just need to go down this elevator and we'll be in the lobby."
We ride down the elevator. The doors open. We're back in the restaurant, right where we had started.
"Well this just keeps getting more and more embarrassing."
"Let's get outta here!" my dad laughs as the hoard of Asian servers stare at us quizzically. He then began to run.
We all followed.
The next morning was our last day, which we just spent walking around town, talking and laughing at each other. (I also watched a half-naked homeless man do chin-ups from the branches of a tree and then watch his nipples as he flexed his pecks to make them bounce, but something about that just isn't as sentimental as spending time with family.) I always look forward to these family vacations, and I'm always sad when they come to an end.
Disclaimer: No Asians were hurt in the making of this post.