Any adult in charge of amusing small children is certainly aware of that ever-popular game, I Spy. It can be an effective short term distraction, or can provide hours of dining torture (or enjoyment), depending on your ATF (Annoyance Tolerance Factor). This is especially true in the case of any family-type restaurant (Applebees, I'm talking to you) whose decor consists of cubic tons of crap (memories, if you're TinyTuna) nailed to the walls.
TinyTuna: I spy something blue.
GreenTuna: Do you want to be a little more specific?
TinyTuna: Nope. You have to guess.
GreenTuna: The ball (no), The wallpaper (no), The water in that picture (no), The lamp (no), My shirt (no), The menu (no), The picture (no), The other picture (no), The letters on that other picture (no), I give up!
TinyTuna: No! You have to guess some more.
GreenTuna: (much slower, sadder and annoyeder) Uhhh, the carousel horse's saddle (no), My shirt (you already said that!), uhhh...Your shirt (no) uh....My Eyes! (NO!) ... uh...Your Eyes!!
TinyTuna: (Triumphantly) NO! HAHAHA!!! Give Up?
GreenTuna: Oh yes. I give up.
TinyTuna: See that picture from The Wizard of Oz?
TinyTuna: By the front door on the other side near the ceiling.
GreenTuna: (squinting) Where? Oh, yeah. I guess.
TinyTuna: She has a blue dress!
GreenTuna: How can you see that picture from way back here around the corner?
TinyTuna: I saw it on the way in! I KNOW Dorothy has a blue dress.
GreenTuna Yeah, but....
TinyTuna: HAHA!! I have eagle eyes! Let's play again....
And so it goes until I am delivered from I-Spy hell by Moses bearing French fries or something slathered in 1000 Island Dressing.
One of our must-do things on vacation is to ride the ferry over to Ocracoke Island and spend the day frogging around. Geographically speaking, if there was a bridge from the tip of Hatteras to Ocracoke, it would take less than two minutes to drive. The ferry ride, however, takes a good 40 minutes, and the route is circuitous in order to avoid the shoals between the two swatches of land.
Blackbeard knew all about it.
After spending some quality time in Ocracoke (which is another story for another day), we leave the village and drive back to the ferry for the return trip.
Now, you never know what kind of ferry luck you're going to have. Some days Karma is your Little Buddy and you drive right on -- no waiting. Other days, it seems you are behind a beer truck, a bread truck, a camper the size of Idaho and a half-dozen priority vehicles. On days like that there is nothing you can do but play hurry up and wait.
But waiting is ok, because it's vacation and hurry is against the natural laws of relaxation. As we drove up, our chances were pretty decent. There was only one car in the priority lane, and we had made it past the last curve, which put us at about tenth in line. An empty ferry was there, waiting to load. It seemed promising that our wait wouldn't take long.
Since I wasn't the driver, I was happily ensconced in the back seat, reading. There was general familial chatter, but I wasn't paying much attention. All I knew is we still weren't moving and had killed the engine. After I moaned to get the interior lights turned back on, I settled in to read another chapter or two.
After a bit the the car chatter was rising and it was clear that an all-out game of I-Spy was in progress. Oh dear book! You were my literary I-Spy Get out of hell free card! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Somewhere in the midst of the activity, TinyTuna asked me for her binoculars out of the bag. I obliged her request without paying much attention. Big mistake.
Oh my gosh!
Where are you looking?
What? Where? Oh I see him! I see him!! I Spy Him Too!
I finally looked up from my book, and what to my wondering eyes did appear was a car full of my relatives, INCLUDING TinyTuna, with their binoculars trained on the ferry crew inside the coast guard building, eating their dinner.
"What on earth are you doing?" I asked TinyTuna.
"Watching them eat!" She replied, keeping her binoculars trained on her targets.
That guy is eating two-handed!
I Spy Him Eating dinner!
I think I just saw him drink a beer!
I think I just saw two beers!
Are they done yet?
It was downhill from there. I hoped the unsuspecting ferry guys wouldn't do anything too embarrassing or criminal, because the nosy crew of the SSTuna decided that providing a play-by-play of the Coast Guard dinner break was the perfect diversion until we were finally waved onto the ferry.
I Spy him rubbing his belly...
I think he just burped!
I think they're done...
Here they come! Here they come!
As we pulled onto the ferry, I looked up at GramTuna and shook my head.
"I Spy blogging material," she said.
"Oh yeah," I agreed. "Another typical Tuna vacation."