Well, spring is beginning to make itself known. The trees and bushes are just starting to show their green buds, and the welcoming sounds of birds not heard for months are singing their songs. This means only one thing; we begin planning our first vacation. Other than fishing I have relegated all planning of anything outside of that realm to my wife. Berating me that I should shoulder at least a portion of this responsibility, I remind her that deep down she loves the task, and is in total denial when she says otherwise. She steadfastly holds fast to that denial to this day. Because my wife has a terrible phobia of flying, she plans all our vacations via the open road. And we are not alone.
One or more times a year, whether by choice or not, families all over this nation begin a forced march, enduring weather, hardship, ridicule, short tempers, ill-manners, divorce, nervous breakdowns, and occasionally worse. Then after suffering through all these tortures they continue to call it “a vacation.” Our family is no exception. Though the problems that can occur while on vacation are almost endless, I have discovered one major reason why these outings can be such misery. Somewhere back in time someone decided one could not go on a vacation without a road map. Though I do not agree with this theory, I can accept it. For that reason the next best alternative would be to help my fellow man recognize the hidden faults of a road map, and how to deal with those faults.
To understand today’s typical road map, we must look back to the first vacation and how the road map evolved. The first vacation was pictorially recorded on the wall of a cave. Because the author didn’t leave his signature, we’ll name him Grob, seeing how he probably wasn’t cultured enough to be called Charles or Hubert. Having a family of five, Grob grew tired of falling into the same ritual day in and day out; rise with the sun, go out and hunt animals, wildly run when they hunted him, then come home and listen to the kids scream and fight while he attempted to watch a game show of “Guess What The Shadow Looks Like” on the nearest wall of the cave. And in a cave the sound vibrating off the rock walls literally amplified the problem. So Grob decided to take the family on an outing, which was the first prehistoric vacation. To do this he found a suitably flat rock to scratch two X’s on; one being point A, where they lived, and point B, their destination. Hence, his first mistake, he created the first map. Because of the obvious topographical errors, the trip quickly fell into chaos. Not only did his family complain that the trip had strayed off the map’s coarse, they believed they had strayed totally off the rock the map was scratched on. Then to compound the problem Grob made his second mistake. He let his wife carry the rock the map was scratched on. Now she was giving the directions. Now if this is at all beginning to sound familiar, you can understand why today’s vacation was doomed from the beginning.
To Be Continued-Part 2