Monday December 21st, 2015

The exercise:

Write about something that involves the phrase or concept of: are we there yet?

No internet Monday night, so I'm putting this up on Tuesday.

Tuesday's haiku prompt coming shortly.


Max does not enjoy long car trips.

I can't say I blame him; I don't really like being in the care for extended periods of time either. He, however, reaches his limit far, far sooner than I do.

Leaving Osoyoos Monday morning, we'd been very clear with him that we were heading for Vancouver which was a long way away. Like five or six hours door to door, including a stop for lunch. And that we had a big drive ahead of us. And we were going to drive for a long time, stop for lunch, and then drive some more before we reached Kat's aunt's house.

Even with all that, I knew not to expect him to really, really get it. But I was hoping for a little better than what we got.

Which was the following, about ten minutes after leaving Osoyoos behind: Are we there yet?

It was actually okay until the last hour or so, when he really lost it. Thankfully he fell asleep shortly after that and didn't wake up until we were almost there.


Greg said...

I think you might have set yourself up a little there: at Max's age, ten minutes is a _really_ long time, so when you told him it was going to be forever before you arrived, he waited for forever and then wondered why you weren't there yet :) I'd suggest you don't tell him how long things are going to be, I'd tell him about things he's going to see on the way and get him excited about them, so he's always looking forward to the next thing. I can't guarantee it'll work, but it has a chance, right?

Are we there yet?
"What did you say your schoolfriends call you?" Merlin stared at the young man scuffling his feet in front of him.
"They're – they're not really my friends," said the young man. He flushed as he stared at his feet, but Merlin refused to break the silence. Finally he said, "They call me Knobless."
"But why?" Merlin's astonishment was almost palpable, and he ran his fingers through his long, white, slightly straggly beard and he thought about it.
Knobless sighed. "My surname's Pendragon," he said. There was a hint of sadness in his tone, and a much bigger hint that he's had to explain this too often before. "You pen dragons, like pigs, in sties. A stye is a problem with your eye that's unsightly. And there's nothing more unsightly than a knobless guy."
"The logic of children," said Merlin, wonderingly. "Well fine, Knobless it is then." He turned away, missing the look on Knobless's face that clearly said he'd rather have had his real name used instead. "The first thing I have to show you is this:" he gestured widely with one hand.
Knobless looked around: where a moment ago there had been snow lying three inches deep on the ground, crows sitting in the branches of trees that looked like charcoal drawings against the bleak, English, winter sky, and the looming, cold buildings of Hooke School there was now a sandy expanse all around that seemed to curve oddly at the horizon.
"What's this?" he said. He scuffed his feet again, and discovered that it was indeed sand, but the air around them was cool and slightly salty to the taste.
"The hyperbolic plane," said Merlin. "A mathematical marvel, and a necessary part of your education. The boundary is over that way." He pointed. "Let's go!"
Forty minutes later, after Knobless had asked if they were there yet for the fiftieth time, Merlin stopped and glared at the young man. "Of course we're not!" he snarled. "Haven't you been listening to what I've been saying at all? Every time we take a step towards the boundary the distance we step shrinks slightly. We can walk there forever and never reach it! Now think, idiot child, and tell me how we might resolve this paradox."

Marc said...

Greg - that... actually sounds not bad. I think we'll have to give that a shot on our next big car trip.

Which likely won't be any time soon, but I shall still try to remember this!

Intriguing take on the prompt. I fear that poor Knobless is in for a tough time, both at school and with Merlin...