Tracy Curtis essay: The Grump Who Stole
12:00 pm
Wed November 26, 2008

Tracy Curtis essay: The Grump Who Stole Thanksgiving

It seemed like a good idea at the time - borrowing a double stroller to wheel children and carry-on luggage through the airport. Stockpiling for a full day of travel with a plane change was sure to create a heavy load. And you gotta be mobile to chase a five year-old and toddler down an escalator.

But people are staring - and snickering. And pointing and laughing and jeering. One little boy runs up to us and squeals, "that looks like a machine!" I don't get it - until I come out of the airport ladies' room and am able to take it all in.

The kid's right. It does look like a machine. A whacky machine. It looks like a contraption right out of Dr. Seuss.

The stroller is practically invisible underneath the mountain of stuff - mounds of backpacks crammed with activities for the plane.

My computer, pocketbook, the diaper bag, our jackets, all topped off with a giant overturned car-seat, creating an ominous peak. One child hanging off the basket in the back. The baby, strapped to the pile, dangling off the front.

Suddenly I'm looking at the sled the Grinch loaded with all the stuff he packed up in Who-ville, with his little dog, Max, hanging underneath. What does that make me? In my foul mood after two days of packing, I'm guessing, the Grump. The Grump Who Stole Thanksgiving:

I backed into the crawl space, being led by my rump,
If my husband can do it, then so can the Grump.
I got stuck only once, had to duck down and bend,
Then followed insulation down to the far end.

All of our luggage lined up in a row.
These backpacks, I grinned, are the first things to go!
Then I slithered and slunk, with a huff and a puff,
Around the whole house I packed all our stuff.
Sippy cups! Diapers! Wipes! And Snacks!
Camera! Laptop! Ipod! Z-Paks!
I cleaned out the pantry, the cookies and chips,
Why, this Grump even took the last box of cheese nips.
And I stuffed them in bags, then the Grump with a roar,
Drove to the airport and pushed through the door!

We loaded the bags,
Threw in last-minute bibs
On a big double-stroller
And hitched up the kids.

Then I said, "Giddyup!"
And the stroller rolled down
The corridor of the airport,
And we got out of town.

But, as is the case with most vacations, once you get there, all the trouble of planning and the hassle of packing seems to be forgotten. And you're just so happy to be there, thankful for the time with your family:

And what happened then?
Wellin Florida they say
That the Grump's little heart
Grew three sizes that day!

And the minute my heart didn't feel quite so tight,
I unpacked the load! With relief and delight!
I whizzed through the bags, not feeling so jerky,
And then I, I MYSELF
Carved the Thanksgiving turkey!

Tracy Curtis writes a weekly humor column for The Charlotte Observer. You can read her columns every Sunday.

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