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This is a question Family Holidays

Back in the 80s when my Dad got made redundant (hello Dad!), he spent all the redundancy money on one of those big motor caravans.

Us kids loved it, apart from when my sister threw up on my sleeping bag, but looking back I'm not so sure my mum did. There was a certain tension every time the big van was even mentioned, let alone driven around France for weeks on end with her still having to cook and do all the washing.

What went wrong, what went right, and how did you survive the shame of having your family with you as a teenager?

(, Thu 2 Aug 2007, 14:33)
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Holidays + Fashion = Animal Attack!?
As everyone knows, the early nineties was a time fashion forgot. Men wanted to be thick-haired, muscular and manly, and women wanted to be like Julia Roberts off Pretty Woman (after she gets a makeover..not when she's a prostitute).

So, it was one of these fashion voided years that found my dad on a bus, on a daytrip. It was a regular bus, not a coach, and had poles all the way down with buttons for the bell on (coaches don't have these. Coaches have a chemical toilet, and curtains).

I don't know what my dad was wearing, but let's imagine that he and his mates were wearing bleached denim jeans, global hypercolour t-shirts and white jackets with the sleeves rolled up. Fun-ky. I digress.

An older woman sitting halfway down the bus was wearing a smart blue jacket, with huuuge shoulder pads and enough gold decorative buttons to make a modern day rapper admire her bling. Notably, there were 3 buttons down each sleeve (I think it's called 'Military Style').

As the older woman stood up and rang the bell, the bus slowed to the stop. She slowly made her way down the bus to exit, reaching out to each pole.

My dad was causually watching this woman get off the bus, as you do, and has described the following to me over many a festive drinking session.

The woman was going down the bus, reaching out to each pole, and all of a sudden, she started to scream and wave her arms around. The people around her started to scream too, and some of them held their shopping bags in the air, and put their feet on the seats.

My dad, from his vantage point higher up on the bus, over the wheel, started to scream with laughter. Imagine the bus right now. Half the bus screaming at an old woman thowing a fit, and my dad surrounded by appalled travellers, laughing himself sick.

What had made him laugh?

Well, the reason the old woman had screamed and gone mental, and set the bus mental, was that she was sure she had a rat on her sleeve - a big, hairy rat! RAT!! She screamed. RAAATTT! Which set the other passengers off.

Why wasn't my dad scared of the rat? He IS terrified of rats. But you see, it wasn't a rat. My dad (he can be awful!!) was laughing at a short, fat, bald man who was red as a beetroot and clutching his head.

My dad had seen the old woman's sleeve button catch onto, and whip off his thick, brown wig.

Apparently the woman, when she'd been calmed down, apologised and returned said head garment. The passengers were a mix of bemused, apologetic, and hysterical. My dad was the leader of team hysterics. He was literally crying and doubled over in acute pain.

The now re-wigged bald man sheepishly got off at the next stop. It took a number of days for my dad to stop randomly bursting into hysterics and to this day, 17 years on, still can't tell the story without going high-pitched and wiping his eyes.

I swear my dad enjoys the journey more than the holiday!
(, Fri 3 Aug 2007, 12:37, Reply)

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