The Torture Chamber

Yes, it was the Torture Chamber, where Mr Popper’s Penguins (in audio form) was forced on my children during their confinement in the family minivan on the way home from Tahoe yesterday.  You would’ve thought we were pulling out their fingernails one by one.  They asked for Hawk Nelson, a Canadian band that does play semi-decent music even in my old-person’s opinion, but I said, “NO!”  And out of the cd case came Mr. Popper followed by sighs, grunts, groans, pishaws and corresponding eye rolling. 

The chanting began in the back of the van, but thanks to quality factory installed speakers, they could not out-shout Mr. Popper.  Everytime they yelled and interrupted Mr. Popper, my husband, who is a closet-literary-buff (OK, stop laughing) would start the cd over.  My children are quick studies.  It only took them five or six times to stop the barrage of noise.

Finally after chapter one, I paused the intellectually stimulating penguin story and informed my three homeschooled offspring that there would indeed be a quiz before dinner.  Flunkers would not be eating.  Amazing how the stupid penguin story got very interesting after that.  I asked really hard questions like “What is the Popper’s address?” and “Who was the admiral on the radio broadcast?” There was much cheating behind me, due to my children sincerely feeling empathy for a sibling who might go hungry.  Coughs with the answer embedded and barely audible whispers were detected.  Being full of grace and mercy, just like our Lord, I gave them all two chances and their answers proved they actually were listening. (One point for Mom and Mr. Popper.)

Funny thing was, the cd started skipping.  I LOATHE library cds that skip.  But that’s just another one of my shortcomings that don’t need mention here.  As the full length story was considerably shortened, Rick told the kids to be thankful it was Mr. Popper’s speed reading day.  Ha ha ha.  Very funny, hon.

My parents used to torture us with a single eight track tape of a gospel quartet called The Statesmen.  After a trip from California to Canada and back again with the sole Statesmen tape, we grew to appreciate good harmonies and men that could sing higher than Miss. Piggy.  If you ever need any of the lyrics from the Statesmen, please contact me or my siblings.  We know every single word…. in four part harmony, because we’re going to “see Saint Peter, Ol’ James and John, we’re gonna talk to the prophets one by one, when we move back into my Father’s house on Heaven Avenue.”  See, it’s a generational torture chamber.

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7 Responses to “The Torture Chamber”

  1. morethananelectrician Says:

    We really have those issues with all public “media”. I keep disk cleaners everywhere in the house and one in her van. She got a bunch of them free after rebate and all the the disks are covered with goo when we get them.

  2. Jennie C. Says:

    We love audio books for trips, too. Maniac Magee is a family favorite. I can think of nothing more brilliant to write. Too early.

  3. Christy Butcher Says:

    Now I am going to have Statesmen songs in my mind all day!!

  4. LaVonna Says:

    We like Hawk Nelson. Did not know they were Canadians, eh?

    It is a drag to have a CD skip.

    Glad to have you back.

  5. Kristen Benson Says:

    We listen to school stuff on trips also. However it is my husband who HATES it. He is the whiner baby who asks (more like begs) for anything besides Story of the World or even worse multiplication or geography songs. He just doesn’t get the car is the PERFECT spot for learning…the kids are strapped in and really have no choice but to learn. A perfect situation that must be utilized!

  6. rixgal Says:

    That is so funny, Kristen! We were traveling once and listening to Misty of Chinqueteague (I’m sure I butchered that spelling.) and it was playing loud in the van. Well, Rick had tuned it out and was driving in his own little world. He pulled into Taco Bell at lunch time and shut off the van. All four of us yelled, ‘Turn it back on! The ponies are in the river!” He looked at us like we had manes and tails. He turned it back on, got out of the van and went in and ordered on his own. When the ponies were safely to shore, we joined him. :o) There’s a draw to good literature.

  7. rixgal Says:

    To Christy:
    “God has given you a talent and blessing you’ve recieved. If you’re not a gonna use it then your talents gonna leave. So (breathe) be God’s reporter giving out the gospel news.”

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