What I Did On My Summer Vacation!
by: Max Burbank

Hi, I'm back! Did you miss me? My cat sure did! But that's because she depends on me for food and water, and since none of you do I can't imagine why I'm looking for emotional support from a bunch of people I don't even know. Screw you anyway!

I'm kidding of course. That was just pro forma hostility, I'm all relaxed from having been on the one week of vacation working two jobs like a two job dog all year long affords me, and consequently I'll be drained of the desire to hate you for at least another few days. Plus, I don't even know what 'pro forma' means!

And yes I damn well do work two jobs! My job job, the one with the regular paycheck, health benefits and obsequious, soul crushing fawning to authority that society (not to mention the wife!) demands, and freelancing, which is what this is, the creation of content that you all receive free of charge, which is why I usually hate you, a reaction I find fully justified. You subscribe to HBO which you never watch except for late night, watered down, boob porn 'documentaries' when your family is asleep. I don't see why you can't throw me a few bucks now and then.

So! That being said, I bet you are just DYING to know what I did on my summer vacation, and being as I am so relaxified from it, I'll share. It beats the hell out of coming up with an actual idea for an article.


It's really, really important that your wife and kids bring as much of their stuff on vacation as is physically possible to cram in your car without causing structural damage, and there's a very good reason too. It keeps you from bringing anything you want beyond underwear, socks and if everyone is lucky, a bathing suit. But that's okay, I can always get what I need when I get there, because I never, never vacation anyplace they don't have liquor stores.


Boy, oh, boy, did we ever see a lot of traffic! It's a shame I'm not a traffic enthusiast. If I enjoyed slow moving vehicles the way some people enjoy birding, I'd have been as ecstatic as an avid bird watcher! That's an idea that might make sense if not for the facts that bird watchers are an insufferable bunch of stammering binocular fetishists and that there is no such thing as a traffic enthusiast. My family and I killed time with several classic car games like 'Twenty Questions', 'I Spy', 'One-hundred bottles of Beer on the Wall' and 'If You Kids Don't Stop Singing that God Damn Song, Daddy Will Show you Something Very Unpleasant a Beer Bottle is Good For.' Later the kids napped and I daydreamed about how cool it would be if I'd spent a lifetime training as a contortionist so I could roll down my window and twist my body into a shape that would allow me to pee into expensive convertibles as they drifted past at five miles an hour.


Finding a beach house that has both enough room for me and my family, my brother and his family, my Mom and her 'fancyman' (His term, blame him) AND that we can afford is challenging. By 'challenging' here, I mean if you don't leave with scabies there really isn't much to complain about. On the other hand, if I stop complaining just because there's nothing to complain about, I will have nothing to write. Why? Because I am a 'one trick pony' writing wise. I say 'writing wise' so that you will not confuse it with the 'one trick pony' I believe I wrote about at some point in connection with a family vacation I took to Mexico that was not really a family vacation in that my family was not with me and I was not vacationing so much as falling off the wagon. If I have never written about that particular episode and the painful life lessons associated with it, or written about it but never mentioned the 'one trick pony' I ran into, I guess you could say I'm sorry I brought it up now, and hats off to the Mexican Emergency Medical services who at least in this case were far more professional than one would imagine. Did I mention the group that stayed at the house right before us left a truly impressive number of empty beer bottles in the recycling and apparently peed down the central air conditioning grate whenever the bathroom got too busy? 'Cause I was not okay with that.


Never stop learning, that's my motto. I try to do some educational stuff every vacation, and not just for the kids. For instance, did you know dolphins let one hemisphere of the brain sleep at a time, so they don't drown? That was a new one on me, and pretty amazing. Here's another thing I learned: Sleeping in the alley behind the beach house is fairy uncomfortable, but kids on vacation want you to get up early and take them to the beach. Could they give a shit what size your hangover is? They could not.


Sun screening your kids is a huge pain in the ass, but it's nothing compared to having badly sunburned kids. The wife is Irish, so we use SPF 50 on the kids, which works better than either the traditional folk remedy, a paste made from beer and potatoes, or telling them ignorant, racist jokes. For myself, I'm pretty casual with the sunscreen, because A.) I'm swarthy and/or dirty, and B.), skin cancer is as good a way as any to check out early on the endless series of hassles and headaches called life, and your family can collect your life insurance, leaving them somewhat less bitter than if you hang yourself.


It occurs to me that I joke about excessive drinking in a lot of my work. It's possible I've lead you to believe that I am an irresponsible drinker, perhaps even an alcoholic. Nothing could be further from the truth. While I certainly have a drink now and then, you should remember that I'm a humorist, and so I exaggerate and make substitutions. Many times when I write about being 'drunk' or 'hung over', I'm just taking poetic license with an incident that actually involved drugs, firearms or a wide variety of questionably legal physical practices.


You watch the sunset. I am watching college girls in bathing suits. Thanks to the miracle of mirrored sun glasses, I can watch them all I like without my wife and kids being any the wiser, unless they read this which seems unlikely considering the esteem in which they hold my 'career'. And quite frankly I can watch whatever the hell I want as long as I don't touch, at least that's what my parole officer says. I wish he'd have also said that while watching I shouldn't make fire engine noises as he'd have spared me some embarrassment and himself some paperwork.

If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

My Summer Vacation Themes!

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