I then started laughing as I remembered a family vacation that involved 7B Idaho plates almost killing our entire family… ah good times… I’ll explain.
When I was 13 my family went on a serious car trip to the big western state parks including; Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite Park, and Devil’s Tower (big rock from Close Encounter of the Third Kind). This was a 2 week trip that had me and my parents, lets just say it, trapped together in a car for hundreds if not thousands of miles.
After 2 days Mom realized she needed to find a way to keep my father and I from killing each other so she started “The Game”. The Game was simple, and deceptively evil, if you spotted another car with 7B Idaho plates, and pointed it out first, everyone in the car would have to give you “the spotter” $5. Poor poor Mom, she had no idea how seriously my Dad and I would take The Game.
We quickly started adding on rules to The Game, if you spotted a 7B Idaho plate but it wasn’t a 7B Idaho plate the person who challenged the spot would get to punch the spotter in the arm… I unfortunately was pretty much always the premature spotter and my Dad “the challenger” was not a soft puncher.
We were on the last leg of our trip when the incident occurred. We had pulled over at a scenic spot in Yellowstone, for my parents to enjoy the wonder and for me to get more ice for my arm, when it happened.
“7B IDAHO!!!” My Dad yelled out, pointing at a car that just disappeared around a corner. My Mom instantly started congratulating my Dad on his spot.
“HOLD IT!” I screamed, “I Challenge, I didn’t see it, I don’t think it was even an Idaho plate.”
“You Challenge?” Dad asked eyeing me.
“I Challenge!” I said smirking (lets not forget I was 13, a very annoying age to adults).
“Get in the car Ellen!” my Dad yelled bolting to the car with me on his heels.
“Oh honey I believe you there’s no need, ” My mother said nervously, obviously seeing where this was going.
“No, Mona Challenged, I have to prove it!” Dad said turning the car key and revving the engine. I gleefully snapped my seatbelt in behind him.
“Oh honey no, I’ll pay Mona’s part,” Mom said looking a little queasy.
“NO!!! Can’t pay him until it’s verified!” I yelled bouncing up and down in my seat as my dad pealed out of the pull out, spraying poor tourists behind us with gravel, and taking off in the direction of the supposed 7B Idaho plates.
“Stop it Mona! You’re just encouraging him!!” My mother screamed as Dad careened around a blind corner on two wheels. “HONEY, I believe you, you don’t have to.. LOOK OUT FOR THAT DEER!”
“FREAKING NATURE!” Dad yelled swerving around the terrified animal, I looked behind us to see it keel over.
“Did I hit it?” Dad asked still keeping the pedal to the floor. “No…,” I replied, ” I think it fainted.”
“OH FOR GOD SAKES GENE!” Mom yelled, “Stop this car this minute!! If you kill us so help me I’ll… I’ll… I’LL DIVORCE YOU!” Mom screamed.
Dad looked at Mom and then slowly took his foot of the gas, “Geez honey, we’re just having a little fun.” he said wounded.
“Ya Mom, The Game was your idea,” I said from the back.
Mom looked at Dad and then me, and people I hope you never have to see that look, I believe it’s the reason my hair started turning gray early and dad’s fell out… it was a seriously serious look.
After that we decided it might be a good idea if The Game stopped, if not to save mom and dad’s marriage, then to just keep our family alive for the rest of the trip… ah… good times.