Some folks may have noticed the return of American Gladiators, and in primetime television no less.

But that’s nothing. For authentic entertainment and vicarious adventures, you really oughtta have a relative in the delivery business, with unpredictable schedules and backhauls (abbreviated bh below).

“I was in a cave 2day. Had 2 pick up bh. Only took 4 1/2 hrs. Monster drinks 4 Kazoo. Pkd 4 nt in Effingham. Watch out 4 bad storms.”

I am entertained by Dad’s need to adhere to his tiny text character limit, and selective uses of short-cuts (notice 4 1/2 rather than 4.5). It is cool, though. Both my parents have come a long way tech-wise the last few years. (Somewhat captured during the holidays when I was sitting near my mom and she checked her mobile for messages (voice or text), showed me the screen to confirm that she had none, and since she seemed sad at having none, I then sent her an email from my mobile. And also, the replacement of Dad’s toaster, which had lost the plastic knob over the metal to lower the slots, with a new toaster with “advanced bagel technology,” as chosen by Mom because I knew I had to have her aesthetic approval for something going in her kitchen–I was leaning towards the pink Hello Kitty toaster, though, because I’d sustained injuries from Dad’s repeated refusals to replace the other toaster–hence the need to get it as a GIFT. That alternative suggestion was born out of my convo with ma about the style of toaster to get, and her insinuation that white is tacky (which was said knowing that my own toaster is white). Mom proclaimed that only silver/metallic-colored and black are appropriate, so I then suggested the (pink) Hello Kitty toaster and we could paint it black. (Then I inserted some musical references.)

I ended up finding a toaster with Mom that was appropriate (kitchen appliances are off-limits as gifts for Mom, as long as I can remember. If there was an incident when I was very young, I’ve blocked it out, although I can imagine it’d be like a dude buying a scale as a gift for his significant other. In any case, a friend suggested a coup with the HK toaster, to surprise everyone, but I couldn’t pull it off.)

I wonder what Dan would do with a semi trailer full of Monster. I have no idea how the Monster distributors are dispersed, or even if the cans are returnables, but maybe Kalamazoo does serve South Bend.

I’ve tried to talk my dad into blogging, or at least taking some pics of the more notable sights and such he notices and shares with me through stories, but no go so far.

I did get a pic of the sign for the Effingham exit during a trip, so it’s cool I don’t have to ask for the state he’s parked in tonight. Last week he was up in Saginaw, MI, while we were getting pummeled with snow down here. They didn’t have much at all up there, and despite my abstention from driving since early December, he seemed to fault my report for sounding like it was off the internet, and not first-hand (so I spiced it up a bit by changing “blowing and drifting snow with white-outs in spots of heavy lake-effect snow bands,” to being, “tons of snow!”

Happy New Year! (Btw, my ability to incorporate tangents without losing all coherence is a great sign! And at this hour…)