Bad Idea by Todd and Jedd Hafer
It is AUGUST 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and his/her latest book's FIRST chapter!
This month's feature author(s) are:
and their book:
(NavPress TH1NK Books, August 22, 2006)ABOUT THE AUTHOR(s):
Todd and Jedd Hafer previously teamed up to write Snickers from the Front Pew: Confessions of Two Preacher's Kids, which has now sold more than fifty thousand units.
Todd is editorial director for the inspirational book division at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, Missouri.
Jedd is director at The Children's Ark in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a home for troubled teens, and travels the country as a standup comedian.
Visit them at their website.
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
“We should totally drive!” Rhonda said, wagging a limp french fry for emphasis.
I clenched my teeth. I hate it when adults try to talk like teenagers. Rhonda does it all the time. Her efforts are particularly grating to me because she does, in fact, employ the teen vernacular, but always, always at least one season too late.
Thus, my father’s 28-year-old fiancée didn’t say “Congratulations!” when I was inducted into Quill & Scroll (the National Honor Society for high school journalists) early in my senior year. She said, “Big ups to you, G!” And when I was named Honorable Mention All-Area in track and field (small-school division), she didn’t say “Way to go!” She said, “Big respect, G-Man! You got the mad wheels, homey!”
If she says, “I’m feelin’ you, dawg,” during one more of our Dad-initiated dinnertime theological discussions, I’m going to puke on her shoes.
Fortunately for Rhonda, and all of the people at the Big Bear Diner on the night the road trip was conceived, I didn’t barf when she said, “We should totally drive!” I raised my eyes to the ceiling and said, “I don’t think we should totally drive. I don’t even think we should partially drive.”
I looked across the booth to my dad to accept the disapproving glare I knew he would be offering. I smiled at him. It was my infuriating, smug smile. I practice it in the bathroom mirror. It’s so irritating that when I see my reflection doing it, I want to punch myself in the face.
My dad didn’t hit me. That wasn’t his style. He just nibbled his bottom lip for a while before saying calmly, “I think we should give the idea due consideration rather than reject it out of hand.”
“Okay,” I said, sipping my bitter iced tea, “let’s hear why we should cram ourselves into a car and drive for, what, three or four days to Southern California, stomping on each other’s raw nerves all along the way and probably breaking down somewhere near the Kansas-Colorado border. Or maybe getting in a wreck.”
Rhonda looked at my dad, giving him her Wounded Face, all droopy eyes and puckered chin and poofed-out lower lip. You know the look.
He looked at her, then at me. “Griffin, please . . .”
“Okay, okay, okay—you’re right, you guys. Yeah, you know, now that I consider The Rhonda Eccles-Someday-To-Be-Smith Plan carefully, it’s sounding better. I mean, why would I want to enjoy a quick, economical, and stress-free flight when we could all cram into a tired old vehicle and drive? Let’s go with the option that means more time, more money, more risks, more headaches.”
Rhonda tried to smile, but she couldn’t get the corners of her tiny heart-shaped mouth to curl upward. “Well,” she said quietly, “I just thought it would be bomb to make a road trip of it. See the country. Stop at mom-and-pop diners, like the Big Bear here. Maybe spend a day in Denver—hit an amusement park or catch a Rockies game. Griff, please be more open-minded. Think of the time it would give us to kick it.”
“We talk now,” I observed.
“Yessss,” she said, drawing the word out as though it had sprung a slow leak. She wrapped her long, slender fingers around her coffee mug and took a sip. “But in the car, you wouldn’t be able to run away from the convo whenever it got too intense for you.”
I pushed my chair back from the table and popped up like a piece of toast. I was ready to wad my napkin and spike it like a football on the table before marching out of the Big Bear. Then, only a half second before the Great Napkin Spike, I realized that would be proving her point.
Rhonda was studying me. I scrolled my mind for options on saving face, because since she had unofficially joined our family, I had lost more face than Michael Jackson. But I scrolled in vain. My brain was nothing but blank screen. ....
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