the car show, illustrated with crappy pictures™

It is a Saturday. We have no plans. Crappy Papa suggests we all go to the 2011 Car Show. The kids are excited! 

We find out that kids get in free! Bonus.  

It is in a convention center that holds more people than the town I grew up in.

And all of those people are already inside.

I do not like overly crowded places. I get this terrible urge to bulldoze everyone in front of me. I don't ever do it but someday I might snap.  

I also don't really like cars. 

After wading through seas of people we get to an actual car on display: 

Crappy Papa is a dude so he automatically appreciates cars on a much higher level than I do. Even so, he isn't into cars. We are both doing this for the kids.

The kids who seem completely uninterested in this more-expensive-than-our-house" car in front of us.   

So we move on to the weirder ones:

This one was slightly interesting even to me, because it looked like the car from Sleeper

Them? No reaction. 

So we head to a sleek yellow one. They act like they can't even see it!

Because they can't see it.

This is what kids see:

Butt level.  

So we have to pick them up. Often. 


Even then the view is spotty. 

I'm pretty sure they are actually as bored as I am.

The treat requests start:

Because who doesn't like to solve boredom by eating? 

We saw a churro stand on the way in and we said "maybe later" which is the best possible answer we could ever give our children during an outing.

The "can I have it now?" and "is it later yet?" requests every five minutes don't bother me.

Using "later" gives us leverage in case of emergencies. This is not an emergency so we continue with the "later" answer.

We know there is a whole wing of cheaper, ordinary cars that they can touch and sit in. They will love this!

So we make our way through the sea of people again. 

Crappy Boy offers his review with a dissapointed tone. I feel bad. 

Eventually, we arrive in the normal people car section and I have high hopes.

The first thing they spot is a newer version of our own car: 

They are thrilled! Finally! They are happy!

They even get to go inside! Of our car. 

They had no interest in going in any of the other cars though. 

Yes, we brought them to a car show so that they could sit in a shinier replica of the car they ride in everyday.

Kids are so weird. 

But we have one more trick in the bank. And it isn't the churro. It is the kids' section. 

We didn't mention the kid section because if they knew games and rides were lurking in the building they would have run amok trying to locate it. And nobody wants a killing spree.

So we head to the kids' section. 

We have no idea what the kids' section has but it is probably awesome. There were signs for it everywhere. 

We get there.

It is a mostly empty room that is the size of an entire elementary school. In one corner is a bouncer. 

Just one bouncer. 

With a line. A very long line. 

An entire elementary school worth of kids. In line. 

I go to the start of the roped off line area and ask the woman who works there how long the wait is. 

She tells me:

And hands me a liability release form. 

I am willing to sign away my rights to sue the pants off whomever you sue the pants off in the event of a bouncer accident. These forms are common.  

But I am not willing to wait in line for 35 minutes for my kids to have a 3 minute turn.

Don't get me wrong, I can handle the wait. They can't handle the wait. And I can't handle them not handling it. 

I report the lengthy wait time: 

And Crappy Papa and I give each other a knowing glance. A glance that is tinged with fear yet a glimmer of hope.  

Saying no will lead to tears and sobbing and shrill sounds. 

Which means this is an emergency!  Time for pixie dust:   

Pixie dust is sugar. It solves all problems and makes kids fly.

Only in emergencies! (no, the fairies didn't give it to us)

The bouncer is forgotten and we make our way out.

Sailing the seas of cheesy people.

But when we get to the churro stand:


The churros have been had. By other people. 

Yes there were other treats. No, they didn't want those.

When you want a churro nothing else matters. 

They cry. Loudly. The churro stand is right near the exit so we remove ourselves as quickly as possible.

It is dark outside.

We make our way to the parking structure receiving dirty looks from every other human except the ones with kids who look upon us with pity. 

The kids continue to cry over the injustice of being churroless. 

This outing? Awful. 

Other than the five minutes of them sitting in a replica of the car that we are now walking to, it was a total waste of time. 

While pulling out of the parking structure, Crappy Boy says: 

Which is exactly the opposite of music to my ears.

I tried, I really did. I did it for them. I hate cars! Sigh. It doesn't matter, it was a total failure for all of us.  

Then a block later, he perks up and points out the window:

He sees a Jedi. His is elated!

The Jedi is actually a parking attendant with a lighted wand to direct cars:

I tell him that he is a parking guy.

Parking guy status does not replace Jedi status. They can coexist.

"Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is." – Said by Yoda, that was. Write like this forever, I could. Talks like this, my Dutch grandfather does.   

His elation unscathed, he asks:


And I say yes. 

Which causes him to change his assessment of the day:


 And within a few blocks, it got even better:

Anyone who can change the "worst day" into a "good day" totally has the Force.

So I didn't lie. He really was a parking lot Jedi.      






This entry was posted in crappy pictures, five, outings, parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

122 Responses to the car show, illustrated with crappy pictures™

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Parking lot Jedi indeed. Enjoyed this post!

  2. Liz F says:

    Enjoyed this post, I did as well 😉 How many Yoda-esque comments do you think you’re going to get? LOL!!

  3. Robyn P says:

    LOVE IT!

  4. Laura says:

    Hilarious! Your posts make my day. Love that they only wanted to see their car… I guess it’s true that kids do love routine!

  5. Jo says:

    Oh, bless. I HATE ‘this was the worst day’ – or ‘this wasn’t a good day’. HATE IT!

  6. Amy says:

    LOL Totally loved this post! Thank the force for the parking Jedi!

  7. Amanda Reed says:

    love the parking lot jedi. that’s pure awesome. stupid empty churro cart.

  8. Terri says:

    I had the exact same experience, except a) without my spouse, so by myself with the kids. b) it was raining c) I slammed my daughter’s finger in a car door in the first 5 minutes. d) there were no Jedis.

    • Jenny says:

      Ohhhh I’m sorry I laughed out loud because I feel your pain going places alone like this (twin boys) and I have rolled one of my sons fingers up in a window before…. You are not alone-

  9. Amy G. says:

    Boat shows are also equivalent to Car Shows for my kids. Total boredom! The favorite part of the boat shows for my kids is riding the escalator! 🙂

    Amy fromt Detroit

  10. Andrea says:


  11. Karin says:

    I feel ya mama!

  12. Aleshia says:

    The entire post is great but the end was phenomenal! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve updated my Facebook status via text: ‘Score! Both boys are passed out in the car!’ – Exciting times indeed; That is why I LOVE cars! They give me a very much needed break 😉 The boys pass out and I let out a sigh of relief… every time 🙂

  13. valleygirl says:

    Oh my gosh that totally brought tears to my eyes….the disappointment of seeing your kids disappointment and feeling like a crappy failure of a parent….to the realization that it’s really all in the simple things through the eyes of a child. <3 Love it.

  14. Mandy says:

    I suppose it could be worse, your kids could be runners! We recently attended a Christmas tree lighting where our 4-year-old interpreted “You have to hold hands” as “You can go wherever you want, as long as you are holding hands with your 4-year-old friend.”

  15. Liz says:

    How long did you continue to drive around just to keep experiencing that “both of them sleeping” moment?

  16. Marilynn says:

    I’m crying, this is so funny!

  17. Oliviah says:

    A day when you post is a good day! LOL
    Hooray for the parking lot Jedi!

  18. OMG- I just love your cartoons!!!!! You are HILARIOUS!!!!!

  19. Ian Wrigley says:

    Love it! Our two boys have such wonderful outings to look forward to 🙂

  20. Liz says:

    I love it! Love the Jedi! And oh my gosh, but that churro thing happens to me all. the. time. My maybe later followed by emergency “hey let’s go get a churro/slushy/lollipop!” is inevitably followed by them being OUT OF said treat.

  21. Kirstie Farrar says:

    I love this on so many levels, not just because I once had my own adult version of the “churro stand is closed and hubby dragged me here and I really wanted a churro dammit” tantrum.

    I also walk the fine line between promising my kids something but secretly saving it as a last resort for when all seems about to go completely to H-E-double hockey sticks…..

  22. Di says:

    so, so cute:)
    oh, and “butt level”, hahahahaha

  23. Diane T says:

    Things like car shows always sound like such a good idea. It’s totally going to be an awesome day of family fun!!! In reality, not so much – AT ALL!

  24. Amanda says:

    I have been there. The bounce house line, the promise of churro only to find them all gone. It’s one of the lowest lows. Good thing kids don’t hold grudges so well. 🙂

  25. ashley says:

    haha, I love your blog!

  26. Karen says:

    So according to the kids you have the best car and a Jedi parking dude beats churros. Nice! Now you just need to keep a “Jedi” costume around for emergencies… when you don’t have pixie dust. LOVE THIS!!!!!!!

  27. seashells says:

    Anything that requires standing in line wiith a small hungry bored child for ANY length of time….nightmare!!!! Parking lot jedis….AWESOME!! I swear you must follow me around with my children and then just post my life on your blog….eerily similar, it is!

  28. L.R.Knost says:

    Sugar. Pixie dust. Flying children. Love it, I do! Lol.

  29. My 5yo is totally into anything even remotely Star Wars related right now. If you’re ever having a kid-sized nuclear meltdown at home, pull up a video like this one… !
    Works like a charm at our house!

  30. Heather says:

    Very cute post!

  31. Wendy says:

    Been there, I have. Love all your writing and sense of humour!

  32. WordyDoodles says:

    Loved it!! We are in the same boat with the crying kids after an outing that wasn’t as magical as hoped. I loved that they chose your car to sit in. And I loved Parking Jedi. Definitely the piece de resistance.

  33. Becky F says:

    Love it!

  34. Pattikins says:

    But exactly the same…

    LOL :^}

  35. Annie says:

    $15 for parking? They should have given you churros at the door. I love how kids can still find the silver lining in what otherwise would be a crappy day.

  36. Lindsay says:

    Haha, the knowing look.. YES. Where you both exchange “Oh Shit” looks knowing your choices are limited and there is a potential for double tantrums no matter what you say.

    Brilliant on the churros – expert parenting. 🙂

  37. Kali says:

    I never looked at parking lot attendants with lit wands that way but he’s absolutely right. Great story!

  38. Very short adult. Normally at armpit level. I totally feel their pain. If I ever had an urge to go to a car show (which I never have had), it is now completely surprsessed.
    I’ve turned all my friends on to your blog. We are sad you work on mommy time, but we understand. We are just jonesing for the next installment.
    loving you in Seattle.

  39. Marlene says:

    Damn you, now I have to have a churro, and my oldest, the master churro maker of the house, is sick in bed.

  40. Annie says:

    Oh I loved this one. Good job turning the day around–this is why we don’t do public event outings for the most part. our friends coordinate and plan, and we usually ignore and stay home. Sometimes I fleetingly think we are missing out on something, but then when think realistically about how past outings have gone (like your car show), I am content to play at home for the day. I love that our kids are about the same age, I can all the more appreciate Crappy stories!!

  41. becky says:

    I love the picture of the baby sleeping. He is just a stick figure but so cute sleeping.

  42. Leah Cusick says:

    OMG that is EXACTLY what my oldest (4) would say…he is totally obsessed with Star Wars, hahaha!

  43. Lynn says:

    LOVE this story, I did… ;D

  44. Karen says:

    My boys are the same ages as your boys and the joy that you put up a new blog was insanely disproportionate.. but did not disappoint! Love it and know every second of a day like that. xx

  45. MaryMargaret says:

    you forgot the last picture…. you are carefully removing them from the car to place them gingerly in their beds because you just know they must be totally exhausted from their adventures of the day….. and they. wake. up. – WIDE awake. and ask for Churros. and it is late. and you are tired. and they are…. yup, I said it before – WIDE awake! sigh!

  46. Seas of cheese(y) people reference is awesome! Long time Primus fan here. I’m now addicted to your blog.

  47. rue ellis says:

    I can sympathize with your boys. I have a hard time seeing in large crowds too, being only 4’6″ and your illustration of “Butt Level” is how most of my memories of High School look…

  48. Kittie says:

    Adorable! My husband takes us all to the car show every year. It happens in the middle of winter when two things are always true: a) The effort to get out of the house in a blizzard is exhausting unto itself, and then we need a stroller just to hold all our jackets, mittens, hats, scarves, et al. b) The cabin fever has set in enough for me to agree that not only is it a great idea, but also that “this year will be different!”

    When my son was about 7 or 8 months old, we carried him around the show in a wrap. We came upon the updated model of our car, and I remarked about how some of the changes felt cheap. I asked my son what he thought of the changes. He spit up on the car. Never ask a silly question unless you’re prepared for what the answer might be.

  49. Another awesome post!! So true. We went to a poorly organized church picnic that reminded me of this. We promised them ice cream sandwiches, then waited in a line with about 20 kids for one crappy clown to make crappy balloon-animals. 45 min later my oldest loved her balloon, but my youngest didn’t get the animal she wanted and proceeded to throw a massive fit; then we remembered the ice cream… which… when we finally found it… was gone. They supposedly had a petting zoo that my girls would’ve loved, but zero signs, so they got to hear about it from their friends the next day in school. Good times.

  50. Francesca says:

    I think we had that bounce house line at the rodeo that seemed like such a good idea at the time…

  51. Robin says:

    Hilarious! Loved this!

  52. Amanda B says:

    Great post. It took me a really long time to read though as I had my 3 yr old on my lap and he insisted on counting all of the “friends” in each picture. He made sure to call the babies cute as well. My 1 yr old was also close by and kept pushing buttons on the laptop and sending me back up to the top of the post and then the counting started over. lol

  53. Rachel says:

    Thanks this is totally hilarious and as a mum of 6 and 4 year old boys I can totally relate. You have turned what I thought was going to be the worst day into the best day!!!

  54. Leanne says:

    Hilarious! This kind of reminds me of taking my son to the boat show. But I don’t have a choice I have to go to that every year thanks to my husband’s love of boats!

  55. Kelly says:

    Damn that churro cart! We stopped for gas on a trip this fall. My 5 year old who’s doing great sees the huge donut poster in the window “mmm…do you think I could have one of those, Mom?” He’s on best behavior – so sure, we’ll run in. CRAAAAP, NO donuts. This turns “kid being good” into “kid hating life and totally disappointed.” Not-so-bonus Bonus: about a month later we took the same drive with the same 5 year old in a less awesome mood, my genius idea since we need gas “well, how about we get you one of those donuts?”…guess what NO donuts. Again. Lesson officially learned. {WHY didn’t I buy gas yesterday?!}

  56. toni adams says:

    the only thing that tops 2 kids passed out in the car is …. 2 kids passed out in the car and drive through coffee!

  57. Allison R. says:

    :0) both of my boys love watching Jake and The Neverland Pirates too!

  58. Melanie says:

    Love this! We had a similar experience at a model train show a couple years ago. I was hugely pregnant, constantly hungry, and not at all interested in trains, DD was hugely whiny and not at all interested in trains, and DH and DS were hugely interested in trains, so much that they insisted on viewing everything, skipping meals, and waiting in lines to look at what are really toys made about 50 years ago that go in circles. And of course DS was at butt level, so we kept having to lift him. And then DH wanted to buy these stupid things and so we had to spend a good hour chatting up and bargaining with old men who smelled like smoke and beer. And then walk like a mile to our car. Never again.

  59. Gretchen says:

    May the Force be with you! The funny part, is that my 13 yr old son is playing “Knights of the Old Republic” as I write. Yay for the force!

  60. Sharee says:

    Oh YES! My FAVORITE! And sit in the parking lot drinking yummy coffee with a good book… *bliss*

  61. Jamie Rogers says:

    I love this post. I wish that the force was with me a little more often on our outings.

  62. may says:

    Words cannot describe how much I love your blog. Thank you for many good laughs!

  63. steph says:

    No lie we saw a deputy directing traffic the other night with his light stick and I was the one saying it was like a light saber!!!

  64. Nice post says:

    Love this! Can totally relate to it, especially the “Oh Shit” in unison when you find out the churros are sold out. We always pack snacks in our diaper bag, just in case of emergency.

  65. Stew says:

    best story ever.

  66. mung says:

    Great blog as always. Extra radness points for the Primus reference.

  67. Kate says:

    Love this!! I’ve had so many similar “churro situations” so now I like to stick with, “Who is up for a surprise?!” Kids will go for almost anything as long as it’s hyped up enough…. eh hem, usually!

  68. Kate says:

    Yikes on the grammar… thank you smartphone!

  69. Lindsay says:

    Hilarious. I have decided that anything where kids get in free is somewhere that no one should try to take kids. It always ends with crowds, crying and empty treat carts.

  70. Karen says:

    Much older, my children are…and wise in the ways of the force. Hubby keeps taking (dragging) us to the car show, and it is always awful. Do not make the mistake of thinking, “…they may enjoy the car show now that they are 7/8/9/10 years old.” It simply takes you to new levels of awful.

  71. JoJo Rouse says:

    Should’ve skipped the car show and gone straight to a sci-fi convention by the sounds of it!

  72. Kate says:

    This is your best post ever:)

  73. Angela says:

    Oh, how I love Happy Endings! Love This!

  74. Kelly says:

    omg, best post ever. totally been there. I’d worry how’d you top yourself, but I have three boys… you will! I should send you pics of my “worst” day, it involved strawberry nesquick, commet, cd’s and candles.

  75. allison says:

    smiled and thought of pirate izzy when i saw “only in emergencies” by laughed so hard when i read about the jedi! 🙂

  76. Anastasia says:

    Wow thank you very much for making me laugh out loud on a very crappy day of my own! =)

  77. Papa Odie says:

    Love you I do.

    Too many puppies will not read this post.

  78. Emily says:

    Things like that are a huge no no in my house. My 6 yo has sensory processing disorder and we can’t even take him to the zoo without a huge melt down, something like that just wouldn’t happen I wouldn’t even consider it.

  79. This made my day. Thank you.

  80. ack! the sad face on the empty churro cart is killing me! lol. also, next time the churro cart fails… jack in the box has mini churros… just a thought. ;]

  81. Rochelle says:

    Hilarious – loved it!

  82. Racheda says:

    Aha, a Dutch opa! That explains some Dutch words now and then 🙂
    Greetings from Amsterdam. Keep up the incredibly funny work.

  83. Deannna Helms says:


  84. Erin says:

    I totally understand, we took our 3 year old to a drag race at Fun Ford Weekend, me & my husband loves that stuff, but my son was bored after the first race. I love reading your posts because I can relate to just about every word!!

  85. courtney says:

    perfect. i can’t wait for my daughter to wake up. she likes to sit on my lap and have me ready your blog to her like story time (i think it’s the crappy pictures). she’s going to love this one. my girls were raised going to car and motorcycle shows and usually are very well behaved, but i know they hate them – really hate them. they do love a jedi though so… and my little mae told me as we were going to bed last night that yesterday was the worst day so, our version of the jedi parking guy was my husband giving her step-by-step instructions on how to “dutch-oven” her sister. worked like a charm.

  86. Roxane says:

    My husband wants to go to the next car show. Our 2-year-old *might* have fun, he is *obsessed* with cars and trucks like yours is obsessed with Star Wars… We’ll see. We’re probably not going to stay long though!

  87. I don’t even know what a churro is, but now I definitely want one!

  88. Amber Dusick says:

    They do? How did I not know this valuable and also dangerous information? Thanks!

  89. Chantelle says:

    Oh nO!! 🙁

  90. Lit says:

    This is adorable. That guy was totally a parking jedi! 🙂

  91. Lara says:

    OMG! Hahaha! Yes. You are so on. We reserve the pixie dust for situations like this, too. I’ll be needing lots of pixie dust in about a week when we take all three kids, 6 and under on a 24 hour overseas journey! Scary.

    I LOVE your blog! New subscriber here. 🙂

  92. You totally need to let that parking lot jedi know he made your day! Print this out and give it to him!

  93. Kit says:

    Ok, now I’m curious… What is a churro? I’ve never heard of it before!

    • Littlefoot says:

      Yummy, baked, weird cilindar-shaped, hollow, bread thing covered in cinnamon and sugar! I’m not great with descriptions…but they’re always at fairs and theme parks.

  94. Lauraiswritingthisafterworkhoursnow says:

    What do you mean by “dutch-oven”..??

  95. It is in a convention center that holds more people than the town I grew up in.

    And all of those people are already inside.

  96. Sandi says:

    I have a Dutch grandfather too!

  97. amanda says:

    This was hilarious. lots of laughter. Thank you for the belly laughs.

  98. dustcarts says:

    You would really enjoy if you go to a car show. You meet new people and you could see many cars you haven’t seen before. It’s a totally new experience.

  99. Tari Ledsome says:

    A very humorous storyboard, indeed. Who came up with the concept? In a sense, kids should always get inside car shows for free, accompanied by their parents or guardian. This would make a fantastic day for kids like the one you’ve drawn. Are you the one who drew it?

  100. Thank you for this post from all us Mamas & Daddies who have had a “fun family outing” turn into the exact opposite. It’s such a relief to know we all have these Griswold family moments. Your blog completely & routinely lifts my spirits! I hope you figure out how to turn your talent into a million bucks someday! 🙂

  101. B Moff says:

    My daughter just walked into the room to check on me…I’m wheezing, crying, snorting, laughing/gasping…oh you are funny, and the drawings…oh my gosh, my new favorite site ever!

  102. Ivo Beutler says:

    This is hilarious! I love your illustrations. They’re more cute than crappy. I remember taking my kids to a car exhibit once, and we all had a great time as well, in spite of the massive crowd. Hmmm… this made me crave for churros! =)

  103. NobbyNobody says:

    As a Dad who has absolutely NO interest in cars (no, not even an innate appreciation) I am happy that I will be able to avoid this situation and never take my 18 month old to a car show. I’m willing to bet I’ll get the same experience elsewhere though. Maybe a zoo or a fair. I’ve no idea what a churro is, but I can remember BEING that child who spent the whole day being told ‘later’ only to find the (crepe) stall closed. This was at an air show that my clueless dad took me to when I was 5. I have no interest in planes. I was SO bored.
    By the way, I think it’s sad that there are almost no comments from dads on Crappypictures. Come on Mums, show this to your OHs!

  104. This is pretty cool! I love it!

  105. me says:

    It’s nice to hear that we are not the only family who does things just to make their kids happy but ends up being a total crappy day and a waste of time…. I love your jedi force…

  106. Jenny says:

    Hilarious. I’ve just discovered your blog. What a delicious pleasure.

  107. stop trying to be hyperbole and a half you mong says:

    This is shit.


  108. Katie says:

    I can feel every moment you describe and loved the “oh shit” moment b/w you and your husband! Been there. I’m so glad it ended the way it did. You really needed a win.

  109. Littlefoot says:

    That is false advertisement for the kids play area! Maybe you should sue your pants off (or leave them on, either way). I would love a churro right now…and to see a parking lot Jedi. Those are always fun. Great post!

    P.S. Does your Dutch grandfather really talk like that? Or is he just joking?

  110. Robin says:

    Relate to this completely, I could!

  111. Rosa says:

    Love this outing, I did not. Love the Jedi parking guy, I did. Love your blog, I do a lot.

  112. Amanda says:

    I took my son to an air show. We had to park and take a school bus to the stands. All he talked about was the bus! We had to leave 10 minutes in to the show so we could go for another ride on the bus!

  113. b.g. munford says:

    o.m.g. these blogs are hilarious. i don’t have kids and i don’t see how anyone can handle that life choice. these drawings are so perfect. keep making me laugh out loud!

  114. oznykarav bin hassan-chesalbyinshokov says:

    I LOVE YOUR STORIES!!!!! right now i am going down the line to all your stories and they are awesome!!! 😀

  115. Roseboro says:

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this topic here on your internet site.

  116. Reeba Shehr Bano says:

    I like it…..But even then I pray to God that I will never saw a day like this…….
    TAN TANA……;-) 😎