Carpoolin’ with the Devil

Haven’t we all, at one time or another, indeed, carpooled with the devil?  Whether it be for work, play, or school?  You are enjoying one of the few Augusts ever, in the history of time, not to be carpooling, but you still remember.   You still have the occasional carpool nightmare.  Don’t we all.

During pre-school, there was the whole car-seat thingy, switching and swapping and who’s picking up whom, when.  You had one nervous mother hang up on you because you were not driving the day her son came over to play; he was delivered via your carpool.  She eventually delivered ten children and drove them everywhere herself. 

During elementary school days, the length of any station wagon, minivan or Suburban (nicknamed ‘bourbon barge’ due to the resemblance in size to a pontoon boat) exceeded the width of your starter home’s yard.  There was the usual infighting during carpool–siblings including a set of triplets and a set of sisters–all fighting over who got to sit next to your son–a tot in a car-seat.  The school bus in our new neighborhood was a godsend, (except the day it got stuck in a flood with your child on board).

During middle school you drove through hail and high water.   Literally.  Most of the girls were so kind and polite, yet one was an absolute BEAR.  And she wasn’t even in your carpool, but was instructed to stand out front and pawn rides.  Can’t I have a ride home?  Why didn’t you invite me home, instead of Catherine?  Etc. etc.  (That poor ‘child’ is still an absolute BEAR today at age 25, God bless her).

Carpool slowly dissipated after about 10th grade or so, but your last freshman guy carpool herd was very active. You well remember pulling off to a side street when the backseat boys would go totally ADD and have nuclear melt-downs.  WTH? (What the Heck).  Your laidback son would shrug and say that Tyler had too many Krispy Kremes in home room and too many Mountain Dews at lunch.  Then, slowly, circa the early 2000’s, they started to text–thank ye gods–a quiet activity.

You highly enjoyed most of the basketball, football, soccer and lax carpools–except for the constant mud on jerseys, shoes, balls and sticks.  (guys seem to be attracted to diving and rolling on sodden turf) After school, post-game, the team players were so very weary and humble–exhaustion had set in.

At one point, early on–you carpooled with an absolute nut.  When you first moved into your new house, your neighbors said to contact Delilah, that she had been in charge for years.  Oh, Lord.  When you phoned her, the Carpool Queen declared, “Oh, I just love the carpool the way it is, we will never change and add anyone else,” and hung up.  You were saddled with a four-year old and a baby, and needed to carpool to a pre-school intown.  You called her back and told her in so many words that her proclamation didn’t quite sit right with you.  Once she deigned to started to carpool with you, she was always late, her poor two offspring were never ready, and she insisted that you to drop off her children at various and sundry places.  Did she need her dry cleaning picked up along the way, perhaps?  When you pulled up to the ‘coop destinations,’ her poor children screamed and refused to get out of your car.

Then one day, Queen Nut pulled a no-show.  When you dashed over to her place (after she didn’t pick up the phone) she answered the front door at seven- thirty in the morning in her robe and blurted, suddenly grasping her jaw, “Oh–I just had a root canal a minute ago!” Later, Delilah had several various and sundry canals (all fabricated, you discovered).  She was later caught red-handed stuffing precious items for the school auction into her purse.  Carpool Queen was dethroned, and took to driving her own children in a spankin’ new BMW, top-down, clad in a tennis dress, visor and Jackie O sunglasses.

Meanwhile, would love to hear your carpool tales.  You have one buddy who had one member of her ‘driving group’ (as she called it) who favored Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  Every afternoon, she’d pop open a can and said that driving the group was a piece of cake–until your buddy informed her that Mike’s actually contained some hard substances.  Thank God–no accidents.


A freelance writer who revels in the 1970's...and today. Thoughts on being a baby baby boomer and empty nester. Welcome to the Saturday evening porch.
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11 Responses to Carpoolin’ with the Devil

  1. ryoko861 says:

    I never cared for car pooling, so I avoided it at all costs. I think it came from someone “electing” me to drive someone else’s daughter to pre school with my little one. I agreed only as a favor to my friend. This “friend of my friend” was insistent on paying me $5 a ride. I would decline because I had to drive my son to the same place as well. Turns out my son didn’t like this little girl, so it ended. I felt just as relieved. Of course, there were times when I would take a couple kids to little league practice because the moms were busy with a school activity or with other siblings, but never got involved again in an organized car pool.

  2. comingeast says:

    I don’t have any carpool stories of my own, but I loved yours. Think I’m glad we didn’t do much carpooling!

  3. The only carpooling I ever did was to preschool when I four. My mother and the mom of a family down the street that we were incredibly close to would switch off driving all four of us kids every other day. It was about a thirty minute drive, and us kids developed a game where we would chant the names of landmarks along the route. Four kids yelling, “Parking lot, parking lot, parking lot!” at seven-thirty in the morning probably wasn’t so fun for the moms, in retrospect. We also used to ask what CVS stood for at least three times a week. After all of the creative answers that we got given when we were little, I was extremely disappointed to learn a few years ago that it actually stood for Consumer Value Store originally and has since been changed by the corporation to “Convenience, Value and Service.”

    • Hilarious! Never thought about ol’ CVS even though I go in there at least five times a day it seems 🙂 My daughter also pointed out landmarks when she was two. She’d say, “there’s the governor’s mansion,” except with a pacifier in her mouth it sounded like, “Thereth the governerthz manthen.”

  4. Michael says:

    What? CVS stands for Convenience, Value and Service? I had no idea and we have one in our hometown. You learn something everyday. No car pool stories either but just wanted to chime in. (I’m a big Steely Dan fan so I got a kick out of your URL!)


  5. I still enjoy memories of car pooling in high school. It was a great feeling to be old enough to drive or have my friends drive to school. I can’t remember what people did to bother me, but it did seem I changed car pool friends a couple times a year so there must have done something.

  6. I can’t remember what people did to bother me, but it did seem I changed car pool friends a couple times a year so there must have done something. Good times.

  7. U r right. Being in stuck in a 5 x 7 space with a posse of pre-schoolers, pre-teens and teens is not a good idea.

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