Tuesday, May 24, 2011

i'm gone

The sweetest years of my childhood were those when I was tall enough to seat in the front seat and my brother Nick was too short. Every errand we ran with mom, be it a drive around the block or a day trip to Salt Lake, there I was at her side,chatting like the grown-up I believed myself to be, trying my hardest to pretend that Nick, shorty stuck in the back, did not exist. It was a perfect world. But all good things must come to an end. Nick, always the diligent vegetable eater, grew taller, and suddenly my permanent passenger seat priveleges were challenged. It was upsetting, to say the least. Nick sitting in the front front seat meant a complete disruption in the familial pecking order. He might soon usurp my authority in other realms of kiddom. He might learn that when we were tasked with cleaning the playroom, I often tricked him into cleaning the thousands of legos on the floor while I slowly arranged pillows on the couch. He might realize I was taking extra turns on the SEGA. He might start beating me in CandyLand. It seemed a slippery slope, and I couldn't let the subordinate learn of his own power. So every time Mom announced we were going anywhere, it was a dead sprint to the car. Punches were usually thrown. Car doors were slammed in faces. Tears were shed. Finally, in an effort to prevent a sibling homicide, Mom and Dad taught us the rule of Shotgun. Shotgun soon became the peace pipe. It wasn't that we weren't disgruntled if the other called shotgun first, but we knew better than to fight for it. Rules were rules. If Nick called shotgun I'd sit in the back, probably pout, plot how I could call shotgun first next time (maybe in the wee hours of the morning), but I would never challenge. It was a system that worked. Then one day our cousin visited. He heard me call shotgun. Apalled, he turned to Nick, and said "She didn't say Shotgun Cadillac!". Cousin Derek had older brothers and knew more about the complicated laws of the childhood world. Nick took immediate action and screamed "SHOTGUN CADILLAC!". I sat in the back seat fuming. Then I just started lying. "Actually, it's not just shotgun cadillac. It's shotgun cadillac no rock." It was a complete fabrication. But then Nick, not wanting to be the only child without an intuitive knowlege of shotgun calling then added, "Spaghettios. You have to say spaghettios at the end or it doesn't count." We believed each others lies and the strangest Morley tradition was born.
To this day, when someone wants to sit up front, they must declare:


  1. haha awesome.

    my sister would tell me that the law said i had to be a certain age to sit shotgun. and for years it seemed i was only one year away from being old enough..

  2. the rule in the terrill household is "oldest gets first pick"... i don't know if the oldest ever chose to sit anywhere but the front seat, though.

  3. Older siblings are the worst.


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