How to Survive Your Summer Vacation

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Raging Moderate

We look forward to it for months. Calendars have been cleared, reservations made, and the anticipation in the house is so high, it vibrates like a chicken on meth strapped to a thirty year-old dryer set on spin. The Summer Vacation Trip is nigh. It’s a time-honored testament to all that is right about America. And often, not less than a little of what is wrong.

A brief respite from, and reward for, working hard. A time to reconnect and bond with the family unit, creating indelible memories along with building up patience and pain tolerance levels. Beaches. Theme Parks. Barbecues. Water Slides. Campfires. Unseen vistas. Unfamiliar beds. Unusual insects. Fresh scars.

If your plans entail traveling without using an airport, you should consider yourself luckier than Paul Manafort biting into a Get Out of Jail Free Card in his bologna sandwich. More comfort can be found on an Athens to Sparta diesel bus in the poultry section than on any domestic flight this summer.

They suck us in with those heavily advertised “Special Getaway Fares.” What they neglect to mention is the requirement to leave after 6 p.m. on a Tuesday with two stops and oh yeah, fifty bucks to check a bag, another fifty for window or aisle, ten dollars for every extra inch of legroom and five per bathroom visit.

And driving isn’t much better. I would rather stick a hand full of paper cuts into a vat of Tabasco sauce than hit the road between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Whoever said “getting there is half the fun” never tried finding a parking spot in a National Park or got stuck going up a mountain on a two-lane highway behind a rented RV.

However you plan to embark on your journey, here’s a few hints to minimize the pressure of interacting with families and friends non-stop, 24/7, for days at a time in exotic locales desperately seeking that elusive mythological goal – fun.

HOW TO SURVIVE YOUR SUMMER VACATION

In order to cram all your activities in, try eating only once a day. That whole “low blood sugar” thing is just an old wives’ tale.

Play a game of “Marco Polo” to steer the kids past the gift shops.

100 pushups for every time somebody whines, “I’m bored.”

Mix things up, have a squirt gun fight in a museum. Or do crossword puzzles at the ballgame.

Devices keep them occupied at home, why not on the road?

Take photographs of everything: meals, road signs, and anything that could possibly later be referred to as Plaintiff’s Exhibit A.

Planning ahead is for sissies. Just go for it.

If nobody gets in the spirit of the “Happiest Place on Earth,” force them to sing “It’s a Small World” over and over.

Rush, rush, rush everywhere. You don’t want to miss a thing.

Rest is highly overrated. Tell the kids, “we’ll sleep when we die.”

Traveling with a professional therapist can help put the fun back in dysfunctional family.

Stay calm. Map out an itinerary that includes local craft gin distilleries.

Make sure to schedule at least one day for every two days gone, back at home doing nothing, to recover from your trip.

Next year, seriously reconsider your spouse’s suggestion of separate vacations.

Copyright 2018, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

Comedy For People Who Read Or Know Someone Who Does

As the sacred cows set themselves up for slaughter each night at six, America cries out for a man with the aim, strength and style to swat the partisan political piñatas upside their heads. Will Durst is that man. Sweeping both sides of the aisle with a quiver full of barbs sharpened by a keen wit and dipped into the same ink as the day's headlines, Durst transcends political ties, performing at events featuring Vice President Al Gore and former President George H.W. Bush, also speaking at the Governors Conference and the Mayors Convention cementing his claim as the nation's ultimate equal opportunity offender. Outraged and outrageous, Durst may mock and scoff and taunt, but he does it with taste.

A Midwestern baby boomer with a media-induced identity crisis, Durst has been called "a modern day Will Rogers" by The L.A. Times while the S. F. Chronicle hails him as "heir apparent to Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory." The Chicago Tribune argues he's a "hysterical hybrid of Hunter Thompson and Charles Osgood," although The Washington Post portrays him as "the dark Prince of doubt." All agree Durst is America's premier political comic.

As American as a bottomless cup of coffee, this former Milwaukeean is cherished by critics and audiences alike for the common sense he brings to his surgical skewering of the hype and hypocrisies engulfing us on a daily basis. Busier than a blind squirrel neck deep in an almond sorting warehouse, Durst writes a weekly column, was a contributing editor to both National Lampoon and George magazines and continues to pen frequent contributions to various periodicals such as The New York Times and his hometown San Francisco Chronicle.

This five-time Emmy nominee and host/co-producer of the ongoing award winning PBS series "Livelyhood" is also a regular commentator on NPR and CNN, and has appeared on every comedy show featuring a brick wall including Letterman, Comedy Central, HBO and Showtime, receiving 7 consecutive nominations for the American Comedy Awards Stand Up of the Year. Hobbies include the never-ending search for the perfect cheeseburger, while his heroes remain the same from when he was twelve: Thomas Jefferson and Bugs Bunny.

Look for Will's new book "The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing" at bookstores and Amazon.com.

Will Durst's performances and columns are made possible by the First Amendment.