Tales From 95: Better Living Through Dawson by TJ Alexian

Topic: Travel

“Fatty LaDung Fat!”

“No Friends McGee!”

Ladies and gentlemen, has this ever happened to you? Two teenagers in the house who fight constantly, with attractive nick-names for each other, like “Fatty LaDung Fat” and “No Friends McGee”?

If so, you can understand why I was a little nervous when my partner Corb suggested we do something different this summer vacation, and pack up our stuff, including those two teenagers, and head off on a 22-hour (one way) road trip on 95 South, from Massachusetts down to Florida.

What’s that you say? Who would be masochistic enough to even consider the idea? But wait, it gets better: during the trip, the four of us (and our pet plastic frog Rudolpha) were crammed into my Ford Mustang. Now my ‘Stang’s damn sweet to look at, but there’s not a lot of elbow room to be had, especially not in the back. Oh, and by the way, we were driving down during a record-breaking heat wave. Now how much would you pay?

Believe it or not, though, we all managed to keep our sanity. And what, you may be wondering, kept us sane? What kept the trip from becoming one endless series of fights involving Fatty LaDung Fat and No Friends McGee?

We owe it all to Dawson’s Creek.

You see, in the back of our car, Corb, smart guy that he is, set up a two-screen DVD player in the back of the car. We then screamed at the kids to bring stuff to watch. Oh, lots of it.

My daughter, Ashes, who’s the kid most likely to appear on an episode of Hoarders, took it as a personal challenge. She filled the back of the car with huge stacks of DVDs. Armloads. Buckets.

It might have been a recipe for disaster, because her taste in movies is stuck in the eighties. The girl’s never seen a Molly Ringworm movie she didn’t like. In my head, I could just hear my son Theo screaming all the way down Route 95: “Not Breakfast Club, Fatty LaDung Fat!” “Not Pretty in Pink!”

But despite all that eighties schlock, we avoided the scream fest, thanks to the power of one TV show. Dawson and his friends. That show served as a giant pacifier, and kept Theo quiet the entire trip.

How did Dawson’s Creek manage to do that? Simple, Watson: the show’s preoccupied with sex. Gasp! Just like a teen-aged boy!

Of course, my kids didn’t tell ME that. They’d just trade knowing winks and pirate-like sniggers, as if they were putting something over on me.

But I knew, of course. I just pretended not to hear. And during those 44 hours of travel time, I learned a few things about a show I never cared much about, from what they would say to each other. I learned the following:

–All the guys on Dawson’s Creek are secretly gay
–All the characters are creeps (except for some guy called Pacey)
–There are a lot of hawt girls on the show (this was Theo’s big contribution)

What a recommendation, huh? So, there you have it: better traveling by Dawson’s Creek. If you ever find yourself locked in a cramped Mustang on a 22-hour trip with two teenagers who have sweet nicknames for each other involving their weight or lack of friends, I highly recommend it.

Okay, okay, maybe there are other shows out there with hawt girls, creepy characters, and secretly-gay guys. But really, what are the odds?

Gulp. Corb just told me that he already has some ideas about where we’re headed for next year’s trip.

Note to self: check out episodes of “Gossip Girl.” Soon.

2 Responses to “Tales From 95: Better Living Through Dawson by TJ Alexian”
  1. Love, love, love this essay. What a great writing style. I’ve never watched Dawson’s Creek, but now I have to check it out. As for those “hawt girls,” oh, well … just wait ’till they get to my age …. they’ll get theirs. : – )

    • TJ Alexian says:

      Hawtness is in the eye of the beholder, if you ask me 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words, Aine. Honestly, I’ve never watched Dawson’s Creek, either. I’ve only lived vicariously!

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