FF – At the Side of the Road

At the Side of the Road

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.”

A groan.

“I came to a fork in the road, so I picked it up!”

“Mom, seriously.”

“No poems, no jokes. How about interesting facts? French for Stop is Arret. It’s the root of our word arrest, like cardiac arrest, but we mostly…”

“No, Mom. No jokes, no facts, no silly word games.”

“So we’re just going to sit here and pretend your brother isn’t yakking on the verge outside the car?”


“Wales uses Stop signs but it’s not proper Welsh. Should be Stopiwch or Stopio.”

“I’m gonna go join the barfing.”


This one is totally clear to me in my head, but I don’t know whether it needs more exposition to be clear. I had in mind Mom and son waiting in the car while another son hurls his guts at the side of the road. Mom’s trying to distract herself and her son, but he’s not in the mood. Let me know if that’s what you saw – and don’t be afraid to critique if it’s not.

My youngest has all-but written off our car this week by NOT waiting until he got out and liberally decorating the inside. Luckily, it’s a Jeep Wrangler, so worst case scenario, I’ll take the roof off and drive it through a car wash. A highlight while attempting to clean it by hand was discovering that the floor has a drainage plug. Y’know, in case you flood the car. The designer probably didn’t envisage the flood being caused by me with a bottle of bleach and a hose!

In other news, here’s the Welsh Stop sign debate.



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31 responses to “FF – At the Side of the Road

  1. I saw the disraction, for sure

  2. Yep, that’s what I got. Ugh, sorry about your car interior. Some of the people I’ve seen in Jeeps, well, I’d be surprised if they didn’t use that plug for that purpose at least once…

  3. michael1148humphris

    It is good to experiment in writing, however ‘Eugene the Jeep’ advises no bleach,

  4. Great story. It would be quite clear to anyone except an Aussie like me. Yakking in Aussie slang is just talking or a lot of talking. So I am thankful for the explanation! Who would have thought a jeep would have a plug? Ingenious. I think my son needs one. He lives in a flood affected area.

  5. I got the “yakking” a bit late, but the word “barfing” clued me in. A slice of real life 🙂

    • My kids have a whole range of vomit synonyms; perhaps I should’ve picked a different one!

      • Nah. I learned a new one, and I’m sure there are plenty of readers who knew what you meant. In my lengthy life, people who are
        “yakking” are talking together. A “yakkety-yak” is a person who talks too much–word vomit, if you will 🙂

  6. So when kids are bored, there is no pleasing them.

  7. Dear Jen,

    It was pretty clear what Yakking meant after I read farther. Interesting conversation. Mum’s doing her best under the circumstances.



  8. I saw the distraction. Don’t know why I assumed the one in the car was a daughter but either or 😉
    And, like Linda, I was unfamiliar with yakking… thinking he was chatting, not barfing!
    And, ugh for your case!

  9. I read the story at face value, Jen. Thanks for explanation (I think). And to Dale for the symbols hint (I need that too). Oh and the metric imperial thingy too. 🙂

  10. I thought the conversation was between a mother and her daughter. It’s hard to engage or entertain your kids. Many of them would rather be texting or plugged in to some device than to have meaningful conversations. Mom was simply trying her best in an otherwise very unpleasant situation.

  11. Hi Jen,
    the meaning of the story was totally clear, don’t worry. I think I’d be the mom, trying to say whatever to distract the other one. Great job!

  12. I thought yakking was talking a lot, so I learned a new one there. The things we do to distract from the sound of vomiting…good on Mum!

  13. Pingback: What Did You Say? Favourite Idioms – Something to Ponder About

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