May 21, 2024
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May 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

For seven summers I accompanied my husband and three sons on road trips. We visited 20 baseball stadiums (that number does not include those thrilling minor league parks, one of which was where son #2 fell down a flight of stairs, resulting in a $935 emergency room bill that we never submitted to insurance, but got him a really cool sling) in too many cities to name and too many hours in the car. And though the family bonding time has been priceless (lest we forget the “states game” where we could only come up with 49 states, even with the help of the Yeshivas Noyam State Fair song…gosh darn Mississippi kept eluding us), this summer I just said no (to many things, but one in particular). I will not be escorting my family to your great state. Though I hear that everything is bigger in Texas, and even though that is tempting for oh-so-many reasons, I had to turn down the very enticing offer.

I am writing to you to let you know this because I have a feeling that, without me escorting my lovely boys, many, many things can go terribly awry and I just wanted to apologize in advance (especially because you are a Republican and are currently in some legal dilemmas of your own, not that that has anything to do with you being a Republican, because my family will be proudly touring the Bush Library and other Republican hot spots…sorry I am missing those and sorry that you might actually be in jail by the time you get this letter).

If anyone reports a bald gentleman and three teenage boys wandering around in dehydrated states mumbling “Mincha? Anyone? Mincha?” those would be mine. They are probably dehydrated because they left pre-purchased water bottles (cheaper to buy before the games) in the trunk of their rental car, and since it is over 100° in that great state of yours, the bottles might’ve melted and I am not there to make sure they are drinking enough fluids. That would be one case scenario.

Husband #1 kept asking me about the “bag that keeps the food cold.” He wants to bring that bag to Texas so he can buy lunch for everyone and have it at the fresh, cold, and ready when the boys want to eat. I had to explain to husband #1 that this magic bag does not exist. This bag, when I fill it with food for our trips, stays cold because of the ice packs you put in the bag…clever invention. I then explained to him and his sons (because they are only his sons when things like common sense need to be explained in a slow, step-by-step manner) that if you keep the magic bag in the very hot rental car, the ice will melt and the food might go bad. So, Governor, if anyone sees a bald gentleman and three teenage boys roaming the streets of Dallas looking for a men’s room in a panic, it is probably because they needed me there to keep the food from spoiling (or they gave up on the bag altogether and overdosed on Drake’s coffee cakes and orange soda). Yes, those would be mine.

And last, but certainly not least, Governor, if anyone reports that bald gentleman and three teenage boys wandering the streets of Houston or Dallas in nothing but boxer shorts and flip flops (though, for all I know, that could be the dress code in your part of the country, and I don’t mean that disrespectfully), it is probably because their clothes have not magically washed, folded, and reappeared in their suitcases themselves and they have run out of things to wear. An indecent exposure charge would not look favorably on any of their criminal records. And speaking of criminal records (again, I apologize for your legal trouble), I hope that no charges will be filed when sons #1 and #2 are seen torturing son #3…it happens all the time and there is nothing for you to worry about (though it is all fun and games until someone starts to bleed…).

Some people question why I chose not to go with my family on this trip. Am I being a bad mother? How could I not want to spend these last few, precious days with us all together, in 105°

heat, before son #1 goes off to Israel and becomes even more right-wing than he is now? (He gets that from his father’s side.) Well, my friends (or my acquaintances, or people who used to like me but no longer do or vice versa), this is the answer I came up with. I did these trips for seven summers, and on the eighth summer I rested.

Here’s to hoping that my boys come back safe and sound (and all on the same flight) by the time this column goes to print and that the governor didn’t actually have to intervene…

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow Dear Governor Rick Perry,

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