Travail with a Trolley Dolly

by Nora McDonald

Recreation, relaxation, rest. Sounds good?

Forget it!

Not when you travel with a trolley dolly!

My daughter. That’s the who.

“You’re so lucky!” croon my friends. "Travelling to all those faraway places!"

Yeah! Right!

“Where shall we go this year?” she says.

“Hong Kong?” I suggest.

“What about South Africa?” she says.

“Fine,” I say.

After all I’m hardly paying.

“Or there’s Dubai,” she adds.

“Or Europe?” I venture to suggest.

“I’m not going there. I’m there all the time!”

Lucky her! I’m here all the time!

“How about America?” she says, as though she’d never mentioned it before.

“We went there last year,” I say. “And the year before. And the year before that. And—"

“So?”

I take the hint.

America it is. At least it’s a decision.

Or is it?

“Where shall we go?”

I seem to have heard this somewhere before.

“How about New York?” I suggest, unprepared for the howl.

“We’ve been there!”

“We could go again,” I suggest, foolishly.

“We need to go somewhere we haven’t been,” she says. “How about Phoenix?”

“Fine,” I say, glad that that’s decided.

“Or there’s Dallas.”

“Yes, there is.” I say tentatively, wondering how many other cities she’ll mention.

“Or there’s Vegas!” she says excitedly.

“We’ve been there before,” I remind her. “You want to go somewhere you haven’t been.” I want to go anywhere. As long as I know where it is.

“Yes, but Las Vegas is my favorite place.”

“Vegas it is then,” I say, glad that’s settled.

There’s a pause.

“Maybe you’re right,” she says.

Did I say anything?

“Phoenix would be better. After all we haven’t been there.”

That’s just the beginning.

I tell all my friends I’m going to Phoenix.

A week later she says,

“We’ll never get on. I think we should go to Dallas. It flies from Gatwick.”

I couldn’t care less if it flies from the moon.

“Dallas, it is,” I say.

“Do you fancy Dallas?” she says.

She’s asking me?

I answer quickly before she forgets she’s asked me.

“Yes, Dallas will be great.”

I’m a sucker.

“Wouldn’t Las Vegas be better?”

What she really meant was she doesn’t fancy Dallas.

“How about Chicago?” I add, looking for some neutral territory.

“Chicago!” she says, like it’s the Sahara Desert. “What’s there?”

Not us, by the looks of things, I think.

“Would you like Vegas?” she says, coyly.

She’s asking twice? I fall for it.

“Well, I don’t know—,” I start to say.

“There’d be lots to do,” she begins while I get a half hour breakdown on the delights of Sin City.

Why do I get the distinct feeling it’s been Vegas all along?

At least that’s the where sorted.

Then there’s the when.

“When shall we go?”

“How about summer?” I say.

I’m not asking much. I just want to be like the rest of the world.

I might as well have asked for gold nuggets.

“Why can’t we go when it’s quieter?” she howls. “It’s all your fault!”

It is? "What did I do?"

“If you stopped working, we wouldn’t have to go in the school holidays!”

If I stopped working, I wouldn’t be going at all, I thought.

But then am I going anywhere? Oh, yes, I’m going to Phoenix. No, it was Dallas. Or is it Vegas? I quite forget.

“Besides which I can’t go then. I’m working.”

Just as well I didn’t stop work, I think.

“October?” I suggest, thinking the year’s gone and I still haven’t had my holiday. “No leave then,” she says. “It’ll have to be Easter.”

She’s a great decision taker.

Next there’s the how.

“How long shall we spend there?” she asks.

“How about two weeks?” I suggest, mindful of mundane things like jet lag and DVT.

“What do you want two weeks for?” she yells like I’m one ungrateful bellyacher.

What indeed?

“One?” I suggest feebly.

“How about four days?” she says. “The crew say you can do Las Vegas in four days.”

I have visions of Las Vegas in four days doing me in!

“How shall we go?” she says.

I like the way she asks me.

“Plane,” I suggest slyly.

She appears not to hear me.

“We could go standby to San Francisco and then standby to Las Vegas, but we might not get on standby to Las Vegas, so we might be better getting an American Airlines flight to Las Vegas, or we could go hotline to San Francisco and standby to Las Vegas, but I don’t think there’s any hotline to there at the moment because it’s so busy. Then again we could fly Virgin direct to Las Vegas but that’s going to cost us and why should we pay for that when we can go standby?”

Well at least that’s the holiday organized. Or is it?

But then there’s the why. It usually follows two days after the booking.

“I don’t know why I’m going to Las Vegas!” she says.

“For a holiday?” I suggest foolishly. What do mothers know?

“I can’t afford it!”

"I can’t help it." I have to say. “Then why are we going?”

“I need a holiday! It’s all right for you!”

It is?

“You don’t have a massive mortgage to pay!”

I don’t?

“Well, we don’t have to go,” I suggest tactfully.

“I need a holiday. Everybody else is going somewhere all the time!”

I long to meet all these people.

“Besides which, you want to go!”

I wondered how long it would take to get round to me.

“I can come down to your place,” I say pathetically, envisioning two weeks of sleepless nights spent upside down in a double bed, head squashed by the exercise bike and days spent washing mountains of dishes that must have fed five thousand.

I’m not as stupid as you think.

“I’m not spending the summer in London!” she says, like it was the North Pole.

The North Pole’s sounding more and more attractive by the minute.

But it’s the what I dread more than anything.

“What shall we do when we get there?” she says, once it’s all arranged.

“Rest,” I suggest. “Relax.”

“Rest! Relax!”

She looks horrified.

“What would we want to do that for?”

What indeed?

“What do you suggest?” I add.

“Well, one of the crew said a Neil Diamond impersonator is on at the Riviera and we have to use the slot machines at the Mandalay Bay. Then there’s the Elvis–a–Rama Museum. Now the half-price theatre tickets are on sale at the Coke Bottle opposite the New York New York, and the best shopping is at the Premium Outlets and the Fashion Show Mall on the Strip, but we mustn’t miss The Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. The best buffet is at Bellagio but there’s also the Carnival World Buffet at Rio, the one at MGM and the one at Stratosphere.”

I’m tired out already but she doesn’t stop for breath.

“When we’re in San Francisco we must see Alcatraz. We can book our tickets online and collect then forty five minutes before the trip.”

Will we have time? I think.

"Bubba Gump’s on Pier Thirty Nine is very good and we’ll need to do some serious shopping at Union Square. Oh, and we mustn’t miss the Cheesecake Factory in Macy’s.”

I’ve missed most of it but it hardly seems to matter.

Still, I shouldn’t complain. I’m so lucky.

Traveling to faraway places. With a trolley dolly. My daughter.

Sounds good?

If we ever get there.

But that’s another story.

Rest, relaxation, recreation? Who needs it!

One thing’s for sure.

Traveling with a Trolley Dolly is something I’ll never forget.

Story Copyright by
Nora McDonald
(aka Norma Beaton)


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