Trains and Chocolate

It’s as good a time as any to pull over when the dog’s barking, the kids are crying and the wife is being passive aggressive. It’s time for dad to whip up some of his “Rocky Road, Road Trip, Trippy Chocolate.” He pulls the station wagon into the grass on the side of the highway and pops the lid. The dog jumps straight out after the ball that the boy – the eldest child – has just thrown through the window. “Stay away from the road!” Warns dad. The youngest child has turned the name of dad’s favourite drink into a song that she’s singing over and over. “Rocky road, roady rocky, chocky locky, yummy tummy, trippy sippy, chockolotto…”

Three out of the five travellers are happy. Dad can’t be content until mum’s happy though. He pours some hot water from a thermos into four mugs that he’s prepared with chocolate drinking powder, powdered milk and sugar. His youngest is still singing her happy song. “The chocoleddy’s, nearly ready, ready freddy, chocoleddy…”

Dad crumbles some block chocolate into each mug – that’s what makes it a “rocky road.” He stuffs his fingers in his mouth and blows a loud whistle to summon his eldest. He rests two mugs in the cargo bay and the kids collect their prize.”Trippy whippy, chocco locco.” Says the youngest in an approving tone as the eldest rolls his eyes.

Dad puts on his most earnest smile and presents his handiwork to his grouchy bride who hasn’t budged from the passenger seat. “Your chocko locko, yummy tummy, freaky leaky hot chocolate is ready.” It’s enough to warm her chilly mood. With four reasonably happy travellers, dad can finally sit back and enjoy his drink.

The nearby train tracks begin to whisper. A freight train approaches. The young girl stand on the door sill to get a better view. The vehicle moves slowly along the tracks and the little girl is squealing with excitement, still holding her hot chocolate in one hand. With her free hand she starts pumping her arm, gesturing for the train driver to blow his horn. “Don’t be silly.” Scalds mum.

Dad loves the scene. Everyone is back on good terms. The dog is curled up on the back seat. The eldest is worn out. Mum’s talking again and the liitle girl is still pumping her arm at the train driver.

Honk! Honk!

The train blasts its whistle and nearly gives them all a heart attack. “Ok, time to go” says dad. He packs up the hot chocolate kit and they hit the road. Dad’s “Rocky Road, Road Trip, Trippy Chocolate” has saved the day again.

T.

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