Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is happy to report that he went out this morning and got Youngest all loaded up for the big trip back to kollej. Even though they don’t leave until oh-dark-thirty Saturday morning, I wanted to get it taken care of today a) because it’s supposed to storm tomorrow, and b) because if there were any logistical problems, I wanted to know about them sooner rather than later.

Regular friends of the decanter will know that Ol’ Robbo has been fretting here on and off about the large pile of dorm furnishings that has been piling up by the Port Swiller Manor front door over the past couple weeks and how on earth we were going to stuff them plus the Gel’s clothes plus the Gel and Mrs. R into her Patriot. Fortunately, it all did fit. But I will say that this is only because Ol’ Robbo knows how to load.

The attitude of the wimminz in my life toward this sort of thing is basically:

  1. Pile of junk next to open tailgate.
  2. ?
  3. Profit! **

I try to explain and demonstrate what I call the Tetris approach*** and that even this has its limitations, but I fear it always falls on deaf ears. So it’s usually left to Ol’ Dad to get ‘er done. Funny enough, we have exactly the same issue with the dishwasher, which I finally have positively forbade all of them to load because they make such a hash of it. (In my darker moments I begin to wonder if this isn’t the plan.)

I’ll give Youngest some credit in that she’s not quite such a packrat as, say, Middle Gel (or me, to be honest). She’s actually taking less junk out this year that she did last year, when we loaded down Mrs. R’s Honda Juggernaut to the Plimsoll Line. No, this year’s challenge was somewhat….quirkier:

(No, it’s not real, but it had to be loaded in such a way as not to get crushed. Why on earth the Gel wants it I dunno, but it’s not my dorm room and I don’t have to live with it.)

At any rate, Load-Master Robbo has signed off and the Gel is ready to roll.

** The most famous example of this was when Mrs. R and I went up to the Adirondacks for a wedding one fall. Eldest was about six months old, and as rookie parents we naturally brought every piece of child-care equipment we possessed, thus stuffing the car (an old Jeep Cherokee, if I recall correctly). Nonetheless, while there, Mrs. R stumbled across an “antiques” shop she just loved and found half a dozen things she just had to have. We have very rarely fought in our thirty years together, but we had a major dust-up when I tried to explain the unpossibility of fitting any of it into our already overloaded ride. Got the silent treatment all the way home.

*** Ol’ Robbo was very good at Tetris back in the day. Spacial relations just seem to come to my braims naturally. I just know what will fit where.