The Day My Cookware Almost Killed Everyone On The Interstate
Monday, June 28, 2010

Since I told my car top carrier story at Noelle's blog the other day, I decided to come back 
here to regale you, Internet, with my other car top carrier story. 

And yes, it's just as bad. 

After I broke the house and the car top carrier by driving the whole mess into the garage, the 
car top carrier was never really the same. Things just didn't line up right. 

It makes perfect sense, since it was rammed into a house at top speed.

But my hubby decided it was still perfectly functional. All it needed was a few bungie cords. 

And that was the moment we became The Beverly Hillbillies. 

One Christmas we loaded up the minivan. 

Oh and let me just say, someone who knows me pretty well emailed me the other day 
cackling over the fact I drove a minivan. 

Yes, it's true. At one point in my life, I did drive a minivan. 

Those were dark days, my friends. 

And no offense to minivan drivers, because I was one of your minivan brethren for many 
years, but the minivan and I never really fit. It might have had to do with The Ramones, "Hey 
Ho Let's Go" and all the other punk rock tunes blasting from my speakers. I gave the school car 
line a taste of some real music every time I popped that button and my automatic door slid open 
to let my kids in our Blastmobile. 

So anyway, we packed up the minivan and strapped on the bungie-rigged, car top carrier and 
hit the road for the 8 hour drive to my in-laws. 

We were a sweet sight with our minivan and bungie cords and jacked-up, smashed-in car top 
carrier. There might have even been some duct tape involved. 

I don't remember. In fact, I'm trying to forget. 

Everything was going along splendidly as we sailed down the interstate at interstate speeds. 
Which means very, very fast. 

All of a sudden, I saw a blur of white, flash by my window and I said to my hubby, "Did you 
see that? It was like a sheet or a big white bird just flew by my window."

Now, let me explain something to you, here. 

My hubby is used to me bursting into tears at the sight of the world's largest redwood or just 
about anything else that moves me— one time that meant a Burger King commercial. 

He's also used to me saying things like, "Can you feel the essence of this day? Can you? I 
mean, really feel it in your bones."

I'm what you call, dramatical. 

Urban dictionary defines dramatical as: to be so dramatic that one seems to be theatrical.

And that would be me, to a dramatical T. 

Most of the time, he has no idea what I'm talking about or why I'm crying, but he stopped 
trying to figure me out a long time ago. He usually just walks away or gives me one of his 
quiet looks that says, "I've got no freakin clue what you're babbling about, but if I pretend I 
don't hear you, I know pretty soon you'll stop crying over trees and quit talking about feeling 
the day's essence and start acting semi-normal again."

So, this was one of those times.

He just ignored my big white bird declaration and pretended, once again, that he hadn't married 
a semi-insane woman.

And then the next thing we know, the cars behind us all began honking and flashing their lights 
and honking some more and it was in that moment, the sick realization hit me and I screamed, 
"THE CAR TOP CARRIER" in my dramatical way, just as a shoe went flying by. 

My Hubby, as usual, had no problem with me performing a dangerous maneuver. He yelled, 
asked me to roll down the window, stick my entire body out of the car and check on the car 
top carrier. 

I knew I would most likely get smacked in the face by the next flying object, but I braved the 
high winds and the threat of flying shoes and leaned out the window. Sure enough, the bungie 
cord had snapped free and was whipping around in the wind and there was the car top carrier, 
its mouth yawning open.

I had packed our Christmas gifts on the very top so they wouldn't get smashed by everything 
else because I'm smart like that. They were in an open basket and as I leaned out that window 
of our still speeding car, I realized in horror the basket was now empty. 


All our Christmas gifts—gone with the wind. 

I eased myself back into the car and screamed all dramatical about open car top carriers and 
missing presents and how I WAS RIGHT about the car top carrier/bungie cord contraption 
not being safe, because wives always have to add the "I was right" part, no matter how dire the circumstance, (it's in our wife handbook) and then I screamed we had to PULL OVER NOW! 

The man with the plan just kept on driving as I continued to shriek, about PULLING OVER 

My Hubby claimed he was not supposed to pull over on the side of the interstate, but I knew this 
not to be true. In fact, just last week, I spotted a car full of frat boys, peeing on the side of the 
interstate. We were in a full fledged freaking emergency. No one's going to fault you when your 
car top carrier is flapping open and your stuff is flying out all over the interstate. Duh.

But no, the man just kept on driving. Kept. On. Driving. 

He then burst into my dramatical shrieks and had the nerve, get this, to ask me to sit on the 
window ledge and hold the car top carrier shut with my super human strength while he 
careened down the interstate at 80 mph. 

Now don't let this surprise you, Internet. He's always asking me to do crap like that. 

Like the time he was on his way home from the Home Depot and phoned me with the 
mysterious instructions to wait outside for him. 

He pulled up with a massive steel grill, weighing a few thousand pounds and had the audacity 
and stupidity to say, "Here's how wer're going to do this. I'm going to slide this down to you and 
you're going to catch it. You can do it. You just have to use your legs. Use your legs to catch it."

I didn't say a word. I just walked back into the house. 

It took a group of many big men to get that baby out of the truck. 

But, no matter how ridiculous the stunt is, it doesn't stop him from trying to get me to do it every 
dang time. 

And of course, being the dumbass I am, I figured I'd give it a try. 

Just in case you ever need to know, it is impossible to hold a car top carrier shut while perched 
on the edge of a car speeding down the interstate. I have the bugs in my teeth to prove it. 

He finally pulled off the interstate at the next exit, a few miles and what seemed like a bug filled 
eternity later. He quickly relatched the cord and turned our car around. 

I was all, "Where are you going?"

And he said, "I'm going to reclaim our stuff."

And I was all, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" in very dramatical fashion.

But, if there's one thing about my Hubby, he is a man of great resolve and no one can change 
his mind when he's set on something, even a shrieking wife.

I tried to convince him it was absolute madness to wander around the freeway with cars zooming 
all around, just to grab our stupid Christmas presesnts. It wasn't worth it. 

He thought different. 

He barreled back onto that interstate and told me to keep an eye out for our Christmas gifts. 

And suddenly, we saw objects strewn across the 6 lanes of road. 

It was then my Hubby decided it was Ok to pull over on the Interstate. 

I begged. I cried. I shrieked. 

But, he was a man on a mission, a suicide mission. 

It was horrible. 

The girls cried, "Daddy! Daddy!" While I prayed my Hail Mary's fast and furious as I watched 
him dart in and around speeding cars and semi trailer trucks, picking up our refuse strewn across 
the freeway. 

He got it all.

When he returned safely to the car, his arms overflowing with our stuff, we all screamed and 
cheered and cried in relief. 

He threw the bundle at me and we started up again. This time though, he found a hardware 
store and bought about 1,000 more bungie cords. 

You know, so we could look that much more Clampett-esque. 

While he was in the store, I examined all the stuff he'd reclaimed. 

It wasn't a pretty sight. 

The massive, beautiful book I'd bought my father-in-law detailing the history and lore and 
extraordinary beauty of Ireland had a smashed binding, some shredded pages, and tire marks 
tattooed across the pages. 

The Brooks Brothers dress shirts— so pristine with their elegant pinstripes and French Cuffs— 
gifts for my brother-in-law, were now tattered with black grease and tire imprint stains, sure to 
never come out. 

There was a smashed vial of perfume, torn bits of clothing, a necklace we never found, damaged 
shoes and worst of all, was my mother-in-law's gift. 

My mother-in-law is an Italian gourmet cook. Her entire life revolves around keeping her family
filled up with sophisticated delicacies made from her able hands. 

When you're a guest in her home and you wake up in the morning and stumble out to her kitchen, 
still bleary-eyed, there you will find her, bustling about, always cooking, always creating and the 
first words out of her mouth in greeting are always, "What would you like for dinner?"

We'd bought her Le Creuset cookware. 
Now, for those of you not familiar with Le Creuset, it is high end French cookware, pots and 
pans, and bakeware and just about anything else a gourmet cook could need, all made out of 
cast iron. 

Cast iron cookware. 

Cast iron projectiles flying through the air towards speeding cars. 

As I looked down at the chipped and broken pieces I could only shudder and say a prayer of 
thanks, that our French cookware hadn't killed anybody. 

Cause that would have been really bad. I would have hated to have that burden on my shoulders. 

I could just see my flying Le Creuset saute pan causing a 10-car pileup with all kinds of fatalities. 

It would really suck to be killed by cookware.

Thank God we hadn't bought anybody a big screen TV or an elliptical machine. 

When my Hubby made it back to the car, I showed him the gifts and told him how futile his 
death defying stunt had been. There was no way we could give these gifts to our loved ones. 

My Hubby was insistent, saying, "It's not about the gifts. It's about the story. Besides, you 
KNOW my mom will get some new free Le Creuset out of this."

And he was right, at least about his mom. 

The woman is the gold medal champion when it comes to getting free crap. 

She knows those customer satisfaction toll-free phone numbers by heart. 

All she does is call those people up, tell them her trouble with their product in her sweet, 
"I'm just a little senior citizen" Betty White voice and the companies just rain the free crap 
down on her. 

She gets free food all the time: a huge box of  various Ghiardelli products when she called 
complaining a bag of chocolate chips she'd bought were old; a case of every kind of Planters 
nuts known to man, when she told them her cashews were stale. Free pants for my father-in-law, 
when she told them their Haggars weren't as high quality as they used to be. 

And even a brand spanking new fancy coffee system, (not a machine but a system), when she 
called the company to say the coffee wasn't tasting right after a few months of use. 

They even let her keep the old system. 

I'm just waiting for her new car to have a problem. I'm going to be seriously impressed when 
they deliver a brand new automobile to little Italian Betty White.  

And so, we did wrap up the presents and laugh as our relatives unwrapped their broken crap 
and looked at us quizzically.  I don't think they appreciated the story as much as we did. 

But my mother-in-law, true to form rose to the challenge. She loved her smashed up French 
cookware, even more so because it was so damaged. 

She said with a glint in her eye, "Oh yes, I'll see what goodies I can get out of this."

I questioned her ability on this one, telling her I didn't think cookware that was hurtled out of a car 
at 80 mph would be covered under their warranty. 

It was just like my Corelle dishes. 

I was a newlywed and one of our wedding presents had been a set of Corelle dishes. We'd 
finished up dinner one night, my Hubby, me, and as always, my Hubby's other brother/business 
partner. As we lingered over our wine, I picked up a dish and remarked that these things were 
supposed to be shatterproof. 

Without hesitation, my Hubby grabbed the plate from me and said, "Well, let's see" and then 
proceeded to hurl it across the room. We watched it fly through the air and hit the doorknob of the 
front door, where it exploded in a splendiferous crash, the plate smashing into thousands of tiny 
little pieces. 

We all just sat there stunned, except for my Hubby who just said, "Huh. I guess not."

I figured the Le Creuset would be right around those same lines. 

But no. That woman managed to get herself a whole line of their new winter colored cookware. 

Thank God, UPS doesn't use bungee cords. The French Oven alone, would have definitely put a 
hurtin' on the highway. 

The car top carrier along with the minivan are no longer a part of our lives. Nor are the Corelle dishes. We just don't like to live on that side of danger anymore. I've got enough in my life to keep me on my dramatical toes. 

Today's Definite Download: Death Cab for Cutie's "Passenger Seat". This is such a dreamy, lovely song and it plays just a little differently from the rest of this fine Irish band's repertoire. I love the words to this quiet song. They're incredibly powerful in such a simple, hushed way. 

"Passenger Seat" for me and my bad ass, leaning out of that car like a mad woman. I can still feel the bugs in my teeth. 

I roll the window down
And then begin to breathe in
The darkest country road
And the strong scent of evergreen
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home.

Then looking upwards
I strain my eyes and try
To tell the difference between shooting stars and satellites
From the passenger seat as you are driving me home. 

"Do they collide?"
I ask and you smile
With my feet on the dash
The world doesn't matter. 

When you feel embarrassed then I'll be your pride
When you need directions then I'll be the guide
For all time. 
For all time. 


Anonymous said...

Great title-and great post. At first, I thought the title said internet not interstate.
I laughed and laughed and snorted and laughed and can picture all of this in my head.
And I love the word drammatical.

twelvedaysold said...

I was actually getting mad at your husband for not pulling over when everything started spilling out. I want to shout "What are you doing???" but it is subsiding. You are a stronger woman than I.

Unknown said...

roflmbo I know not funny *snicker snort* trying to contain myself..but themental image alone of you leaning out the window at 80.. se I woulda smacked hubby upside the head and told HIM to hang otu the window and I would drive..

Cari said...

Oh my word!! I'm glad that no one was hurt and that you are able to turn it into a funny memory :)

cheri said...

my nose is runny and i'm having chills but i just cant stop reading. this is so funny.

i feel for the cookware...

The Queen said...

I may have just peed myself laughing.. This is one of the funniest things I've read in a long while.. you tell it so well, I was ducking as I drove behind you.. dodging Christmas presents..

Tiffaney said...

Dying! Pets came running in the room to ensure I was ok, I was wheezing and snorting and howling with laughter so loudly. You guys KILL me!!

Unknown said...

OMG! I haven't laughed this hard since your post about becoming a Walmart person while yelling at your girls on your cell phone about returning your thongs!!!! You tell a wonderful story!

liz said...

this was all too awesome. i agree that it is about the story, but i also agree that you dodged a huge bullet with none of that cookware causing real injuries.

Katie's Dailies said...

I love your husband. The part that got me laughing out loud the most was the Corelle Dish Test: "Huh. I guess not".

And I see guys peeing on the interstate all the time. My son even did it and a state trooper pulled over to see if we were all right. Guess you could say my son got the pee scared right out of him!

Beth Zimmerman said...

I've always been a touch dramatical myself but you have me beat hands down! So glad you guested on Noelle's blog and I found you! You are a total hoot!

One Photo said...

I cannot believe the Le Creuset did not cause a major accident, we have some of that stuff and it is so incredibly heavy. Your MIL was absolutely right though, it is meant to be completely indestructible so should have survived falling onto the interstate.

Wonderful story Joann, this is you writing at your very funniest and loveliest best.

Lori said...

Wow what a story! Your hubby must have some freaking amazing redeeming qualities. I can't believe he didn't stop on the side of the road and even more can't believe he actually got all the stuff. The worst thing I've had blow across the highway from the top of our minivan was some sleeping bags. I pulled over.

Lisa said...

Joann, this was hilarious! Dramatical and it. You have expanded my vocabulary today!

I can't believe the Le Crueset didn't cause an accident either - that stuff is HEAVY.

Very, very, very funny!

Cheeseboy said...

This is my favorite post of yours I have ever read.

It would suck to get killed by cookware.


I loved it all.

I have a minivan, but I have no idea why because we only have two kids with no plans for more.

Judie said...

OHG! I thought you wewre going to say that you loaded up the minivan and moved to Beverly!

Joann, that is the funniest post I have read since your last one!

I was beginning to worry about you, but I can see that you are more than fine.

Gigi said...

Your posts always make my day better!

I have recently rid myself of minivandom and couldn't be more tickled. I, too, am dramatical. It must be why I like you. When I cry, my husband offers me drinks of water incessantly. He thinks that if I drink water, I'll stop crying. What he doesn't realize is that I just end up taking a swallow, which gives me enough pause to really channel up some serious angst and ratchet up that tearfest in a major way.

It is very sweet that hubby tried to reclaim the gifts. Le Creuset...I am cringing of the thought of losing a Le Creuset. I don't own any but I'd like to.

Anonymous said...

Joann, you explain exactly why I spend so much valuable time reading you! I loved this post!

I have laughed so hard, I feel light!

Big white bird and your drama, you sitting on the window ledge and flying cookware, the determined husband and the smarty smart mum-in-law; I've loved it all!

You are sooooo good, you ought to know!

Deborah said...

When I was dating my husband, he nearly stopped dating me when he heard I had once owned a minivan.

So funny you are!

Cheryl said...

OMG - I would have been screaming right along with you for him to PULL OVER!!!! Sounds like something that would happen in our car. But not a minivan. We have a big Suburban, as I just. couldn't. do. it. The minivan, that is. Oh - and I hit the garage once with the car.

Bossy Betty said...

Oh my gosh! I was smiling through this entire story and then when I found out it was Le Creuset I gasp knowing how heavy those things are! My God, woman! You could have killed someone. (Wouldn't this make a good novel plot? Get writing, woman!)

litanyofbritt said...

I can't believe after all that happened there wasn't ONE casualty. That was hilariously, horrifying.

Cari said...

I gave you an award!

Ducky said...

Mercy woman! You need a cape or should just carry it in your purse for those spur of the moment wonder woman displays.

Alexandra said...

Oh, that was so wonderfully funny it had my spittin'.

Have you sent stuff to yet?

This one is a prize winner. You just send her the link to this post.

I love this!

And your husband is freakin' nuts., Joann.

P.S> Thanks for your lovely words on TBC today...way way too wonderful. Just think, I didn't even know you 3 mos ago, but I remember the first day I met you. I truly do.

alicia said...

Oh MY GOSH!! Girl, I think we are long lost soul sisters. Seriously, I have tears streaming down my face. I haven't laughed that much in a LONG time. Ok, so you must know that I have also driven my topper (which was perched on top of my then expedition) thru the garage. Thought I'd never live that one down. It was borrowed from a friend because a new one wasn't exactly in the budget. We then had to go buy them a $450 new one to replace broken one with holes. After crying for hours over the fact that I now owned a $450 piece of SH-- hubs and I worked for almost 12 hours straight using every glue imaginable that was available in a drivable distance to try to repair this broken piece of crap topper so that it was not $450 wasted. And believe it or not, it might not be the prettiest thing to look at, but we actually got the thing to seal and there is no water leakage on trips. Yes, almost 7 years later we still use that piece of crap. Haha. And dramatic or animated might be good words to describe me if you are a person that lives around me a lot- so I hear. Ok, I could go on, but should stop rambling. Thank you for the great laugh!! I needed that one tonight.

Diana said...

yeah, what they all said before me... rotfl! wow, what a ride!

blessings to you! :D

visiting via Lynn's blog (for love or funny)

Rae said...

Oh- this post was the perfect start to my morning! I'm back for a short day, but just HAD TO visit you! I wasn't disappointed! You are one crazy lady and I love it! The story reminded me of just last week- packing our pickup with furniture to take to the cabin. Bunk beds and tables and coolers of beer and all kinds of crap stuffed in every possible square inch.And then my husband stops to get a water melon that teeters dangerously from the bulging tailgate...oh, well- that's almost a blog in itself! You are one fun woman! Miss you!Thanks for stopping by even though I've been AWOL!

Renee said...

The image of your husband collecting Christmas presents off of a busy freeway just made my morning!

Lizzie said...

Fabulous stuff, so easy for me to relate to as well.
Stopped by from SITS!

Liz Mays said...

I can't believe you had two car carrier stories, first off. This is the most hilarious adventure!

Aunt Becky said...

I really admire anyone who gets free stuff for calling and complaining. Will she give me lessons?

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

Death by Cookware could become the greatest country song ever written! That's a great story!

The Furry Godmother said...

Joann, honey, they have a word in answer to the question that begins with, "See, all you have to do..." That word? Is NO. Or in dire cases, two, HELL NO.

You are welcome.

Annah said...

OOh ooh love that red pot. SUPER CUTE. DUDE! Did you get the necklace I sent you?! :(

Unknown said...

oh, I have to read this again and again.
It's one of those who could ever make up something like this stories.

purplume said...

I've been laughing so hard, my husband came in to ask what was going on!

Thank you for another great post. Sorry you have to go through all this to provide us with such comedy.

Johnny Carson dropped a corel cup on the floor on a show one night. Of course it broke. XD

purplume said...

Dang, I think I just lost my comment. Well, it's not as bad as what you had to go through to provide us such good humor.

I was laughing so hard my hubby came in to see what was going on?

Johnny Carson dropped a corel cup once on his show. Of course it broke!


Unknown said...

Can I be on YOUR christmas list? Good gravy, it's like you're Oprah or something.

So here's the thing: I get nervous when I "follow" blogs. Like, do I have time for one more? I'm super noncommittal, probably because I don't have a plan for mine, hence not much motivation to "build a fan base" or WHATEVER the heck I'm supposed to be doing. Maybe if I was selling something? NO, I'm just lazy like that.
Following you was the best decision I've made. Dramatical? Maybe. But true.

Judie said...

Actually, my comment was pretty damn funny! I can't believe the typos! I was a little freaked out, though.
I'm better now!
I have read this post again and it is still so excellently humerous. Please write another one quickly!

Crazy Brunette said...


That was too funny! I damn near pissed my pants!!!

Mr. CB also likes to ignore me while I'm shrieking about...

I'm having a crisis and he's watching NASCAR by God!!!!

Hey, all I can say is at least you weren't DRIVING while hanging out the window!!!

Shot over here from my Drunken, raving Aunt The Dutchess...

Loving you already hooker!!!

xoA said...

As usual, I am the nine millionth person to comment...always a car length behind...Hilarious. I love the note about helping extract the grill from the truck. Catching large tools, equipment and male toys from the back of a truck have become a bit of my forte. Always at dusk and always in flip flops. Cause that's how I roll. Don't hate me cause ya ain't me.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Great post. What a great gift giver too! Thanks for the laugh but I must go change my pants now. Damn this 46 year old bladder.

Pat said...

And here I thought this shit only happens to us! My god this was funny! The fact that your husband wouldn't pull over and wanted you to hold the carrier top while he was speeding down the highway is PRICELESS!

You tell good stories - and the fact that they really happened? Hysterical!!

Unknown said...

Oh my. Le Creuset. Wow. What a tragedy....

I'm a minivan mom, by the way. And I blare my fair share of stuff when I pick up the kids. LOL.

Noelle said...

I don't think this would ever happen to another single person on the planet...and if it did, they wouldn't come close to telling it as well as you just did!!! I'm going to have Jason read this when he gets home tonight...he'll laugh and laugh.

Baby Sister said...

Hahahahaha. That was great! Thanks for setting up my day to be a good one!!

Unknown said...

What a nightmare! I would die .. and your hubby sounds like he has an awful lot of confidence in you! My boyfriends always give up asking me to do things after I sweetly try and fail epically to do anything the slightest bit difficult. Secretly of course this is because I want them to think I am frail and weak and do things for me -and then when push comes to shove, I can magically turn into Buffy the Vampire Slayer and get some shit done, much to everyone's amazement *teehee*

BNM said...

oh wow!! as crazy as that must have seemed at the time i must admit it makes a damn funny story :)
visiting from CB's!!

Lula Lola said...

I covet this cookware, but would not want to die for it! That could have been so bad!
And I have to say,I once had a minivan too. After I bought it, my husband thought it was great. I drove it straight to my best friend's house, sat in it and laugh/cried while she made fun of me/it. Dark days indeed!

jayayceeblog said...

All that careful list making, gift buying and wrapping, just to have it all splattered over the highway makes me hyperventilate. And you hanging out the window to secure the car top carrier has me picturing a Chevy Chase movie. But the absolute killer was the demolished Le Creuset. Like a complete idiot, I once passed up an entire set of gorgeous Le Creuset pots and pans at a garage sale for $65 because they were red and it wouldn't look good in my kitchen. Still kickin' myself over that! Your MIL sounds like a hoot!!!

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