If you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting my brother-in-law, Geoff, you’re missing out. For Geoff, good is never good enough. At Christmas his yard looks like the final battleground of Tim Taylor and Clark Griswold. If the house needs to be repainted, you might as well replace the siding and windows while you’re at it. If you throw a 4th of July party, you must also do a Revolutionary War re-enactment, complete with cannons that launch candy at the neighborhood children.
So when my sister wanted to make a sign to welcome us to their home near Portland, Geoff couldn’t possibly just use poster board and pens like normal people.
I knew my sister had something up her sleeve when she requested (multiple times) that we call when we were a few minutes away. As we drove into their neighborhood, we decided to take a roundabout way so that we could easily park on the correct side of the street. As we came around the corner, my sister was running down the street, gesticulating wildly and waving her giant straw hat at us.
“Go back!” she yelled. “Go back the right way!!!”
Robbie looked at her and tried to explain that it would be easier to park from this direction.
“NO! You HAVE to go the other way!”
Robbie started to argue the advantages of our current trajectory, but I knew by the look of desperation on my sister’s face that resistance was futile. I told Robbie to turn around and go back.
As we approached their house, we were greeted by a small throng of their neighbors playing some sort of “welcome home” march, complete with slide whistles, kazoos, various noisemakers and an out-of-tune guitar! But before I could take in the magnificence of the band, I noticed the 14’ tall BILLBOARD in their front yard!
Astute readers will notice that the Twinkie is parked ON their front lawn! It’s a good thing they get along well with their neighbors.
What a great welcome back to Washington State!