The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

May 26, 2008

I Think My Family Has a Drinking Problem

Filed under: Family — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 9:24 pm

(or, the VanderHoeven Machine Versus the Soda Machine)

Often on holidays, my Mom’s family (several members of which have Blogs of their own that can be found in the links to the right of this post) will have a big get-together at my Aunt Pam’s house.  These gatherings always involve large quantities of food, and if you hang around for long enough something interesting is bound to happen.  Nonetheless, I think I’ll go ahead and leave the details of the “stand in a bucket of ice water” contest to someone else (edit:  Sure enough, Chris blogged it) to cover since I tend to value my extremities too much to participate in such an event.

Eventually, as things began to settle down later in the afternoon, someone came to the realization that the combination of french fries and the previously mentioned shenanigans had resulted in a severe shortage of ice with which to make ice water.  To remedy the situation, my uncle Mike was sent out to retrieve a couple more bags of ice from the nearby AM/PM.  Shortly afterward, he came back with not only the ice, but also with one of their huge 64-ounce sodas containing the highly prized crunchy ice.  When everyone saw this, they promptly forgot all about the ice water, and suddenly everyone wanted one of these things.  Orders were passed around, and before we knew it, my cousin Chris was dispatched to retrieve the sodas.  Since I’m far too indecisive to decide what I want without actually seeing the choices available,  I decided to tag along.  After making the drive over, we began filling in the various orders:


A combination of a slight rebellious streak and the inability to find anything I really wanted out of twenty (well, nineteen if you count the out-of-order one) choices led me to choose an Icee instead.  Before we knew it, we had acquired 3 1/2 gallons of various sodas, and the realization was beginning to dawn on us that we might just have a slight logistical problem on our hands here.  Appealing to the lady behind the counter for help procured us a couple of those drink holder things, which naturally proved woefully inadequate for the task at hand.  Clearly another solution was needed.  Looknig around the store, someone was finally able to locate a half-empty box of Gatorade bottles, which was quickly re-appropriated as an improvised drink-hauler:

Surpringly enough, the whole case of soda (and one rebellious Icee) ended up costing less than twelve bucks (if only gas was that cheap.)  All that was left now was to figure out how to get everything back to the house without any disastrous spillage along the way.  With some rearranging of stuff in the car we managed to get the box of soda shoved into the front seat, although I do have to confess that the drive back to the house might not have been the most comfortable ten minutes I’ve ever spent in a moving vehicle.  At least I wasn’t rhe one driving.

Luckily, we managed to get everything home mostly intact.  My Mom and I decided to leave shortly after this, which was probably a good thing, because with the sheer quantity of soda going around the place it was going to be just a matter of time before people had to start signing up for appointments to use the bathroom…


  1. This story is hilarious and not at all what I expected. My favorite part are the legs neatly folded up to accomodate said “drinking problem”… Thanks for the smiles today!

    Comment by mamarosi — May 28, 2008 @ 9:25 am

  2. That was pretty funny! I especially liked Chris’s frantic texts of desperation. “Send reinforcements.” See you around!

    Comment by Caitlin Sirrine — May 29, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

  3. Hey – you didn’t bring me anything to drink – you should have tried for just one more!

    Comment by VanderHoevens — May 29, 2008 @ 3:35 pm

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