It was a sunny Friday afternoon. Today was Phil and Lil's 12th birthday.
The guests came in and put their presents on the table. Betty lit the candles
on the cake while everyone played "Pin the Tail On the Donkey". Everything
was going well, until Angelica went past the donkey poster and pinned the tail
Howard. He screamed in pain.
Soon everyone played Spin the Bottle. According to the rules, whoever spun the bottle had to either give the person whom the bottle pointed at, a nickle, or a kiss. Everyone had a fun time. Chuckie kissed Kimi, Phil kissed Lil, and so on. Angelica ended up losing five cents when the bottle pointed at Tommy. Phil and Lil were both lucky to get a kiss from their boyfriend / girlfriend.
Finally, it was time to open presents and blow out the candles. Since Howard's bottom still hurt from playing the Donkey game, he stood.
After blowing out the candles on the cake, Betty came in the kitchen with a envelope.
"Mail's here!" she said.
She opened the envelope and read it.
"Oh my" she gasped, "it's from my parents!"
"What's it say mom?" asked Lil.
"It says that they want you to come to their hometown for a visit."
"Where do they live?" asked Howard.
"They live in Dallas, Texas -- home of the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Cowboys, and, well, the TV show 'Dallas', " said Betty.
"Just think" said Stu, "you two will finally get to meet your grandparents!"
"Yay!" cheered Phil and Lil.
That night, Phil and Lil packed up their bags for the trip. They would be leaving first thing in the morning.
The next morning, they put their bags into the back of Betty's van and climbed in. Their friends waved goodbye as the van drove off.
It was a long drive, along the way, Betty had to stop for gas several times.
Near the texas town of Arlen, the van was almost out of gas, so Betty again stopped the van at a gas station. The gas attenWaltert filled the tank, cleaned the windshield, and checked under the hood.
Betty, who was taking a gas barbecue with her, asked, "Where's a good place to get propane?"
The attenWaltert responded, "Strickland Propane, of course -- just a mile of here."
"Thank you," said Betty. Then, after paying the man, she left.
Then, she arrived at Strickland Propane. She took the propane gas tank out and gave it to an attenWaltert in a propane gas uniform.
"Good afternoon" he said. "My name is Hank Hill and I'm going to be filling up your gas tank with propane. This will only take a few minutes."
Hank sold them some propane and propane assessories and filled their gas tank.
As the van drove off, Hank said, "Have a safe trip."
Finally, they arrived at a small house in Dallas.
A man and woman in their 70's came out.
"There's your grandma and grandpa" said Howard. "Let's go meet them."
Phil, Lil, Betty, and Howard got out of the car. They entered the house.
"Mom!, Dad!", greeted Betty.
"Walter! Mary!", greeted Howard.
"Grandma! Grandpa!", Greeted Both Phil and Lil.
"Come here!", greeted Mary.
"Kids," said Betty, "This is your Grandpa Walter and your Grandma Mary."
As Phil and Lil approached their Grandparents, they hugged them both.
"Now Betty!", excaimed Mary, "Why in the world did we not get to meet them when they were babies?"
"Well," replied Howard, "We were busy back then."
"So what's for dinner? I'm starved!" Betty bellowed.
"We havin' steak tonight, Honey-pie," Mary told her. Honey-pie? Betty wondered about that.
"Wanna go horse-backin'?" Grandpa Walter asked.
"We don't know how," Phil and Lil admitted.
"Don't know howta ride a horse!?" Mary exclaimed, "What's them teachin' ya' in school today?"
"English, Math, History, Art, to name some stuff," Phil said. Mary and Grandpa Walter led Phil, Lil, Howard and Betty out to their barn.
"We got seven horses," said Grandpa Walter proudly, "Rusty, Randal, Rowdy, Rachel, Ray, Ria and Rina."
"Phil, Lil, you ride Rusty and Rina," Mary instructed, "Howard, Betty, you take Randal and Rachel. Walter an' me'll take Ray and Rowdy."
"What about Ria?" Lil asked.
She's too young to ride," Grandpa Walter answered. Walter, Mary, and the rest of the group led their horses outside, where they saddled them.
Mary helped Lil onto her horse, and Walter helped Phil onto his. They grabbed the reins and led them around in the huge field. Betty and Howard got on their horses and followed. Halfway around, Howard's horse bucked him off.
"I got a picture!" Phil announced, "Oh wait, I forgot to take the lens off! Dad, could you do that again?"
"Don't worry, I got it!" said Walter. Betty carried Howard into the house.
"This just hasn't been my week," said Howard.
"Dad, this just hasn't been your lifetime!" Lil joked. After that, Walter and Mary had Phil and Lil do some chores: feed the chickens, milk the cow, groom the horses, collect the eggs, slop the pigs, etc. Walter and Mary helped, of course. So did Betty. After all the work, everyone was hungry.
"Time for dinner," said Mary, "The steak oughta be ready now." The steak, indeed, was ready. Walter and Mary served everyone a piece.
"Do you have cable?" asked Phil.
"No," said Walter, "We have a satellite."
"Even better!," said Phil.
After supper, everyone got ready for bed.
"Phil, Lil," Mary called out, "Let me show you where you are going to sleep."
Phil and Lil followed Mary down the hall and to a bedroom filled with posters of classic rock and movie stars.
"This is where your Mom and Uncle Freddy slept," announced Mary.
"Man! This is awesome!" exclaimed Phil.
"Hey lil!" said Phil, "Look at those Classic Rock posters on the wall! Ozzy Osborune! Kiss! Alice Cooper! This is a cool place!"
Phil then turned to Grandma.
"Grandma?" called Phil.
"Yes?" replied Mary.
"Would you do me a favor?" asked Phil
"What is it?" asked Mary.
"Please leave those movie and rock star posters on the wall," replied Phil.
"I knew you were going to like this room," said Mary.
A few minutes later. Mary went to the guest room, where Betty and Howard were
sleeping. This was originally a room belonging to Betty's brother, Freddy, during
his teenage years.
"Do you want me to tuck you in Honey Muffin?" Mary asked Betty.
"Uh..." Betty began.
"Alright Sweetie," Mary said before she could finish.
"Sweetie? Honey Muffin?" Betty's cheeks turned rosy red. Then everyone went to bed.
The next day, everyone woke up at 8:30 to do their chores. Then Walter informed the family that they were going to a rodeo.
"Hey, Howie," said Betty, "We're goin' to a rodeo! You want to come?"
"Uh, no thanks..." Howard started to reply.
"Great!" Betty cut in, "Let me help ya' to the car." The Deville's drove off. After a while, Lil said,
"Mom, I'm getting hungry. Can we stop somewhere to eat?"
"Sure," Betty agreed, "I could use some grub! How 'bout it, Dad?"
Fine with me," said Walter. They stopped at a place called the Longhorn Inn. They went inside and seated themselves. Phil picked up a menu.
"Hmmm," he said, pretending to be thoughtful, "Salad with ranch dressing, chicken, pork----where's the kids menu?"
"Here," said Lil, pointing. Phil looked at it.
"Scardy-Cat Chicken, Wallow Swallow bite sized pork bits, Rodeo Roast, Cow Patty..." Phi read loudly. So loudly that everyone in the restaurant could hear.
"Keep it down!" someone said.
"That's lunch," Mary whispered.
"I want the Armadillo Rolls, Pony Mini-Pancakes, and orange juice" Lil told Betty after she had read the kids breakfast menu.
"Don't tell me, tell the waiter," was Betty's reply. A few minutes later the waitress arrived. She was short and plump, wearing the green and brown Longhorn Inn uniform.
"What'll ya'll be havin' fer breakfast 'smorin', huh?" She asked.
Everyone placed their order. A few minutes later, the waitress came back with
"That was sure fast," said Betty. Just then, Phil accidentally dropped his fork.
As he bent down to pick it up, he bumped the table. His glass of milk, which
had been sitting at the edge of the table, fell off and spilt all over him.
He fell into the walkway, where their waitress tripped over him. She fell onto
a cart of desserts she'd been pushing and it sped through the restaurant, knocking
people down and making a huge mess. The tray she had been carrying flew through
he air and hit Howard, who had stood up quickly after Phil tripped, smack in
the face, forcing him over the back of the chair and onto the table of the people
who occupied that booth,
splattering them with food.
The maitre'd came over and said, "What's the meaning of this!"
Walter said, "Sorry about that -- a little accident. Don't worry -- I'll pay for the damaged meals."
Walter paid with his credit card, and even pitched in with some of the cleaning
up. Afterward, everyone resumed with their eating.
Later, they drove the rest of the way to the rodeo. When they got there, Howard and Phil changed clothes. Then they bought snacks and took their seats. The rodeo began.
When the rodeo was almost over, the announcer made an announcement:
"Attention, Red Ranch Rodeo fans! We are about to give you the chance of a lifetime! This Saturday, for three hundred dollars, the Bareback Buckin' Broncho competition! Appear in the arena for a classic 'Who can stay on the longest?' contest against Fat Freddy, the all time champion, with a time of one hour! The winner will recieve their three hundred dollars immediantly afterward! So be there if you dare. And Beware!"
"You know," said Lil as they were walking out of the arena, "I think we should enter dad in that Buckin' Broncho contest!"
"I don't know..." said Howard.
"Come on, Howie, it'll do ya' good!" Betty argued, "Besides, we need the money."
"Well....." Howard began. But Betty didn't listen. She grabbed an entry form and started filling it out.
"Hmmm," she said, "What's a cowboy name for Howie here?"
"How about Howie the Cowie?" Lil suggested.
"Or Howard the Coward," Phil added.
"I know!" said Betty, "Howlin' How!" Walter, Mary, Phil, and Lil all laughed. Betty dropped the entry form into the box.
"I'm still not so sure" said Howard.
"Don't be such a sissy dad" said Lil.
"You chicken or something?" asked Phil.
"Ummm...not really" said Howard. "Don't you all remember the horseback riding last afternoon?"
"Yes Howlin' How" said Phil. "We remember it like it was yesterday."
"Phillip, that was yesterday!" said Lil.
"Oh" said Phil.
"Besides" said Betty, "you got six whole days to practise!"
A little later, Phil and Lil were at a phone booth to call their friends. First, they called the Finsters. The telephone was answered by Kimi.
"Hello?" she asked.
"Kimi, it's us Phil and Lil!" said Phil.
"Where are you guys?" asked Kimi.
"We're in a rodeo!" said Phil. "We just signed dad up for the main event in a week!"
"You guys having fun?"
"We sure are" said Phil. "Although the people here in Texas are so weird. Listen to this."
Phil handed the phone to Lil and told her, "Hold it outside the booth."
"Ok" said Lil.
Phil walked out of the phone booth and said loud enough for everyone to hear, "Let's hear it for Texas!"
The men and women in the area stopped what they were doing, then the men tossed their hats into the air shouting, "Yahoo!" Everyone cheered and continued what they were doing previously.
Phil walked back into the phone booth, took the phone, and said, "see?"
"Yes" said Kimi, "Weird indeed. Have fun in Dallas! I'll tell Chuckie you called. Bye now."
She hung up at the same Phil hung up.
"Who was that Kimi?" asked Kira as she and Chazz came in.
"Phil and Lil" said Kimi.
To Be Continued
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