Drama Queen for a Day: Bad trips

Drama queen contestants on family vacations from hell

By Salon Staff
Published July 21, 1998 7:00PM (EDT)

There's a reason why you can't truly appreciate the myriad charms of fast food syndicates until you're a parent. Until then, you don't know that the reason why you go to McDonald's is not for the fries. Well, it's sort of for the fries, but it's really for the high chair and the faux Tamagotchi that's going to keep your wee one safe and entertained while those fries are cooling off and you're filling each of a dozen teeny paper cups with their own little squirt of ketchup. It's also for the endless supply of free napkins for post-fry wipe-up.

With the reliable exceptions of your own home and any place serving "happy meals," most of America is not prepared for the presence of children. Why else would the management of Barney's department store make the strategically questionable decision to put the art glass department right next to the children's department? Because nobody's supposed to bring their kids to Barney's, that's why, and if you have any doubt, try changing a diaper in their ladies' room.

And it's not just Barney's. It's airplane bathrooms, it's art museums, it's the beach. Life on the outside is a crapshoot (sometimes almost literally), and it's a wise parent who anticipates the probability that all hell might break loose during your tour of Alcatraz and you won't have the paper towels or lightning rod that you need. (This is, incidentally, why God invented the minivan.) Once you leave the safety zone -- your home and its armament of molded plastic child accouterments -- anything can go.

And for this month's Drama Queen for a Day contestants, who bravely forged their paths through territories child-friendly and not, anything came and went. After you read the stories of their exile, exercise your pity by voting for the Drama Queen for a Day.

Contestant No. 1 |
Contestant No. 2 |
Contestant No. 3 |
Vote now!

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