I have a father. He looks like this...
I have a sister. She looks like this...(on right)
Pretty cute, right?
Well, because she looks like this, my father thought that she should have a traveling companion on her trip to Austin to deter would-be harassers. He suggested this man...
Notice the grotesquely thin chest and misshapen lips. My father has dubbed this man "Wally" after his nickname in high school. Wally, the mannequin, among other treasures, was acquired many years ago in exchange for the installation of a hardwood floor. He has been used as an audience for my brother's band, a creepy item of decor in my brother's music room, and....well, that's about it.
So, my father asked his workmen, whose normal jobs are to install hardwood floors, to dress Wally in his best attire. You've seen the result above. The finishing touch was the pair of sunglasses.
My sister was very much opposed to this idea from the beginning, but because it was the condition for receiving $100 in gas money from my father, she had no choice.
In an effort to increase the illusion of Wally's "realness", my father suggested the following. As my sister gets out of the car to fill up at any given gas station, she should look back into the passenger seat and ask Wally if he would like a Coke or anything.
I thought I could add to the illusion by suggesting that she add, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were asleep."
My mother topped it off by suggesting that they could go as far as doing what real people do: argue. My sister could say something like, "You know, the last time I asked you if you wanted a Coke you said no. Now, when I ask you again, you get all mad and annoyed. I mean, we HAVE been traveling for three hours now and I thought that maybe, just maybe you might be a little thirsty now. SORRR-EEEE for asking!"
My sister thought none of this was funny and did not say one word to Wally the entire drive. All she did was get "freaked out" by his presence every time she had to switch to the right lane.
Two funny things happened on the road to Austin:
1. My sister got pulled over by a police officer. He looked over at Wally, said not a word, gave her a warning and went on his way. I say this guy needs to lighten up.
2. When she encountered a border check point, the border patrol agent leaned over to get a better look at her passenger and asked his citizenship, followed by his own raucous laughter at his own joke. Again, my sister was not amused. I think SHE needs to lighten up.
Sometimes, just to get my sister mad, we like to call her on her cell and ask if we can talk to Wally. I can see Wally taking trips with MY daughter in the future. I guess I'm more like my father that anyone would care to admit.